Are SLUG DIY Connectors by Bullet Cable Just Hype?

Discussion in 'Builder's & Retailer's Forum' started by Sonic Bullets, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. Sonic Bullets

    Sonic Bullets Member

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    One of the key issues about DIY Solderless connectors is their reliability and therefore, their dependability. We have been graciously posting on thegearpage.net the many videos, testimonials, and reviews that we have been getting from musicians and techs all over the world who have tested them and used them and found them to be exactly as we have promised: Easy to make (and cool!)

    As John Chandler, founder of Pedaltrain recently said about SLUGs:
    "I’m always sceptical but when I got these things and I saw easy they were (they were the easiest thing to put together), they’re full proof in their design, they sound fantastic, and they work perfect. I am like, ‘Game over. You [Ted] just made a game changer."

    Full interview video from NAMM (created by The Tone King): YOUTUBE

    Our most recent review is by Pieter Holland at livefromrocknrollranch.com. When Pieter is not being a cyber radio celeb, or recording engineer, he sits in as a guitarist for the Marshall Tucker Band (Toy Caldwell is the original lead guitarist).

    We would like to share this article with you. I hope you will catch his nightly radio program:

    SLUG CONNECTERS

    Review By Pieter Holland​
    OK.. I did a review on Bullet Cables​
    Silver Bullet Cable and I must say:
    It passed with flying Colors !
    Kimmy [Executive Director, Core One] was also nice enough to send me
    A SLUG Connecter Kit… Hmmm… It sat here on the desk in my office for a month of Sundays. Not for any reason but (I’m gonna be honest) I didn’t think that they would cut the mustard, and I didn’t want to send them back and say, “Sorry.. They didn’t make the cut”
    Well tonight I sat down and said to myself, What the heck, here goes nothing..
    I have seen on their videos you can make one of these Cables in 48 seconds…

    [​IMG]

    Well what do ya know.. You can.. It was that easy..
    And it looked pretty cool to boot.. Nice looking connecters and the cable that was supplied is top grade stuff,(99.99% Oxygen Free Copper) Hmmm, Not Bad..! Now the big test.. Wow, they work! Boy was I completely Blown away..!
    I remember Kimmy saying to yank on the connecters after putting the connecters on.. so.. Again.. Blown away..! These things are on there..! These are not your old type connecter kit that I have seen in the past that never worked right.. These things are tremendous! You can custom make all different sizes of cables to custom fit your pedal board..! Go check these things out..! You will not be disappointed..!Go to www.bulletcable.com to get more info and find out where you can get yourself some of these SLUGS..! If you have a PEDAL BOARD,
    do yourself a favor and check these things out..!
    On our scale of One to Five.. SLUGS get a full FIVE THUMBS UP..!


    Have you had a Bullet Cable SLUG experience? Have you made a testimonial video like thegearmanndude, FuzzBox Girl, The Tone King, Tunnelvision, Eventide, Pedaltrain, Paul Gilbert, or one of any of the other industry experts? Share with us! We would love to hear from you.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2012
  2. muddy

    muddy Member

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    oy! ya can't play yer own devil's advocate... ;)


    ml
     
  3. Sonic Bullets

    Sonic Bullets Member

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    If you sell Pedaltrain, or use it for your pedalboard set up, you may want to consider using the connectors that Pedaltrain recommends for DIY Connections.

    “Ted is always talking about cables because he makes them and is passionate about them. He told me he was working on a new wire for pedalboards and I was like, ‘I’m ready. Send it to me when you’ve got it.’ I’m always sceptical but when I got these things and I saw how easy they were (they were the easiest thing to put together), they’re full proof in their design, they sound fantastic, and they work perfect. I am like, ‘Game over. You [Ted] just made a game changer.’ " John Chandler


    Have you had experience with the Bullet Cable Slug DIY Connectors? We hope you will share with us your experiences.
     
  4. John Price

    John Price Supporting Member

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    What's the difference between this cable and the planet waves cable kits?

    I see everyone talking about how easy it is to make but, how does this cable sound?
     
  5. Sonic Bullets

    Sonic Bullets Member

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    John, thanks for asking.

    The Planet Waves kit and the SLUG DIY Connector kit both share a similar technology and that is that the cable slides up a barrel where it comes in contact with a spike. The cable is held in place with a screw that also acts to ground the current (grounding screw).

