Effects Board Connections

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by CandidPicker, Nov 21, 2019.

  1. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Feed & Seed

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    Took some time to evaluate my effects board recently, and discovered that every time (98%) my effects board is picked up or transported to/from a venue, the cable connection plugs loosen up, and play havoc with the signal path.

    I currently use Lava Cable Tightrope connectors. In recent postings, some forum members have mentioned other cable connectors: some custom-made, some kits.

    My choice was replacing the Tightrope cable with Lava Cable Piston Mini-ELC connections that uses a allen-wrench-tightened plug and cable. The design is more easily assembled, but needs to be done correctly to insure a good cable. The cable and plugs are due to arrive soon, and I hope to spend some time putting the connections together next week.

    What say you good folks? What effects cable connections do you use, and why? What is most cost-effective and/or why did you choose the more expensive route?
     
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  2. Bill SAS 513

    Bill SAS 513 Just another old guy in a T-shirt

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    I stagger my pedals on my boards, and use PRS patch cables (Jean Claude Van-Damme...LOLOL) ...
    I've used many different 6" patch cables, and the PRS are the easiest to manipulate/bend/etc...
    I personally, am not a fan of hand-made kits/connectors...I just always factor in the human error element.
    (of course, that could be totally "MY user error".)
     
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  3. jak3af3r

    jak3af3r Slightly Older Than New Member

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    If I were you and willing to put time into making cables, I'd heat up the soldering iron and do it that way. Those screw-in cables don't seem to be as durable and there's a major upcharge for convenience.
     
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  4. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Feed & Seed

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    Thanks for your input...I'd agree that pre-built cables are the way to go, but may not be the most cost-effective...

    In my case, I use a cheap Behringer Cable Tester for checking continuity, and have had decent success about 95% of the time, give or take a few chance errors that are easily corrected given proper instruction...

    Like a few of you folks, I considered Sinasoid custom-made lengths, but determined the cost was too much for my wallet. My only concern with other prebuilt cables is the length...my effects board has some unusual lengths (from one horizontal to the next and up the vertical side) and some that must reach traverse the board to reach the loop switcher down in front.

    I'd also owned George L's in years past, but like the Tightrope connectors, these would invariably loosen up if jostled around in transport. Soundchecks prior to gigs were a fiasco, tracking down what connection was faulty.

    And yes, some cables' track records weren't the greatest, so until recently, I made due with the Tightrope. My connectors have not worked appreciably well in the long haul and need some better quality and more reliable connectors, hence the Piston Mini-ELC connectors.
     
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  5. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Feed & Seed

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    If my electronics skills were more adept, I'd whole-heartedly agree. I've not experienced much success with my soldering skills, and have shelved that idea for the solder-less variety.

    The issue is plug head size. My board won't accept pan-head connectors, and require the mini-plug cap heads.

    I've got a few things to do today, so I'll revisit this later this afternoon. Please feel free to discuss amongst yourselves...
     
  6. jak3af3r

    jak3af3r Slightly Older Than New Member

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    That does complicate things.
     
  7. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Feed & Seed

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    Perhaps.

    The YT Vid of assembling a Lava Cable Piston connector is relatively straight-forward and easy to do, just requires a good perpendicular cut across the cable diameter, then rounding it out to insure a good fit inside the plug, then capping and using the allen wrench to secure the bent cable and cap in place...please forgive the loud background music...once that subsides, the instructions are easy to understand...

     
  8. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Feed & Seed

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    It does seem that this mimics the old George L's manner of assembly, but uses a larger plug head cap and cable, perhaps making for a better quality and lower capacitance connection...
     
  9. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Feed & Seed

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    The Lava Cable Piston Mini-ELCs also don't require any shielding removal, just a straight and clean cut across the cable (a standard wire stripper/cutter tool will work, or an Exacto knife as well) and shaping (to insure a circular fit into the female side of the plug), bending of cable and capping (tightened with the allen screw) on the opposite side of the cable bend/cap notch.

    Am wondering, though, does the allen screw make contact with the cable braid interior to form an electrical contact? Does the cap/plug outer sleeve contact create the ground contact point as signal is passed through the cable?
     
