#1
I have a decent bit of money invested in my equipment. I have a 2010 Paul Reed Smith Custom 22 Soapbar going through a vintage '78 Twin Reverb. I have been using just the ordinary run of the mill guitar cable. Would I have a noticeable difference in tone with upgrading my guitar cable?
#2
Not unless your current one is a total pile of smeg.
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#3
Unless you have a really crappy cable, there won't be much difference. Most of that is just marketing.

I've got Monster, Bullet, Fender, Livewire, and some generic stuff. I can't tell any difference in tone with any of them for short runs (less than 50'). I also don't see any difference in spectral analysis on the waveforms, either.

Sometimes cheaper cables just don't hold up. I've had generic cables get loose connections (intermittent cutting out), but that's nothing a little solder wouldn't fix.

Maybe cheaper cables will degrade tone over time, but so far all my cables sound the same over the last 6 years. One of the generic cables was a gift from a friend who quit playing more than 25 years ago, and that one sounds fine too (but it did have the intermittent continuity issues).
#4
I'm buying new cables regardless, with my pedal-board i need a 90 degree angle on one end. So now is the time for me to upgrade (if i so choose) because im already buying cables. I just don't want to spend the extra 25-30 dollars a cable if its not going to be a noticeable difference in tone.
#5
The best cables I've used are Mogami. They're a little bit more expensive but I've had the same cable for 3 years now and it still works perfect. Although like the guy above said, cables dont really affect tone. Its more or less, how durable and how long they will last.
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#6
The biggest difference is in longevity. Cheaper cable tend to have crappier shields that fail and go noisy if stomped on too often and let's face it, they get stomped on lots.
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#8
Quote by Ryanh1985
I have a decent bit of money invested in my equipment. I have a 2010 Paul Reed Smith Custom 22 Soapbar going through a vintage '78 Twin Reverb. I have been using just the ordinary run of the mill guitar cable. Would I have a noticeable difference in tone with upgrading my guitar cable?


With gear like that why skimp on the cable? That's the most common mistake I find people making. People will make the case that it "doesn't affect" tone and it's "marketing", but if you have high-grade gear you can ( or at least you SHOULD ) be able to hear the difference between crap and good cables. I'd stick with Mogami.
#9
Quote by Nirvana_RATM2
With gear like that why skimp on the cable? That's the most common mistake I find people making. People will make the case that it "doesn't affect" tone and it's "marketing", but if you have high-grade gear you can ( or at least you SHOULD ) be able to hear the difference between crap and good cables. I'd stick with Mogami.


I think he's talking about like $100 cables, though, not the $30 or so that Mogamis cost...
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#10
Mmm I noticed a fair difference just by using a planet waves one, I can't remember the exact one but it's not their cheapest. The thing that stood out for me was the extra trebles etc that came through more, the tone was just that bit clearer. If you're already using something half decent I don't think you'll see any change but if you're using a cheapy thing like I was it's worth it for sure.
I've never read anything to suggest the really expensive ones are worth the extra cost unles there's some sort of bomb proof one that is unbreakable.

These are the ones I use now

http://www.planetwaves.com/pwProductDetail.Page?ActiveID=4115&productid=37
Last edited by Twidler at Feb 19, 2012,
#11
Once you get past the real cheap ones the electrical characteristics are so close as to be inaudible.
I like cable made with twisted braid instead of woven ones. The sort of cable Beldon make. Woven braid cuts in upon itself with movement and eventually breaks. Twisted braid can move without damage and as no two wires cross each other they cannot cut into each other, well not the same way. It also makes them coil up better with less memory.
The biggest difference between average cables and high qualilty cables is in mechanical strength, not electrical performance.
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#12
i go monster. many people don't like them. but they work for me.

i can walk into any store that sells monster with a broken cable and get a brand new one on the spot and walk out the door in less than five minutes.

that is a good warranty.

i have a ton of cables 15 or so that are 21' and three of their patch cables.

i got a bunch of them really cheap from sam ash when i won a guitar competition, and got IIRC four or six or so.

the rest i got in a lot at craigslist for like $10 a cable.

i have used them for at least 8 years have had two fail, both my fault completely, but over the counter here is a new one.

with other products its not so easy to exchange (not based on cables specifically) , some you may even have to ship them back and advance the shipping, not cheap or convenient. some do the warranty same as monster, but they aren't sold everywhere. i can drive three miles and get a new monster cable in replacement. if i had moogami i would have to drive 40 minutes. moster has more dealers than moogami, at least from what i have seen.

