The curse of the internet

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by SleazyB, Aug 11, 2018.

  1. SleazyB


    Sep 25, 2016
    Frankfurt a.M.
    I’m thinking about a new live setup for me and all these different meanings concerning cable length and unclean power really confuse me.

    I’m thinking about having a 9 metres Sommer Highflex cable to and another 9 Meters Sommer Highflex cable from my Pedalboard to the amp. Will this result in tone loss ?

    Another question I ask myself a lot is, do I need a power conditioner for my Pedalboard ? Or will my truetone cs6 will do just fine without one ?

    If this does not belong here, feel free to move the topic, but I thought since the cable goes to my AMP it would fit..

  2. Wisebass


    Jan 12, 2017
    Lost in Space
    Hi SleazyB :)

    9m+9m = 18m :hyper:

    I can see, you plan to play big stages. :cool: (Open air?)

    When you plan to play outdoor festivals, a power conditioner is a good idea (for your whole rig incl. your amp!)

    I am no pedalboard user, so I don 't have an idea if the 9 m of cable between your PB and the amp will cause big

    problems. (Maybe this should be moved to "effects")

    But I would consider to get a wireless, just because I hate to have a 18m cable mess behind me when I rock!

    But that' s just me! :D

    may the bass be with you (edit: Prost!)

    JRA and SleazyB like this.
  3. Rick James

    Rick James Inactive

    Feb 24, 2007
    New Jersey
    Cable length is only a concern with passive pickups. If you have passives keep the cable less than 5 meters. Assuming your pedal board is buffered it can use any length cable to the amp. Power conditioners are for the most part a waste of money. Unclean power is a myth created by makers and sellers of stuff that claims to clean it. Whatever 'conditioning' the power may require is done by the pedal board power supply. Never use a power conditioner with an amp. If you don't believe me ask your amp manufacturer what they recommend.
  4. All cable introduces tone loss.
    How much, is a factor involving a lot more than just the cable.
    It may affect it more between a passive bass and an amp when compared to an active bass.
    Likewise between active vs passive and your pedal board.
    Usually, the most impact will be between the bass and the board rather than the board and the amp.
    So the 9m before the board may impact more than the 9m after the board.
    The key with an active bass or pedals, by virtue of the built in amplifiers, is that the output may present a lower impedance and lower impedance can have less impact on tone, given the same cable.
    Your 18m of cable with pedals in the middle may not affect tone as much as 18m without the pedals.
  5. There can still be an effect. Active pickups reduce the impact significantly, but do not eliminate it altogether.
    If that were case, you could run an infinite length of cable with no tone loss.
    The capacitance in the cable does not change, it is still there in the same amount weather passive or active.
    But the lower impedances that usually are associated with active components, makes the affect on tone less than it would be with passive.
    Wasnex likes this.
  6. Rick James

    Rick James Inactive

    Feb 24, 2007
    New Jersey
    Passives get loaded because they're high impedance, actives and passives with on-board pre amps don't get loaded because they're low impedance. You wouldn't want to run an infinite cable, but even 100 feet doesn't bother a low impedance source all that much.
  7. The preamp (active components) act as a buffer between pickups and the instrument cable.
    Even pickups that have the active components built into the same case with the windings still use buffering to reduce the higher impedance of the coil windings to a lower output impedance. The initial coil windings might be lower impedance (and lower output) directly from the coil than is the case with standard passive pickups, but they still use buffering and in many cases amplification. It’s all about the impedances of each stage as seen by the next, or previous stage and what is used, to connect those stages together.
    Wasnex likes this.
  8. SleazyB


    Sep 25, 2016
    Frankfurt a.M.
    I actually have a wireless incorporated in my rig. So it’s going Bass —> Line 6 G90 —> Pedalboard —> Microtubes 900

    My “problem” is that I’m the singer of my band and I have to put my board right next to my mic stand. Of course I won’t be needing 9 meters between my board and my cab, but sometimes my 6 metre- cable turns into a tripwire on bigger stages.

