#1
What types of cables are there in the world of sound? I know there's the regular guitar cable, then there's the one that can be plugged into an mp3-player and in the computer input. I have also heard of rca and xlr. What are these good for?
Thank you!
(Looking for ways to connect my Zoom G9.2tt pre-amplifier to different audio devices.)
#2
Check www.thomann.de if they have an online guide about cables. Thomann is an online musicstore but you should find the online guides on the left.
I'M A COWBOY
#3
Guitar/Instrument Cable--TS (tip/sleeve) cable, unbalanced. One wire. Good for guitars and mono instruments, longer cable runs are harder with them because they are prone to interference. Transmit a line-level signal. Balanced, or TRS (tip/ring/sleeve) cables have two wires to help prevent interference TRS cables transmit a stereo signal.

XLR Cable-- Balanced cable, the type that are usually used with mixers. Male end has 3 prongs: L, R, and ground. Usually used for running microphones into mixers or the like. Transmits a line-level signal.

Speaker Cable--No shielding. Used for transmitting an amplified signal from a power amplifier to the speakers. Usually connect with a Speakon jack or 1/4in jack. YOU CANNOT USE AN INSTRUMENT CABLE AS A SPEAKER CABLE.

RCA--Red/white male ends, used to transmit a stereo signal. Various uses, find them a lot in home theater systems and the like. Transmits a line-level signal.

1/8in Cable--Standard headphone jack cable. Headphones to CD players/iPods use this. Transmits a line-level signal.

If I missed any or was off somehow, please correct (nicely)
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Last edited by swordsofplague at Jun 1, 2010,
#4
Quote by swordsofplague
YOU CANNOT USE AN INSTRUMENT CABLE AS A SPEAKER CABLE.


well thats just plain wrong seeing as ive been doing it for about a decade now, and at this moment am doing it as well

otherwise, that was a really well written response
#5
You definitely should not use an instrument cable as a speaker cable. They make speaker cables for a reason, and since your sound is only as good as the weakest link why would you cheap out there?

McCarroll explains it well:

Originally Posted by David McCarroll at jemsite.com
An amp of high enough wattage will heat the instrument cable to the point where the insulation between hot and shield could physically melt, shorting the output of your amp, which, unless it has speaker fuse protection (and even with if you are unlucky), will short out your output transformer and blow it up! That's the LEAST that might go wrong - and rewinding/replacing transformers is about the most expensive repair you'll ever do to an amp!
Quote by CL/\SH

Quote by sanitarium1
...for the gigs im going to be playing its going to be 60% tone and 40% stage look, and I'd like the look of my rig to be able to back up its sound.

No.
No.
NO.
GOD DAMMIT NO.
#6
Quote by FrenchBread
You definitely should not use an instrument cable as a speaker cable. They make speaker cables for a reason, and since your sound is only as good as the weakest link why would you cheap out there?

McCarroll explains it well:


this has been thrown back and forth enough around here that i don't really want to debate it in the TS' thread - the point is just that you definitely can do it. whether its a good idea is debatable, i was just pointing out that it will work - ive done it for about a decade, with a dual recto, a jackson JG-2 50w tube, and right now my crate V5.
#7
Quote by swordsofplague
*descriptions*

Pretty much this, but TS/TRS/XLR dont necessarily carry a line level signal. They can, but they dont always, XLR (from mics) isnt line level.
Basically, for guitar gear you'll only ever use TS leads, unless you have a stereo output on a guitar (for piezo's or something, and use a Y cable, although they usually just have a separate jack) or you use a DI, which has an balanced XLR out.
Last edited by littlephil at Jun 1, 2010,
#8
Quote by josephde
this has been thrown back and forth enough around here that i don't really want to debate it in the TS' thread - the point is just that you definitely can do it. whether its a good idea is debatable, i was just pointing out that it will work - ive done it for about a decade, with a dual recto, a jackson JG-2 50w tube, and right now my crate V5.

