Lava vs Mogami vs Gepco

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by poOk, Apr 3, 2015.

  1. poOk

    poOk Member

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    I apologize if this is overly technical. I'm very new to guitars...played keys for 25 years and only recently came to the dark side of the force. But, I do have some mediocre knowledge of how electrons flow over distances :banana.

    I've pulled some data from the manufacture websites and came up with more confusion than answers. I was hoping to get a few voices on the side of experience and reason. I'm getting a pedal board (FINALLY!) and will need to build 10 cables. What's best?

    Lava TightRope Kit (10-kit for $60)-
    Capacitance = 32pF/ft

    Gepco XB20UB cable + Switchcraft 228 (pancakes) (10-kit for $75)-
    Capacitance = 22.3pF/ft

    Mogami W2524 cable + Switchcraft 228 (10-kit for $75)-
    Capacitance = 39.7pF/ft

    Thoughts? Suggestions?
     
  2. kludge

    kludge The droid you're looking for

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    Electric guitars with passive pickups are very fussy about cables. The small signal and high output impedance is vulnerable to a lot of things that may or may not be easily quantifiable with specs. I've played with expensive cables and cheap cables, and here are some things I've learned. YMMV.

    1. Cable length matters a LOT. Long cables = more loss. Cable length is probably a bigger factor than cable quality.

    2. If you want to minimize the impact of cables on your sound, use the shortest cable you can tolerate into a high quality buffer.

    3. If your guitar has active electronics (EMGs or preamps), you will never hear any cable differences.

    4. Making your own cables is not cost-effective unless you really enjoy soldering and are good at it.

    5. Expensive cables fail at inopportune times, too. Bring spares.

    6. The physical behavior of cables is more important than their sound in the day-to-day reality of playing. Cables should be flexible and have a covering that is pleasant to touch.

    7. 99% of all failures are at the ends. Good quality jacks and good manufacturing are essential for reliability.

    Based on what I've learned, I now use factory Mogami 12' cables, which are highly flexible, lightweight, and sound good, from guitar to pedalboard. For pedalboard to amp, it's either an ancient Rapco I've had for 20 years, or a more recent cloth-covered Rapco. Rapco cables sound really good and are extremely reliable. The Mogamis sound a little better, and I haven't had any failures yet, but it's only been a couple of years.
     
  3. PurpleJesus

    PurpleJesus Gold Supporting Member Silver Supporting Member

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    Personally, I prefer Mogami out of those, but Evidence the most......but, cables are just totally up to personal preference. I've never really heard much difference between the top-end cables. Only reason I went with an Evidence as my main guitar cable was b/c one of my favorite players uses one, and I've always thought when someone has access to literally everything and chooses something exclusively it's probably a good endorsement. I use Mogami Golds from the end of my chain to the amps.

    Mammoth electronics sells good cables too, pre-made...and cheaper. fyi
     
  4. poOk

    poOk Member

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    Thanks for the tips, all. I'm building my first pedalboard and want to have the best cables while maintaining cost-effectiveness.
     
  5. PurpleJesus

    PurpleJesus Gold Supporting Member Silver Supporting Member

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    If cost effectiveness is part of it I'd really look at those pre-made pancake-style cables from Mammoth. They're really good and inexpensive.
     
  6. wetordry

    wetordry Member

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    Might could throw Evidence Audio's Monorail from Geistnote or elsewhere into your mix.
    Components, kits, custom ends...whatever.
     
  7. Flatscan

    Flatscan Supporting Member

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    Evidence Audio Monorails SIS system sounds great and is incredibly easy in my experience vs. Lava solderless cables (which are painful to assemble and per many reviews prone to fail).

    ToneFactor consistently has the lowest prices for SIS Monorail gear and free-shipping (sell "by the piece"). They also ship quickly.

    You can also find them on eBay.

    [no affiliation with any of the above]
     
  8. bettset

    bettset Member

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    i use lava elc on my board :munch
     
  9. SHOOTOUT!

    SHOOTOUT! Member

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    DIY route considerations.

    Recommend GLS pancakes for ease of soldering (two tabs) unless you have good experience with soldering and a good tip recovery/heat capacity iron. Both GLS and Switchcraft 228 are however both excellent pancakes.

    Braided shield guitar cable is superior to spiral shield for broadband interference rejection and tensile strength:

    Guitar Cable Shielding Types Compared

    Make sure cable diameter does not exceed pancake recommended specification as you risk damaging the cable at the clamp. Lots of cables out there for DIY, some suitable for pancakes:

    Bulk Cable Capacitance Chart

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers,

    Marc, Director
    SHOOTOUT! Guitar Cables, UK
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2015
  10. jsytsma

    jsytsma Member

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    Me too. Love the size and have never had one die on me.
     

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