#1
IS IT SAFE TO USE AN 'INSTRUMENT' CABLE TO CONNECT HEAD/CAB?

I've seen many people saying its unsafe, but my friend, who's pretty experienced in music tech said its rubbish, 'instrument' and speaker cables are made of the same components and are capable of carrying the same load. I thought the same at first, but was told otherwise by the majority of U.G (in someone else's thread)

People say its unsafe, but my other friend uses a cheap patch cable to connect his head, and that works fine? Is he just lucky, or is this a myth.

Does anyone actually know??? (as in.... not just think they know because they heard someone say it a while ago)

Cheers!
#2
No. It is not safe in any way, shape, or form.

EDIT: Detail.
If your other friend uses a patch cable, i'm assuming his head is SS? if not, then he's just lucky. and dumb.

While instrument cables and speaker cables are made with the same components, they are designed differently, and a speaker cable is capable of carrying the load and impedance of a head properly. A guitar cable will not accurately carry the load, which will fry a tube head. Literally. Sparks, smoke, etc. (Worst case scenario, generally in a no load situation.)
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Last edited by theoreticmusic at Oct 6, 2008,
#3
cheap cable = cheap sound
bottom line

cheaper cables wont block out interference and such and you will hear a difference.

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#4
say i use a good 'instrument' cable then? Is it still unsafe?
What exactly is the difference between a instrument or speaker cable then, just a strip of copper no?
#5
I Played on a speaker cable for awhile and it worked ok.... I didnt see any problems with it...

but since speaker wire isnt shielded outside electrical interference may come in on your amp.....
#6
use a speaker cable to connect a head to cab, they handle the load. Hense there called speaker cable.
...
#9
both cables have the same thickness of wire, how can one carry more load than the other?
#10
Quote by vitchb
both cables have the same thickness of wire, how can one carry more load than the other?


the thickness of the cable does not determine the load in which it is designed to carry

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#12
i use a guitar lead and its fine, every one else is just stupid
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#13
They don't have the same thickness of wire. The outside may look the same, but if you'd cut them open and look inside, you'd see that the instrument cable has a thinner conductor and a lot of room is taken up by the shielding. The speaker cable has no shielding and a thicker conducting wire (s).
#14
Both of the wires in a speaker cable are shielded, where as a normal instrument cable would only have the positive side shielded. A speaker cable gives a more balanced output than a instrument cable.
apparently UG's only type O-


Quote by Strike9

Thanks jb_designs.
#15
Quote by Tyler Durden
the thickness of the cable does not determine the load in which it is designed to carry


How is it then, sorry, i just want to know why, rather than some saying 'don't do it, end of story'
#16
Quote by theoreticmusic
No. It is not safe in any way, shape, or form.

EDIT: Detail.
If your other friend uses a patch cable, i'm assuming his head is SS? if not, then he's just lucky. and dumb.

While instrument cables and speaker cables are made with the same components, they are designed differently, and a speaker cable is capable of carrying the load and impedance of a head properly. A guitar cable will not accurately carry the load, which will fry a tube head. Literally. Sparks, smoke, etc. (Worst case scenario, generally in a no load situation.)


This answers it correctly

/thread

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#17
Quote by prison sex
i use a guitar lead and its fine, every one else is just stupid

hahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahaha.
you keep thinking that.
I'm putting my GAS on hold
for a couple months in order to pimp my ride.


Don't judge me.
#18
Instrument cables are unbalanced. This means that they are more prone to adding interference to the signal than balanced speaker cable, which means that the signal to the cab isn't going to sound as 'clean' (you'll get a crap sound) It also doesn't have the same impedance as a proper speaker cable, so your amp is more likely to get damaged while you play.
I hope this helps, but if your still in doubt, why don't you have a look at the manual for your amp? That should clear things up properly
#20
Well I'l be dammmed.

I used a patch cable as a speaker lead for about 2 practices before,because I'd lost my speaker cable at at gig and none of the shops would have one for 2 weeks, i was VERY wary of it though haha, i was constantly checking to see if the cable/connections were hot.
At low volumes you could chance it okay like i did id say,any high volumes at all though like gigs id NEVER do it.
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#22
Quote by theoreticmusic
hahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahaha.
you keep thinking that.

+1
That's exactly what I was thinking.
Just remember, just because you've done something 1000 times, doesn't mean you've been doing it right!

