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Muddy vs thin. Does the right cable fix this?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by LBXPDX, Feb 9, 2019.

  1. LBXPDX

    LBXPDX Member

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    i recently picked up a few cables on the cheap, one being an old coil type and another being a newer low noise straight cable. There is a huge difference in the way my guitars sound with each cable. The straight cable keeps my LoveRock neck pickup from being boomy, while the coiled cable adds girth to my Eastman T185mx.

    I wonder how many guitars have been modified when all it needed was a different cable.
     
  2. VaughnC

    VaughnC Supporting Member

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    Cables are part of the tone chain and "high end" ones are not always better sounding to my ears. Some even claim that some cables sound better in one direction than the other...so who's to say. And SRV is said to have preferred Radio Shack curly's. I like a curly I bought back in the 70s:eek:!
     
  3. pipedwho

    pipedwho Member

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    Cable capacitance is the parameter affecting the pickup tuning when looking at cable effects. There're some good threads on here about capacitance boxes that people have made to be able to select 'cable' capacitances with the turn of a knob. There's also the Tonestyler tone control replacement which is a commercially available multi position switch with 16 different capacitors connected to it.

    The curly cords have very high capacitance and lower the pickup resonant frequency making it sound thicker and less glassy. Short low capacitance leads do the opposite. Generally, the longer the lead, the larger the capacitance, but some cables have a higher or lower capacitance per foot, so you need to know that for a valid comparison.

    I'm finding I like about 1000pF hanging off my single coils to get them into their 'sweet spots'. A bit less for hum buckers. And a bit more for the bridge single coil in a strat. In my 'strat' I installed a 1500pF capacitor on a Super switch that is connected when the bridge single coil is selected by itself, without it the bridge is too shrill for me. That way I get the cable capacitance for all the other positions and the cable capacitance plus 1500pF to thicken up the bridge position.
     
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  4. bigben55

    bigben55 Member

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    So, question......if been upgrading my rig top to bottom over the last 6mo. I'm down to "the little things" and almost done with those. I'd like to spend @$50 for a QUALITY 15ft cable that lasts. Id rather it be too bright than too muddy, as its easier to turn down the highs. I do play thru 6 pedals(5 true bypass with a buffer at the end.) Give me some suggestions
     
  5. VaughnC

    VaughnC Supporting Member

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    Tough call to make a "suggestion" without your exact rig...and what's "good" is very subjective anyway. But what good is a durable cable that sounds less than stellar? But, then again, I don't think you need to spend $50 for a good cable either. So, I suppose "trial & error" is the best method when it comes to cables?
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
  6. bigben55

    bigben55 Member

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    Strat or tele>Wilson wah> small Cioks powered board with 4 true bypass pedals connected by 3" Canere GS-4 patch cables and a Strymon Flint at the end with the buffer turned on>15ft Hosa cable>Dr Z Z28 1x12 combo. I want a GOOD guitar to board cable, since it's my understanding the Strymons buffer essentially will "erase" any capaticance in the cable between the board and the amp.
     
  7. eigentone

    eigentone Supporting Member

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    Mogami Gold or George L's. George L's can be a bit rigid for stage use, but it is lower capacitance. Mogami is more rugged and reliable IME.
     
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  8. dwoverdrive

    dwoverdrive Supporting Member

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    The instrument cable rabbit hole is indeed deep. There is a feeling from a lot of people that older cables with higher capacitance tamed some of the shrill high end of loud amplifiers before master volumes were common. I'm a believer in that. The coily cables and all of that. You can find a lot of guys who played those old loud amps who liked certain cables because of that effect. It was a real thing.
    My ear is unfortunately really sensitive to some of the unpleasant upper frequencies that produce some of the weird rings and shimmers in a seemingly good clear sounding guitar tone. @bigben55 (try LiveWire Elite 20ft btw) is an example of wanting to go the other way with it. Doesn't mind if it's too bright. It's all subjective.
     
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