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Too Many Notes
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A few of the speaker cables I've been using with my amp and cab switcher are relics from my previous studio (like, 25-30 years old) and the wrong length for my setup (with an amp and cab switcher). I don't think it pays to cut and re-terminate them, and I don't even do that stuff any more anyway.

Over the past year or two, I've liked the Van Damme speaker cables; they aren't adding noise, they're light and flexible, and they lay flat on the floor. Thing is, I've only got one pair at the right length because I haven't had the switcher all that long, and I move stuff around in my studio, causing length requirements to change.

I priced custom lengths of more Van Damme cables with the vendor who did a really good job with the cables on my pedalboard a few weeks ago. He emailed me saying, the Van Damme's good cable (he sells it), but his favorite is this other stuff I'll get to in a minute.

The drawback, he said, is that it's expensive, and I might not be interested, but if I wanted more info just ask.

Aw, hell. Of course I asked!

I decided to order a pair made with this other stuff to judge for myself. The plan was to hook 'em up between my HXDA and the amp switcher, and its cab and the switcher. I figured that'd be a good test, since it's my favorite amp. If it sounded the same as the Van Damme, or only marginally different, I'd keep it but not order any more.

The cable is DH Labs Silver Sonic T-14 speaker cable. The copper strands are coated with silver. The capacitance is very low for speaker cable (21 pF per foot). It's actually (let's all roll our eyes) made for high end hi fi amps and speakers used by those wild and wacky audio lunatics of dubious sanity.

Oh, wait. That would be me!

Please pass the Kool Aid, I'd like to take a sip!

The cables arrived today (Thursday). My vendor did a great job terminating them. I didn't have time to test them. I had some biz to take care of.

I should point out that I've found most high quality speaker cables used with a guitar amp and cab reject noise well, are quiet, and sound very similar to one another because guitar cabs aren't exactly high fidelity devices like studio monitors that reveal small differences in speaker cables.

Will I like this costlier stuff any better than the excellent (and far from bargain-bin) Van Damme, Kimber, or Mogami I've been using?

I plan to try them tomorrow and find out. I'll report back.
 
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I switched over to heavier cables a handful of years ago. I have a couple of PRS speaker cables that are low capacitance. They discontinued the ones I have and have a different offering now. I like the specs on the ones I have better. The ones I have are 12 AWG. The new ones are 14 AWG. I also have a couple of ProCO cables that are longer and low capacitance and are alwo 12 AWG. I stuck with the heavier cable because of my experience with speaker cables when running my old PA that had remote power amps. I liked the sound much better with the heavier low capacitance cable.

I am not sure what AWG you are getting but for speakers where you are pushing some power into them, I much prefer the 12 AWG.
 
I checked out the new cables this morning, and it carried over into lunchtime. The amps used were the HXDA and DG30. I used the DGT, since my amps have been set up for it for the past week or so, and I had a good idea of what to expect and listen for.

But first a word from our sponsor, namely my thought process, on the question of musical value judgments:

We're not talking about reproduction when we're talking about making music with our gear like hi-fi people; we're talking about production. We're talking about things that make sounds. That's an important distinction, because shaping your own sound matters when making music, whereas in the hi fi world, it's all about the accuracy of playback.

The acronym 'YMMV' applies to musical instruments more than anything I can think of.

So I'm not going to talk about 'better', since that's a very individualistic value judgment. I'll talk about what's different instead. Everyone gets to make their own minds up when it comes to gear. As I always say, there is no 'best' - there's only what's best for you.

Here's what I experienced:

I started with the HXDA. To my surprise, I had to turn down the bass quite a bit. The cables seemed to allow more low mids and bass to come through, but the highs were not reduced, they were present and accounted for. That was the main difference with the HXDA and the PRS closed back Big Mouth birch ply cab with the new cables.

I mentioned a few days ago in another thread that I haven't been a fan of the HXDA through the DG30 cab in the past. Today I thought it sounded pretty darn good, especially in the midrange. So that's different, too. In fact, I liked it a lot. The sound was very well balanced.

Turning to the DG30 set 'edge of breakup' through the Big Mouth closed back cab, the sound quality was quite good, with a rounder midrange and more 3D highs than I'm used to with this combination.