    Like every design, there are weaknesses to the design that can be improved upon. We found that spikes can bend by the pressure of cable being repeatedly pushed into the barrel, and so we redesigned our spike so that it would not bend by making it conical shape and using versions of metal that would be more durable and yet maintain signal strength. We found that people will tend to over screw, probably thinking that it will reinforce the durability of the connector, but that in doing so, they can break through materials and damage fine wires that make up the connection. So we created a remeasured depth that would create the perfect tightness without damage to the cable. To protect fine wires that can be damaged, we created shielding and construction that not only improved resistance to noise (very important when wires run between devices powered by electricity), but that would "grip" the screw when pulled on, rather than let it get easily pulled out (thus losing connection).

    Remember those toys called the Chinese finger trap (or something non-p.c like that),where you would put two fingers into a woven tube, and then the harder you pulled on your fingers, the more difficult it was to pull your fingers out? That is the type of design we had in mind with the cable. The harder you pull, the more grip you will get from the connector to the cable.

    There are people on this board who claim that "the hex key will loosen by itself and fall out", and also that call a hex key, "an extra tool you have to try to find to make a cable". It has been our experience that the first claim is completely false with our system. Think of the pure physics of that statement. A screw with the proper depth (like what we make), and with a combined cable construction that we just explained, will most likely not spin around 360 degrees by the jerking around of cable. In fact, there are some musicians who use our cables as temporary guitar cables during active performances, if their other cables have failed. (That's a lot of jerking around!) The hex key (allen wrench), on the other hand, is a staple in a luthiers kit, so that one is just perplexing.

    The physically notable difference would probably be the size. Our angle connector has a side profile smaller than Planet Waves. In fact, you can place your pedals as close as 1/2" from them if you need to have your pedal board configuration like that.

    We can't speak against the other systems, including the cap screw-on versions, but we can state very confidently that we made improvements based on the way that musicians really use their gear and to design from what seems to matter most to musicians: durability, reliability, and function.

    This is a second generation development for Bullet Cable. If you remember the Core X2 GK-20 Pedal Board kit, introduced with straight and angle connectors (2005), we developed that system too. The SLUG came about upon the additional improvements that were suggested by professional techs and musicians who sort of sit as advisers for us. Their main complaint about Core X2 pedal board kits were that they wanted a smaller cable profile for their systems. That is what we did with the SLUG DIY Connectors.

    How do they sound? Well, as most people will tell you, cable doesn't create a sound. But how do they maximize the signal and tone delivery of your devices? Everyone has said that they have had an experience resulting from noticeable improvement to their former cable choices.

    I am including an image of our cable construction:

    [​IMG]
     
  6. John Price

    John Price Supporting Member

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    Wow!
    Thanks for that great reply!

    I guess the right thing to do is to try one of your cables and see/hear for myself!

    JP
     
  7. Sonic Bullets

    Sonic Bullets Member

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    Thanks again for the comment and response.
    Yes, please try them out.

    If you want to try a few at first (to get a feel for the durability, reliability issue--and ease of use), I suggest one of our online partners who sell individual connectors and cable by the foot.

    The kit is pretty outstanding and a deal at 79.95, when you are ready to commit. (We have had nobody complain that they didn't get what they paid for!)

    If you have bigger projects, requiring more than 20 cables, I suggest the SLUG Towers in straight or angle (50 pc) and at least a 100 ft of cable. This is becoming more popular after people try out a few cables first.

    Some of our online dealers that I recommend for singles:

    Tunnelvision Music
    Mad Ape
    Fat Tone Guitars

    If you go to our company's consumer site, you can get the direct links for each of these online stores:
    Core One Shop Custom Cables
     
  8. Sonic Bullets

    Sonic Bullets Member

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    These are videos from our SXSW competition called, The Faster Bullet: SLUG DIY Challenge. The goal was to make the fastest [working] custom cable and beating our time of :28.6 seconds set last year.

    Michael Trepagnier of Oklahoma City, OK won, and was named the Faster Bullet!
    After a 4 days of challenges, with an average time of about 38 seconds, 80+ people competed to make the fastest [working] DIY custom cable using Bullet Cable SLUGS.
    Michael's winning time was 22.3 seconds!