  10. Axis39

    Axis39 New Member

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    I gave up on any non solder connection for patch cables years ago. Once I discovered EBS Flat Patch Cables, I've spurned all others. Never had a bad one. They stay in the jacks nice and tight. They sound great. Best of all, they're petit... (So not like me)
     
  11. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Feed & Seed

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    Thanks for this...I'll remember to search the forum again for this post if/when the Pistons might not be the best solution. The price isn't that bad either, just wish you could custom-build these for about the same price point for a neater looking board regards odd lengths. (Yeah, I know I'm nitpicking, but if it weren't for the Sinasoid price tag, I'd be on these like beans on rice...)
     
    #11 CandidPicker, Nov 22, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2019
    Axis39 likes this.
  12. Black Plaid

    Black Plaid just another Alan

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    That Pedal Show convinced me to try out Evidence. They seem nice, I really like the compact heads.

    If your cables are being stressed in transit on your board, perhaps that's more the problem than the cables themselves.
     
  13. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Feed & Seed

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    I'm not absolutely sure why the board gets jostled around or the connectors loosen. It just happens. And soundchecks at venues are extraordinarily difficult to track down what cable doesn't pass signal. (This sounds strange, but it's the problem at hand)

    I do know that the effects are securely fastened to the board, but typically, one or more of the Tightrope cap ends, possibly at the effect itself, or at the loop switcher, that loosen up in transport. I religiously bring my effects board gig bag, and am sure that the bag holds the board tightly inside. I think it has to do with the vibration of my vehicle and the propensity for the effects board to be affected by that.

    Anyway, a good supply of my Piston plugs arrived this morning, and am waiting on my other Piston kit order which should also arrive later today or tomorrow.

    I've got the next several days to rebuild my board, and will keep you folks posted as to its progress and the results thereof.
     
  14. gush

    gush She said "huge bag of dibs".

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    I just bought Intex stompbox cables. I use Intex guitar cables anyway so I didn't want to jeopardize the signal quality by using lesser cables for my stompboxes.

    Very good quality stuff. Is it the best??? Don't know, but I'm trying to only take forward steps in my quest for tone.
     
  15. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Feed & Seed

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    Some intrigue on the home front...USPS indicated my Piston kit was delivered earlier this afternoon, but I just viewed video footage of the front door/porch and viewed a "delivery guy" pull up behind my apartment, make 2 deliveries to adjacent buildings, and not even go near my front door. Both text and email notifications had said that the kit was delivered to my front door/porch at that time the video footage was time stamped, when my package had not been delivered.

    Will be making a call to the local USPS and asking if the package was scanned as delivered and not, or perhaps was scanned at the time indicated and delivered to the wrong address. I know one of the deliveries the guy made to the adjacent buildings was not my package. The other one, I've still some investigation to do, as well as a phone call to the post office.
     
  16. bluenova

    bluenova Electrified since '84

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    I solder a lot of patch cables and most recently like the combo of squareplug 400’s and Mogami 2319. I dang near find soldering cables more relaxing than playing the guitars :eek::D
     
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  17. vchizzle

    vchizzle Birdman.

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    Yeah, that’s pretty much the advantage of the solderless. The mini plugs are great in terms of space saving. I make my own cables. It’s tedious and time consuming. The only solderless I’ve tried is the Boss pack you can buy in a store. I put them on my board at home which doesn’t go anywhere. Can’t speak much for the durability. Mainly got them cause I needed to make cables in a pinch on a weekend and didn’t have any right angle plug ends. The boss ones don’t go together quite as easy as the description. The set screw really doesn’t pierce thru the outer part of the cable to make the ground contact. Hopefully the lava version is better.
     
  18. vchizzle

    vchizzle Birdman.

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    Weirdo:D
    Thanks for the squareplug heads up. I’ll try some out. They look nice and compact! Hopefully reliable too.
     
  19. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Feed & Seed

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    Some encouraging news today...

    USPS said the package that was supposedly delivered yesterday (but wasn't) made its way back to the post office, and according to a local USPS rep, will be delivered before noon today.

    (Just when I'd ordered a replacement set of Lava Cable Piston Kit from Sweetwater, thinking the previous ones were a lost cause...that'll learn me to be impatient.:oops:)
     
  20. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Feed & Seed

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    V,

    What make/model cables do you use again (sounds like the Boss cables were your previous type)? I'd guess that a lot of us have some soldering skills and use that instead of trying the solder-less variety and being content with that.

    Hopefully later today my kit will arrive and I can begin work on the cables. I think if all goes well, I might have a good number put together by this evening...
     

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