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Quality Cable Without Floating A Loan

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Shishka Bob, Dec 3, 2018.

  1. Shishka Bob

    Shishka Bob

    May 28, 2017
    Not at all sure where to post this ...

    What recommendations do folks have for quality instrument cables that last for not-so-much $$$?
  2. Droopy_TX


    Jul 17, 2016
    I use Livewire Advantage cables from GC for 4 reasons:
    1) they’re reasonably priced,
    2) they’re of decent build quality, so they’re quiet and not likely to break under normal use,
    3) they’re guaranteed for life, so if they do break, you bring them in and say, “Gimme a new one!”, and
    4) the plugs open up, so you can likely fix any shorts until you get a new one.

    Don’t fall for expensive cables that “make you sound better”; buy decent quality cables that don’t break. But, lifetime replacement means you won’t have to buy them again, so you save even more money. YMMV
  3. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    What @Droopy_TX said..
    The copper wire in ALL these cables has to meet the same set of US standards.. what differs is the stuff around that wire. But "wire is wire"!
    The expensive "audiophile" cables are a waste of $$$ [IME] - unless you are in a high end studio.
    With all that happens during a gig, no-one will EVER know [or hear] the difference between GC's livewires and Monster, Mogami, or other "high end" cables.

    PS: - If you go wireless, you'll never need to buy another cable.. except the one you already have to keep as a backup :)
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018
    Shishka Bob likes this.
  4. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    I could not hear the difference between my vovox cable for 170 bucks and my fender cable that costs a tenth of that if my life depended on it.
    salcott, Pilgrim, Shishka Bob and 2 others like this.
  5. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    $5 cable = don't do it!
    $10 cable = OK, but some risk
    $15 cable = almost, but not quite
    $20 cable = the most common
    $25 cable = $20 cable with the price jacked up
    $30 cable = $25 cable with the price jacked up
    $40 cable = all they had but "it was an emergency"
    $50 cable = goofy, just plain silly
    $60+ cable = IQ issues
  6. Barisaxman

    Barisaxman Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 17, 2005
    Omaha, NE
    The three cables I've been using for nearly ten years now were all off-the-shelf Whirlwind cables, 20ft, around $20. I don't baby them, nor do I beat them to death, but I'd say I'm easily 500 gigs in and have not had an instrument cable failure ever.
    Pulverizor, salcott and Shishka Bob like this.
  7. Wisebass


    Jan 12, 2017
    Lost in Space
    hi Bob :)

    Maybe here?

    Accessories [BG] - NEW!

    Do it yourself! And learn how to repair!!!!! (get a soldering iron!)

    may the bass be with you

    onamission and JRA like this.
  8. Wisebass


    Jan 12, 2017
    Lost in Space
    Hi buddy :D

    you always make me lough!

    I am sure you tested them all :laugh:

    JRA likes this.
  9. dheafey


    Jul 22, 2012
    Cow Hampshire
    @bongomania did a nice review of cables with testing and data and stuff. I ended up with DiMarzio cables and am very pleased:

    FAQ at ovnilab
    Shishka Bob likes this.
  10. MoeTown1986

    MoeTown1986 Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2010
    SoMD (Mechanicsville)
    I’ve recently switched all my cables to Pig Hog cables. They’re braided, sturdy, cheap (all things considered), thick, high quality, and have a lifetime warranty. 2 pack 20 footers run like $34. A 5 pack is like $60. They offer bundle pricing. Lots of cool colors too.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018
    TN WOODMAN and Shishka Bob like this.
  11. Shishka Bob

    Shishka Bob

    May 28, 2017
    Awesome! Thanks for making me laugh!
    JRA likes this.
  12. Shishka Bob

    Shishka Bob

    May 28, 2017
    You know, I had a hunch this morning after I posted this -- unscrewed the cover and found freys resulting from a poor solder job. Fixed it. Thanks!
    Wisebass likes this.
  13. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    there you go!

    the way i see it, the $15 "music store" cables, the plain black rubber ones with real switchcraft or neutrik ends from rapco or proco or whirlwind or horizon, those are perfectly "good" professional cables.

    "nice" cables are the $35 cloth-jacketed ones from spectraflex or dimarzio, the ones that still have "legit" ends from switchcraft, neutrik, or maybe amphenol. US-made, extra durable with good lifetime warranties.

    anything below "good" (mystery ends that look like switchcraft but aren't) or above "nice" (audiophile nonsense, often oddly with weird mystery-brand ends too) is a waste of your money.
  14. Fun Size Nick

    Fun Size Nick

    Feb 21, 2006
    Hong Kong
    I've been very happy with Dimarzio braided cables. The only downside is that they're relatively inflexible, but they seem to be nigh on indestructible. Mine are 10+ years old and gigged regularly. There's probably a reasonably high alcohol content in the braid! :laugh:
  15. I'm with Walter. Get a decent, serviceable cable and use it.

    Wire is wire. The only differences lie in the gauge of wire, the quality of connectors and the soldering that holds them together.

    And I can't hear a difference in any cable I've used over the past 20+ years.
    salcott likes this.
  16. It seems like you are able to solder since you fixed your old cable, but it's not too hard to build one yourself. That's what I did and I found it to be pretty rewarding. I was able to use Mogami cable and Neutrik ends for less than $20 a cable. I just put together the speaker cables for my amp too. The big advantage is that you can make your cables the exact length you want. Parts Express had everything I needed.
    JRA and mmon77 like this.
  17. BoogieZK


    Sep 28, 2008
    Toulouse, France
    This is so terribly true it must be refunded by health insurance.

    If you have a friend who knows how to solder, Sommercable + Neutrik jacks.
    1€/m final cost.
    JRA likes this.
  18. SteveCS


    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    Likewise, except mine are approaching 30 years!
    Pulverizor likes this.
  19. I could suggest you use only the finest oxygen-free uni-directional braided copper cable, connected to gold plated plugs with solder with a high silver content. Or do what I do:
    1. Know the difference between instrument cable and speaker cable, and use the right one
    2. Don't spend too much, and get something with a lifetime replacement warranty if it's available
    3. Ensure there's a spare for everything
    4. Regularly switch between the in-use cable and the spare, so you know the spare works if you need it.
    ErnieD likes this.
  20. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    I have used Vovox for many years now and am very happy with them!
    That goes for both the Protect A and Sonorous.
    Vanden Hul integration hybrid is another one I like.
    For me, Vovox wins overall though.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018

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