Warning about "shower hose" guitar cables - on stage incident

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Honch, Nov 4, 2016.

  1. Honch

    Honch Guest

    Sep 7, 2006
    This was a first for me.

    But the other weekend I subbed for a bass player in one of his cover bands. With this gtrd in it, who likes to move around a lot on stage. Now, as a gearhead, he had lots of effects on his pedalboard, but one instrument cable that was designed like a shower hose, with steel "rings" around it, so it'll never "bend" so to speak. Lasts forever it seems. I wondered what brand it was, but he couldn't tell me.

    Now, after a break between sets, the singer steps on to the darkly lit stage, and happen to step right on above this cable (which is probably made to be immune to stepping on in the first place) and took a fall, and cut up a jack on her forehead, bleeding all over the stage, and needed to be rushed to hospital and get stitched. We had to cancel the rest of the gig.

    I try to find a pic of such cable on the net now, but don't know what they're called, and don't know which brand. But from now on, such idiotic designed cables must be removed from market! It's now forbidden in any rehearsal space if I can help it, that I am part of.

    I found absolutely no sonic advantages to that cable and something else regularly made. Seemed that he bought that as a show off thing too. Wonder how many accidents actually occurs at home, with real shower hoses made like that. With water and soap added on top... jeez...

    It was as stepping on a bunch of marbles.

    Anyone else seen/used these cables?
  2. Crater


    Oct 12, 2011
    Dallas, TX area
    I have not, but this post intrigued me so I went searching. I did a search for "armored guitar cable" and this came up:

    RARE Armoured Cable 24' Instrument / Guitar / Bass - VERY GOOD Condition!


    It looks like the cable armor that used on public payphone's handset cords.

    Found an entry about these on a guitar forum:
    They were apparently made by the Sansom company, but they were discontinued in 1994, so I think you'll be safe Honch. :thumbsup:
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2016
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  3. Luckydog


    Dec 25, 1999
    Seems to me that the jacks and the connections to the jacks are the weakest links on a guitar cable. I've never seen nor heard of a guitar cable failing along the length of the cable itself. I suppose it could happen if you wear golf shoes on stage but I've never seen that either.
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  4. spiritbass

    spiritbass Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2004
    Ashland, MO
    I admit that I have been listening to John Grisham legal-themed audiobooks for the last few days, but this looks like a lawsuit waiting to happen.
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  5. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    I have 4 of these cables. Bought them cheap when samson closed them out way back when.

    I don't understand how they contributed to your singers fall.



    I mean you can slip or trip on basically any guitar cable.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2016
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  6. o_O
  7. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    I don't get it either. Was she wearing 6" stiletto heels or something?

    That cable is probably less than 1/4" thick & shouldn't cause a fall all the way to the ground, unless you were drunk & actually dragged on instead of stepping on it, or if you had heels on.
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  8. Honch

    Honch Guest

    Sep 7, 2006
    Yes, thank you for this. This was the first time I've ever saw one, and I haven't heard of them even back then. That's the one! I heard with music stores today, and some of them slightly remembered them.

    Now, the thing was that we didn't think of this in the first place, since we thought that she just tripped over ANY cable. She wasn't drunk at all, or even had a drink, and not stoned either (neither of the band were) so we just got what was right from an emergency kind of point, and didn't have time to deal with what was the cause. Later on, the gtrd mentioned to the regular bassist that it has happened some time ago to him too, NEARLY slipped above it, but was ready to dodge the fall. He has since changed out his cable and mothballed this one. That's why I didn't got hold of the culprit until a few days into the week.
  9. Honch

    Honch Guest

    Sep 7, 2006
    Well, just try to step on them. At least Crater said he found this, on another forum:

    So, as I said "it was a first". It seems anyway that we were not alone on this happening. And yes, they "ROLL" so to speak those armoured cables. I wont even want to go there, if something fails in electricity and you have to pull the cable from something when its shield/or armour has gone "alive" with current flowing through it. On a regular cable you can at least reach for it fast and unplug it without getting a jolt.

    Luckily they aren't made any more. Regular cables when stepped on just moves half a turn, then they get sluggish, and of course you can trip over those too. But these one you can surf or skate on if you'd like.

