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Patch Cords. The forgotten link?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bassmonkeee, May 2, 2002.


  1. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    After running a search in this forum, I didn't really see what I was looking for, so....

    Okay, a little background for people not following my massive bloodletting of money over the last couple of months. :D

    I have recently upgraded my rig to include 2 Aguilar GS112s, an Alembic SF-2 Superfilter, and (on the way from Gard) an Aguilar DB750.

    I've got two Speakon to Speakon cables coming with the head, so I've got the Amp to Cab link covered. I'm really looking forward to those 4 satisfying 'clicks' when I plug them up. Sad, huh?

    Anyway, I'm going to run the SF-2 through the effects loop of the Aguilar, and I am trying to decided what cords to pick up for the job. I've got a George L 12' for the bass to amp connection that I think is great. It's skinny, but it honestly has a clearer tone than the cable I replaced (DiMarzio, I belive).

    After spending $2K on the rest of the rig, it just doesn't make sense to skimp on the cables, ya know? But, do I really need to spend $35-$50 on two 3' Monster cables? I used a 20' Monster Cable in college, and the only thing I seem to remember about it was that it died twice (crackle, crackle), and I got sick of getting it replaced. I am not rough on my cords, and the Monster Cable is the only one I have killed in over 17 years of playing (Jezz, I'm getting old...).

    Does anyone have any recommendations for some high quality patch cords to use for the effects loop? Or, is the distance so short that it really doesn't matter?
     
  2. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    Why not make yourself some George L patch cords? As you probably know, you can buy the cable by the foot, cut to fit, and put the plugs on yourself. The cable comes in two differetn thicknesses; you could always get the thicker one to be on the safe side.

    Unless someone knows something I don't on this--which is always a possibility--I can't think of a reason why George Ls couldn't be used for line level signals as well as instrument level signals, though of course you wouldn't use them for amp output signals.
     
  3. AMJBASS

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    I personally use George L's patch cords for all of my effects and bass to amp. They seem to make the low end tighter, and really clean up the sound. I believe that Bob Gollihur uses George L's as well. I really enjoy them, and you can cut them your self. They come with screw on ends. Try em!:)

    ...........Richard! Seems as though you and I thought the very same thing at the same time! There you go! Two recommendations for George L's!
     
  4. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    The shorter the patch cord, the less critical it is. Working in your favor is that you have active electronics with low output impedance driving line-level signals to equipment just inches away in the same rack.

    Under those conditions, just about anything that doesn't fall apart will work very well, so you don't have to spend much.

    My effects pedal is a Zoom 506II, and I patch it into the effects loop via a 15' dual 1/4" to 1/4" cable made by Horizon, and it's worked extremely well (much better than using the pedal at instrument levels).
     
  5. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    As soon as I hit "post" I thought to myself, "why don't you just get some of the George L cable, and make your own darned cords?"

    I'll look into it. Thanks for two votes to push me in that direction.
     
  6. arizonabass

    arizonabass

    Feb 6, 2002
    Tucson, AZ
    Specifically with regard to instrument cables (the bass to the amp), how do these George L cables compare to the very expensive Fender Pro Tone cables? One fellow who bought the Fender cable swears to me the tone he gets is far superior to that which he got from a regular ol' "guitar cord."

    :confused:
     
  7. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    A patch cable is far less critical than a instrument cable between a passive bass and amp.

    Just make sure it's as short as possible, and serviceable (no sealed plugs).

    Since it's line level with low impedance, impedance issues are not much of a concern.

    There is a lot of debate around instrument cables, IMO a lot of comparisons are flawed because we think that the prettier and more expensive cable sounds better.
     
  8. arizonabass

    arizonabass

    Feb 6, 2002
    Tucson, AZ
    Well, my bass is passive, and I would like to have a cable that's at least 15' - possibly 20'. Therefore, what is recommended? Is the Fender ProTone at $70+ (street price) what I have to get to be sure I'm getting the most out of my equipment? Or is the $30 George L cable going to do the job?
     
  9. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    DC
    After I got my FMR audio RNC I bought a bunch of George L's plugs and cable to wire up my rack and to use as guitar cords. They are ridiculously easy to work with and sound just as good as any other cable I have used. Plus they aren't that expensive.
     
  10. I just redid my rack with George L patch cords. Highly recommended :)
     
  11. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    It dawned on me that I just found my other 12' George L cable. I think I am just going to find a couple of the 1/4" plugs, and make some cords from that. I figure I can get four 3' cables as long as the laws of mathematics still apply.

    I might be deadly with a soldering iron, but I can turns me some serious screwdriver. :D

    Thanks for the idea.

    Allan--where did you get your parts to make your cables? Local, or online? I haven't seen any stores in Atlanta that carry his stuff, I don't think. I guess I could not be so lazy and Google it. But, if you know of a place with a decent price....
     
  12. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Yeah, this was exactly what I was wondering. I didn't know if running two short line level cords would really make much difference in the real world. I mean, I am sure some guy who had a room built around a chair to be acoustically perfect to his size, mass, and hair color could tell the difference with his chain driven phonograph, but in a bar with people knocking over beer....:)
     
  13. Atlanta Discount on Clairmont. They charged 5 cents more per plug than the George L online price (the last time I bought any).
     
  14. BFunk

    BFunk Supporting Member

    I use George L's whenever possible. One thing I recommend, where you are plugging/unplugging a lot, or have runs longer than a few inches, use the strain-relief covers. You should be able to buy them from your George L's dealer.

    I don't like using George L's for the bass to amp connection. I find them too stiff. I am using a Monster Bass cable for that. I really dislike Monster becuase I have had many fail on me in the past. Can anyone suggest a reliable, ~12', instrument cable that sounds good and won't tangle easily?
     
  15. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    ProCo, Whirlwind, and Horizon are a few brands that make durable, high-quality instrument cables.
     
  16. arizonabass

    arizonabass

    Feb 6, 2002
    Tucson, AZ
    Bob, I asked yesterday if the Fender ProTone cables are worth the very high price ($75+ for 18 feet) but no one answered... do you know?
     
  17. 1964

    1964

    Mar 26, 2002
    Too Close To Hell
    FWIW, I use the low capacitance Bill Lawrence cable with the solderless connectors.

    And for those asking about the Fender Pro cables, I've got one and am not at all impressed.
     
  18. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    Is that in US dollars? IMHO, even $75 Canadian would be steep for an 18' instrument cable unless they threw in a bass gig bag with it. But it seems like almost everyone's looking to get in on the pricey pretty cables business, what with its tremendous margins.
     
  19. arizonabass

    arizonabass

    Feb 6, 2002
    Tucson, AZ
    Yes, that's US dollars! The list price is something like $95. The cables are made by Carver and look very fancy and are quite flexible, too. Each end is even marked as "instrument" and "amplifier". I guess these cables work only one way. ;) Seriously, though... :confused:
     
  20. Can anyone explain what George L cables do? Are they high end reel cable?

    I have a fender made by carver cable, and I think the markings are to help you tell which end's which. It works both ways.