This impression carried over to the DG30 through its own DG cab.

Are these differences OMG-WOW-YOU-GOTTA-GET-YOU-SOME-OF-THIS-STUFF?

Of course not. Differences like these are relatively subtle, they're not going to hit you over the head.

If you're attuned to the nuances of your gear, you hear them. Whether they work better for you is a matter of musical context, personal likes and dislikes, and of course your very own ears and brain.

Here's how it all shakes out for me:

The differences the new cable made to the HXDA head through the Big Mouth closed back cab were primarily in the bass. I don't really need more bass. I probably wouldn't spend the extra money on these cables if I was limited to only the HXDA/Big Mouth combination.

However, there was a difference with the DG feeding the Big Mouth cab, and I liked it.

There was also a difference with the HXDA feeding the DG cab. I liked that, too!

The biggest difference is with the DG30 and the DG cab. I think that pairing would benefit most from the new cable if I was only connecting one amp to one cab.

I didn't try the new cables with the Mesa amps. After a while the ears are tired, and audio differences become less noticeable. That's going to have to wait 'til the next time I feel like moving cables around.

So was it worth the extra coin to get these cables? I'd say yes, with the limitation that the combination of HXDA and closed back Big Mouth Cab would be six of one, half dozen of another, and not consequential unless I wanted more bass.

This was an interesting comparison, and I had fun doing it.
 
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I am not sure what AWG you are getting but for speakers where you are pushing some power into them, I much prefer the 12 AWG.
The new cable is 14 gauge. I have some lengths of 13 gauge cable made out of a combination of 8 internal wires - Tephra, made for Lava Cable. I also have some older 12 gauge Monster Studio Reference speaker cable that I used until this week.

On the other hand, I also have a pair of thin, solid core, twisted pair Kimber Kable, and plenty of 14 gauge speaker cables, like Mogami and Van Damme, made with more conventional stranded pairs.

I haven't found that the gauge of the cable has been a factor with my gear.

The thin Kimber sounds at least as nice as the 12 gauge cables. For me, the gauge is just one of many other variables.

However we all have different gear, and there are combinations that work better with some pieces than other combinations. A lot of it might be how things match up.

Subjectively, this new DH Labs Silver Sonic T-14 speaker cable is as good as any I've had in the studio, and I liked it slightly more with the PRS amps in certain combinations described in my previous post - how the amps were set up today, with the DGT. That could change with other amps and other combinations.
 
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Thanks for the report, I find it interesting! As you point out, it is a subjective subject but always good to have the feedback of a seasoned pro like yourself!! Looking forward to the new Hip Hop record you make with the HXDA and those new cables!!!
 
Nice to hear someone else has "discovered" DH Labs cables.
Been using various products of theirs for years in my all too darn expensive hifi rigs.
Never bought any of the real expensive stuff though, just the lower tier interconnect and phono cables mostly.
Have not tried any of their speaker cables so great review.
 
Nice to hear someone else has "discovered" DH Labs cables.
Been using various products of theirs for years in my all too darn expensive hifi rigs.
Never bought any of the real expensive stuff though, just the lower tier interconnect and phono cables mostly.
Have not tried any of their speaker cables so great review.
I had never heard of this company until my vendor told me about them a couple of weeks ago - but after he did, I saw some excellent reviews in the hi-fi context. I'd imagine that their interconnects, etc., are most likely first-cabin products.

I like these T-14s. I'm going to order another set for the Fillmore and its 410 cab soon, since it's most in need of new custom-length cables.

There's no huge rush for the others, since the rig already sounds good - this is certainly gilding the lily - but...that's fun! :)
 
Kimber cables are also very active in hifi cable circles as well.
Had my fair share of those.
I think there are quite a few crossover companies between hifi and pro audio, after all a lot of cable principles apply equally to both "disciplines"
 
Kimber cables are also very active in hifi cable circles as well.
Had my fair share of those.
I think there are quite a few crossover companies between hifi and pro audio, after all a lot of cable principles apply equally to both "disciplines"
I agree, there's plenty of crossover.

