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(@gnease)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5058
 

.A.J., Direct injection recording? Amp? What kind? Listening via speaker, headphones? Types of pups? Strings? All this matters, as well.

One might run from someone citing impedance, but in fact, all the sonic effects are traceable to frequency-dependent impedance differences. Acknowledging that metals affect sound and implying that impedence is irrelevant is contradictory. Conductivity (type of metal(s), gauge), series inductance (gauge, geometry of conductors), shield to conductor capacitance (geometries, insulator material, structure of shield) are all factors in a cable's distributed impedance. Low frequency differences? Probably due to deltas in cable series resistance and inductance. High freqs not the same? This is dominated by cable capacitance between the center and shield conductors, and secondarily can be affected by series inductance. Then there are relative effects. If a cable "has" a lot of high end, does it make the lows and mids sound relatively thin? Even though the lows and mids are the same as another cable's. Quite possibly. Is that bad? Not necessarily. Most guitars and amps have tone controls and/or stacks. One can remove something (the highs) that is there, but it is often more difficult to add back what is missing.

But most players will not understand or care about all the technical details. So here's the simplified version: Cables interact with both the guitar and amplifier. So a particular cable may work well with some guitar/amp combos and not others. Best to look for several cables with good construction, and test each in one's own setup to see what one likes best -- and we don't all like the same thing.

(I hope this isn't taken as curt or insulting -- just presenting another view.)

-G

-=tension & release=-


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 A-J
(@a-j)
Estimable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 121
 

It's not taken as curt or insulting. What I mean about impedence is that in any good cable the difference is virtually unnoticeable. Manufacturers who cite is as a selling point are doing so because they have nothing interesting to sell.

As you say, different guitars and different amps will make a difference, but overall, when you go into high end, all cables are shielded just about equally. All use high quality materials. The differences come from factors such as the cable itself; solid coper, braided copper, amount of braids, etc.

I agree that you can generally take care of high end, low end or mid difficencies through adjusting your amp. I use an evidence between my last pedal and the amp, everything before is spectrafles, so I have to raise my mids and lower the bass and high and I'm quite happy with the results.

Where the differences lie are what does the cable capture? For example, in one test I played an A: XX7650 followed by Aadd9: XX7657. With most cables, you several cables, like George L and Lava, you could not here the difference between the two chords. The first string, 7th fret was simply not there in the second chord. (This was played on a Swith Innovo III electric with Lace Alumitone pickups, Elixir strings and a Korg A5 pedal board). With the Horizon, Spectraflex and Evidence, that note was crystal clear.

In other tests, I would make intentional mistakes and you simply could not here them at all with George L and Lava (this with the same gear or with a Babicz acoustic).

Everything was recorded, as I said, at 24 bit. With or without the headphones, you couldn't hear them.

Hence, go for a higher quality cable, but test several to find which one sounds better to you. Like I said, I hate the sound of the Planet Waves, but I know that a lot of people like it. That part is a matter of personal taste.


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(@metaellihead)
Honorable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 653
 

Eh, I think any difference you can tell between cables other than protection from noise is either insignifigant or imagined. At least in my experience. Do a test double blind and then tell me what you think. Anyway, with so many other things that effect your tone, cable is probably the last thing you should think about. Given all this stuff about cables you would think we guitarists would be obsessing over the various chemical qualities of the wires used in the electronics as much as we do this, ect.

I will say though, don't get excited over gold plated connectors. Gold is soft and will wear off because guitar cables are frequently plugged and unplugged. Just look for something that is physically rugged and blocks noise.

This guy has a good article on it, note that he was an electrical engineer before starting guitar.

-Metaellihead


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 A-J
(@a-j)
Estimable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 121
 

If you haven't heard a difference in blind testing it's because you're not listening well enough or you're using two cables that are almost identical. Blind testing should be done repetitively. As I said above; try one for a short bit, try the next. Do it over again and again and again and... Some of the differences are obvious.

Believe me, when you have a top-quality guitar and amp, the cable will make a huge difference. If you have lower quality, it will still make a big difference.


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(@rparker)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5492
 

The timing for this thread could not have been better. I had one cable go bad and another start to make a bit of noise and otherwise act funky. After reading this thread and quit a few reviews, I went for some Monsters. The biggest reason? Warrenty. I'm sick and tired of buying a cable every 6 months.

Curiousity did nail me though. I did some A/B testing with my remaining semi-functioning cable with one of the new Monsters. Not very loud, but loud enough to pick up differences. When functioning without popping out, the old cable and Monster did have a little difference in brightness. Not so much with distorion, but noticable clean.

