The cable. Is it the missing ingredient in the perfect tone | Page 12 | 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. hollowbody

    hollowbody

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    You're right about the frequency response on a guitar amp. It might very well turn out that the high end cables just aren't demonstrably better in this situation because of the frequency range a guitar amp is designed to reproduce.

    Maybe we can use your Axe FX unit through a PA??? :smile:
     
  2. guitarman2

    guitarman2 Gold Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    Brantford, Ontario
    If this were true then their would be a lot of musicians even from the pro side that would look like fools. I mean if it is this obvious of a scam why would someone like David Gilmour use them? And don't give me the tired "He gets paid to use and endorse them". Does he need the money that much to perpetuate an obvious scam?
     
  3. Wild Bill

    Wild Bill

    Joined:
    May 2, 2006
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario
    Not sure about having the return jacks tips all tied together. Would that not allow the capacitance of all the unselected cables to load down the one selected at the input?


    Also, I think part of the confusion we're hearing from some of the guys about better materials, digital signal sources and such is that they may not understand that within the amplifier/guitar/cable system we are not dealing with acoustic waves. We are dealing with electricity! The original sound was converted into an electrical signal. What affects electricity are things completely different than what affects accoustics. At the end of the process the electricity is converted back to acoustic sound waves.

    :food-smiley-004:
     
  4. hollowbody

    hollowbody

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    I don't know. I'm not David Gilmour, nor do I use super expensive cables. I like using George Ls because I do hear a difference between them and a cheapie cable. But, the fact is that guitar amps don't do 20hz-20khz.

    Just like in the world of high-end audio, I'm sure there's a point of diminishing returns in the guitar world where you can get a demonstrable performance difference, but only in return for a huge financial investment.

    I'm glad you volunteered to be the forum's guinea pig for this! :smile:
     
  5. jimihendrix

    jimihendrix

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    Location:
    hamilton,ontario
    the truth about guitar cables...

    https://www.lavacable.com/TheTruthAboutGuitarCable.pdf

    cable 101...

    https://www.lavacable.com/cable101.html

    interesting...but one must consider the source of this info...

    as for celeb endorsements...WHY does a celeb endorse a product...???...

    a) they want to appear with the latest/greatest cutting edge space age technology to show how "trendy" and "current" they are...even though they've been out of the spotlight for some years (personally...the wall was the last greatest pink floyd effort)...gilmour uses a fuzzface...but i don't see him endorsing one these days...perhaps the hendrix association has stolen david's fire...or it's cold war technology...even though he still uses one today...

    b) celebs endorse products to get their name/pic back in the public eye...they like to pop up now and again..."hey...i'm here...i'm alive...i'm still relevant"...this helps promote their latest release...and stimulates a resurgeant interest in their back catalogue...which could lead to increased media sales...

    c) celebs endorse products because they believe in their merit...and actually use the product...i read that jim marshall has never offered a celebrity endorsement...artists choose to use his gear...he doesn't care if you suck or are a virtuoso...as long as you choose marshall...he does not want to deal with "debutante" endorsees...
     
  6. I don't think it's a scam. People buy things for all kinds of reasons. People like things for all kinds of reasons. Because I'm a human producing the electrical signal, what makes me play and sound better might not be the wire in the cable but the experience of the cable itself.

    When I hold a cable in my hands, when I feel its jack slide securly into the the plug, the heft of it weighing down my guitar a bit -- all of that visceral stuff might make me feel more connected to everything at the end of that cable. And in turn I might feel like my fingers are pushing some very good feelings through that cable and out the amp.

    None of that can be discounted.

    I said it before: I love the way those cables you bought look. They look killer. I'd feel good plugging one of them in. If that makes you play better, sound better, on that alone they could be priceless.

    It's not so much a scam as it is: difficult to measure precisely what it is about the cables that changes people's playing.

    We could the blind A/B and find out that you can tell the difference between cables when a sample is playing down them. Then you could plug in and all the feelings of that cable will flood into you and unleash some hell furry of playing. So, for you, that's a better cable. On a level that we're not measuring with the A/B test.
     
  7. I thought about that. Definitely possible that having them all tied to the output could be a problem -- but it'd be an equal problem in all cases. Definitely a 3P rotary would be better, but I only did a quick search on Small Bear -- not sure how hard a 3P rotary is to get a hold of.


    Now there's a thought Bill! What if we just put a scope on the end of the cables and a function generator on the other end? No doubt that's done in the factory, but it could be revealing to do it ourselves. Throw 'em in a test harness, run a low power sweep through them and A/B the input and output waveforms for each cable. I can bring a fancy pants Tektronic scope that'll let us capture it all on the computer -- overlay the sweep and the different cable responses.
     
