The cable. Is it the missing ingredient in the perfect tone | The Canadian Guitar Forum

The cable. Is it the missing ingredient in the perfect tone

Discussion in 'Effects Pedals, Strings and more' started by guitarman2, Aug 26, 2009.

  1. guitarman2

    guitarman2 Gold Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    Brantford, Ontario
    I've been trying to put together my perfect tone for the past year and a half. From selecting the right amp with the right speakers and the right pedals and the right NOS or current production tubes. My band mates and friends may think I'm a little obsessed and maybe I am. But to me its been a fun hobby. And an expensive one.Well for the past couple of weeks I've been thinking a lot about cables and have been doing a lot of research. I've been using Planet Waves for the past year and they've been doing a pretty good job. But now I'm thinking of stepping up to a more expensive cable. Just an experiment really.
    I've read lava cables "Cable Summit", (a bit outdated) and read countless reviews on different cables. I've read how the different high end cables can cater to different styles, etc. Its too bad I didn't have access to the different cables so I could test them my self before buying. Lack of free access to these cable's is what will make this experiment expensive. So I'm trying to do as much research as possible so that hopefully I can select the right cables for me first time.
    I have come to the conclusion that the Evidence Audio Lyric HG cables seem to be the appropriate choice for me. They are fairly expensive but not as much as the Vanden hull which were close to being my first choice.
    I'll be ordering in the next day or 2 as soon as I psyche my self up to putting that much on the credit card. After I have tested them I'll post my thoughts.
     
  2. Mooh

    Mooh Gold Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Southwestern Ontario
    Sounds cool, and fun. Let us know what happens.

    It's obvious, but whatever you do, compare equal lengths, and for any purpose shorter is better.

    Peace, Mooh.
     
  3. starjag

    starjag Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario
    Proof again that size does matter.
     
  4. Andy

    Andy

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario
    I absolutely love my Bullet Cables coiled cable. Compared to the Planet Waves, it's a little darker on the top, with thicker mids. Really helps out overdriven tones, and is still bright enough for cleans. Pricey, though.
     
  5. bduguay

    bduguay

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2009
    Location:
    Burlington, Ontario
    I've had experience with Evidence Audio cables and can say I heard a difference. At least compared to my mogami I prefered the performance of the E.A.
    B.
     
  6. jimihendrix

    jimihendrix

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    Location:
    hamilton,ontario
    so many incidentals can affect an influence on sound...

    air humidity...(moist air dampens speaker cone movement)
    elevation from sea level (air pressure changes affecting sound waves)
    ac/dc power (dc power is more consistant yet shorter life)
    new strings/old strings(eddie van halen swears by old strings)
    hemp cones/paper cones
    tortex picks/plastic picks
    physical size of the room
    long cables/short cables
    straight cables/coily cables
    steel connectors/gold connectors
    etc...the list is endless

    did you know that eric johnson is so tuned into the miniscule details of his sound that he can tell you what brand of batteries are used in effects pedals...and exactly how many minutes are left on them before they die...???...

    "in the ballpark" is about as close as anyone is ever gonna get to their tone...
     
  7. guitarman2

    guitarman2 Gold Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    Brantford, Ontario
    Whats the point of agonizing over things you can't control like air and humidity?
    GOD, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference:smile:
     
  8. mhammer

    mhammer

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2007
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Fundamentally, as wire, the role that a cable can play is a direct function of its length. Every line foot of cable increases the impact of whatever qualities the cable has (or doesn't). That's why you can use the crappiest cable in the world for a 6" patch cable between pedals, and it won't matter. If you normally run a 25 footer between your guitar and first pedal, though, cable WILL change your tone in one way or another.

    Feel free to try this experiment at home. Take a standard 6-8" pedal patch cord and if possible plug your guitar directly into your amp with that cable. Now, take your longest (and what you consider "best") cable, and plug your guitar directly into the amp with that. The difference in tone will likely make you do a double take.
     
