Sommer Cable GRINDYCOP BEAST Test

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by ash, Jan 17, 2008.


  1. ash

    ash Supporting Member

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    I've just received a sample of the new Sommer Cable Grindicop Beast and thought I'd share my first impressions.

    Technical detail on the cable can be found here: http://www.sommercable.de/2__default/index.html

    So far, I have used Sommer Spirit XXL and have been happy with it -- until now. The Grindicop Beast has much more definition, both in high and low frequencies. The overall sound is cleaner, feels like a bit more output, more clarity and more pressure.

    Stiffness and handling are similar to the Spirit XXL, so I'm confident it'll work fine on stage. The cable came with Hicon plugs with gold contacts. I guess they are fine, but too big for my taste; I prefer the slim Neutrik plugs.

    Optically: well, tastes are different; I like vintage-style cables looking like an iron cable better ;)

    Conclusion: I haven't tested that many different cables, but this is the best I have heard so far.

    Gear used: Heritage H150 and Warmoth Strat straight into a Heritage Briton II, 2x12" cabinet with Celesion G12 Blue Alnico.
     
  2. rawkguitarist

    rawkguitarist Member

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  3. LavaMan

    LavaMan Gold Supporting Member

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    I have this cable in stock and will have added to my wbesite sfter NAMM. I am very impressed with the construction - Litz copper is used both in conductor and a portion of the shield as well.
     
  4. SGFan

    SGFan Member

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    How does it compare to the Stratos?
     
  5. ash

    ash Supporting Member

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    Link fixed.
     
  6. LavaMan

    LavaMan Gold Supporting Member

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    It is a much thinner, more flexible cable. I have not made one yet and A/B'd them, but my prediction is that the Straotos will probably edge it for clean tones, but the Grindycop Beast will be more balanced and come real close to the Stratos for clean tones.

    This cable will be in my high-end category and will retail for $107.95 @ 20'.

    Here's a link to the data sheet: http://www.sommercable.de/2__produkte/2__030_meterware/2__300_0159.html

    Capacitance is 27.5 pF/ft.
     
  7. markflo

    markflo Member

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    hey mark, more reviews please! i just shot you an email regarding the two sommer cables + zaolla. thanks!
     
  8. kludge

    kludge The droid you're looking for Silver Supporting Member

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    I just got a 12' GrindyCop Beast from LavaCable last night, and so some quick first impressions...

    Equipment used: Trace-Elliot Velocette amp turned up to 10:00 for semi-clean, 2:00 for dirty, and wide open for noise testing. Guitars were a 1980s Schecter Strat with a Dimarzio PAF Joe bridge and HD Z90 neck, and a MIM Tele with EMGs. Didn't try it into my board yet... that's this weekend.

    Other cables compared: Rapcos with red shrinkwrap ends, 10' and 15' (I've had them for years, never failed, my previous favorite cables). 15' Roadhog cables. ~12' homebrew George L's. The Grindycop Beast is my first high-end cable, so I didn't get to cork-sniff it against things in its own class.

    Observations:
    1. The Grindycop Beast is much clearer and better-balanced tonally than any of my other cables. Now, I don't like the Roadhogs, as they've always seemed too dark. They seem downright muddy now. And I've never trusted the George L's... I've always suspected they were hyped rather than clear. I was right! The Grindycop Beast isn't quite as bright as the George L, but it's close. But more importantly, its brightness felt much more natural, like the difference between indirect sunlight and a halogen lamp. Before the Beast, the George L's seemed bright. Afterward, it seemed shrill. Now, my cable of choice for a long time has been the Rapcos. They were reliable and tonally balanced. But the Grindycop Beast did everything the Rapcos did right, and SO much righter. The Beast was... more. More highs, and much more clarity on the low strings and through the midrange. String-to-string separation was better. LavaCable calls it "fast", and that's a good way to describe it. I can actually see how some would prefer a more laid-back cable, if you could get the same sort of clarity. But me, I like it. At any rate, the Rapcos were left in the dust tonally.

    2. Handling noise was a non-factor. The Guitar Player test rated the Grindycop Beast VERY poorly for handling noise, and I'm sure that hurt perceptions of the cable. But given its high place in Sommer's line and the high marks given by others, I suspected it was Guitar Player's test that was wrong, not the cable. In my own test (crank the amp up loud, whack the cable against the ground, against itself, against metal chairs, step on it, etc), it was far quieter than any of the other cables I had. I don't know how it might compare to other expensive cables, but it's a lot better than the cheap stuff! And electrically, it was quiet too... noticably less hum and buzz at high gain than any of the others. That was one of my motivations for getting high-end cable, and I'm glad I did.