It's like telling someone they really don't need a parachute to skydive, which is true, but you'll definitely need one if you want to skydive twice.
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#23
i think that video proved that there is a major misunderstanding.... he just saying what qualities make a good speaker/instument cable, he dusnt at one point say u cannt use an instrument cable for head>cab
#24
Lets look at it like this would you cut up and use a rca cable for speaker wire in your home or car? No you would use speaker cable.... So why would you try it on your guitar amp? Its not that hard to understand the gauges are not the same..

Example:



vs



Or this

Last edited by IbanezPsycho at Oct 6, 2008,
#25
well surely its just better to use a speaker cable, but not a necessity...
#26
Yes, a necessity. It's a horrible idea to use an instrument cable. It will eventually fail and take your amp with it.
You've had any number of people who know what they're talking about tell you correctly that it's unsafe and you shouldn't do it. Why do you keep insisting, based on "it hasn't broken yet" evidence by people who don't know the physics of it, that it might be ok to do?

I knew a guy who replaced the fuse in his amp with a paper clip when it blew, because he didn't have a replacement fuse. His excuse was "well, the amp still works!"
Which is exactly my point. Just because it's working now doesn't mean it's a good idea. What happened with this guy is just what you'd expect- there was a spike, there was no fuse to block it, and it wiped out his tubes and output transformer.
It's one thing to be ignorant of the proper and safe way of doing things, it's entirely another to know that there is a safe way and to intentionally go against it for no practical reason. It's not like speaker cables are expensive.
#28
Quote by vitchb
well surely its just better to use a speaker cable, but not a necessity...

I really wish you'd just listen.
I'm putting my GAS on hold
for a couple months in order to pimp my ride.


Don't judge me.
#29
im listening to the video of the instructor that was posted in the thread, not people saying 'it worked for me so its fine'.....
#30
While instrument cables and speaker cables are made with the same components, they are designed differently, and a speaker cable is capable of carrying the load and impedance of a head properly. A guitar cable will not accurately carry the load, which will fry a tube head. Literally. Sparks, smoke, etc. (Worst case scenario, generally in a no load situation.)


They don't have the same thickness of wire. The outside may look the same, but if you'd cut them open and look inside, you'd see that the instrument cable has a thinner conductor and a lot of room is taken up by the shielding. The speaker cable has no shielding and a thicker conducting wire (s).



it's been clearly laid out. 3 links, well-established and documented reasons why you can't do it.

EDIT: 2 links. The link to the forum clearly said this: An instrument cable carries roughly 50 ohms. Think about that. A speaker cable carries under 20, and is shielded properly from interference. There's a huge difference. Surely you know that mismatching cabs and heads and turning on a tube head without a speaker connected is damaging. It's the same thing.
I'm putting my GAS on hold
for a couple months in order to pimp my ride.


Don't judge me.
Last edited by theoreticmusic at Oct 6, 2008,
#31
^^You're going to risk blowing up your amp because the guy ad-libbing a few minutes on a largely unrelated cable question forgot to mention it?
#32
im not risking blowing up my amp, because i use a speaker cable....

EDIT: as far as i know it is, seeing as marshall included it with my 4x12....
Last edited by vitchb at Oct 6, 2008,
#33
NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NONO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO

Conecting a head and cab by standard cable is a VERY bad idea. they can't handle the load of what's going throught the head to the cab.
Quote by patriotplayer90
Lolz that guy is a noob.

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Last edited by Jhachey22 at Oct 6, 2008,
#35
Quote by pak1351
Just do it and break your amp so we can gloat


Yeah ok!
#36
Quote by Rob_b_543



+1

I was simply going to say that if you think about how much power goes from your guitar (low) to your amp VS. the amount of power that goes from your amp to your speaker (high) then you can see the difference, but that video explains it well.

Thanks for sharing that Rob


v Kevin - true, it was bit long winded but at least he was entertaining.
Last edited by 311ZOSOVHJH at Oct 6, 2008,
#37
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
+1

I was simply going to say that if you think about how much power goes from your guitar (low) to your amp VS. the amount of power that goes from your amp to your speaker (high) then you can see the difference, but that video explains it well.

Thanks for sharing that Rob


He was a bit long winded and under prepared, but all the information is good.
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