DIY cable too muddy...?

strings4v

Member
Messages
1,300
So I tried making cables using mogami 2319 cables and GLS pancake plugs..
Maybe my bad solder job, but I always end up with a cable that is too dark sounding. Some are subtly dark some are noticeably dark.
Any tips for debugging the problem and solutions for this issue maybe?
 

8len8

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
14,154
Cable capacitance is the only thing that comes to mind. How long is the cable, and what's the capacitance (pF/ft)?
 

TubeeTuberton

Member
Messages
1,463
That is exactly the same setup I use and I don't have a muddy sound. I've been very pleased with them. I will say if you're going from something in the vein of George L's, which to me were always very bright, then yes it may sound darker. The fact that you mention the tone "dark/muddy" tone changing cable to cable concerns me. Besides the obvious, length, are you being sure to strip back the black sheath of the center conductor cable on the inside exposing the clear dielectric of the center conductor? I know it has brought to my attention that is should be trimmer back a little bit.

I've made a ton of these cables and others with the Mogami 2319 and 2524 and love it. Anyhow, check my old thread in reference to my previous statement about that black sheathing. Should be a couple pictures down on the second page, might give you a good look at what I'm referring to. Hope this helps!

https://www.thegearpage.net/board/index.php?threads/744753&page=2
 

Judas68fr

Member
Messages
1,302
Had this issue when I built my cables for my board (lava 229 pancake plugs with mini ultra mafic). You probably have either a short between the ground and the tip when you close the plug. You can troubleshoot that by plugging the cable and leaving the plug "open". It should sound ok, not dull or muffled.
The way I managed to get rid of that was by wrapping the cable going to the tip with electrical tape. Make sure your solders are neat, bad solders don't help either...
 
Messages
2,221
The thin black film underneath the shield is a second conductive shield. That needs to be stripped back from the center conductor.
 

wildschwein

Member
Messages
4,027
I don't think the soldering could affect the tone. If you have a bad hot connection they won't pass a signal. If there's a bad ground somewhere you'll have hum. If there's a short between hot and ground you won't pass a signal either. It has to be related to the capacitance of the cable itself.
 

jnepo1

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
15,267
Did you peel the black conductive liner from the center wire? That liner will cause a short or that "muddy" sound that you are describing if it touches the center wire or the lead that the center wire is connected to. Make sure you peel off as much as possible so as not to touch the lead or center wire. I'm sure that is where your problem is derived from.
 

strings4v

Member
Messages
1,300
Did you peel the black conductive liner from the center wire? That liner will cause a short or that "muddy" sound that you are describing if it touches the center wire or the lead that the center wire is connected to. Make sure you peel off as much as possible so as not to touch the lead or center wire. I'm sure that is where your problem is derived from.
I think this might be it. I will take pictures of my cable and share them on here.
 

Dave Fox

Senior Pedalmaker
Messages
731
I don't think the soldering could affect the tone. If you have a bad hot connection they won't pass a signal. If there's a bad ground somewhere you'll have hum. If there's a short between hot and ground you won't pass a signal either. It has to be related to the capacitance of the cable itself.
Logical, but not totally true.
Over the years I've had some noticable tone suck in cables that turned out to be a near-short, due to the cable being slightly crushed in the plug. I'd be skeptical of someone telling me this if I didn't experience it myself.
 

strings4v

Member
Messages
1,300
Did you peel the black conductive liner from the center wire? That liner will cause a short or that "muddy" sound that you are describing if it touches the center wire or the lead that the center wire is connected to. Make sure you peel off as much as possible so as not to touch the lead or center wire. I'm sure that is where your problem is derived from.
What's touching what? Are you referring to that black thing touching ground or center wire?
 

strings4v

Member
Messages
1,300
Had this issue when I built my cables for my board (lava 229 pancake plugs with mini ultra mafic). You probably have either a short between the ground and the tip when you close the plug. You can troubleshoot that by plugging the cable and leaving the plug "open". It should sound ok, not dull or muffled.
The way I managed to get rid of that was by wrapping the cable going to the tip with electrical tape. Make sure your solders are neat, bad solders don't help either...
What do you exactly mean by that? Ground and hot wire contacting each other?
 

stinkfoot

Member
Messages
6,138
The black layer sits between the shield and the inner conductor, and it is semi-conductive. That means you have to strip it back further than the inner conductor, to avoid it touching the inner core when you solder it. If not, you'll get a partial short that causes severe treble loss.

 

jnepo1

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
15,267
What's touching what? Are you referring to that black thing touching ground or center wire?
If you look at the cable or the pic Andreas(Stinkfoot) posted, you can see the black PVC liner is already in contact with the shielding. Because it is conductive and touching the shielding, then if it touched the center wire, you get a short or a cut in treble. Like a blanket over the amp effect.
 

strings4v

Member
Messages
1,300
If you look at the cable or the pic Andreas(Stinkfoot) posted, you can see the black PVC liner is already in contact with the shielding. Because it is conductive and touching the shielding, then if it touched the center wire, you get a short or a cut in treble. Like a blanket over the amp effect.
NOW EVERYTHING MAKES SENSE.
I will go check on every end of my cables! Thank you!
 

tapeup

Butterscotch Supt. Member
Messages
2,008
I'm not the original poster, but after reading this thread, I don't remember trimming that black layer all the way back on some of my patch cables and that may be the problem with some of the cables I've had issues with as well. I need to check all my cables to see if I did them properly.

Are the black and white insulators supposed to be trimmed to the same length in stinkfoot's photo above, or is the white insulator usually kept at a slightly longer length? The white layer of insulation is not semi-conductive like the black layer, is that correct?

Also, you guys on here that make a lot of cables (jnepo1 or stinkfoot for example), what tool do you use to make precision cuts to these different cable layers? I seem to have trouble cutting too much of the insulating layer, and sometimes accidentally cut some of the insulating layer beneath it, or sometimes all the way through both and into the actual wire strands. Should I be using some nicer wire strippers, or carefully using a razor blade? Or maybe an X-Acto knife? What's a good tool or process for me to utilize, any suggestions? Thanks!
 






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