#1
Up until recently my awesome guitar rig consisted of a 6.3mm to 3.5mm cable i made using jacks from old headphones and some telephone wire and that was pretty much it it connected my guitar straight into my computers mic hole where it went through asio4all driver into guitarrig software and then up my earphones. Pretty sad yes.. anyway over the course of last week i got a creative xtremeaudio card for cheap, got a "eurorack ub502" thingy from a friend for christmas and today i made some cables.

Now my rig goes like this

6.3mm to 6.3mm 0.25mm2 double shielded copper wire from guitar to the eurorack thingy
i use the eurorack thingy as a preamp, no idea what its actually made for, i think it had something to do with karaoke
eurorack tape-out rca jack to 3.5mm low impedance shielded cable that goes into the sound card

the difference is monumental, i could lower the noise gate setting from -5db to -80db and actually hear the various subtleties between amp settings, not just noise.. however there are some things im not really clear at

first - the way i made the guitar to preamp cable, they didnt have any cables for sale specifically for instruments so i got the next best thing (i think), its a twin wire that goes like insulation | copper mesh | more insulation | thin copper wire. Now i just cut away the mesh and insulation and only used the inner most wire of both the veins to make the connection. Then i started to think maybe i should have used the copper mesh to connect the negative instead and just use one vein? Right now the cable works fine aside from one weird thing - when i let it rest on the ground between the preamp and the guitar it produces a small amount of noise, that disappears if i hold my finger to either of the jacks. It doesn't seem to matter if its close to any electronics, just that if its about half a feet above the ground its silent, on the ground its not. (floor is made of wood if that matters)

second - cellphone signals, you know the distinct sequence of beeps you sometimes hear when a phone close to an audio system is about to ring? well ever since i hooked up this new system i get them every 5 minutes and nobody is calling me, i guess something is picking them up but what? weird.

third - even though the new sound is great im thinking it could be even greater, i have isolated 2 components that produce noise: the eurorack thingy makes a crackling sound at around -80db and the cable from eurorack to the sound card makes a hiss of also around -80db. I could maybe be convinced to invest some actual money into this but i'd like to know how quiet can these things get?

fourth - what is this eurorack thing anyway? :p all i know is that it takes a bunch of inputs and makes them louder, looks like a preamp to me but is it?
#2
Pretty impressive you made all those cables, but sounds like your setup is pretty ghetto-rigged to me. What you really need is:

1. An amp

or

2. A proper multi-fx/interface

If you could tell us your budget/style of music you play/gigging or home use/new or used/location, we could give you some suggestions
Between the velvet lies, there's a truth as hard as steel.
The vision never dies, life's a neverending wheel.
#3
I play at home, alone, sometimes perform to friends but don't think im going to drag my guitar anywhere outside this room. I dont really aspire for a career as a musican, i just like playing tbh

Of sound equipment, aside from the already mentioned stuff i also have grado sr225 headphones that serve as the end station of my rig 99% of the time (i also have an option for speakers but they are crap and i cant really bear listening to them).

Genre wise.. well it depends on the day, some days i like metal, other days soft rock. I do find myself trying to imitate the sounds of my favorite bands a lot though (nin, tool, jimi hendrix, metallica)

I do prefer having the "amp" in my computer since its nice to be able to swap between signature sounds of different songs in a click, i also imagine its a good deal cheaper. As for budget, well, my excuse for being poor is that im a student i dont think im going to have any spare cash for half a year or so since i have stuff i've been meaning to buy that take priority, after that though i could see myself spending couple hundred €. Location is estonia, europe.
#4
Quote by hazarada
first - the way i made the guitar to preamp cable, they didnt have any cables for sale specifically for instruments so i got the next best thing (i think), its a twin wire that goes like insulation | copper mesh | more insulation | thin copper wire. Now i just cut away the mesh and insulation and only used the inner most wire of both the veins to make the connection. Then i started to think maybe i should have used the copper mesh to connect the negative instead and just use one vein? Right now the cable works fine aside from one weird thing - when i let it rest on the ground between the preamp and the guitar it produces a small amount of noise, that disappears if i hold my finger to either of the jacks. It doesn't seem to matter if its close to any electronics, just that if its about half a feet above the ground its silent, on the ground its not. (floor is made of wood if that matters)


errrr. there is something to say here, but i don't think anyone will be able to give you too much advice because your system is so modified. if i were you, i would try to keep my signal on balanced TRS cables (i use a 1/4" TS male to 1/8" TRS female converter plugged into the guitar, then i run a balanced TRS 1/8" cord from guitar to computer. i recommend using TRS/balanced cables mainly because that is what your components are expecting.

since guitars provide an unbalanced signal, you won't get the benefits of a balanced signal from using TRS connectors and cable.

another big player that effects tone, that you should be concerned about anyway, is impedance. your eurorack thing is geared toward signal of a particular impedance, your guitar's tone will change immensely if you have a device to adjust impedance of the guitar with whatever device you are using. (radial make a device called a 'dragster' that does this, other companies have something similar).

also, bigger cable is not always better, you can also pic up more noise with bigger cable in certain situations.

Quote by hazarada
second - cellphone signals, you know the distinct sequence of beeps you sometimes hear when a phone close to an audio system is about to ring? well ever since i hooked up this new system i get them every 5 minutes and nobody is calling me, i guess something is picking them up but what? weird.


dunno dude, keep your phone away from the audio? extra shielding? there are all types of things in a guitar setup that can pick up electro magnetic noise from the environment.

Quote by hazarada
third - even though the new sound is great im thinking it could be even greater, i have isolated 2 components that produce noise: the eurorack thingy makes a crackling sound at around -80db and the cable from eurorack to the sound card makes a hiss of also around -80db. I could maybe be convinced to invest some actual money into this but i'd like to know how quiet can these things get?


this is the world of signal sourcing (as opposed to signal reproduction). plenty of times instrument cords aren't even balanced. so as far as 'quiet' goes, your heavily limited from the fact that you are using a magnet attached to a piece of wood to produce a signal from metal strings vibrating with little concern to StN ratio. if you give a guitar amplifier circuit some gain then you are gonna get quite a bit of noise (it is one reason that noise gates are so popular in more aggressive genre's).

your best bet for 'best sound quality from equipemt' is to bypass your native sound card altogether and use something like a external USB interface with a nice preamp and A/D converter. these interfaces can range from 20 bucks to hundreds (the better quality units have better preamps and A/D conversion, if you get a cheap one it could be worse than your native sound card)

Quote by hazarada
fourth - what is this eurorack thing anyway? :p all i know is that it takes a bunch of inputs and makes them louder, looks like a preamp to me but is it?


most likely a 'mixer'. takes a bunch of mono inputs and usually mixes them into a stereo output.

why are you using it anyway? most soundcards have a preamp built in for whatever mic or instrument you plug into it (you can control it through control panel preferences).
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#5
Why not just get a used pod?

I think you're making things way more complicated on yourself then it needs to be.
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#6
Quote by Kyleisthename
Why not just get a used pod?


+1, or if you want to stick to your computer, get a cheap USB interface (M audio makes some cheap ones that are decent) and download some modeling software like Revalver.
Between the velvet lies, there's a truth as hard as steel.
The vision never dies, life's a neverending wheel.
#7
Here in the States you can pick up a used Vypyr 15W amp for around $50 USD. Very versatile little practice amp with loads of settings/effects (not all of them are spectacular, but probably better than your makeshift rig). It might serve you very well if you want all the bells and whistles in an easy-to-use package.
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