1. The Rules have been updated regarding posting as a business on TGP. Thread with details here: Thread Here
    Dismiss Notice

Monster, shmonster. It's just a cable. Or is it??

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by MichaelK, Sep 18, 2005.

Fancy-shmancy mic cables: worth it?

  1. Yes, I can hear a difference and expensive cables are better.

  2. No difference at all. Balanced is balanced.

  3. I can't really tell, but after what I paid for them I'm trying like hell to convince myself I can.

  4. I can hear a difference with long cables but not short cables.

  5. I make my own and mine are better than yours.

  6. It's not a matter of sound but of durability.

Multiple votes are allowed.
Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

    Messages:
    6,479
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    Location:
    Fort Mudge
    What difference do you feel pricey mic cables make to your studio, if any?
     
  2. DoobieK

    DoobieK Member

    Messages:
    205
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
    Location:
    45th most populated City In US
    You missed one man, :) I can hear a difference, but not ALL expensive cables sound better.

    Monsters to me are dull on the high end and kill a bit of the picking attack. Same with Mogami. To me, George L's keep the pick attack and all harmonics intact.

    If I couldn't use George L's, I would take just about anything else, as they all have their strength and weaknesses.

    One thing though, I solder Switchcraft plugs onto my George L's cables and think that makes a big difference too.

    Hmm, haven't seen a cable thread in a while. This should be good.
     
  3. LSchefman

    LSchefman Member

    Messages:
    13,448
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    I didn't vote; not enough choices. ;)

    Here is my cable experience with 20 years of fussing in a studio:

    1. Sometimes there is a noticeable sonic difference between high quality cables, sometimes not. F'rinstance, running a mic cable or direct box cable, yes; speaker cables, yes (including cables to powered speakers); cables from some instruments to the console, yes.

    2. Very flexible multipair cables (snakes), like Mogami, are much easier to deal with when wiring a studio, and correctly terminated, will never give you a problem.

    3. None of this really matters; it ain't about the cables, and it ain't about the gear. Fun to talk about, tho.
     
  4. headstack

    headstack Member

    Messages:
    195
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2004
    Location:
    New York
    You can definitely hear the difference between cables.
    Depends what you like.
    I used to wire studios with Gotham Audios GAC-1 cable.
    Kinda pricy, but it is really flexible, sounds good and is all copper, no tinning. I don't like the sound of tinned cable... Ugh!!
    For instrument cables?
    Canare GS-6 with Neutrik gold plated connectors.
    The cable gets a bit microphonic at really high volumes so you can hear it banging around if you are a wildman and you are on a hard floor, but the wire sounds really pleasing.
    While I agree that it's not about the wire, a studio wired with good stuff, is easier to work in for me. Things sound less brittle to begin with and properly grounded is quiet too:)
     
  5. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

    Messages:
    6,479
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    Location:
    Fort Mudge
    My thoughts exactly, thanks for clarifying the adjective in my head.

    I had forgotten about this thread...!
     
  6. GuitslingerTim

    GuitslingerTim Member

    Messages:
    2,178
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    I bought several kinds of cable and built instrument cords and tested them with pink noise and a spectrum analyzer. The sonic differences were quite apparent, with the capacitance added to the signal from thick insulation and cable length being the main causes for dramatic differences in tone.

    Multi-conductor microphone cable will result in a fatter, darker, less-defined tone. I also tried adding a thick layer of rubber tape followed by a thick layer of electricians tape to typical instrument cable and it made the tone extremely dark and muddy.

    Cable length is also a big factor. The variation in tone between a 3ft. cable and a 10ft. cable made from the same length of bulk cable was clearly defined with spectrum analysis. Where a 3ft. cable would show a flat response with a specific level of pink noise being conducted through it, a 10ft. cable would show a dramatic peak in the lower frequencies with the same level of noise.
     
  7. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

    Messages:
    6,479
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    Location:
    Fort Mudge
    Yeah, but how "dramatic" is it when you just use your ears?

    I can hear small differences, but it's really microscopic in the scope of things. It's not like I could listen to a track and guess the price of the mic cable.
     
  8. tonefreak

    tonefreak Member

    Messages:
    2,462
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Location:
    West Los Angeles, California
    Cable isn't just cable no matter how small the difference. Think about the typical pedal board or rack system... small differences add up to become a big difference.

    A lot of you spend tons of money on boutique amps and guitars... why not buy the best cable possible? I would think that very thing that connects your guitar to your amp and all your effects, cable, would be one of the most important elements in your set-up.

    Unless your one of those who goes right from the guitar straight to the amp with nothing in between, seems silly not to invest in the very thing that handles your signal.

    The same can be said of all your recording set-up.

    BTW, I go from my guitar straight to my amp and I still use Evidence Lyric HG instrument cable.
     
  9. HammyD

    HammyD Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,780
    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2002
    Location:
    South Carolina
    In my limited experience I can say I think it can make a big difference if all other components are of equal quality.

    I had a Monster standard cable and a "Jazz" model. Before the BF Proreverb was restored the difffernece was negligable. Afterwards, big difference in favor of the Jazz.

    Another case..... I had a Fender Super 60 with 1-12" and the 1-12" extension cab. I had a Guild Manhattan and my friend had a Gibson L-5 "Wes Montgomery." With a Boss reverb/delay the Guild sounded almost as fat as the L-5 through the Super 60, regardless of cable. But through the BF Pro after restoration the difference was profound no matter what cable was used (although the standard cable sounded nasilly.)

    The same thing can be said of strings. I have been using Thomastik Infields and with all other components being of equal quality, they do make a big difference.

    But the truth be told, we're probably the only ones hearing it! Certainly not the audience! LOL

    I would think in the recording chain the same would be true, maybe even to a great extent.
     
  10. Impulse 101

    Impulse 101 Member

    Messages:
    1,010
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2002
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    I'm another Canare GS-6 guy. It's a very even cable that is awesome for instrument and unbalanced line level applications.

    My favorite balanced cable is Belden Starquad, but only for short runs because it has a fairly high capacitance. For standard mic cables (non humbucking) and longer runs I use Canare again.

    JT
     

Share This Page