    "Armoured" cables. Thank you. Hope they died a gruesome death in the market....
    Crater likes this.
  10. Honch

    Honch Guest

    Sep 7, 2006
    I have. If they ever get that kink repeatedly on the same spot, they can go weak. Especially prone to this are cables both thick and thin ones from George L. And I've heard of this too on Evidence cable, that doesn't fare well being tied the same way as other cables, those less flexible ones that folks tries to make as nimble as flexible as regular cables, but so it is, that's the handling. I had to cut several George L' cables in half. Someone runs over them with flight case wheels and so on. But I agree, that it's rarer than the plug/solder joints when things mostly happens. As fast at there is some sort of "sharp angle kink" on any cable on any spot along its length something will start to wear and disconnect later down the road.
  11. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    It's hard.

    It's metal

    It rolls easily.
  12. This seems like an extreme overreaction to an accident. You don't need to fear cables, just because one person had the misfortune of tripping over one.
  13. Ross W. Lovell

    Ross W. Lovell

    Oct 31, 2015

    I think your bigger problem is stepping on ANY cable.

    The grounding issue..... can get you you with a regular cord, especially if the ground has been lifted or pulled to fit a plug, except, the strings on the instrument will get you.

    Why we cables running across the floor anyways?

    Fix the symptom, not the actual problem, yeah, that problem will reinvent itself in a different way.

    Just sayin'.
  14. BassFishingInAmerica


    Jul 24, 2014
    So, these types of cables cause clumsiness?
  15. Crater


    Oct 12, 2011
    Dallas, TX area
    The problem is not tripping, it is SLIPPING. The outer armor is very rigid and doesn't "crush", if one of these is draped across a hard-surface floor like concrete, tile or even hardwood, stepping on it could cause your feet to slide out from under you unexpectedly, like stepping on a banana peel.
  16. wraub


    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    This, exactly. I used one for a while, and stopped for this reason. Was especially bad on wood floors. Still have it here somewhere...
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  17. john m

    john m Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2006
    I had a friend who got up in the middle of the night to put wood on his wood stove in the basement. He tripped going down the stairs carrying the firewood.

    Cause of death---- broken neck.
    Should we blame the wood stove, fire wood, stairway, cold weather or a blood alcohol level 2x the legal limit for driving as the cause of his death?:meh:
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  18. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    sorry to hear about your friend.
    but, the OP stated that the singer had not been drinking or using drugs.
    reading the OP's story, pretty sure the singer did not have any firewood in her arms either .... :cool:
  19. lermgalieu

    lermgalieu Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2000
    Bay Area
    I don't see why people are so incredulous. This is a metal cable, picture a plumber's snake. When you step on a regular instrument cable, since it is made out of...uh whatever fabricky stuff they are made out of, there is natural friction with the floor, the cable itself will slightly crush/bend, and you likely won't slip. But you could. These metal cables don't have any friction and don't crush at all, so if you step on them with any sort of horizontal velocity, it will roll under your foot and you will fall. Try it on a dark stage. It seems kind of obvious that it could be dangerous...and that the cable is overkill, impractical, etc. That said, I wouldn't ban them or anything lol. But I would never use one.
  20. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    So a while back, they invented this thing called "wireless." You can actually use it for instruments, and hand held mics. Now, I don't see the point of using it if your mic is always in a stand, but other than that? Less wires on the stage is a good thing.

    I used to have a setup that involved a 12-string acoustic guitar; vocal mic; harp mic; 2 different bass guitars for some different tunings, (one was a 5-string,) and keyboards. I very easily made it so I could switch basses using the same frequency of wireless, and just turn one "on" and one "off" and very easily switch. NO tangled cords. 12-string acoustic wireless. NO tangled cords. Vocal mic was in a stand; keyboard stayed in one place; so I didn't invest in wireless for those.
    In my next band, I did Ric-O-Sound, into two separate amps, and two separate effects boards. Wireless.


    The OP is correct, and stop minimizing the danger. It is a ridiculous design, and totally unnecessary. If you are having cable problems, please look into wireless technology. You could have a 17 piece band, and still have everybody go wireless; it's done all the time.

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