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  #1  
Old 04-07-2011, 12:55 AM
luitanent_dan luitanent_dan is offline
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What is a 'balanced' guitar cable?

my sound guy keeps telling me I should get a 'balanced' guitar cable...

Questions:

1. What is a 'balanced' guitar cable?
2. What's wrong with a standard guitar cable (ie. $30 cable)
3. Is there any real benefit spending $200+ on a guitar cable (ie. anyone had experience with these expensive cables)?
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Old 04-07-2011, 07:55 AM
GCDEF GCDEF is offline
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1) I could be wrong, but a guitar won't output a balanced signal and a guitar amp wouldn't take advantage of it if it did, so I don't see the point.

2) Nothing

3) No.
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  #3  
Old 04-07-2011, 07:58 AM
Guinness Lad Guinness Lad is offline
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Your sound guy has been reading too many "Absolute Sound" articles.

Just get a good cable, balanced cables might have merits in a stereo system, (I kind of even think that is a stretch), but for guitar it sounds like pure snake oil.
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  #4  
Old 04-07-2011, 07:59 AM
Austinrocks Austinrocks is offline
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happy with my $30 georgeLs,

balanced cable has two wires in a twisted pair and a coax shield, good for low noise and low signals. build those at work, but not worth a couple hundred bucks for a guitar IMO. Can build those for a few bucks.
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  #5  
Old 04-07-2011, 08:06 AM
redbeardrob redbeardrob is offline
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i have two 10' switchcraft cables that i've been using since 1997. no lie. gigs, minor tours, practice, home, wahtever. it's been through everything, even rain (light misting, not a storm). i'll never buy anything else.
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Old 04-07-2011, 09:08 AM
Hard2Hear Hard2Hear is offline
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Balanced cables only work on devices that have balanced inputs and outputs. (TRS)

Guitars and guitar amps do NOT have balanced outputs or inputs. (TS)
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Old 04-07-2011, 09:16 AM
luitanent_dan luitanent_dan is offline
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Thanks guys! my wallet thanks you
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Old 04-07-2011, 09:18 AM
sksmith66 sksmith66 is offline
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you should start looking for a new sound guy immediately.
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Old 04-07-2011, 09:19 AM
GSHARP GSHARP is offline
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I paid 20 bucks for my Whirlwind cable back in '87, still use it on stage. It's been through hell, mud, rain, you name it. When I'm not wireless, it's the cable I use. Never had a single problem with it.
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Old 04-07-2011, 09:22 AM
mark norwine mark norwine is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sksmith66 View Post
you should start looking for a new sound guy immediately.
this.
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Old 04-07-2011, 09:25 AM
tbonesullivan tbonesullivan is offline
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what's your setup? are you running direct to the mixer or is your amp being mic'd?
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Old 04-07-2011, 09:40 AM
Jef Bardsley Jef Bardsley is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hard2Hear View Post
Balanced cables only work on devices that have balanced inputs and outputs. (TRS)

Guitars and guitar amps do NOT have balanced outputs or inputs. (TS)
Bingo! (that's the geriatrics's version of FTW)

AFAIK, the only guitars that can use balanced cables are the Personal/Professional/Recording Les Pauls which do have low impedance pickups. Good luck trying to find a low impedance amp.


I tried balanced cables back in the '80s, and they didn't make a bit of difference in a high impedance circuit.
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  #13  
Old 04-07-2011, 09:48 AM
Tone_Terrific Tone_Terrific is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luitanent_dan View Post
my sound guy keeps telling me I should get a 'balanced' guitar cable...
What's the problem the soundguy is trying to have you fix?
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Old 04-07-2011, 11:22 AM
piby piby is offline
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I think the sound guys comment would only be valid if you were trying to plug your guitar into something that had a balanced input, like a mixer or rack mount effect unit or something like that. In that case you would use the balanced cable but merge the conductors from 2 of the 3 balanced conductors to the "s" of the TS plug that goes into your guitar. but then your guitar signal would need to be boosted as most balanced inputs are line level or +4db, compared to you guitar output which is lower (-10db or lower). this cabling method is used a lot for putting higher quality effects units (like an eventide eclipse) into the effects loop of the amp, which is usually line level...
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Old 04-07-2011, 11:57 AM
mark norwine mark norwine is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piby View Post
In that case you would use the balanced cable but merge the conductors from 2 of the 3 balanced conductors to the "s" of the TS plug that goes into your guitar.
That would qualify as a "balanced cable" [this thread's post], but it wouldn't be a balanced signal....so would would be the point?
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