Do Guitar Cables Matter?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by bscepter, Dec 13, 2005.

  1. SteveVHT

    SteveVHT Member

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    In a word...Yes....
    But don't give your opinion round these here parts...:D
     
  2. guitarguy3612

    guitarguy3612 Senior Member

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    Has anyone ever tried Pete Cornish's Silver Series HD guitar cables? I've been wanting to get one for a while, they are pretty dang cool, and with guys like Paul Mccartney, Rusty Anderson, and Jimmy Page using them how can you go wrong. John Mayer I believe is also using them for his entire rig, pedals and all!
     
  3. guitarguy3612

    guitarguy3612 Senior Member

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  4. rod horncastle

    rod horncastle Member

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    I used Monster Cables & Planet Waves for years. I was at a friends house & compared those to his KLOTZ cables. WOW! I feel like I've been ripped off all these years.

    I'm glad I spent the money on these Klotz - la grange cables (I think thats their name).
     
  5. LarryOM

    LarryOM Guest

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    Better cables like the Canare GS-6 also have a conductive plastic inner shield (in addition to the braided copper shield) to reduce microphonics.
     
  6. michael.e

    michael.e Supporting Member

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    Did not read through all of the posts to see if this got answered.
    It is a marked improvement. I was using Spectraflex cables forever, then I bought an Evidence Lyric cable [solid core]. What a huge difference not only in the tone itself, but the quality and mostly the focus of the tone. After about a 1/2 an hour, I plugged back into my old cable, wow! I was hearing an unfocused tone that lacked dynamics and life. I have never looked back.
    Sure, Jimi used old crappy cables, and on many of the old live recordings, his tone was just so wacked! The difference was his hands, he could make beautiful tone and magic with just about any guitar and amp.
    In using my Evidence on old Vintage amps, my tone is that much more beautiful and rich. I am a believer in high end cables, and for me, the Evidence cables, both the Lyric and the Lyric HG are absolutely necessary. M.E.
     
  7. oxtone

    oxtone Member

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    I didn't think a cable would make that much difference, until I heard the Evidence Audio cables! I A/B'd them with Planetwaves, and my friend and I heard an obvious difference! The Evidence cable seemed to let much more signal thru to the amp. The other cables sounded "choked", and dull.

    Tony at Evidence makes a superior cable that is affordable. Yes, there are other cables that cost alot more, but why bother.
     
  8. Strung Up

    Strung Up Member

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    Here's my main beef with high-grade instrument cables:

    I've yet to work with a vocalist who could manage to keep his/her feet off of my cable, even after I've politely told them that it's not cool.

    So, home/studio, money cables;
    gigging, not so much.
     
  9. mbratch

    mbratch Member

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    I think there are really two distinct questions here:

    1) Does the cable affect the sound or tone?

    2) Is an expensive cable better than a cheaper one?

    The answer to #1 is "yes." There are lots of factors including quality of the cable itself, materials, length, and similarly with the connectors (some have too much play in their size when plugged in).

    The answer to #2 is "no." Just because you spent $100 on a cable doesn't make it better than a cable that costs $15. I think there are some really excellent quality cables to be had for $15.
     
  10. Mike

    Mike Member

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    I was a "Fatso-Flex" user for years, until I started using the Two-Rock Crystal clear solid core cables. Same epiphany.

    Mike
     
  11. pedalcr8z

    pedalcr8z Member

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    Unquestionably. However price is not indicative of quality! I recently a/b'd a Monster Studio Pro 1000 Reference cable valued at several hundred $ and a cable made by a company called Bullet that was valued at 20.00. I had lived with the Monster for several years and was obviously very intimate with it's sound characteristics. The Bullet $20.00 cable made the Monster sound like a blanket was just removed from my amplifies. The difference in overall clarity was astounding. The difference was huge enough that I kept checking to make sure I didn't accidently change pick up positions on the Strat! THERE WAS ALSO ABOUT 3 DB MORE OUTPUT WITH THE $20.OO CABLE!!!
    I have been in the high end home audio arena for 33 years and also can unquestionably attest to and demonstrate similar differences in the interconnectring cables and speaker wire used for components.

    Gear used.........Mesa Lonestar Special 1 x 12 Combo
    Fender 40th. Anniversary Twin Reverb
    PRS McCarty
    Fender Eric Johnson Strat
     
  12. lanesmat

    lanesmat Member

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    Lava Cable. Canare G6 cable and Neutrik connectors at an extremely affordable price. Good stuff indeed. All my instrument cables are Mark's stuff. http://www.lavacable.com/

    Scott L.
     
  13. 57special

    57special Member

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    Yes, there is a difference. Best thing is to try a bunch out and see for your self. People who say it's ridiculous to spend $300 on a cord (keep in mind that this would be your main cord that you use when plugging in to all of your amps, and that you can use for years) either haven't listened , and are giving you a knee jerk opinion, or are probably saving their $300 for a pair of ANOS Mullard EL34's.
    If you like a veiled, small, tone stay with the Beldens or Monster by all means. I know i did for years.
    Yes, Hendrix sounded very good (sometimes), and was a monster player. Two points;

    1- If he had better cable options back then would he have tried them? Damn right he would have! The man was a tone hound, and always trying, if not out and out inventing , new ways to play and sound.