    I’m not quite sure what the quintessence of all of your opinions is.
    Passive bass + long cable = rather bad idea ?
    I’m using my Dingwall NG2 (active) most of the time, which is active. Let’s say I want my Kiesel Vader (passive) with me on stage, would my buffered Bypass Wah kind of balance things out ?

    I really am a Buffer-noob.

    A Power-Conditioner for my Pedalboard is unnecessary, thanks for clearing that up :)
  9. BogeyBass

    BogeyBass Inactive

    Sep 14, 2010
    I've used long cables on larger stages
    But always had a buffered pedal or 2 and it never really bothered me.

    If pedals are noisy then the pedals are noisy. Power conditioner don't do much. I've heard excessive hum from pedal power supply's. But that was with old school wall warts. These regulated bricks do much better job. And don't hear hum. Hissing and radio interference was more problem and that's in the pedal design not the power supply.
    SleazyB likes this.
  10. callofcthulhu


    Oct 16, 2012
    You're never going to notice the tone loss caused by the capacitance of your cables in a live environment, not matter how long your cables are.

    Even under controlled scientific conditions with studio grade equipment most people will have a hard time hearing a difference - and some of those will probably prefer the "sucked" tone (e.g. the Hendrix wannabes who insist on having coily cables).
    Fredrik E. Nilsen and SleazyB like this.
  11. SleazyB


    Sep 25, 2016
    Frankfurt a.M.
    Thanks guys, guess that's one less thing to worry about!
    Wisebass likes this.
  12. Do a double wireless. Bass —> 1st wireless —> pedals —> 2nd wireless —> amp.
  13. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    In my experience you will lose a bit of high end with 9M high Z instrument cables. Only you can decide if it's a problem you need to worry about. I did some experiments years ago and I could hear a slight amount of rolloff on a 2M cable. These experiments were done with quality cables and an active Yamaha TRB6P bass. As I needed to be able to move around a bit, I went with an 8M cable and it was fine. You can always boost the highs a little to compensate if you need to since the rolloff is not extreme.

    The CS6 appears to provide actual isolated DC outputs. A lot of power bricks claim this, but do not. Some pedals really need isolated power or they will form weird noisy interactions with other pedals. There's a good chance your good to go with the CS6. Users on the following thread report quiet operation:
  14. Yes. The higher the frequency, the more cable capacitance affects tone. More bothersome for guitars than bass.
    Truly, the only legitimate thing that guitar players have to whine about.
  15. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011

    I like a bright open tone. I could hear a subtle difference in 1994; probably not true today.
  16. matante


    Nov 3, 2003
    Los Angeles
    Just to nitpick for a second: We need to get in the habit of referring to passive/active basses rather than passive/active pickups. Very few companies offer active pickups and only a tiny percentage of bassists use them, but many more bass players use passive pickups with active electronics. What you meant to say in your reply was "cable length is only a concern with passive basses."
  17. lowplaces

    lowplaces Got Punch ?

    Dec 20, 2015
    Louisville Kentucky
  18. Jack


    Sep 6, 2003
    Northumberland, UK
    The good news is that your (seldom-used) passive bass is only driving the 30cm or so of cable to your wireless pack. After that, your wireless receiver is putting out a strong enough, low impedance enough signal to not matter much.

    The one thing to be slightly weary of would be is ALL of your pedals were true bypass. Just because then, if they were ever all off, it'd essentially be one big cable from your bass to your pedals to your amp, so that's like 18m of cable with nothing to buffer it. That may be a problem for other people but your bass isn't driving it, your wireless is so you'll be fine.

    TL;DR, you'll be fine. Buy a Radial SGI or similar if the distances ever become too big.
    SleazyB likes this.
  19. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    It's not a myth but most conditioners don't do anything helpful. If you are working off generators or other questionable power sources (like many small outdoor gigs) a voltage regulator can save your butt. Low voltages can cause issues with digital gear without "universal voltage" supplies. I've done gigs where gear was cutting in and out because of voltage protection circuits being tripped.
  20. Primary

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    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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