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Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by Andrew Paul, Jan 24, 2020.
Hmm, not quite what I said. But I do look forward to what Les has to say!
Honorable mention to the PRS Classic cables. Best cable going for the budget minded (like me).
I like the PRS silent jack.
van damme as well
It’s the neutrik silent jack.
Me too. I just replaced a Whirlwind with a PRS Classic. Sounds great, and seems to be very well made.
Well, you did say you use a 12’’ cable....
My less than $9 reverb cables are serving me really well.
He's been lying about how big an inch is for years...
I also have the PRS classic cable, simply because it sounds different from the Van Damme. I also have whatever the best Mogami is. The mogami was a gift from my son, who used to work for GC. I Just prefer the Van Damme with most of my guitars. I also use different strings on different PRSi for the same reason- what sound I like best.
My vote is gonna have to go with home made.
In 1974 I bought 100' of Belden 8410 and a bunch of Switchcraft plugs.
I took my wire stripper/cutter and soldering iron and made some "guitar cords".
Every one of those "guitar cords" is still functioning perfectly.
"If you do it right you only have to do it once." - unknown source -
That's what she said...
But it’s fun to keep trying!
That’s what he said
I use evidence audio for patch cables and Cornish for guitar and board to amp
Ok.... so I ordered the PRS silent waiting on shipment. Couldn’t find one at any music store near me..WTF. I did find a Mogami gold 18’. Excellent!!
Here’s my thinking on cables:
1. Capacitance is important, especially from the guitar to the first buffered pedal, or of course, to the amp. Why? Capacitance rolls off high frequencies in unbalanced cables, and affects how long a cable run can be before your hear signal loss. You can start to hear signal loss with most guitar cables in less than ten feet.
This is because the high impedance signal coming off your guitar pickups is very low level (this is why buffers are important in longer cable runs, they convert high impedance signals from the guitar to low impedance, which is less affected by capacitance).
One reason the PRS/VanDamme sounds good is that its capacitance is very low, 25 picofarads per foot. This is among the lowest on the market; most highly regarded cables are close to 50 PF/foot.
What this means is a twenty foot PRS cable run sounds like a ten foot run of higher capacitance cable, such as Canare or Mogami. For reference a lower capacitance number is better at preserving highs than a higher number.
Here are some capacitance numbers of competitive cables; Mogami is 49 picofarads per foot. Canare is 49 PF/foot, Evidence Melody is 28.
No wonder that so many of us like PRS/VanDamme, or Evidence cables. Given your typical 15-20/foot cable, you’re losing less of the guitar’s high frequencies than you do with even the very good Mogami or Canare stuff. Unfortunately, Evidence’s solid core cable is very stiff, see my discussion below.
I should mention that my studio (both current and former) has been wired with Mogami for 30 years, and some of my cable runs are from 1990. None has failed. But I use Mogami for low impedance audio signals, mic cables, etc., not for guitar any more.
The lowest capacitance cable on the market is the German made Sommer Spirit XXL. It’s more expensive than the others, but the capacitance is only 16pf/foot. I have one of these, and it lets more high frequencies through, but it’s stiffer than the VanDamme, and tangles more easily. It’s fine for recording, but I wouldn’t want to do a show with it.
By the way, Van Damme is highly regarded. Abbey Road Studio is wired with it. Doesn’t get better than that.
2. Another big factor in cable choice is noise rejection. Cables that pick up noise from nearby electrical equipment, radio stations, etc., don’t help matters out. Also, some cables have mechanical handling noise problems, they crackle when moved. Good cables don’t have these problems.
3. Untangling cables, or tripping on them because they don’t lay flat on stage or in the studio are things that suck. The PRS cables are highly flexible, don’t easily tangle, and lay flat. This is a real advantage for cable runs of any length, such as from pedalboard to amps, etc.
Now, all that said, some players WANT cables that lose some high frequencies. Carlos Santana is one; the PRS Sweet Switch was designed to make Carlos sound like he was using a 100 foot cable, if memory serves.
What folks should not want are cables that fail because of poor design, or bad termination, or crap plugs.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the dissertation!
One thing I forgot to mention above; high price doesn’t guarantee performance. There’s some cable that costs a ton, and might be great for line level, low impedance studio signals, that has capacitance too high for guitar, or is way too heavy and stiff, etc. I tried a cable from a highly respected amp manufacturer that was so stiff, it curled up like hula hoops onstage when I was playing bass for a friend’s band, it was insane. Literally, big hoops of wire sticking up on stage!
If only I’d brought along a dog trained to jump through the hoops it would’ve been entertaining. But I was not entertained at all. And I don’t have a dog.
A few years ago I bought a cable from a well known US custom cable builder that must have a capacitance of 100 pf/foot. No high frequencies come through at all. Totally useless, except arguably for a funky bass tone, and also stiff. This was called their “flex” cable. I should have sent this colossal waste of however much it cost back. Shoulda, woulda, coulda. Story of my life! It’s sitting in my cable footlocker, along with the ten zillion cables from my analog studio that once connected analog gear and hardware to the console, tape machines, and patchbays.
I once calculated that my old studio had close to 500 patchbay cable connections, each cable averaging about 25 feet. All that wiring lives in that footlocker in heavy coils. I probably never need to buy another cable, but I’d rather spend the money for a new cable than dig through all those damned cables to find the needle in the haystack I need at any particular time!
I tried to give this infernal collection of mostly Mogami multipair cables away to a school or to friends. For free. No one even bothered to look at it.
I can’t blame them.