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What's a good speaker cable?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bassman60, Mar 28, 2002.

  1. bassman60


    Jun 5, 2001
    Hey guys, what's a good 3 foot long speaker cable for my head and cab? Money is no object. What's the best you can buy??

    I just need the standard 1/4 inch plugs
  2. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    I use the Monter Cable one. Nice thing about em is that if one goes bad, you can take it to any Monster dealer and they will give you a new one free of charge for life!!! Kinda like a Craftsman wrench.... They are nice and thick, gold plated ends, comes with a nice velcro wire wrap. They go for about $25 but you will never, ever have to buy a cable again (unless you lose it)

  3. Why not make your own! If you have basic soldering skills (I mean real basic, like which end is hot) you can make your own that outperform the highend cables and costs much less. I make mine from 12 gauge Monster cable (3' costs about $4 - $5) and the appropriate connectors. You can buy Switchcraft 1/4" connectors for about $3 to $4 apiece. Add a little solder and your good to go! Just make sure you get the polarity right.:cool:
  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
    There really isn't any "best you can buy." Wire is a commodity. It's like asking what's the best water.

    Get good plugs, like Switchcraft, Neutrik, et al.

    Get good sized insulated two-conductor stranded copper wire. For three feet, 16-gauge wire will work perfectly well.

    If you make your own, it might cost all of $5 USD. If you buy ready-made, maybe $10 to $15. You can pay more, but you won't get anything in return.
  5. Dean_CustomJazz

    Dean_CustomJazz Guest

    Jan 23, 2002
    Do you have a Mars music store near you? their cables are quite exceptional! I use mars speaker cables, or go to the website...
  6. bassman60


    Jun 5, 2001
    yeah I've been told Monster cables are good, although the 3 foot one that I saw was only about 12 bucks
  7. LarryJ

    LarryJ banned

    Dec 12, 1999
    Encino, CA (LA)
    I paid about $50 for a 3' speaker cable;and $100 for a 12' instrument cable, both by TARA LABS-
    They're a mfr. of high-end audio cables for audiophile stereos/video & musical instruments.
    They came highly recommended by the LA Bass Exchange, they only cables they carry.

    They make a very pronounced difference sonically.
    I notice it. The cords are very well built, they have a line that even costs more.
    I believe that Alessandro also has some audiophile cables.
    IMO its worth it to me- If you're happy with Monster,Planet Waves, Fender, whatever, that's cool too!:cool:
  8. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Guardian Fat Max.
  9. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Money no object???

    Tara Labs.
  10. chucko58


    Jan 17, 2002
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    I paid for all my gear myself. Well, me and MasterCard.
    $50 for a 3 foot speaker cable? With 1/4" plugs?! :eek:

    For that price, you should at least get kissed (this is a family board, I'll keep it clean). Why anyone would spend big bucks on inferior cables is beyond me.

    Doc on the Carvin board pointed out yesterday that 1/4" "phone plug" connectors are rated for 2 amps max! He claims that it makes no sense to use cable fatter than 16 gauge with 1/4" connectors, because you lose more power in the connectors than in 50' of 16 gauge cable. No amount of gold plating is going to solve that problem, not when your cabs have the cheapest jacks the manufacturer could buy.

    The only 1/4" cables in my possession are for instruments, not speakers. My bass speaker cable collection includes a 5 foot 12 gauge Speakon-Speakon cable from Carvin ($16), and two 6 foot banana-banana cables made from 12 gauge zip cord (of which I have plenty). A pair of dual banana plugs is only $3 at Fry's, but I'd feel better if I could find a cheap local source for Speakons and flush the bananas.

    Save your money for new strings. Now that's an audible improvement!
  11. LarryJ

    LarryJ banned

    Dec 12, 1999
    Encino, CA (LA)
    I repeat.....

    Na, never mind!:D
  12. 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
    $50 for a 3-foot speaker cable? $100 for a 12-foot instrument cable? They make a very pronounced sonic difference?

    Remember what P.T. Barnum once said. ;)

    One time on the TV show "Candid Camera," the producers set up four or five wine glasses on a table, each with a different bottle of wine behind it. Then they filled all the glasses with wine from another bottle.

    They brought in people to taste the wine. Each person reportedly great differences in the flavors of each glass, although unbeknownst to them it was all the same wine. Not one of them said that all the glasses of wine tasted alike.