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#13
Depends on how bad your cable really is. The difference between a $20 cable and a $60 cable can be esoteric.

The difference between a $5-10 and a $20 cable is astronomical though.
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#14
Quote by Twidler
Mmm I noticed a fair difference just by using a planet waves one, I can't remember the exact one but it's not their cheapest. The thing that stood out for me was the extra trebles etc that came through more, the tone was just that bit clearer. If you're already using something half decent I don't think you'll see any change but if you're using a cheapy thing like I was it's worth it for sure.
I've never read anything to suggest the really expensive ones are worth the extra cost unles there's some sort of bomb proof one that is unbreakable.

These are the ones I use now

http://www.planetwaves.com/pwProductDetail.Page?ActiveID=4115&productid=37


Oh yeah, forgot, I got one of those, too, but with the 90 degree plug.

As for Mogami, I know a lot of people hold them in high esteem. And they might be really great and worth the extra money. I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure they're related to the MXL company, which makes some questionable microphones, including some with Mogami internal wiring. Maybe those are actually good, or maybe not; I've read mixed reviews and I went with sE when it was time for an affordable LDC mic, so I can't say from personal experience.

Just sayin' Mogami might not really be any better than LiveWire. BTW, I think LiveWire's reputation may have been hurt by some retailers that advertised LiveWire microphone cable but shipped generic garbage with inferior connectors. They honored the LiveWire lifetime warranty, but sent another garbage generic as the replacement. I ended up cutting off the unreliable XLR connectors on those and replacing them with some basic Neutriks and haven't had problems since. Unfortunately, it took our singer having to struggle with a mic cutting out at a show to learn that lesson the hard way. Nothing but Neutrik connecters for our XLR needs from now on.
Last edited by jetwash69 at Feb 19, 2012,
#15
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#16
I had cheap cables before until they went bad and gave me static noise, so I upgraded to Monster and the day they go bad, GC replaces it for free with or without receipt.

Also, after spending thousands on equipment, why go cheap on the cables?

Sounds like a good investment to me.
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#17
for 25-30 bucks monster cables are fine for almost anything,unless your tearing down and setting up 200 nights a year. I use a line 6 PSX2 guitar wireless,they quit making them.The best wireless I ever used.Anybody got one?
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Last edited by panhead201 at May 5, 2012,
#18
I love these threads where people give such firm advice yet it is clear that they don't know what they are talking about. Claiming that expensive cables is marketing crap while never really trying a real quality cable is pure lying.

Monster is a typical mid-grade cable (a little overpriced though). Mogami, Fender and all the aforementioned brands are NOT high end. Mogami actually makes extremely expensive cables but they are not available to the general public. Planet waves, whirlwind etc are low-level jokes. Sorry.

If you want cables that matter prepare to spend crazy money on van den Hul Integration Hybrid, VOVOX Sonorus Protect or Analysis Plus Gold. These cables will make quite a difference and once you've tried them, you will never go back to a mid-grade product. This high-end stuff is highly addictive.

We found that VOVOX works best for us and it's actually reasonbly priced considering the craftsmanship and its origin.

There's nothing wrong with using a cheap cable if it works for you. But I wish everyone who makes bald statements about what is marketing and what is not, tried the product before commenting on it. I don't have a problem with guys fooling themselves. But I do care when you post this BS to the public.
Last edited by TubeTone at May 5, 2012,
#19
Your going to be paying extra for the quality of a higher end cable. At the end of the day a cable is a cable and all cables do the same thing, where your extra cash goes is into one that's made very well and not just slapped together.
#20
Just like everything else, my friend. Guitars, amps, pickups - they all do what they're supposed to. But some are cheap POS and others are state of the art.