    2- would he have sounded better with quality cables? my guess is yes.
     
  14. teleking36

    teleking36 Supporting Member

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    Just wondering if anyone can A/B the difference between the Neutrik and G&H plugs. I'm about to put in an order with Bayou cables for instrument cables and effects cables and I want to know if there's a considerable difference. I'm interested in the G&H's because of the "silent" option, but will get the Neutriks if they are better.

    Scott your input would be helpful...:)
     
  15. SteveVHT

    SteveVHT Member

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    Just to add...
    I personally love the Lyric HG's..
    For real cheap cable, nothing beats the George L's...and if you have problems with the GL's, then you'r doing something wrong...

    But I think every one and their mother knows that Monster is absolute crapola from the word go...
    I've A/B'd them with many and they always turn out on the bottom, no matter what version.
    Another great, cheap cable is Whirlwind.
    But since changing to the Evidence, nothing compares to my ears.
    Steve
     
  16. larc

    larc Member

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    That's exactly how I feel.

    In the past, I used nothing but George L's. Then one day Seegs suggested I check out Evidence cables and after trying their Lyric HG, I immediately bought 2 for my long runs (guitar to pedal board, pedal board to amp). My pedal board is still wired with George L's, but I have to say I'm very happy with my Lyric HG's. Also using a Siren speaker cable for my heads too.
     
  17. Mullet Kingdom

    Mullet Kingdom Senior Member

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    In the late '90s, Guitar Player magazine tested a variety of guitar cables with widely varying results from one cable to the next.

    I like Horizon Vintage II braided cables with Switch Craft plugs. They're real tough and they roll-off a fair amount of high end, which I like. I've got a George L's cable which I use from time to time, and it sounds much brighter in contrast.

    The Horizon cables I use cost around a $1.50 to $2.00 a foot and that's expensive enough for me. Spending $100+ for a 20' cable seems ridiculous to me, but what people want to do with their money is their business I suppose. (Maybe I should start a new line of hi-end cables that cost $50 a foot. lol!)
     
  18. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    Great...a new thing for me to get obessive about :BEER


    I have had some Planet-Waves cables, they seem alright. I made shorter lengths for my pedalboard, but after reading more here decided to try some George L right angled for the pedalboard.

    I have had no reliability issues (tested with ohmeter and cable tester, and on the board) and I believe I hear a marked improvement in tone, even though I still am using Planet Waves (like a 6 foot cable I think) from guitar to effects, and a I-don't-even-know MUCH longer cable from effects to amp. Which is a point I believe worth mentioning...obviously the best is quality cables the whole chain through, but it STILL improves sound I think, when some cables in the chain are upgraded.

    A couple of thoughts thoug...

    1) I've come to the conclusion I definitely want to get a looper (not sound..cable) or A/B/Y box. I used to consider it for cutting out my
    non TB wah and some noisier effects, but nowdays even MORE SO for
    being able to A/B diffferent setups for cables, as well as pedals.
    This is just the only way. It really is. It takes to long to put the amp on standby, change cables or pedals, etc...if you want to really tell if a cable is better or a pedal better than another you have to be able to easily switch back and forth.
    Another advantage is, you can do your own blind test, to help cut out the factor of "I just bought these 300 dollar cables, so I WILL hear that it makes a huge difference!" influencing you. Even if you really think you are being objective, I guarantee you have invested in the outcome and want to be proven right.
    With an AB box, tape some cardboard or something over the LEDs that tell which channel is which, give the box to your wife/girlfriend and ask them to go out of the room and hit the switch random number of times, hook up what you want to test (different cables, or pedals) and go from A to B, and back again. Try different settings with volume and Pickups, different levels of gain, evaluate HOW much of a difference, if any, you hear...then leave it on the one that sounds clearly better, and takeoff the mask on the AB box and see which one it was. It's the best way I think.

    2) I think the effects of cables and pedals (when bypassed) is most noticeable at high volumes...that is where the rubber hits the road. At lower volumes (talking AMPLIFIER volume, it is the opposite with guitar vol) there is less of a diff.

    3) With these George L small lengths for my pedalboard...I got to thinking seriously about using them from amp->pedals, and guitar->pedals...
    but the cable seems like it would not "sit" on the floor....it's pretty stiff, do you guys use them for guitar to effects, etc. also? Any problems with it bowing out on the floor, or being inconvenient?
     
  19. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    By the way, how many of you folks do cable maintenance? Meaning clean with alcohol or something the metal on the plugs? If they oxidize after time/heat just a little, and you trade out with ANY new cable you would hear a difference for the better. The best way to tell is buy two different ones new...a lower price and a quality cable.
     
  20. KenSea

    KenSea Member

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