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Guitar or Speaker Cables When Going Direct?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Vinnyboonbots, Jul 28, 2012.

  1. Vinnyboonbots

    Vinnyboonbots Banned

    May 25, 2012
    AFter some investigation/ experimentation I decided to put my effects directly into the input of the head instead of in an effects loop. It just sounds better that way. So my question is...

    I should use guitar cables going in and out, right? But aren't the tiny wires that connect the boxes unshielded/speaker cables?

    Sorry if that sounds like an ignorant question. I've been playing for decades and even built basses but when it comes to the electronic stuff, I still find myself stymied at times.

    Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
  2. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Instrument cables are the way to go
  3. PlungerModerno


    Apr 12, 2012
    +1. Sheilding is pretty crucial. Don't get conned into boutique 'ultimate' types where you pay $200 per foot.
  4. Vinnyboonbots

    Vinnyboonbots Banned

    May 25, 2012
    That's what I figured. (Though I'm not really sure why they say speaker cables are necessary with an effects loop.)

    And yeah, I'm not a beginner so I'm not about to get conned with boutique cables.

    But what about the wires connecting the boxes. Doesn't matter?
  5. PlungerModerno


    Apr 12, 2012
    AFAIK... If you connect any number of stomp boxes and experiment with the order to get the gain staging and effect order the way you want it... you should be good with a normal shielded instrument patch cable... in theory. I don't have too much experiance, AFAIK the effects send / return are only designed to take line level signal... a speaker cable is designed for the full hot signals... and are not suitable for line signals like an effects loop.

    I'm not too knowledgeable though. :meh:
  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Speaker connections get speaker cables...instrument and pedal connections get shielded instrument cable. Always.
  7. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    When you say "the little wires connecting the boxes", do you mean the internal wiring like from the circuitboard to the jacks, or do you mean the short patch cords from one pedal to the next? The internal wiring is shielded by the box itself, the housing of the pedal. The short patch cords are just short guitar cables, and are shielded.

    Speaker cable is only for connecting a power amp to a speaker.

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