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Patch cables important?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by RedCoatMonster, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. RedCoatMonster


    Aug 14, 2007
    Thomas, OK
    Im just curious how important path cables really are? I just got mine from GC in that litle tub by the register, is that bad? lol.
  2. If you have a ton of equipment racked up in your studio with a million patch cables that are hard to get to, they're important. If you are running sound at a show and everything has to work on the first try, they're important. If you have a monster pedal board and wish to avoid having people throw things at you while you try to determine what is making that awful crackling noise, they're important. I guess what I'm trying to say is that yes, of course, cables are important.

    In my experience for live application as long as the cable isn't causing an RF problem a cheap cable is not going to make any noticeable difference in your sound; however, I imagine that for most of us extra reliability is worth the price of admission to reasonably good cables.
  3. ricknote


    Aug 3, 2006
    Yes, they are very important.
    Lelander covered everything perfectly. I would also add that
    good cables don't have to be expensive. Monster and Mogami
    are nice cables but basic cable by ProCo and other pro brands are
    very durable and high quality.
    Personally I've been using Monster cables for 10 years and had
    only one fail, it was replace free with my receipt.
    Having said that my home studio is using ProCo cable that are
    nearly 15 years old and still work perfectly.

    The moral to this story is:
    Next time pass on the GC budget cable for $15 and spend $30 and
    be done with it!

    Good luck
  4. McHaven


    Mar 1, 2005
    I use the solderless planet waves cables on my pedalboard. I can cut them to length I need, and arrange the board perfectly. They seem very well made, and I do notice a lack of hiss in the signal once I switched to them
  5. I've been using the Livewire cables GC has, no problems.

    I really don't think it matters too much. Especially when it comes to things like hiss, which is only apparent when you aren't playing IME.
  6. canshaker


    Dec 15, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Ashdown/ESP/Dunlop/Line 6/Normandy.
    Y'know the saying, "You're only as strong as your weakest link"?...:smug:
  7. ehque


    Jan 8, 2006
    Certainly if anyone is concerned about how ONE noisy pedal can affect the sound, they should be VERY concerned how MANY cables affect the sound? Buy good patch cables, since your sound runs thru so many of them.
  8. I've been thinking about buying a Planet Waves "Cable Station Pedal Board Kit." It's expensive - around $75 - but it comes with everything you need to make 5 custom length patch cables, which, IMO, is pretty ding-dang great.
  9. Lebowsky

    Lebowsky Effects Forum Resident

    Mar 18, 2007
    Lausanne, Switzerland
    you probably won't notice a difference in the sounds. except when cheap cables fail.
  10. McHaven


    Mar 1, 2005
    I picked up mine for about 50 bucks on ebay. Check it out there, you're likely to find a better deal
  11. Yes, I don't notice any difference whatsoever between my GC, Monster, Rapco, Horizon, or other cables. Some of the cheap ones have shrink wrap over the connector joint, but on a few the solder is the only thing holding it all together (Live Wire, you bastards). Most cables fail at the connector joint where it is soldered, so the better it is soldered and sealed and the better the strain relief on the connector, the longer they typically last.
  12. as important as your pedal board but only much cheaper
  13. T-MOST

    T-MOST Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2004
    NJ via NYC
    I think a "reasonably" good cable makes a definate difference with signal noise and reliability. The brand you go for is totally up to you and your pocket LOL. I use Monster :eek:
  14. RedCoatMonster


    Aug 14, 2007
    Thomas, OK
    Well as far as cable for my bass and stuff I get the $30 or $40 monster cables, but Ive just been getting those cheap few dollar patch cables at GC lol. I dotn have alot of pedals yet, only 4, but I suppose I should consider getting good ones. Thanks alot. =] Very informative guys.
  15. astralis


    Dec 31, 2006
    Fort Myers, FL
    You should REEAAALLLLYYYY try to create your own patch cables.
    It really only takes a soldering iron and time (plus parts of course). You can get the highest quality cable possible, for very cheap... By super-ultra-high-quality-cable, I don't mean this cable is going to sound sooooo amazing compared to blah blah blah. Honestly, capacitance will make the biggest difference from cable to cable, and if you can hear that... major props (p.s. its pretty damn hard to hear). (p.p.s. you can't hear it).

    Anyways, its a real treat to make your own cables. If you are even THINKING of attempting the 'planet waves cable kit' thingy, you should really look into just buying a bulk reel of cable and some 1/4 inch plugs. It's a really smart investment and you can make your cables any length you choose.

    With making your own cables you learn a lot more about how patch cables work and you get tons of soldering experience. So when they break, you whip out the DMM and wiggle away =D. Just as good as new!

    Heres what I use to make all of my patch cables (I hope its okay to post this kind of stuff, I'm just trying to help here):

    Canare GS-6 Cable (this is the best cable I have ever seen or used, I honestly do not believe it will get much better than this)
    2-Conductor 1/4" Phone Plug (these are the plugs I use for my main signal cable; Bass > Pedalboard, Pedalboard > Amp)
    2-Conductor 1/4" Phone Plug (I use these for all of my pedalboard wiring, they are much cheaper but also a little less sturdy than the NP2X plugs)

    **Note on the Canare GS-6;
    One day at practice, my drummers symbol came CRASHING down STRAIGHT on the cable. I figured for sure it was a gonner... Of course if it didn't slice it straight in half, it would break the copper signal wire inside of it... NOPE, not a dent and measuring it with a meter NO loss of signal. Not a single strand cracked... amazing... (It also has the lowest capacitance per foot of any other cable I have seen a spec sheet for)
  16. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    Not really important if you use 2 pedals.
    Very important if you have a pedalboard or a fridge sized rack.
  17. RedCoatMonster


    Aug 14, 2007
    Thomas, OK
    Ive heard of this before, not a bad idea. I like doing stuff myself. I was thinking of making my own pedal board soon and start buying some more pedals so this might be right up my alley. :)
  18. SpankyPants

    SpankyPants That's Mr. SpankyPants to you.

    Aug 24, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY
    What you should do is check out Bayou Cable (link in sig). He'll make you custom patch cables at any length that generally equals the cost of buying one of those "solderless kits."

    I also want to emphasize the point made about finding that "crackle" sound. When you're on a gig with 14 pedals and ONE patch cable starts acting up, you're trying to find a needle in a haystack. Or at least a really big pedalboard. Do yourself a favor, buy Bayou Cables.
  19. SpankyPants

    SpankyPants That's Mr. SpankyPants to you.

    Aug 24, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY
    Did that sound like an ad or what? :ninja:
  20. ehque


    Jan 8, 2006
    It did, spanky.

    The only reason im not using bayou yet is because i haven't finalised the layout of my board.

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