Btw, we are talking PRO high end market of course, for us musicians. True high end stuff has astronomical prices. I won't even go into that.
#21
And unlike all the above you mention, a cable has only one thing to do, send a signal, and regardless of the price, no cable will audibly sound better than the next. And that's what the OP was asking. Sure a high end cable will be made better, last longer and all that. But audibly there is no difference we humans can hear.
#22
Quote by TubeTone
Monster is a typical mid-grade cable (a little overpriced though). Mogami, Fender and all the aforementioned brands are NOT high end. Mogami actually makes extremely expensive cables but they are not available to the general public. Planet waves, whirlwind etc are low-level jokes. Sorry.


Take a look around at the type of forum you are on - this isn't a pretentious "only use cables hand made by monks living in the alps with solid gold jacks and unicorn hair braid" type of place. Your posts are out of line.

No one cares about your elitist cables that are not available to the public - this is a community of home enthusiasts and gigging musos, many of whom are on a tight budget.

TS, Monster, mogami, fender and wait for it.... planet waves are all perfectly fine cables, and unless your using a el'cheapo throw away cable you cant go too far wrong with any of them.
#23
Quote by HKSR33
And unlike all the above you mention, a cable has only one thing to do, send a signal, and regardless of the price, no cable will audibly sound better than the next. And that's what the OP was asking. Sure a high end cable will be made better, last longer and all that. But audibly there is no difference we humans can hear.



Do you have at least one real point to substantiate your opinion, which is obviously based on rumors spread by people who can't afford higher end cables?

Please tell me the brand of the cable you compared to a typical mid-grade
cable and found there was no audible difference. Also I would like to know what were the other elements of your rig.

While you do that, do a search on how the signal passes through a cable and what an RC filter is. Then we can talk.

A couple of years ago I have conducted an extensive testing of about 40 brands of cables costing from 10 to 1500 bucks each. We were looking for a cable supplier to distribute their cables among our clients. We invited musicians and friends, did a/b tests etc. Some cables sounded awful, some amazing, some were pure marketing hype, some were eye-openers. At the end of the day we picked the best one (not only in terms of sound) and became their dealer.

Like I said, I don't have a problem with you fooling yourself. Whatever works for you and floats your boat. But please don't think that every single musician on this planet who buys a high-end cable is a stupid victim of marketing BS.
Last edited by TubeTone at May 5, 2012,
#24
Quote by HKSR33
And unlike all the above you mention, a cable has only one thing to do, send a signal, and regardless of the price, no cable will audibly sound better than the next. And that's what the OP was asking. Sure a high end cable will be made better, last longer and all that. But audibly there is no difference we humans can hear.


Spoken like someone with zero EE knowledge. There are numerous factors that will cause cables to sound different. Of course, after a certain point, you're really not paying for an improvement so much as a brand name but there are certainly differences.
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#25
Quote by zero
Take a look around at the type of forum you are on - this isn't a pretentious "only use cables hand made by monks living in the alps with solid gold jacks and unicorn hair braid" type of place. Your posts are out of line.

No one cares about your elitist cables that are not available to the public - this is a community of home enthusiasts and gigging musos, many of whom are on a tight budget.

TS, Monster, mogami, fender and wait for it.... planet waves are all perfectly fine cables, and unless your using a el'cheapo throw away cable you cant go too far wrong with any of them.


I never thought truth depends on where you post it? That's a bit hypocritical, don't you think?

If you take a closer look at my message, I never said that it is absolutely necessary to use an expensive cables. In fact, I state quite the opposite - you're fine with what works best for you (and in terms of budget of course). But if you're using such cables, please don't write that cables that cost more don't make an audible difference (and pull some quasi-scientific crap to support the statement). That's simply not true. So you're blaming for something that I did not say.

P.S. I use cheap ass Lava Blue Demon cables in some of my rigs among others. They work for me.
#26
Quote by TubeTone

While you do that, do a search on how the signal passes through a cable and what an RC filter is. Then we can talk.


TBH, I think the LC resonant circuit formed by the inductance of your pickups (and sometimes cable as well) and the capacitance between windings along with the cable capacitance is more responsible for the sounds we associate with different cables than the simple RC filter created by the pickups DC resistance, winding capacitance and cable capacitance.
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#27
Quote by TubeTone
Do you have at least one real point to substantiate your opinion, which is obviously based on rumors spread by people who can't afford higher end cables?