I never said you can't. I said you shouldn't.
Just look at any professional's rig. I guarantee you won't find an instrument cable connecting a head to a cabinet.
I guess it's like smoking. You're not supposed to do it, but people do.
Quote by CL/\SH

Quote by sanitarium1
...for the gigs im going to be playing its going to be 60% tone and 40% stage look, and I'd like the look of my rig to be able to back up its sound.

No.
No.
NO.
GOD DAMMIT NO.
Last edited by FrenchBread at Jun 1, 2010,
#9
Quote by FrenchBread
I never said you can't. I said you shouldn't.
Just look at any professional's rig. I guarantee you won't find an instrument cable connecting a head to a cabinet.
I guess it's like smoking. You're not supposed to do it, but people do.


you didnt say it, but youre quote basically said if you do it your amp will blow up. i just wanted to clarify that that's absolutely not true. it's a possibility from some stuff I've read, but to make it seem like an imminent result is just not right.

and I guess it depends how you define professional... i was touring regionally making my living off of playing music. right now i make my living off of session work and during summers touring. from my studio work i can tell you that the place i work at doesn't label our cables, so instrument/speaker cables are used interchangeably.

anyways, thats all i really have to say on the topic. it's not even relevant to the OP
#10
I apologize that my quote was misleading. And I agree that it was.
I'm really just saying that I feel speaker cables carry a better quality signal, seeing as how they are thicker and are designed for higher wattages. But I'm very sure an instrument cable is capable.

Also, I do think this discussion is relevant to the OP because we are discussing uses of cables.
Quote by CL/\SH

Quote by sanitarium1
...for the gigs im going to be playing its going to be 60% tone and 40% stage look, and I'd like the look of my rig to be able to back up its sound.

No.
No.
NO.
GOD DAMMIT NO.
Last edited by FrenchBread at Jun 1, 2010,
#11
Quote by FrenchBread
I apologize that my quote was misleading. And I agree that it was.
I'm really just saying that I feel speaker cables carry a better quality signal, seeing as how they are thicker and are designed for higher wattages. But I'm very sure an instrument cable is capable.

Also, I do think this discussion is relevant to the OP because we are discussing uses of cables.


It's all good man. And for the record - I'm not suggesting anyone does it because there does seem to be some support for the idea that it could overheat and then melt the cable which would cause your head to no longer have a load attached. It'd take a little bit for the transformer to go, not instantly, but it would happen. I'm just saying that some of us do it and have for a while, so it's definitely a possibility and it's not something you have to avoid like the plague or you'll destroy your gear.

I'll say that when I get my CEC from Craig I will be using a speaker cable for it.

#12
I only have TS holes in my amplifier. If I want to connect to a mixer I should buy a cable with one end TS and the other XLR, right? Is it as well balanced in that case?
If I want to connect loudspeakers straight to it, I should just put RCA to TS transmitters on the cables coming from them? Could this actually produce a good sound? Or would be smarter to connect the speakers to the computer and the computer to the amp?
If I connect to a computer, I use the one end TS and the other 1/8in, right?
Thanks!
#13
If you are going to connect to a computer you can just use the headphone output to the computer line in.

A TS to XLR is not balanced. But don't worry about that. It will work fine hooked to a mixer.

And saying "You cannot use an instrument cable as a speaker cable" is not wrong. It's sound advice. I would also say "You cannot use the Golden Gate bridge as a diving board". That doesn't literally mean you can't. It means you are a dum**s if you do. I've temporarily used an instrument cable as a speaker cable on a 5 watt amp because I know that the amount of current is small. But it's best not to generally assume it's ok in all situations.
#14
Quote by Amarant
I only have TS holes in my amplifier. If I want to connect to a mixer I should buy a cable with one end TS and the other XLR, right? Is it as well balanced in that case?
If I want to connect loudspeakers straight to it, I should just put RCA to TS transmitters on the cables coming from them? Could this actually produce a good sound? Or would be smarter to connect the speakers to the computer and the computer to the amp?
If I connect to a computer, I use the one end TS and the other 1/8in, right?
Thanks!

No. If you want to record the amp, get an interface & a cheapish mic. Running an XLR from the amp wont be balanced, and unless you're using a Line out could damage the amp.