Can you check the quality of your (patch)cables by yourself??

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by sahertian, May 18, 2011.

  1. sahertian

    sahertian Member

    Feb 2, 2010
    with a Multi-meter or Ohm meter?
  2. Wayne Alexander

    Wayne Alexander Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2009
    Los Angeles
    You can measure capacitance [more capacitance=darker sound] (if your meter will measure that), and whether there's continuity between the tip and the tip, and the sleeve and the sleeve, and whether tip is shorted to sleeve, with a multimeter. As to which ones are noisier, or clearer sounding, a multimeter won't tell you that.
  3. stinkfoot

    stinkfoot Member

    Jun 20, 2004
    Uppsala, Sweden
    Indeed. Measuring for resistance tip-to-tip and sleeve-to-sleeve (keep your hands off the plugs, to not skew the results) is a good way to tell if they are good or not. You should see 0 ohms resistance with both measurements. Then measure tip-to-sleeve on one of the plugs (again, without touching the plug) - you should see infinite resistance if the cable is good. That will tell you if the cable works or not, which is as far as you can tell with a multimeter.

    I've never tried measuring for capacitance, but I suppose that could be done as well (I don't know if you'd have to measure the tip in one end, and the sleeve in the other, though). But I don't know what you'd learn from that (its effects are probably more easily detected by ear anyway). And as has already been noted, there's no way to use a multimeter to measure the more intangible aspects of cables - what sounds good/clear/muffled/barking midrange etc...

    But learning to use a multimeter to quickly test cables for continuity and hunt out partial shorts is a really good skill to have - every guitarist should have a multimeter :)
  4. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

    Aug 9, 2004
    Beyond testing for electrical integrity (continuity or resistance testing) I think you have to use your ears...

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