As I relaxed and stopped trying to pick out differences, I did notice the brightness more. I'm sure most of the difference is lost on my untrained ears though.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


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(@gnease)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5058
 

The timing for this thread could not have been better. I had one cable go bad and another start to make a bit of noise and otherwise act funky. After reading this thread and quit a few reviews, I went for some Monsters. The biggest reason? Warrenty. I'm sick and tired of buying a cable every 6 months.

Curiousity did nail me though. I did some A/B testing with my remaining semi-functioning cable with one of the new Monsters. Not very loud, but loud enough to pick up differences. When functioning without popping out, the old cable and Monster did have a little difference in brightness. Not so much with distorion, but noticable clean.

As I relaxed and stopped trying to pick out differences, I did notice the brightness more. I'm sure most of the difference is lost on my untrained ears though.

I hate to say this, as you've just bought Monster: Not the most reliable cable I've ever owned, for a very simple reason -- the fancy schmansy gold connector's captivating/grounding sleeve comes unscrewed easily and the connector goes intermittant. It's a quickly repairable problem, but for that price why should I ever have to deal with this? It's an expensive mechanical design that totally misses the mark. I much prefer a quality cable with plain-ole Switchcraft connectors.

-=tension & release=-


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 A-J
(@a-j)
Estimable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 121
 

I haven't tried the Monster myself, but I agree with the principle. Good old connectors you can't touch are the best. And anyway, plenty of cables offer 10-15 years or lifetime warranties.


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(@rparker)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5492
 

Time will tell. If you hear me bitching about them in a month, you'll know you're right. :)

The good news is that I'm not far, maybe 10 minutes, from the store where I got 'em.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


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(@gnease)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5058
 

I have no particular wish to be right or wrong, but was just giving a musician's+engineer's opinion. I sincerely hope you have better luck with Monster. Maybe they've improved the design.

-=tension & release=-


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(@wishiwasthebest)
Trusted Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 76
 

I actually just got my cables in the mail today, a monster and george l patch cables.

a buddy let me borrow a monster, and the sound is so much clearer.... i was amazed. It was so much clearer in fact, that i completely bypassed my pedalboard (until my new cables came in).

so tonite at practice, it was George L patch cables, and 2 monster cables (to and from board). The tone is so much more amazing.

Now I am looking at tubes.... my search for tone has taken a huge leap.

My own opinion, cables make a HUGE difference. Then again I was going from cheap cables to nice ones, but still, even my drummer (whom doesnt pay detailed attention to the tone hahah), commented on how good it sounds compared to my previous rig with the other cables. Once i finish doing some stuff wiht my board, i Hope to post my rig!

RIP Dimebag


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(@sarton)
Trusted Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 95
 

http://www.guitarnuts.com/technical/cords/index.php

A sucking chest wound is Nature's way of telling you to slow down.

Godin Freeway Classic, PodXT Live, Seymour-Duncan 84-50.
(All this so I could learn 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little' Star for my youngest.)


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(@nicktorres)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 5468
 

I tend to agree with the guitarnuts guy.

Here is a different perspective on the george-l

http://www.hoffmanamps.com/charts/cable_reviews.htm

I don't own any george-l, but I find it hard to believe they could be that bad. Anyone else own them and want to pitch in their 2 cents?


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(@rparker)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5492
 

I confess to being a huge cynic. I never would believe they could make that much difference. I was wrong. Since my purchase:

My Fender G-Dec is now usable. Sounded HORRIBLE before. Hated the darned thing. Now it's parked right beside me in my office.

I can tell when Strings are new and strings need to be replaced easier now. Yes, some of this is a "trained ear" thing, I'm sure.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


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(@bobblehat)
Reputable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 309
 

Just to add my 2 cents.If you gig and rehearse regularly like me the most important thing when buying cables is reliability.The difference in tone from one cable to another will almost certainly be lost when playing with a band.
If you haven't got a $4000 guitar and a $2000 boutique amp just buy some reliable cables.

My Band: http://www.myspace.com/thelanterns2010
playing whilst drunk is only permitted if all band members are in a similar state!


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(@tim_madsen)
Honorable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 728
 

About the Monster debate, it sounds to me like peoples main beef is that they do some mis-leading advertising (what company doesn't?). The thing I don't understand is that people seem to be calling them high priced or over priced. I know nothing about cables! But I bought a 21 foot Monster instrument cable because it looked well made and was Reasonably priced $20US and had a good warranty. I'd had my fill of $5.99 cables that went bad in a month or two. I saw lots of cables that where much more expensive and didn't look any better made. They all seem to make claims that might be mis-leading or untrue. I can understand someone not liking a company that uses mis-leading advertising, but $20 for a 21 foot cable doesn't seem expensive to me. :?

Tim Madsen
Nobody cares how much you know,
until they know how much you care.

"What you keep to yourself you lose, what you give away you keep forever." -Axel Munthe


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