How much does speaker cable quality matter?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by blke, Feb 4, 2012.

  1. blke

    blke Member

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    And what are your picks for connecting a Two Rock Classic Reverb 50 Watt to a 1/12 cab?
     
  2. justnick

    justnick Gold Supporting Member

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    Though snake oil salesmen will say otherwise, it matters naught.

    Even the research done in support of the idea of differences in speaker cable construction show quite clearly there's no reason for there to be an audible difference, and to my knowledge in blind tests no one has yet reliably demonstrated they can hear a difference. And that's with stereo gear--one assumes with the limited bandwidth of a guitar/amp it's even less likely one can hear a difference.
     
  3. DC1

    DC1 Member

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    Spare us all 20 pages of jibba jabba and take some simple advice:

    There may be a difference.

    There may not be a difference.


    Depends on who you talk to.

    The bottom line is that if there was a BIG difference, there would not be such a huge battle over it each time it comes up. At best, it is not the sort of difference that the audience will notice.

    So, a good 12, 14, or 16 gauge commercial cable (the longer the run, the larger the cable) for under 30 bucks is where you should start. If you want to spend more, try them out first for yourself and see if you hear a difference compared to the less expensive one.

    that's it


    dc
     
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  4. kimock

    kimock Member

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    I worked on that TR stuff for 13 years with a single 12 and solid core wire.
    Bring your monster cable, we'll listen.

    Night and day.
     
  5. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    as long as the speaker wire is big enough and short enough, there's no difference.

    that said, gerald weber has talked about using 20 feet of skinny 18G zip cord because it does cause some loss, smoothing out the tone a little.
     
  6. mcdes

    mcdes Member of no importance

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    just use a good gauge depending on length, and your good to go.
     
  7. kimock

    kimock Member

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    Thanks for the advantage, I'll take it!
     
  8. nofearfactor

    nofearfactor Member

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    ... my amp has yet to refuse to play thru any brand of speaker cable that I have plugged it into a cabinet with.

    Ive got a huge tub that I keep all of my cables and anything to do with cabling and connecting in. Most of my cables I use in my rig- speaker, instrument, patch, etc- we have made from rolls of cable we bought from CBI with Switchcraft or Neutrik plugs. I do have alot of different types and brands of commercially made cables in the tub also that we have had to buy when something was needed, everything from one or two GeorgeL cables to lots of Livewire, Planetwaves, Rapco, etcetc. It all gets used. I dont think I have even one Monster cable or have ever even owned one- speaker or instrument or line, patch, etc. Nothing against Monster- Ive used their car audio stuff in all of my installs- I just dont buy their cables for my rig use.

    Speaker cables I prefer 12gg- CBI brand. I use a short 4 or 5ft piece for at home and rehearsal space use and then have really long ones for gigs. I have no scientific reason why I use 12gg and I dont know if 12gg sounds better than 16 or 18, I just prefer the fatter gauge for speaker cables and 16gg for instrument cable. I dont think I have anything other than 16gg instrument cables in my tub other than 18gg patch cables for floorboards and racks.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2012
  9. angrytroll

    angrytroll Member

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    i just use a patch cable.
     
  10. mcdes

    mcdes Member of no importance

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    Oh deary....
     
  11. angrytroll

    angrytroll Member

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    its one of those chinese red ones. you man waste money on real one.
     
  12. LarryN

    LarryN Member

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    Eats unicorns like breakfast cereal.
     
  13. kimock

    kimock Member

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    fruit flies like bananas, time flies like hell
     
  14. this1smyne

    this1smyne Member

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    i've used the higher end monster cables for years mainly because they're easily replaceable (GC) and have a lifetime warranty.... can't go wrong
     
  15. Brian Johnston

    Brian Johnston Member

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    I had a music store owner tell me that unless I'm recording in a high-tech studio with very sensitive equipment, it means nothing. He could have sold me a few hundred dollars in cables, but stated that instead. Consequently, that told me something (he must have been telling the truth). I suspect a quality cable (nothing super high) with good connector ends are worth the investment since I find the cheaper ones short out (or break up inside) a lot faster.
     
  16. chervokas

    chervokas Member

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    In theory as long as you have a cable of sufficient gauge (say 16 awg) to provide low resistance and to handle the current (don't use an instrument cable, those could literally melt), it shouldn't matter, particularly for lengths of six feet or less as we typically use in guitar rigs...in much longer lengths maybe you'd hear some differences in how well the amp controls the speaker excursion, particularly on low frequencies, I dunno. In that case DC1 advice to go with larger cable for longer runs is good advice.

    That said I usually wind up using the Canare quad star cable, which, when wired as a two conductor is 13 ga per conductor, IIRC. It's well made, relatively inexpensive, works great. In a pinch, I've used 12 or 14 ga Home Depot extension power cords with the ends snipped off and it worked fabulously well also. For some reason I hate seeing those 16 ga lamp cord cables and I'm convinced the 13 ga Canare sounds beefier and fuller but I wouldn't bet my house that what I'm hearing isn't psychoacoustic.
     
  17. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    Your tone will suck if you don't use an old vacuum cleaner power cord. It's been proven by science!
     
  18. blke

    blke Member

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  19. justnick

    justnick Gold Supporting Member

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    But if you cut the power cord off your vacuum cleaner it won't suck.

    :omg
     
  20. kbshakedown

    kbshakedown Member

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    I have never found a cable to improve or degrade my tone. However, that doesn't mean that more expensive aren't worth what they cost. After trying lots of different cables, I've found Fender braided cables, what they call their 'Custom Shop Performance Cables', to be some of my favorites because of their unique pliability. They really do resist kinking, twisting, and tangling like they say. They also look nicer than regular black cables, they are the most durable cables I've ever used, and they come with a lifetime warranty in case they do fail. And I've had lots of cheaper cables fail, normally near the connectors which is definitely a strong point on the Fender cables.
     

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