    Many of the contestants had never made a diy cable before, this being their first time. Because the of the format of the contest, each contender had to plug their cable immediately into a guitar and amp and play the cable to show it had a connection, and 5 out of almost 80 did not give that final turn of the screw and their connection didn't go live. After their competition ended, they tightened their screw and it worked! That is 100% perfect connection every time!

    We believe that no other company can claim this success of speed, ease of use, and perfect connection every time.

    Is it hype? You tell us.



    Music by Russ Wedelich from Eventide live @ Bullet Cable Booth SXSW using Dr. Z , Buddah Amp, Hoof by Earthquaker Devices & Eventide Space - Time Factor, and Bullet Cable throughout his gear!

     
  9. Suro_Atiros

    Suro_Atiros Member

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    Hi Sonic Bullets, I hope you can help me, I hope that you are (at the very least) a customer service representative for Core One products.

    I need some help with these cables. I bought the Slug kit and absolutely love the sound, I think it's far crisper and clearer than regular $5 patch cables. HOWEVER, they are the most unreliable pieces of gear I've ever owned.

    Every time I re-do my pedal board, all of my Slug cables stop working and I have to re-make them. YES, they are fast. YES, they are easy, but each Slug cable takes me 5 to 6 tries to get it to pass signal. Then, once it works, if any of my pedals slide on the pedal board, they stop working. If I unplug them, they stop working. If I move them, they stop working. It's very annoying and since I have a lot of shows coming up, I'm starting to panic that I'm not going to have a working pedal board.

    FYI, I have electronics experience. I make all of my own guitar cords with Neutrik connectors and Mogami cable. I'm handy with a soldering gun and understand the principles of how cables work. However, i can't figure these things out. Any suggestions? Do you think I need to warranty them out? Thanks.
     
  10. Sonic Bullets

    Sonic Bullets Member

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    Hi Suro Atiros,
    Sorry you are having a problem. Our PM email is tech @ bulletcable.com
    Your problem is not one that we have encountered, but something is indeed wrong.

    I took this to our tech:

    Once a cable is made correctly, it will not lose signal and it will not come loose. If you have signal, you should be able to take the cable and pull firmly on both ends of the connectors and it will not come apart, and then you should be able to plug it in again, and still have connection.

    If this is not happening, then the cable is bad (but you should never have had any signal), or the connectors are bad, or a step was missed in the DIY process.

    Is it one or all of the cables? Have you identified which one?

    DIY Solderless is not the same as soldered cable. It is much less complicated, and so let's do some of the easy steps first and then go from there.

    If there is intermittent signal it could be one of a few problems.

    1.) The cut must be straight, no jagged or at an angle. This is best made with a straight razor (do not use scissors).

    2.) The cable must be pushed in all of the way until it is snug against the spike. You will know that you are successful if there is a small impression in the core of the cable.

    3.) The screws should be tightened until you feel resistance with the hex key (and to over screw would strip the hex hole of the screw).

    You should be able to pull firmly on both ends of a finished cable, and it will not come apart.

    If you have performed these steps, and your connectors are still not working then send your cables back to us. Please write us at tech @ bulletcable.com in the private message (it is in the signature of our posting id). I will give you an RMA.

    We will take a look at the cable and connectors and diagnose the problem and replace your connectors at no charge

    We will also post the outcome on this board. I hope you will too.

    Here is Paul Gilbert making a cable for his pedal board (it explains the small impression that I mentioned previously). He went on tour with Bullet Cable SLUG DIY Connectors wiring his whole board. 20 Countries and 38 shows, and he never had a problem. You should have the same experience. This is our guarantee: Working cables you can take on the road (or use in your home studio) without failure or defect. If we did something wrong, we will fix it.

     
  11. hdiddy

    hdiddy Supporting Member

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    It looks easy, the first cable I made was just like instructed on the videos

    Didnt work no sound, just like George ls

    The difference is , the hex screw stripped, yes I know don't tighten

    No I am down one connector

    Pearls on getting the stripped screw out
     
  12. Sonic Bullets

    Sonic Bullets Member

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    Hi hdiddy,

    Bullet Cable promises to deliver the experience that we promise: Perfect connection everytime!

    If a cable is not working, it is because it is defective. (oops--I admit that makes me feel embarrassed and a little ashamed!)

    We have high quality control standards set up in our factory, but we also use human beings to be the eyes and the hands on the product. Since we launched the SLUG we have made 10s of thousands of these connectors and they have been distributed in 22 countries. We make mistakes. If you get a bad connector it sucks for you, and that is why we are 100% obligated to fix it and make it right.