The Grimm Audio TPR that's now on my pedalboard was developed as microphone (and maybe line) cable for the famous Netherlands studio, Wisseloord. It wasn't developed for pedalboards at all. But the pedalboard sounds great with it.

I figure it this way: Audio signals and amplifier outputs are close enough in function that what works for Pro Audio or Hi Fi should work equally well for guitars and amps, etc.
 
I agree, there's plenty of crossover.

The Grimm Audio TPR that's now on my pedalboard was developed as microphone (and maybe line) cable for the famous Netherlands studio, Wisseloord. It wasn't developed for pedalboards at all. But the pedalboard sounds great with it.

I figure it this way: Audio signals and amplifier outputs are close enough in function that what works for Pro Audio or Hi Fi should work equally well for guitars and amps, etc.
Right now it's not something that concerns me overmuch with guitars.
Unlike yourself with a studio and making good use and money from it I just play for myself only(well maybe the dogs too..lol).
All I have is one Orange Crush 35 combo and four pedals.
All patch and guitar cables are PRS.
Done...lol.
 
All patch and guitar cables are PRS.
Done...lol.
All of the signal cables from my pedalboard to switcher, and from switcher to amp inputs, are PRS (or Van Damme XKE for custom lengths, same stuff). I'd never complain about the PRS patch cables, either, and have used them on other pedalboards. The reason I'm not now is that I need all custom lengths with my pedalboard layout.

The Van Damme stuff (includes the PRS Signature cables) is what Abbey Road Studios are wired with now. It's totally pro, excellent stuff.

My only excuse for experimenting is that I like to sniff the glove...er, wait...I meant to say 'sniff the cork'. ;)

I'm not even looking for 'wow this is the best' any more. Because at some point you reach, it's all good stuff. Then it's only about trying different flavors.
 
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I saw you mention Van Damme earlier and after I finished thinking Jean Claude I thought it was another crossover cable.
But my mistake, a big and fairly spendy hifi cable is Van den Huul, not Van Damme.

Now for a pretty useless factoid and my 15 minutes of claim to fame.
My bands first single was mixed and mastered at Abbey Road Studios.
This would be 1986?87?
Yes that time period is a little hazy, lol.
On the day we met Sting and Paul Nickolas there.

Ok sorry, time to get down now.
 
I saw you mention Van Damme earlier and after I finished thinking Jean Claude I thought it was another crossover cable.
But my mistake, a big and fairly spendy hifi cable is Van den Huul, not Van Damme.

Now for a pretty useless factoid and my 15 minutes of claim to fame.
My bands first single was mixed and mastered at Abbey Road Studios.
This would be 1986?87?
Yes that time period is a little hazy, lol.
On the day we met Sting and Paul Nickolas there.

Ok sorry, time to get down now.
My board was originally wired with Van den Hul "the Bay" cables until very recently. I needed different lengths to accommodate some changes, and couldn't find a company that makes pedal interconnects with it any more.

The Grimm replaces it because it's similar, but it's spendy, too.

The fact that your single was mixed and mastered at Abbey Road? That is freaking impressive!

Sting and Paul Nickolas are the icing on a hell of a cake.

I want to hear more about this single. How did this even come about? Did you get signed? And did you get the all-important photo crossing the street?
 
My board was originally wired with Van den Hul "the Bay" cables until very recently. I needed different lengths to accommodate some changes, and couldn't find a company that makes pedal interconnects with it any more.

The Grimm replaces it because it's similar, but it's spendy, too.

The fact that your single was mixed and mastered at Abbey Road? That is freaking impressive!

Sting and Paul Nickolas are the icing on a hell of a cake.

I want to hear more about this single. How did this even come about? Did you get signed? And did you get the all-important photo crossing the street?
Just heading out for the evening but I will pm you to save derailing your thread any more than I already have!
 
Just an update --

I absolutely love these cables. With the DG30 I'm hearing the amp sparkle more clearly than ever, and with fresh ears, there's a more noticeable difference than I reported initially. I'm ordering a set for the Fillmore, since it's got a nice top end vibe that I'd like to bring out even more.

The HXDA doesn't need them, as previously reported.

I have a recent set of the PRS/Van Damme cable for the Lone Star already and it sounds pretty darn good. Not broke, ain't fixin'.
 
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