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My tone was "sucked"

Mark.B

Member
Messages
649
I rebuilt my pedalboard for 2017 and found that I needed one more patch cable. I quickly soldered one up and put everything back on with the Dual Lock™ but when playing I found that all my tone had been sucked. One at a time I popped off each pedal and found that the new patch cable I soldered was the sucker. I put it on the capacitance meter and found that it had 224nF across the tip and sleeve. Feh! I am going to have to unsolder it and see if it's the plugs or the cable.

I'm just writing this to remind myself to run a capacitance test along with continuity when making cables.
 

drbob1

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
29,181
Interesting! What cable were you using? I got a cable "kit" with Canare of one sort or another that turned out to be pretty high capacitance (around 35 pF per foot, IIRC) which was noticeably darker than the George L's cable I solder to pancake jacks. Of course, that all goes away with a good buffer, but it still give me pause.
 

stinkfoot

Member
Messages
6,138
Most likely, the cable has a black layer wrapped around the center core, between the shield and center core. That layer needs to be cut back, so it absolutely has no way to connect to the center conductor. If it does, you get a partial short, which will steal almost all your top end.

 

Mark.B

Member
Messages
649
Interesting! What cable were you using? ...
Mogami 2319. I unsoldered it and tested the cable alone and it shows the high capacitance. The rest of the cable doesn't. I must have overheated it and melted the insulation between the shield and signal wire. I put in a new piece of cable and the issue is gone.
 

Mark.B

Member
Messages
649
Most likely, the cable has a black layer wrapped around the center core, between the shield and center core. That layer needs to be cut back, so it absolutely has no way to connect to the center conductor. If it does, you get a partial short, which will steal almost all your top end.

It does have that black layer. I didn't know about that, I thought it was just insulation. Thanks.
 

stinkfoot

Member
Messages
6,138
It does have that black layer. I didn't know about that, I thought it was just insulation. Thanks.
It is part insulation, but also part conductor. The idea is to insulate the inner core with a layer that will bleed any noise caused by movement to ground, to make the cable less microphonic when moved, stepped on etc. But since that layer is semi-conductive, it needs to be cut back so it can't touch the "hot" center wire. It's a very common mistake, and you're not the first (or the last) :)
 

Mark.B

Member
Messages
649
I better go over the other ones I made and make sure everything is copacetic. I've got to make one longer anyway.
 






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