George L Cable alternative

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Jeffj, Feb 19, 2008.

  1. Jeffj

    Jeffj Supporting Member

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    I have been using George L cables for years & have had really good luck with them. I always wondered if you could get the same cable (not labeled George L) cheaper, etc. I was pretty sure that the cable itself was re-branded & had to be available for other uses.....

    Anyway, a few years ago I ran across a spool of cable at work (I am in the audio\video business) that looked a lot like the George L cable. After inspecting it, it looked identical, (.155) except the "plastic" insulator was a little harder than the George L. It is labled as Video cable, but it's the same thing......So, I cut me some off & tried it out with my George L ends. Worked like a champ. Wired my small board up with it & let a friend try some out. That was about 2 yrs. ago & havent had a single issue with it......

    Just thought I would let some folks know that there are some alternatives out there that could save you some money....Plus, you have several colors to choose from.....

    George L's
    [​IMG]

    mini RG59 this pic has the extra foil shielding...you can get it without the foil shielding.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. mike@nortoncable.com

    mike@nortoncable.com Member

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  3. Jeffj

    Jeffj Supporting Member

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    solid core? yes

    Product Description
    This Mini RG-59/U cable's size makes it perfect for many installation applications: satellite, cable, antenna, broadband, analog and digital audio

    I'm no technical expert, but I know it works great for me. I can't tell any tone difference with it compared to my George L cables.

    Am I wrong on something here?
     
  4. mike@nortoncable.com

    mike@nortoncable.com Member

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    Well your not necessarily wrong but - you could potentially damage equipment using a cable with a specific electronic value that could not be meant for operation with musical equipment :)
     
  5. Scrutinizer

    Scrutinizer Member

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    What type of damage could occur by using mini RG59?

    :confused:
     
  6. Jeffj

    Jeffj Supporting Member

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    I did a little more comparing....the George L is [SIZE=-1]definitely a little different. First off, the copper on the George L is braided & the mass is less. The RG59 is solid core. The medal shielding on the George L is stranded & braided, the RG59 is just stranded. Also, the George L has a "rubber" type core, where the RG59 is more of a plastic type. To me, the RG59 looks like a better cable. It is more massive & stronger. The RG59 that I have has "4.5ghz" stamped on it.

    I'm not a cable expert, so I am real curious why the RG59 would be harmful to "musical" equipment, yet works great for other types of audio. Please advise.....


    Here are some visual comparisons. I should have left the shielding on the other two that I have to compare to the George L.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [/SIZE]
     
  7. Jeffj

    Jeffj Supporting Member

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    anyone have any thoughts on this?
     
  8. mike@nortoncable.com

    mike@nortoncable.com Member

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    Well - if its not really designed to work for guitar/guitar related equipment I personally wouldnt use it, I've learned my lessons messing around with things heheh :) My understanding of electronics over the last 15 years has been that electronic values of components are there for a reason & thats all I mean to convey just be careful. As far as what actual damage- changing Resistance, capacitance could cause several problems.

    What I would reccomend doing.

    Get full electronic specs on the GL cable
    compare it to the mini rg59 you have
    show the results to a certified tech :)
    that way you will be 100% safe.
    :BEER
     
  9. Lefty

    Lefty Member

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    :munch

    The only damage could be to the GL plugs, you could possibly bend over the pin on the inside. As for changing the R or C of the cables the only risk I can see is only audible. I mean what is the voltage output of a pedal? Now if you're planning on using it as speaker cable, that's a different story.

    I found some old Dean Markley cable that is IDENTICAL to the GL cable, same stuff with a DM stamp.
     
  10. pgissi

    pgissi Member

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    I posted the quoted text below on another thread based on my observations at the time of my RG59 experiment some years ago.

    I did not have good results although it was not due to any dramatic tonal difference, it was due to microphonics of the RG59.

    Maybe I had another condition that caused it or I am not remembering it all correctly but I only made small pedal patch cables using RG59 solid conductor and each was microphonic despite the cable being fresh off the reel. I did not try it for anything else.

    I like the idea of a solid conductor since a cable made of stranded wire when moved can cause each strand in the core to rub against each other and create noise or act like a variable capicitor as they rub and that miniscule distance is varied with movement, in addition each strand acts like a head of hair under a hat causing a varying static charge.