Please tell me the brand of the cable you compared to a typical mid-grade
cable and found there was no audible difference. Also I would like to know what were the other elements of your rig.

While you do that, do a search on how the signal passes through a cable and what an RC filter is. Then we can talk.

A couple of years ago I have conducted an extensive testing of about 40 brands of cables costing from 10 to 1500 bucks each. We were looking for a cable supplier to distribute their cables among our clients. We invited musicians and friends, did a/b tests etc. Some cables sounded awful, some amazing, some were pure marketing hype, some were eye-openers. At the end of the day we picked the best one (not only in terms of sound) and became their dealer.

Like I said, I don't have a problem with you fooling yourself. Whatever works for you and floats your boat. But please don't think that every single musician on this planet who buys a high-end cable is a stupid victim of marketing BS.



Not to be hijacking this thread. And I see you have spent a fair deal of time and alot of cash on this. So I can see where your coming from.

Now I never said high end is a marketing BS, nor that I'm fooling myself, nor are my post opinions. I also don't think you are reading the OP posts very well and have gone on auto pilot to show your substantial history with cables.

The simple fact is at the end of the day he will not notice any audible difference between his current low end cable and the $40+ one he was considering. And without getting into the complexities of signal loss due to cable length, the gauge of the cable and the gauge makeup, poor solder work, weather it's single or double shielded, has copper, gold, or some fancy super conductive jacks on them. He will never be able to tell the difference and ergo, as I've said twice now, will nev know the difference.
#28
Quote by HKSR33
Not to be hijacking this thread. And I see you have spent a fair deal of time and alot of cash on this. So I can see where your coming from.

Now I never said high end is a marketing BS, nor that I'm fooling myself, nor are my post opinions. I also don't think you are reading the OP posts very well and have gone on auto pilot to show your substantial history with cables.

The simple fact is at the end of the day he will not notice any audible difference between his current low end cable and the $40+ one he was considering. And without getting into the complexities of signal loss due to cable length, the gauge of the cable and the gauge makeup, poor solder work, weather it's single or double shielded, has copper, gold, or some fancy super conductive jacks on them. He will never be able to tell the difference and ergo, as I've said twice now, will nev know the difference.


I will agree to this. Sorry if I came a bit harsh, suffering from a hangover
#29
Quote by TubeTone
I will agree to this. Sorry if I came a bit harsh, suffering from a hangover



That's all good.
#30
Quote by TubeTone
I never thought truth depends on where you post it?


No but the relevance does... its like me logging into the Ford motor forums and telling everyone that all their cars are crap and that good cars are Ferrari's and Porsche's.
In a sense I would be correct, but in those circumstances its pretty irrelevant. If TS had of come in here saying he had $500 to spend on a cable it would be a different story.

You seem to of done some solid research and I don't doubt your findings - I'm sure there are differences, but here, in the context of this thread, I don't see any reason why anyone would spend more than say $50 on a cable.

I have used both Dimarzio and Planet Waves cables for as long as I can remember (and that's a while), many many years of trouble free gigging and great studio results. I suppose if you are a purist and you have the very high quality equipment to support it then there are definitely products out there for you, but for the average joe the decent brand name cables are just fine.

TS, don't forget you need to upgrade all your cables to see the benefit (not just the one coming from your guitar) and also don't buy any longer than you need.
#31
Quote by mmolteratx
Spoken like someone with zero EE knowledge. There are numerous factors that will cause cables to sound different. Of course, after a certain point, you're really not paying for an improvement so much as a brand name but there are certainly differences.



I'd hope with 10 years as an electrician I'd know a ill bit, just no point flaunting it, ESP here where most debates are about circuitry and stuff. Of which I'm not too familiar.

Tubetone is right in what he is saying for the most part, the high end stuff does make a small difference, but its mostly inaudible. the high end stuff will retain the signal better, have better shielding against outside interference, and be physically more rigid and able to take the hard life on the road. The audible differences we hear is mostly due to low grade impure cable and physical things like that. any decent cable will sound the same to our ears.