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shawndeveau

Cables

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Not sure where to post this, so please move if appropriate.

 

I'm wondering what folks recommend for guitar cables. I just use whatever is cheap at my local store. Is there a preferred professional choice of cable?

 

Thanks,

Shawn

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I have heard planet waves are good. I've personally used Monster cable. They have a lifetime warranty.

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Van Damme make excellent cables.. one of the best if not the best for the price as not as pricey as mogami and others...

All the top guitar techs and engineers I know use them and make them for their clients and their clients are top guitarist's! ... that speaks for itself as well as the many guitarists i know that use them...

 

Van Damme Pro / Tour Grade classic XKE instrument cable - choice of cable colours and boot ring colours....

Pro grade is more flexible, Tour grade more rugged...

Get them terminated using silver based solder to a couple of Neutrik NP2X-B or one NP2X-B and a Neutrik silent jack...

Either a NP2X-AU-Silent straight jack plug, or,

NP2RX-AU-Silent right angle jack plug - depending on the guitar socket and socket angle preference... I like right angle to get cable out of the way...

 

Where abouts are you based?... i know couple techs in UK that hand finish the cables to bespoke... cheaper than commercial bespoke van damme stockists...

 

The difference a proper top of the range cable makes compared to bog standard cable is huge... but that doesn't mean the most expensive or flashy branded cables are the best... there is plenty of brands claiming to be much better than the cable they actually use so beware...

 

also beware that the difference a quality cable will make to your sound and dynamics compared to low grade bog standard cable... it might mean you find yourself tweaking all the patches you made with that bog standard cable or you may just be perfectly happy with the overall improvement the cable makes... I remembering plugging into an ac30 using the van damme cable after using a bog standard cable and suddenly I understood the vox amp in a way i had never heard it before...

I'm always amazed when I meet a guitarist who has great kit and guitars and pick ups but they use a poor cable or over hyped expensive cable...

 

Enjoy the difference in quality to your tone, dynamics and signal clarity it will bring...

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I've been using the very reasonably priced South Creek Audio cables for quite a while. I have a dozen or so in various configurations and lengths, and yet to have any problem. They are very well terminated and have been durable. They're available in various lengths, and available with a right angle 1/4" TS plug on one end, if desired. I also use their patch cables in 1' and 2' lengths that I use to connect my Line 6 Relay G10 Receiver base to the Helix or other amps.

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P.s. all the cables you use in a set up should be quality cables... so if you using send returns, external fx, routing to power amps, xlr to P.A / studio speakers and the like... then use proper cables for all those connections too... not just for the cable from guitar to input... the aim is to maintain the integrity of the signal at all points in the chain...

Then you get into the realm of figuring out what length cables you need... hence bespoke made to your specs... no point using a 2 metre cable to attach two pieces of equipment that are next to each other where 50cm would suffice..

Both in terms of cost of lengths of cable used but more importantly the shorter the cable runs in your set up the better the signal is maintained...

Pen paper and tape measure needed and thinking about different set ups and what's needed in different venues... a small box of different lengths has become part of my kit...

 

P.p.s... when measuring up, use a cable to run from point A to point B and mark the cable with your hand where point B is on the cable and then use the tape measure to measure the length of cable you holding... this is because tape measures don't always bend and lay on the floor like a cable does and you get a wrong measurement....

I Think that's covered most of it for ya...

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When I got around to wiring up my Helix on a board with external pedals and all, I finally caved and did the whole thing with George L's. Everything cut to length, routed clean, pricey but worth it. I use a Monster cable from the guitar to the board and a Planet Waves XLR to my monitor (Atomic CLR cab).

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I'm from Europe and I use Cordial midrange cables. In my opinion expensive cables don't make sense as there is no audible difference between mid and highrange. Lifetime warranties are included in the higher price, but even with a replacement it doesn't pay off.

I can recommend making your own cables though, especially for rack cabling, as it allows you to get just the right length for each one.

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I use mostly planet Waves for all connections but prefer bullet cables from guitar to helix when I am not going wireless.

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Thick gauge and under 20 ft long. Neutrik connectors and if not they will get replaced with them. I don't think I've bought a quarter inch TS cable for guitar in quite a few years. I've only inherited damaged ones and fix them up. I use a G10 Wireless unit so I barely use the ones I have

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I make my own with Van Damme cable and Neutrik plugs but be wary of Neutrik fakes if you are going down that route.

 

Craig

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I think my first question(s) before trying to answer your question would be....

 

Why are you asking the question?  Is there a problem with the cables you are using today?

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Guitar Center brand (musician's gear, i think)...sounds the same as the planet waves/low-end monster cables and they'll replace them in store without a receipt if they die. Used to use monster for the warranty, but now they make you mail the cable to them (on your dime) and charge you for return shipping. And the last time I needed to replace one customer service were total a-holes. Everyone acted like they couldn't believe I needed a cable replaced....

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For fixed patch runs I often prefer George L's.  But, you gotta get up to par with clean assembly or chase a lot of Gremlins.  But the sonic quality of hard RF stuff like that is generally top drawer for unbalanced connections.  

 

Guitar to input bay?  No particular brand as they can all suffer defects but I've learned to simply audition reasonably priced guitar cables that have the look/feel I like (Planet Waves, etc) and simply return any that sound worse, by comparison.  

 

Old vintage wound single coils should probably never use cable much over 12-14' length.  Even then, 16ga or larger center conductor is often better than 18ga or smaller line level single conductor 1/4" phono, IMO.  

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