    Solid condcutor should eliminate this but maybe it introduces something else

    There is no reason to believe that any damage could be casued by using this wire in the signal chain since the current does not go much above 100millivolts, its only when using the incorrect cabling for a speaker output that you risk damage to your OT

    There is a lively and heated discussion going on in this thread right now and I think I need to revisit the RG59 issue just to see if what I experienced was due to the cable or some other unforseen condition but I lean towards believing that cable designed to carry hi frequency RF is not suitable to carry audio freq AC since RG cable is typically 75ohm ac impedance not dc resistance.

    I am guessing thats too low for a guitar signal since it is a high impedance unbalanced signal, should be much higher for proper energy transfer.

    So maybe using RG59 for its solid conductor is fine, but its the other parameters that make it not suitable, type and size of the dielectric and shielding etc.




    http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?t=354394

    [​IMG]
     
  11. LavaMan

    LavaMan Gold Supporting Member

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    Here's the deal:

    RG59 is a low noise type cable very similar to GL's and BL's. The outer diameter of the GL's and BL's is .155" and the RG59 is close to this as well. As long as the cable has an outer diameter between .155" - .175" or so it should work fine with GL plugs. Just careful during assembly. The ohmage rating will not affect audible sound quality nor performance - capacitance does an all these are very close. So, do not concren yourself at all if the cable was not designed for use as an audio cable for pedal use - as the GL's and BL's were never designed for this purpose!

    Microphonics can be an issue - but this only occurs from movement and contact with a cable that typically very low in capacitance and does not have adequate internal layers to reduce this - but with pedal board cables due to their staic nature this is pretty much a non-issue.

    You absolutely do not need a tech to tell you if you can use the RG59 or if the "specs" are close...this is an audio cable not a high voltage power cord...

    Bottom line: If you can make it work and it sounds good to your ears use it!
     
  12. pgissi

    pgissi Member

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    So I my experience did find that microphonics was more apparent with RG59, it wasn't a crack inspired moment. What bothered me was that even though pedalboard patch cables are not moved or touched they seemed to be affected in loud environments where your on a wooden stage and the kick and subs are rattling your gear, I was hearing some sympathetic noise in my rig so I leaned over and "ploinked" each with my index finger if you will, and discovered each one had a tuned resonant frequency that caused a thump that was then heard through the amp, the higher the gain, the worse it was

    After that show they all came off the board.

    So RG59 is low capacitance and lacking internal layers to reduce microphonics, no wonder the RG59 outer jacket is thinner than most guitar/inst oriented cable with its thick rubber jacket.

    Is it a matter of adequate jacketing to physically stabilize a cable, suppress vibration for lower microphonics?

    Am I right in assuming RG59's 75ohm AC Impedance Rating is lower than found in guitar/inst cable?
     
  13. LavaMan

    LavaMan Gold Supporting Member

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    Yes - you can have some of that effect from "stomping" on stage...there are several things that can redcue the mircophnic effect - the primary one one is an internal layer of semi-conductive PVC that is there to absorb the the micro-voltages that occur from the movement or contact - this layer can be thickened as necessary to make the cable quieter, but if it is too thick it can darken the overall sound of the cable. The density of the dielectric that surrounds the conductor can also reduce microphonics - the more dense it is the lower the microphonics. A layer of braid can help slighty as well by having a dampening effect. Also, the lower the capacitance is the easier it is to hear the microphonic noise ans more signal is being passed - you hear more of everything...

    The average ohm rating for an instument cable is about 50.

    Another note on pricing:

    A ton of copper was about $1400.00 in 2001, it is now more than $7,300! It costs more to make a penny that it is worth...so cable prices have been steadily rising for years...
     
  14. Jeffj

    Jeffj Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the info everyone....I have been using the cable for over a year now, as well as a few of my friends, & none of us have had any microphonic issues with it or noticed any difference in tone. Good to know that we arent "damaging" any of our equipment. I do prefer the George L's only because the cable itself is more "flexible" since the dielectric is more of a rubber type than a plastic like on the RG59. But, I sure like the price of the RG59 better....Thanks again
     
  15. pgissi

    pgissi Member

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    It is an interesting topic especialy since the cable is such a key component of the tone

    Thanks Lavaman, despite my interest in rg59 solid I think I will be placing an order from your site soon and continue to experiment with other types just for fun but my past experiences make me hesitate to "put in into production" as we say.

    You have a nice selection and nice prices
     
  16. anxiousmofo

    anxiousmofo Member

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