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DannyMcO

¿DIYing a Variax cable w/Neutrik?

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If I get a nice, braided ethernet cable and connected some Neutrik ethercon ends, it seems like I could have a better VDI cable than is currently available in the market.

 

But how can one activate the locking tab on the RJ-45 connectors with the Neutrik sleeve covering it?

 

I know a few of you have made these already - do you have to break the tab off?  Is it locked in the "open" position? Something else?

 

Appreciate any insights y'all can provide.

 

Cheers - 

 

Dan

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The Neutrik ethercon jack doesn't go over an existing RJ-45 connector; its RJ45 portion doesn't have a locking tab at all. Instead, the cable is locked from the rectangular hole visible in the metal sleeve.

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Yeah, I've built a few (wanted a shorter Variax cable for my small music room). I broke off the tabs.

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I've built four VDI cables using instrument-quality Ethernet cable. Got it online. Used Neutrik ends. Just break the tab off the RJ-45 connector.

 

I like the braided cable, though... might add a new couple of cables. With 30 feet, I could make a 10' and 20' cable.

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Don't break the tabs off. Get these:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VM5H9YW/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_S_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=3RL5M00VAQCZL&coliid=I2XER4NCDZHNG9

 

One benefit of these is you can use the same cable for connecting to something like the Helix (which doesn't currently support Workbench) and to the USB interface for connecting to Workbench.

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This is not something that needs to be re-engineered. The 25' VDI cable from Line 6 works fantastically and is only 30 bucks.

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This is not something that needs to be re-engineered. The 25' VDI cable from Line 6 works fantastically and is only 30 bucks.

 

Unless you want a shorter cable?

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This is not something that needs to be re-engineered. The 25' VDI cable from Line 6 works fantastically and is only 30 bucks.

 

Well, I play guitar often in a room that measures 11' x 11'. A 25' cable is just a lot of in the way. So I built a couple 8' cables, a 15' cable, and another 10' cable. I have whatever length I need, and it works fantastically and each came in under $10.

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(Meantime, the Variax Ethercon cable makes an excellent 'up-scale' connector cable to go from Helix Rack to Helix Controller - a little extra 'feel-good' for me as to strength/durability when I gigged it recently, and onward)

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(Meantime, the Variax Ethercon cable makes an excellent 'up-scale' connector cable to go from Helix Rack to Helix Controller - a little extra 'feel-good' for me as to strength/durability when I gigged it recently, and onward)

 

Me, too. I just coil up the extra.

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This is not something that needs to be re-engineered. The 25' VDI cable from Line 6 works fantastically and is only 30 bucks.

 

The length aside (25' is a looong cable unless you're on a large stage), the cable itself doesn't look terribly robust - and ethernet cables are notoriously easy to render useless with one kink or crease. So I was looking for a hardier cable with Neutrik ends.

 

I wound up DIYing braided cable with Neutrik connectors, but now I think I'd prefer a rubber cable. Personal preference; the braided cable is like a conventional flat ethernet cord, with a tough braided nylon cover, but I prefer round, just for the behavior. Performance wise, it works just fine, but some people like peanut butter and some people don't, ya know?

 

Trying a couple of these and will advise how they work out.

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The length aside (25' is a looong cable unless you're on a large stage), the cable itself doesn't look terribly robust - and ethernet cables are notoriously easy to render useless with one kink or crease. So I was looking for a hardier cable with Neutrik ends.

 

I wound up DIYing braided cable with Neutrik connectors, but now I think I'd prefer a rubber cable. Personal preference; the braided cable is like a conventional flat ethernet cord, with a tough braided nylon cover, but I prefer round, just for the behavior. Performance wise, it works just fine, but some people like peanut butter and some people don't, ya know?

 

Trying a couple of these and will advise how they work out.

 

those look nice, but WHOAH expensive.

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The length aside (25' is a looong cable unless you're on a large stage), the cable itself doesn't look terribly robust - and ethernet cables are notoriously easy to render useless with one kink or crease. So I was looking for a hardier cable with Neutrik ends.

 

I wound up DIYing braided cable with Neutrik connectors, but now I think I'd prefer a rubber cable. Personal preference; the braided cable is like a conventional flat ethernet cord, with a tough braided nylon cover, but I prefer round, just for the behavior. Performance wise, it works just fine, but some people like peanut butter and some people don't, ya know?

 

Trying a couple of these and will advise how they work out.

 

For what it's worth, I've gigged almost exclusively with Variaxes for 11 years - first using 300s and 500s (sometimes transplanted into other guitars) and now with a couple of JTV-69s.

 

I have used one Line6 VDI cable for more than 500 gigs and uncountable rehearsals over the years, and it still works perfectly. I've always carried a backup, but never once have had to use it.

 

EDIT: are you maybe confusing the Line6 VDI cable (with Neutrik Ethercon connectors on both ends and a nice flexible cord) with the crappy cable included with Variax Workbench (with a regular RJ45 on one end and Ethercon on the other, and a crappy regular computer-style Cat 5 cord)?

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I actually made 2 separate braided cables - 1 for playing, 1 for Workbench.

I tend to go a little overboard with quality sometimes. The Variax instrument cable (which I understand has 2 neutrik ethercon ends and can't be used with the Workbench USB interface) seemed nominally acceptable, but the Whirlwind cable - to my OCDing eyes - had what I was looking for in terms of ruggedization.

A little more expensive, yes. But you know how some people incrementally, to the tiniest variation, adjust their guitar, and amp, and pedals, and 40 minutes later, you can't hear an iota of difference from when they started to now, but you've only got the studio for an hour, so they're all "Well, we are just going to have to make due with *this* sound because I can't get it right with this backline!"?

I'm like that guy, but only when it comes to having the exact hardware I want. Sure, I'd have been ready to play on arrival, but for every second the EQ tweaker spends getting a sound only he can hear, I've already spent an hour Consumer Reports-ing the bejesus out of my purchasing and modification decisions.

It's a tough path, but someone has to walk it.

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If you want a super cable, robust, doesn't kink, professional grade touring quality, check these guys out.

http://btpa.com/98-030-004-XXX.html

I don't think those cables will work with a Variax 700 Acoustic or Variax Standard and Helix.

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I don't think those cables will work with a Variax 700 Acoustic or Variax Standard and Helix.

 

Does the Standard use a different cable to a JTV?  I've been using with my JTV-69 for a couple of years now.  First with HD500 and now with Helix.

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