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speaker cable/instrument cable

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by klepto, Mar 8, 2005.


  1. klepto

    klepto Guest

    Nov 10, 2004
    i was just wondering what kind of speaker cables and instrument cables you all use and if there is any reason for your preferences
     
  2. Jazzman

    Jazzman

    Nov 26, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    George L's. Use one and you will hear the difference.

    As for speaker cable, I use 12GA Rapco two conductor with speakon connectors.
     
  3. robgrow

    robgrow Supporting Member

    May 1, 2004
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Especially with piezo pickups, I've found that cables really do make a difference in the sound. I have a few different high-end cables and they all sound slightly different. I have an older Monster cable that I like best.

    Heavy gauge speaker cables are best IMO. #14 or heavier wire is a very good idea. Use speakons if your gear is compatible. 1/4-inch phone plugs and jacks are less than ideal for high power use. Probably any good-quality cable would be good here, but I like some of the Monster products.

    -bob
     
  4. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    Dittos on the George L's, they're great. Plus, they don't get tangled up in the gig bag.
     
  5. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Do you mean the skinny ones with the screw-on ends that look kinda like the old Bill Lawrence cables used to look? I always figured that they wouldn't be that good because the cable was so thin...maybe I should rethink that.


    Currently using a Planet Waves instrument cable and all the speakon cables I have are from (ALL HAIL) Bob G.'s stock of very heavy cable.
     
  6. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
  7. AMJBASS

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    I like the George L's as well, but you have to be careful with them as they are a bit fragile. I use Planet Waves now. Lifetime warrantee, and really well made.
     
  8. jar240

    jar240 Supporting Member

    I use Analysys Plus Yellow Oval cables. I got them at cost from a dealer/friend. I have a 12' and a 10', and they sound fantastic! I use a realist and an EA iAMP800 Combo, and with that pickup, you need all of the mids/upper-mids you can get. These cables make a difference.

    I was told to give them about 100 each for "breakin", and I can't tell if there'sa difference in sound fnetween when they were new and today, probably 200 hours later. BUT, I do know that when I A/B with other cables (12' whirlwind, 10' BRTB), I notice a marked improvement in definition.

    I'm not sponsored; I'm just a happy camper.

    Chris
    http://www.analysis-plus.com
     
  9. I see that the George L's are low capacitance. I thought I read somewhere that for piezos, because of their high output, work best with high capacitance cable. I don't even know what capacitance is. Is there any validity to this, or am I misremembering?
     
  10. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    DURRL...which model of the Planet Waves cable are you using?
     
  11. robgrow

    robgrow Supporting Member

    May 1, 2004
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    T-Bal,

    The higher the shunt capacitance of a given cable, the more higher frequencies are attentuated (or shunted to ground). This is especially the case with piezo pickups, which typically have very high source impedances. However, since piezo pickups tend to have good high frequency response (or sometimes even too good), some attenuation of the highs may be viewed as a good thing by some users.

    For an example of shunt capacitance in action, on a bass guitar with passive electronics, turning the tone control CCW gradually introduces a shunt capacitor across the output to attentuate the high frequency response and mellow the sound of the instrument.

    Most higher quality audio signal cables have relatively low shunt capacitance.

    -bob
     
  12. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I'm not really sure, but it's built like a tank, has large ends which never rattle on the bass because of the snug fit, and also has a strange little on/off switch on the instrument end which I've forgotten to turn on a time or two much to my consternation...
     
  13. Thanks for that explanation. So with a bright sounding pickup like the Underwood, a high capacitance cable might mellow the sound out, whereas with one like the Realist, a low capacitance cable might help the highs to come through. Or not, if they're not even there to begin with. Oh, well, one more thing to mull over...
     
  14. Can anyone comment specifically on differences in sound of speaker cables, with regard to brand and guage? I have been using one of Bob G's, and recently got a C.B.I. as a backup. Used the C.B.I. on two gigs yesterday, and was not happy with my sound. Could have been a coincidence, though.
     
  15. Humph

    Humph

    May 23, 2004
    Warren, NJ
    I just bought the Monster Bass™ Instrument Cable today. The guy at Guitar Center said it would work good with my upright. Ok, I'm now realizing he has no idea about cable matching for an upright with a piezo pickup.
    I was wondering if anyone knew if this cable is a good match for a 61 kay with a Gage realist pickup?
    thanks,
    Mike
     
  16. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Depends. What color is the amp? :smug:

    In my experience, the difference between a decent cable and a great one (I have a Monster that I swear by) is pretty subtle. The difference between and crap cable and the other two is much greater...
     
  17. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    Amen! Amazing how a crappy cable in an other wise great rig can mess up your night.
     
  18. Humph

    Humph

    May 23, 2004
    Warren, NJ
    My amp is black with red lettering, so my cable is a pretty good match. :p

    Thanks for the reassurance, the monster cable is very well put together. It also comes with a lifetime warranty. I've seen some other cables selling for over a $100 bucks. I don't think I'm able to shell that out. The monster cable is a pretty good upgrade from a generic cable.
     
  19. Tbeers

    Tbeers

    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    I just bought a 20' planet waves cable, cost me about 40 bucks. I don't hear that big a difference over my old no-name cable. I only ever played through one cable that was truly awful (the one that was included with my first Fishman BP-100) and all the rest have been fine. I was expecting some clear difference with this new, pricey planet waves gadget, but it's only slightly better. I think the sound is fuller through the mids... not sure.
     
  20. "Can anyone comment specifically on differences in sound of speaker cables, with regard to brand and guage?"

    Instrument cables interact with pickups to some extent, especially piezos, so they can make subtle differences to the high frequencies. However, speaker cable has much less influence on tone.
    The main issue is signal loss in the cable and connectors. This is more critical at low impedances, esp. 2 Ohms

    General rule of thumb is use a speaker lead as short and thick as possible. And try to use Speakons rather than jacks - they lock in, they don't create a short when plugging in and they have much more contact area.

    I make my own speaker leads from heavy duty power cable, but there is good stuff available from car audio suppliers. Speakons are easy to DIY because they have screw connectors - you don't even need to solder.