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guitar cable too long?

Messages
152
i have a 25ft instrument cable going from the amp to my pedalboard and a 15ft cable from the board to the guitar. i was wondering if that is cause of my sound degradation? my highs get drowned out and thw overall volume dies a little. all my pedals are true bypass minus the dd20 and my whammy.

thankd for the help
 

andrekp

Member
Messages
5,626
Long cables will start shaving off high end due to capacitance (the internal conductor and the shield of the cable, separated by a non conductor, are effectively a capacitor. Caps will pass high frequencies that are inscreasingly lower in the spectrum as capacitance increases. The longer the cable, the greater the capacitance, untill you eventually get into the higher guitar frequencies - which are then effectively shunted to ground. Hence: you lose the highs.

If you use lots of cable, it's not a bad idea to have one buffered pedal between the guitar and the amp to fight this effect. I use my tuner for this. It also helps the amp see the same impeadance as you click your true bypass pedals in and out.
 

dosmun

Member
Messages
1,761
Try taking out individual pedals and see if any make a difference. Start with the Whammy. Basically the process of elimination. Also try substituting shorter cables. A little bit of denial and error should help you find the culprit.
 

markw1980

Member
Messages
1,028
To my ears, my rig always sounds best with shorter cables. I run a coiled Bullet cable from my guitar to my board, and then a 10 ft Bullet from my board to my amp, but I don't play big places either. Hope this helps!
 

dk123123dk

Member
Messages
3,892
Go with the shortest cables you can deal with. I would check what the rig sounds like with the whammy out of the chain. You may want to invest in a true bypass loop box. You can get a nice cable from Lava Cable, and make sure you use the shortest possible cables. With the DD-20's buffer, you should be fine with decent cables running to the amp. Again the shorter the better. If you must use long cables, you either need a good quality dedicated buffer and or, you can dial some of that tone loss back at the amp with the EQ and just "deal with it".

Good luck

dk
 

Loop-Master

Member
Messages
3,518
Go as short as you possibly can when you can *but* do keep some long ones around with you for different stage setups that may require you to use longer cables.
 

rob2001

Member
Messages
16,929
Sure, it could very well be the cause of high end loss and some volume, but thats not always a bad thing. If i'm using a bright guitar into a bright amp, a long cable filters it down just a bit.
 

dantedayjob

Member
Messages
1,866
The PRS Sweet Switch is actually designed to emulate the effect of an overly long (70ft I believe) cable. I like the effect that it has, and since I never touch a conventional tone control, I put sweet switches in both my 5way PRSi
 

Purple

Member
Messages
840
I saw Albert Collins play with a 100ft cable straight into his Quad Reverb. And it was devastatingly awesome.

phuck all this short cable is best nonsense.
 

RobbieKing

Member
Messages
23
Well lets add it up!! from the guitar to the Wah= 20ft.
Cables on and around my pedal board approx.= 6ft.
From pedal board to amp = 25ft.
TOTAL = 51ft.

My sound is solid and fat great highs and warm lows.... So I would not worry about a few extra feet of guitar cable here and there! Check mt link and see what you think??



Myspace.com/RobbieKingBand
 

B_of_H

Member
Messages
4,575
I accidentally left my DD20 in the +4 output setting (for effects loop level) one time and played it straight into the front of my amp...it was punchy and a little more dirty. I couldn't figure it out for a while onstage but the guys in my band actually thought it sounded better.

I haven't tried it since but maybe it helps with longer cables? I wouldn't know.
 

RobbieKing

Member
Messages
23
Keep in mind..Hendrix used cheap coil cords. He believed they sounded better in his rigs than did other cable...not to mention they didn't get tangled up as easy either..!!
Nothing says "old-school cool" more than coiled guitar cords, which were the choice of Jimi Hendrix, Danny Partridge. Early in his career, Stevie Ray Vaughan preferred the funkiest Radio Shack coil cords available, strictly for their tonal coloration.
 

kp8

Member
Messages
927
alternately... getta a buffer and run your cables down the block and around the corner.

:)
 

coot tone

Member
Messages
1,756
My amps are all vintage Fender and I use a longer cable than probably necessary to darken my tone a bit. My bandmates used to call me Mr. Treble because no matter how I had my amps and guitars set up, my sound was really cutting. It think it's just a matter of touch. I experiemented wtih some longer cables running from my pedals to the amp-and it seemed to take away a litle bit of the shrillness...I also switched from a standard Fender type flatpick to a Herco Flex 50-this did as much to improve my tone as the purchase of any pedal or guitar, to be honest.
 

newswede

Member
Messages
1,233
Old thread, but I came across a few quotes here that I TOTALLY agree with. The Herco Flex 50 did the same thing for me. And Albert Collins - with the 100ft cable - saw him with that rig and I don't know if I was ever more awake. In a good way. He was the real deal and sounded glorious.


My amps are all vintage Fender and I use a longer cable than probably necessary to darken my tone a bit. My bandmates used to call me Mr. Treble because no matter how I had my amps and guitars set up, my sound was really cutting. It think it's just a matter of touch. I experiemented wtih some longer cables running from my pedals to the amp-and it seemed to take away a litle bit of the shrillness...I also switched from a standard Fender type flatpick to a Herco Flex 50-this did as much to improve my tone as the purchase of any pedal or guitar, to be honest.
 

chervokas

Member
Messages
6,840
The capacitance of the cable, as one poster mentioned, will serve as a high pass filter, rolling off high frequencies. The pitch above which high frequencies begin to roll off is "set" by the capactance of the cable--the more capacitance the lower the point at which highs are attenuated. This is the same way that swapping cap values in your guitar's tone circuit works. So the higher the capacitance of the cable and the longer the length, the closer to the audible spectrum or even lower down into to the highs will begin to roll. So if you want to preserve all your HF signal you should use shorter cables, low capacitance cables (or both), or a buffer after a 10 or 15 foot cable before the longer run.

However, your problem may be tone suck as the result of an impedance mismatch not just related to the low pass characteristics of the cable. If the input impedance of the device you're plugging into is less than 10x the source impedance of the device feeding it you can have signal attenuation. You say you have a whammy in your signal chain. I don't know the input impedance spec on that but I've heard they are tone suckers.
 

LavaMan

Member
Messages
5,257
Longer the cable = more capacitance in chain. More capacitance = darker overal tone.

I always recommend geeting just enough length to cover where (what size stage) and how (do you move around a lot?) you play.

So, touring pros who play multiple stages of different sizes often need a 25'-30' cable. At the opposite end, a bedroom player really only needs about a 10' cable.
 




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