  9. bduguay

    bduguay

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2009
    Location:
    Burlington, Ontario
    Or, if you have a loop box, go guitar to box and box to amp with the shortest cables you have and in the loop, put the longest cable you have.
    Play through that while stomping on the switch to introduce and remove the long cable. This way gives to instant feedback as to how cable length can, in most cases, deteriorate your guitar tone.
    B.
     
  10. megadan

    megadan

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    As mentioned, length is really the major factor here. Wire is wire and will pass signal the same no matter what name is on the box. Connectors can high of higher or lower quality and you get what you pay for there.

    as jimihendrix said, there are far more factors that you can't control that a different cable can't make that much difference. Snake oil, nothing more. You can change the cord between your guitar and amp a hundred times, yet the wire in your guitar and in your amp is the same old $0.01 copper wire... huh.
     
  11. guitarman2

    guitarman2 Gold Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    Brantford, Ontario
    So you feel there is no difference between solid core or stranded, oxygen free copper etc..?

    So because we can't control certain factors in our environment you're saying nothing you do will make a difference?
    I'll bet the naysayers are those that have no experience with said "Snake oil". Which is exactly why I will experiment with this. If I'm going to become a nay sayer I at least want to be an educated one.
    Let some one come on here who used a very high end cable tell me that its exactly the same as the $1.99 specials at Long&Mcquade.
     
  12. greco

    greco Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Location:
    Kitchener, Ontario
    I read somewhere that all the tone is transmitted through the oxygen.....9kkhhd

    This was meant as a joke, BTW

    Dave
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2009
  13. hollowbody

    hollowbody

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    Some wire will always be different than others. Whether it's quality of copper, or the dielectric used to shield the cable, amount of capacitance, etc. There's a ton of reasons why some cable is different than others. Whether or not you like the difference, or perceive it as being better, is up to you.

    Go nuts with cables. You might find one that does exactly what you want it to.
     
  14. jimihendrix

    jimihendrix

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    Location:
    hamilton,ontario
  15. guitarman2

    guitarman2 Gold Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    Brantford, Ontario
    What I don't get is there are people that swear by boutiqe amps made with superior transformers and wiring and pedals made of high quality materials and electronics and guitars that are hand made with better materials, yet when it comes to cables they doubt that better quality materials and scientific design make a difference. WTF!!!
    This is a serious hobby to me and I will hot rod the hell out different components in my signal chain for the hell of it. I'll keep the things that benefit me positively and discard those that don't make a difference.
    All I really want from a cable is for it to completely deliver my signal to its fullest potential so that I can hear the full potential of my guitar and amp. Whether a high end cable will do this better than my Planet waves cables remains to be seen. At this point I'm not spending money on the guarantee that the results will be favorable. I'm spending money on the opportunity to find out if it will. If it does work out then thats a bonus. And this is really what I've been doing with every component in my signal chain all along. From the guitar to the amp to the speakers I use in my amp to the tubes I've put in my amp and now the cables. When it came to the amps and my guitars I was lucky enough that L&M had a policy that allowed me to take them home and out on gigs to give them a full test drive before purchase. Even then I've purchased amps only to return them or sell them after a few months when I decided it wasn't what I want. I have one amp that is a life keeper and one of my 2 teles is a for sure life keeper. I've a massed a collection of tubes experimenting with what sounded better. Now I feel the last thing to do is test cables. I'd love to hear from people that have actually owned high end cables and low end and tell me there is no difference. But pretty much all the nay sayers are people that have never experienced the different cables and aren't discriminating enough about their sound to give 2 hoots anyway. And there is nothing wrong with not giving 2 hoots. I've got a brother that has sunk several thousand dollars in to the engine of his souped up car with chrome parts and other enhancements, some that make the car go faster and some that make it pretty. I'm not educated enough about cars to tell him what makes a difference and what doesn't even though I drive a car. So I just keep my mouth shut.
     

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