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Why does the vdi cable sound different, meaning worse and a bit less responsive than a 1/4 cable?

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Why does the vdi cable sound different, meaning worse and a bit less responsive than a 1/4 cable?

Have you noticed that? I was using the VDI for along time and finally after frustration with harsh almost

dry feel tried the 1/4 and it was much smoother!

 

I tried other Ethernet cables sounds the same as the vdi cable...the 1/4 inch guitar jack sounds well more like a guitar

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VDI is a digital connection with no loss of quality from guitar to effects unit.

1/4” Jack is analogue so there are two additional conversions and you introduce the cable which is never perfect; from an electronic circuit perspective it is an resistive capacitive filter and it will lose high frequencies... the longer the cable the higher the loss.

VDI I believe includes a model of a high quality guitar lead with a small amount of loss, but any long or lower quality guitar lead will cut the high end frequencies and potentially add some noise.

Use whatever sounds best to you, an EQ with a bit of high end cut will give you the same sort of effect and hum can be dialled in the amp models in helix if you want some of that. Personally the control from the floor unit is invaluable to me so I use VDI all the time.

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A 1/4" cable will go through extra D2A and A2D conversions and that will have some signal degradation, but likely not much with modern converters.

 

But a more significant effect is the high frequency rolloff that results from high-impedance guitar pickups and the 1/4" cable capacitance. This can really warm up single coil pickups. Hendrix famously used a long, somewhat cheap coil chord because he like the way it warmed up his Strat tone. The amount of high cut increases as the volume control on the guitar is turned down. Some people use bypass caps on their guitar volume controls to eliminate this effect so they can keep a sparkly tone as the guitar is turned down. The cable capacitance also interacts with the guitar tone control and pickups to create a 2nd order tone control that can sound nice as the tone control is turned down, especially for slide.

 

The VDI cable doesn't have these "compromises", so if you want to warm up your guitar tone, you'd need to do it what an EQ block early in the signal chain.

 

 

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'But a more significant effect is the high frequency rolloff that results from high-impedance guitar pickups and the 1/4" cable capacitance'

 

Yeah that about sums its...response is different as well but the high roll back is appreciated in the 1/4 connection 

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I wonder if the Helix guitar input impedence still affects Variax VDI the same as 1/4" input.

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From what I can tell, the Guitar input is affected by the setting input impedance but the VDI I dont hear anything change...in fact i dont think its supposed to 

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34 minutes ago, roscoe5 said:

I wonder if the Helix guitar input impedence still affects Variax VDI the same as 1/4" input.

 

It doesn't. The variable input Z settings are controlling actual analog circuit in the 1/4" guitar input, and as such, they only affect that input.

  • Thanks 1

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On 7/5/2018 at 5:19 PM, phil_m said:

 

It doesn't. The variable input Z settings are controlling actual analog circuit in the 1/4" guitar input, and as such, they only affect that input.

Very good information, thanks Phil. 

 

I still think I hear some high end rolloff when backing off the volume control when using the magnetic pickups with the VDI cable. Since the signal from Variax to Helix is digital, why would there still be high end rolloff?

 

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38 minutes ago, amsdenj said:

Very good information, thanks Phil. 

 

I still think I hear some high end rolloff when backing off the volume control when using the magnetic pickups with the VDI cable. Since the signal from Variax to Helix is digital, why would there still be high end rolloff?

 

 

If I had to guess, I would bet that the volume pot comes before the A/D converter for magnetic pickups. So in that case, the pickups would still be affected by the impedance of the pot itself.

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I had the same experience as the OP and VDI sounded way too thin to my ears that I switched to 1/4" output a while back.  This was on an HD500x.  

 

I recently got a Helix and a G10.  I have yet to compare VDI vs. the 1/4 output with this new setup.  Now I'm wondering whether having the G10 w/ a short patch cable affects the tone in any manner as compared to the VDI , 1/4" cable (15ft length) connections.

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14 hours ago, hnaline6 said:

I had the same experience as the OP and VDI sounded way too thin to my ears that I switched to 1/4" output a while back.  This was on an HD500x.  

 

I recently got a Helix and a G10.  I have yet to compare VDI vs. the 1/4 output with this new setup.  Now I'm wondering whether having the G10 w/ a short patch cable affects the tone in any manner as compared to the VDI , 1/4" cable (15ft length) connections.

 

The G10 has Line 6’s Cable Tone tech built in. It rolls off the high end similar to what you would get with a 10ft cable (Cable Tone affects the 1/4” out only, not the XLR out).

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On 7/22/2018 at 2:19 PM, phil_m said:

 

The G10 has Line 6’s Cable Tone tech built in. It rolls off the high end similar to what you would get with a 10ft cable (Cable Tone affects the 1/4” out only, not the XLR out).

Thx Phil_M

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I have been struggling with the VDI vs 1/4" issue for a while now. I use a JTV-69S into Helix. I use VDI almost exclusively for reduced noise, powering the Variax, and MIDI control. In a typical gig, I use mostly the magnetic pickups (SVL Daytona which sound wonderful), and only occasionally use models for open tunings, acoustic and an occasional double coil tone when I don't have time to change guitars.

 

This works great and is very convenient. But I can clearly hear a difference between the VDI and 1/4" for the magnetic pickups. The VDI tone is thiner and brighter. I could address that with EQ. But the biggest issue is the VDI seems to have a lot less sustain, almost like there's a gate in the VDI signal path. This is all magnetic pickups, no models. 

 

I've noticed similar lack of sustain in some of the models compared to the magnetic pickups, but have been able to address that by changing the body model the Masonic Plank. 

 

Anyone else noticed a difference in sustain between VDI and 1/4"? I can't think of a reason for this other than the A2D converters are in the guitar for VDI and in Helix for 1/4". The other possible difference is the impedance the actual pickups see might be different between VDI and 1/4". 

 

 

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It may also depend on what settings you have for the Guitar In-Z input impedance. 

Impedance values from low to high (22k, 32k, 70k, 90k, 136k, 230k, 1M, or 3.5M) on POD 500x. Not sure what the impedance is default for the VDI input, as the Guitar In-Z setting affects the GUITAR IN input only. 

 

Jd

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Short answer is impedance. VDI impedance is stable between cables.

1/4" cables vary from company to company, so there may be a slight variation in tone color

and frequency response.

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23 hours ago, jakeman19 said:

It may also depend on what settings you have for the Guitar In-Z input impedance. 

Impedance values from low to high (22k, 32k, 70k, 90k, 136k, 230k, 1M, or 3.5M) on POD 500x. Not sure what the impedance is default for the VDI input, as the Guitar In-Z setting affects the GUITAR IN input only. 

 

Jd

Assuming you are referring to Helix, controllable input impedance is only available on the 1/4" guitar input, it has no effect on VDI input.

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" Assuming you are referring to Helix, controllable input impedance is only available on the 1/4" guitar input, it has no effect on VDI input. "--- Correct.

That and the slight variations in 1/4" guitar cable impedance between manufacturers, and the tone color may have a slight shift compared to the VDI line.

After all, impedance is a function of frequency, it's how filters work.

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