    Often when identical things are merely presented in different ways (e.g., packaging, marketing, etc.), we feel psychological pressure to find differences where none exist. Differences that seemed so obvious in sighted tests often disappear in blind tests when the extraneous clues are removed from the evaluation. I'm sure the Tara Labs cables are very pretty looking, but be careful not to mistake looks for sound quality.

    Any wire that is adequate to the job will not make a sonic difference, but will instead pass the signal with no more than the most minuscule alteration; that's just the way wire works at audio frequencies. Perhaps the LA Bass Exchange sells Tara Labs wire only because of the high profit margin? One thing's for sure: Tara Labs, Monster, and the other "audiophile" wire companies aren't selling to the other markets that depend critically on signal integrity, like avionics, biomedical, radio astronomy, etc.
  13. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Monster Cable has been working for me. There's probably something that's higher end out there. I haven't shopped around in awhile.
  14. LarryJ

    LarryJ banned

    Dec 12, 1999
    Encino, CA (LA)
    Oh Bob Lee, Bob Lee-
    Why is it that even tho I end my allowable 2 cents worth with " if you use sumthin' else- that's cool!"
    you must retort! Why I ask ?
    Every opinion on gear or music here has a counterpoint- its an exchange man, a forum!!
    If you feel different, you simply don't use Tara cables, or listen to Flea or Fieldy or whatever-
    simple, eh!
    Now having said that- I like Tara Labs products-
    they make a noticeable sonic diference to me after using monsters, etc. I have been playing bass for 30 years, with a solid foundation in jazz /R&B, etc.
    If many of my fine fellow players here heard my chops, they may even smile! So-my opinion is valid- you do not need to refute it-
    Now- please go practice scales or modes, or listen to Charnett Moffat or Victor Wooten, or Jerry Garcia and allow me to use whatever gear I choose
    Ok? OK!
    Peace Love blah blah blah blah- or not!
    :) :D :cool: :mad:
  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
    If I feel different, Larry, I'll also point out why.

    Even if I feel the same, I'll tell why, also. You can believe that lovely cables improve your sound … you can believe they slim your waistline … you can believe they lower your phone bill and make you irresistable to women. Whatever. I was just pointing out that in such matters as a cable's "sound," the mind can be very, very, very, very easily fooled. Maybe you could've spent $15 instead of $150 and gotten the same performance. IMHO, you probably could've.

    Sorry, bro--I didn't realize I was keeping you from that. But I don't think I was.
  16. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Bob Lee, I'm with ya, man. Nice job of telling it like it is re: wires. There will always be buyers of snake oil.


    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY
    Dear Bob & Larry,

    Your disagreement bothers me due to the fact that I agree with BOTH of you! I have hundreds of speaker cables from everyone under the sun & some DO sound better than others REGARDLESS of make & $$$. I live very close to Dimarzio & visit them regularly & they make outstanding products...BUT...I have used other brand cables (cheaper & more $$$) that sounded better & worse! The sound You hear MAY NOT be the sound the person next to you hears, it's all a matter of preferance...

  18. bassmanjones


    Feb 23, 2002
    Boston, MA
    Personally, I think it's just a matter of some people being able to hear the difference and others not able to hear the difference. You can't convince someone of something like this unless they can hear it for themselves. Although I've never heard Tara Labs, I've heard other other cables and know that there's a difference. Some people's hearing is just more sensitive than others. There are guys out there who can listen to an audio system and tell you what brand of speaker cable is being used (no, I can't :D) and be dead on. The point is, just because you're not able to hear the difference doesn't mean there isn't one....it just means you can't hear it.
  19. LarryJ

    LarryJ banned

    Dec 12, 1999
    Encino, CA (LA)
    OK enough stop that is it I am now supreme
    moderator of all forums etc.
    From now on, everyone must use what I say & feel exactly as I do. There will be no disagreements,
    it is simpler this way.
    Please tell me what you need to use- bass, amp, cable, strap, case, etc. I will let you know what is acceptable.
    I will also approve of any and all music that you choose to listen to.
    This is the way it will be because I have posted so.
    If you disagree, fawgeddabout it- not allowed.

    OK? I thought so!
    (this started out as a cable thread wherein I very
    nicely expressed MY opinion...now look what you've made me do!)

    PPS- Hail, Satan, & thank you
    PPPS- That's it I'm really done! I hope y'all are too
    Now let us happily go and play our basses (with whatever gd**m cables you want! Don't bug me- I'm eatin':D
  20. I use CHUCK'S. great cables, cost about 6-10 bucks, depends where you get em.

    Sucks to Tara labs!
    Sucks to your ass-mar!