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Home made Cables

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by BassTerd, Sep 14, 2005.

  1. BassTerd


    Aug 15, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I wan't to make my own instrument cables. I've done the george L and monster thing. George l's are cool but i can get a little rough with and screw them up in a live setting. Monster is just over rated, they sound like the crappy cables they give you at guitar center to test stuff out. I've used mogami cable and switchcraft plugs to wire up my home studio. Great stuff. Would this be the way to go? Are there any other hi end brand cable and plugs i can buy that will smoke monster?
  2. Dan1099

    Dan1099 Dumbing My Process Down

    Aug 7, 2004
    IMO, cables don't "smoke" cables. As long as a cable is well shielded, constructed solidly, and of the proper gauge, it will be fine.
  3. I noticed crappy sound coming out of my effects chain, than no sound. bad solder joint, after years of abuse their bound to go bad. well I fixed it, and my chorus never sounded so good. but with home made cables make sure their sheilded get some shrink rap for the ends, and some solder flux to clean the gun off before you start.
  4. I made all the cables for my little studio at home and I use nothing but Neutrik connectors. The strain relief is pretty good along with shrink wrapping.
  5. BassTerd


    Aug 15, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I've tried using nuetrik. I'm not to crazy about them, they feel a little cheap to me. I prefer to use switchcraft.
    Does anybody recommend any hi quality cable?
  6. Funny, I find Neutrik to be incredibly robust feeling. Why do you feel that way, because the ends are plastic covered?

    As for making your own cables, any decent quality shielded coax will work, it just depends on how flexible you want it. I have used regular cable-t.v. coax for patch cables, and it works great. Gotta love a solid-core conductor.
  7. KAOSBass


    Mar 10, 2005
    Amarillo Texas
    I met a guy in Dallas who runs a "high-end" store in Lewisville, who uses Spark-plug cable......

    Dont know how well that works but he swears buy them....
  8. Funkengrooven

    Funkengrooven Turn it down? You gotta be nuts!!

    I use the mil-spec equivalent of RG-59U the stuff that your local cable company uses for video and Switchcraft ends.
    The sheilding is excellent and the capacitance is the lowest I have seen. The Mil-spec is smaller diameter and more flexible than the type that the cable companies use and the center conductor is stranded as opposed to solid and the shield is a 95% braid as opposed to a foil wrap.

    The resistance and capacitance of a cable are directly related to the high frequency response. Too much or not enough (I forget which) and your cable will act like your tone control.

    I disagree with the "any decent cable will do" theory.
    I have done an A-B test with a half dozen types of supposed quality cable and the difference is audible. No one was more surprized than me to be able to HEAR the difference.

    We are now entering the realm of what sounds good to Bobby may not sound good to Joey.

    Your mileage may vary.....
  9. BassTerd


    Aug 15, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Were can i get this stuff? I want to try it out.
  10. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    I get my home made cables from Pete Brunelli. Thank you Pete!!!!

  11. Matt H

    Matt H

    Jul 30, 2005
    Ithaca, NY
    i've been really pleased with all of the canare cable i've ever used. (mainly in studio applications)

    it's what all the "boutique cable" makers are using these days too... but you can buy it ridiculously cheap... if you already own the tools (soldering iron, good pair of wire cutters/strippers) it's silly not to make your own cables.

    i think the best prices i found were at markertek (maybe not the BEST, but consistently "really great"...)
  12. Le Basseur

    Le Basseur

    Mar 26, 2002
    I use something similar (a different name but esentially the same stuff) and I must agree that since I made the first cable this way,I never looked back to the "brand" ones.Indeed,too good to be left just like an experiment.
    Currently,I have another alternative:Klotz microphone cable.I use it a tricky wiring way: one hot wire carying the signal from tip to tip and the other hot wire,soldered together with the shield at amp's or pedal's input BUT cut short(unwired,left in the air) at the other end (bass' jack).Of course,each end is colour-marked for a better identification,just like those Planet Waves cables.
    This is some old trick I got from the Hi-End world where big $$$ guys are swearing for their hi-Q "symetric" interconnect cables...within a reason.
    And yes,Neutrik all the way.
    Correct!Even if a bass'cable doesn't have to carry frequencies in the MHz range,most surely that in terms of capacitance and losses,a "decent" piece of wire shall rob you a certain ammount of your signal.After all,a cable IS a component and I try not to forget that.
  13. Be aware that there are at least two types of Neutrik connectors. They make the full professional stuff, but recently they have also been making cheaper versions. ALWAYS get the real ones.

    Canare cables are great, so are Belden. No specific types, sorry, just have a look at their websites.

    Parliament House in Australia uses nothing but Canare cables and Neutrik connectors. A pretty good endorsement, considering it's also plugged by AKG as the largest installment of their microphones in the world.
  14. I'm using Canare instrument cable with Nuetrik plugs. Canare, because guys I respect over on alt.audio.pro.live-sound, recommend it or Mogami, and the store I was in had only Canare. Nuetrik, for the strain relief, and general post 1920 engeneering.
  15. BassTerd


    Aug 15, 2002
    Los Angeles
    well i'll try out the nuetrik plugs this time around. I want 1 straight plug and 1 right angle plug. The problem is that neutrik right angle plugs are just way to bulky. I'll just get a switchcraft right angle and one of those slim neutrik slim plug.
    Also, I have some Canare Quad mic cable laying around. Has anyone ever used quad mic cable to make an instrument cable?
  16. ryco


    Apr 24, 2005
  17. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
    Belden or Canare (or Gotham) and Neutrik connectors. Worked for me in 20 years of working in TV, radio and audio; used properly, it's just more reliable and I HATE fixing things. For instrument cables I'm only concerned with reliability, shielding quality and low capacitance.

    Coax is fine, and I've used it before myself, except that in a live situation single core is liable to fracture and foam dielectrics are easily crushed and damaged. PTFE cores are nice.

    Cardas is way overpriced for what it is.
  18. weeks82


    Oct 10, 2001
    does any know the best place online to buy quality bulk cable and Neutrik connectors ? thanks
  19. BassTerd


    Aug 15, 2002
    Los Angeles
    This is a good place.