    3. I have my doubts about the sheath material. It's soft, sticky clear vinyl. Right now, it looks fabulous, with the natty multicolored cloth weave showing through underneath, but I think it may get dirty and scratched up quickly. But the most important thing is durability - can it be torn through? I suppose I'll find out. And I don't much like how it feels in my hands, again with the sticky. It'd be my third choice behind a cloth wrap or a rubber wrap (although it looks better than either).

    4. LavaCable's construction was terrific, and it shipped faster than I expected. Yay! I LOVE the Neutrik ends. I'll be buying more cables from them (even if they're cheaper) just for the terrific construction. Finally, cable I feel I can trust!

    At any rate, I'm pretty darn happy with it, and don't feel a need to go replacing or cork-sniffing anytime soon. I think it was well worth the seventy-odd dollars for the improvements in tone, reliability, and appearance over my cheaper cables.
     
  9. LavaMan

    LavaMan Gold Supporting Member

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    Great review! Thanks.
     
  10. kludge

    kludge The droid you're looking for Silver Supporting Member

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    Although I started thinking about my board-to-amp cabling, then started thinking of trying a Vovox Link Protect A for the guitar-to-board and relegating the Grindycop Beast to the board-to-amp...

    Dang GAS. :messedup
     
  11. hipfan

    hipfan Member

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    kludge - Great review! I just picked up an 18' Grindycop from Lavaman too. I bought it intending it to be my board-to-amp cable. So far, I've only tested it out with the guitar straight into the amp.

    Man, this is one sweet cable. It sounds as punchy as my Evidence Melody but with more clarity and sweeter high end. I like it very much. Just as Sommer bills it, it does seem very "fast" in response. I find that I dig that, although I wasn't sure I would prior to trying it.

    I DO get a little white noise when I do a stomp-on-it-like-an-idiot test, but nothing offensive. I think I agree that the GP test must have had some kind of flaw or a bad cable, or they were using such ridiculous gain levels that it magnified something insignificant. There's certainly not an unacceptable level of noise for my typical setup of P90 guitar into cranked AC30.

    I think my next step will be replacing all of my board connectors with the Grindycop. Coincidentally, I've also been pondering a Vovox as my guitar-to-board cable. Hmmmmm.....

    Edit: By the way, what a name! Grindycop Beast? That's a tough one to beat. :rotflmao
     
  12. kludge

    kludge The droid you're looking for Silver Supporting Member

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    Yeah, I'm wondering what was up with GP's terrible noise rating for it. I mean, wouldn't that strike you as odd, that an established cable maker would produce a new high-end product and it suffers from a basic annoyance worse than even dirt-cheap stuff? I almost wonder if it was a typo in their chart.

    I can't say I ran the gain THAT high, but my little tube amp gets pretty dirty when cranked. And although I could still hear solid hits on the cable, they weren't NEARLY as loud as any of the other cables I tried.
     
  13. drfrankencopter

    drfrankencopter Member

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    I've got a 15' Beast, and have the same concerns...the jacket is particularly sticky. But it doesn't seem to pick up dirt and dust as fast as I've feared. Oh, that weave that you see, that's the Litz wire of the shield...not cloth. Compare that shield with other cables, and it clearly sets the Beast apart.

    Handling noise....I haven't noticed any in particular, and I've tried bouncing it off the floor while playing, and didn't hear a peep (or thump) out of it. Works for me.

    Cheers

    Kris
     
  14. hipfan

    hipfan Member

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    Just tested my 18' Beast against a 12' Vovox Protect A, both bought from Lavaman. So far, I have to say that the Grindycop is the clear winner between the two, with my rig. The Beast has a very balanced sound and smooth top end. The Vovox has a bit more thrash on the top end, especially when using the volume knob to clean up the sound. It's a very good sounding cable, but the Beast is just fantastic to me.

    By the way, the gear I'm using is a LP Jr. into a cranked AC30. More testing to come!
     
  15. dorfmeister

    dorfmeister Member

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    Anyone compare the Grindycop to Lava ELC?
     
  16. ash

    ash Supporting Member

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    I've got Lava cables on my pedalboard, and Grindycops from guitar to board and board to amp.

    Nice combination. To me, the ELC are slightly warmer, not that hyped in the highs, but still precise and balanced.
     
  17. gururyan

    gururyan Member

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    This is a big one for me. I've had cables in the past that had this "stickiness" issue as well. That drives me nuts. I've even had such cables scar the finish of pedals/guitars, as if it melted or ate into the finish due to being pressed against said victim while stored for a short time. I'd like to know what the common denominator is that causes the "sticky cable" so that I can understand and avoid them. This one part of your review kills the cable for me, but I am VERY glad you included it. Thank you.
     
  18. dorfmeister

    dorfmeister Member

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  19. Sikor

    Sikor Member

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    Grindycop Beast is my cable of choice :aok
    I have soldered the cable myself and even did some patches for my pedalboard,
    but it's PITA to solder, especially for such a "hobby solderer" like me :)

    Anyway cable is great :)
     

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