    Write to us and we will replace any bad connectors.

    Is Bullet Cable SLUG Connectors just hype?

    Absolutely not! Bullet Cable doesn't wow you with a bunch of terms you don't care to learn, or a bunch of claims that cannot be met. The SLUGS should work exactly like we promise.

    If you bought into Bullet Cable, you Rock! But you also bought into the idea that our products have been proven world class. Please extend the possibility of us gaining your full respect if we have let you down in any way.

    We read these boards and give our email address so that we can remain transparent in the artist community.
     
  13. Sonic Bullets

    Sonic Bullets Member

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    And in Germany, at Musik Messe, the SLUG DIY Challenge continued [unofficially]:

     
  14. Suro_Atiros

    Suro_Atiros Member

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    I just want to give my thanks to the level of customer service that Bullet Cable provides. I had faulty equipment (slug connectors) that were replaced VERY quickly and I am very happy with the entire process.

    I expressed my desire to get this completed fast since I had a couple of shows coming up, and my pedal board needed to be in full working order. They had the new connectors, cables and screws to my door within a couple of days.

    The new connectors fit PERFECTLY, on the first try. Show went off without a hitch.

    thanks again!
     
  15. hdiddy

    hdiddy Supporting Member

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    i had the same issues and the company was great on customer service, highly recommended!!
     
  16. Sonic Bullets

    Sonic Bullets Member

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    Are you really going to need less than 1/2" of pedal placement?
    [​IMG]

    Bullet Cable SLUGs are:

    1.) Easy to make on the first try (and every try after).
    2.) Do not require a learning curve or time invested in how to videos.
    3.) Do not need readjustment after you move your board.
    4.) Reliable and they will not lose connection.

    They are used by professional musicians in our industry who will put more wear and tear on their gear then most of us will ever put on our gear. That is because they really work.

    Space factor is just another benefit.
     
  17. Sonic Bullets

    Sonic Bullets Member

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    Reprint from TGP Pedal Board Wiring Techniques (an active thread that we post to regularly.)

    We get asked all of the time, "How big are your SLUG Connectors?" We know that musicians value their space. Prime real-estate. We get it.

    Here is a straight up shot. We will call the other two connectors, Brand X and Brand Y.
    [​IMG]
     
  18. Sonic Bullets

    Sonic Bullets Member

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    This is a first time, first try DIY cable made by Tenacious D guitarist, John Konesky.
     
  19. Sonic Bullets

    Sonic Bullets Member

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    Tomorrow we will be in Echo Park, CA doing demos with the SLUG DIY Connectors and Bulk Cable. Stop by: The 1st Annual Musician's Swap Meet & Manufacture Outlet Sale @ Bedrock Studios

    Make your own!
    If you cannot make a custom cable on the first try, and you cannot get it to work, Ted McCann, the designer of Bullet Cable products, will make you one that does and will give it to you for free!

    It really is that easy (and reliable)!

    [​IMG]

    We will post Monday if we gave any cables away...stay tuned!



    GEAR UP LA
    Saturday
    June 30

    
    10am-3pm
    
    1623 Allesandro St. LA 90026[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]
    [/FONT]
     
  20. Sonic Bullets

    Sonic Bullets Member

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    [​IMG]

    We had a great time doing demos. Sold a lot of kits.

    Okay, so now the tally of free cables given as a result of not being successful upon first try to make it: 1

    What we learned:
    1.) Don't do demos after standing in blazing sunshine without any shade all day. Warps the senses.

    2.) Always start with your own cable assembly. Do not pick up a partly started cable and expect it was ever screwed down properly (we lay blame on sun-baked mind as described in 1 above why this wasn't so obvious.)

    3.) Make sure your battery operated amp that you have been doing demos with all day (and had on all day long) still has a charge and isn't doing the so-sou-sounddd breakage that happens when the battery is almost dead.

    So, we were being good sports, and it was all in good fun even though these weren't really official slug problems, but more like demonstrator problems!, BTW: the cable did work once Kimmy drank some water, the amp came back on (briefly), and the screw was tightened! And, the guitarist still bought a kit. He was later heard telling another musician about how easy it was to make the cable and that he was totally stoked that he bought one!

    We promise ease of use and perfect connection every time. We still stand behind that claim!
     

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