  8. I just wanted to clear up my sentence in that quote of made of my post. I re-read it and it was confusing: I think your experience in hi-fi audio was valid. I shouldn't try and talk fancy. I screw it up. :)
     
  9. Diablo

    Diablo

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Location:
    Holland landing, ON
    I like this idea. As someone who studied and worked in a scientific research lab throughout university, I'd say it can be better controlled however.
    First it should be double blind in that the guitarist playing, or the person announcing Cable 1 or Cable 2 etc should not know either which cables are which, as thye could have subtle inadvertent influences on the test.
    Ideally, you would want the cables hooked up to something fairly consistent like a cd player to fully remove any introduction of bias or inconsistency (better playing the second time around for instance).
    You would then want a large enough sample size of judges, record their votes and apply statistical analysis to the results. In addition to which cable is better, you'd want to also establish a ranking, say out of 10 on how much each cable was preferred/disliked to see if the results are statistically significant.
    There may also be a diference in venues (something that sounds good in a club might not sound as good in a studio and vice versa), so that should be considered as well.
    just some tips.

    For the record I doubt I could discern the difference. My sense of hearing isnt that acute, and my preferred type of music makes it even less so.
     
  10. ronmac

    ronmac

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2006
    Location:
    Nova Scotia
    It is almost 30 years since I witnessed my first debate on the merits of different cables. Since then I have seen the number of manufacturers, models and variations grow exponentially. Each new wave of marketing claims adds another layer of wax paper to the camera lens focus on reality...

    The debate rages on. Grown, intelligent humans discuss ways of conclusively settling the arguments that support their predetermined conclusions. To think that you lot will be successful where others have failed is a bit naive,and perhaps even arrogant.

    Forget about this and move on.

    Do as I have. Become completely frustrated with the whole lot and get yourself a nice acoustic, or twenty. That way you can discover the world of sitka vs. cedar; rosewood vs. mahogany; Elixir vs. D'Addario (the list goes on).

    Me, I prefer to play my acoustic unplugged, and only in the upper floor rooms of my home ('cause everyone knows that the less dense air at that altitude offers less free air resistance to the notes as they propel, in perfect phase, from the hand tuned top).

    Of course I need 20 different acoustics because each of the instruments reacts in a distinct, and easily defined way to the always changing ambient temperature and humidity.

    But wait, I can control that.

    Or can I?
     
  11. mhammer

    mhammer

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2007
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Every reason to eschew the world of pedals and effects and go acoustic. But here's the kicker: even acoustic players have to run their recorded sound through something. Doesn't matter if its a piezo pickup, a rare earth mag pickup at the soundhole or a Neumann tube mic 2 feet in front of them; the sound has to go from the guitar to somewhere else for recording purposes, so a cable will still matter if one wishes to presrve acoustic music for later.

    Dang!! Just when you thought you were out, they keep PULLING you back in.:smile:
     
  12. WarrenG

    WarrenG

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2006
    Location:
    Timbukto
    Remember how certain you were of the conditions in your room... until you added that SECOND hygrometer.
     
  13. jimihendrix

    jimihendrix

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    Location:
    hamilton,ontario
    couldn't have said it better myself...this echoes my sentiments exactly...verbatim...just the right amount of sarcasm to drive home how incredibly inane this tonequest/cable test really is...everyone knows that true tone comes from magic pixie dust sprinkled on the sleeping guitarist between the spring equinox and summer solstice during a full moon...d'uh...!!!...

    musicians used to have to worry about getting their guitars/amps stolen during a gig...these days the thieves specifically target high end cables...in epidemic proportions...what has the world come to...???...

    and...now we have to add a clause in our last will and testaments...not only who gets to inherit our guitars and amps...but now cables...!!!...they've become the preferred asset to be used as collateral toward house and car loans...

    we are collectively at a moral dilemna...feed the world's hungry...or opt for boutique cable...hmm..."what would JESUS do...???"...

    as for controlling ambient temp/humidity...it can be done...a la Ted DeVita...aka...the boy in the plastic bubble...

    atmospheric pressure is easily controlled via hyperbaric chamber...

    https://www.patmcnees.com/the_boy_in_the_plastic_bubble_36542.htm

    [​IMG]
     
  14. guitarman2

    guitarman2 Gold Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    Brantford, Ontario
    Gimme a farken break. As if thieves would know the difference between a high end cable and low end simply by looking at them quickly before stealing. Oh yeah we have cable thieves visiting bars now do we? Nothing you've said in this thread has any intellectual relevance that leads me to believe you are anything more than a guy who knows nothing about this subject and choose to ignore any potential merits based on "Because you say so".
    I respect the people in here who are skeptical and give plausible evidence as to why. You basically just clutter up the thread.
     
  15. Pneumonic

    Pneumonic

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2008
    Location:
    East of Toronto
    Quick reference:

    Human hearing is most sensitive to sounds in the 1 kHz to 5kHz range with 4 kHz being about the most sensitive frequency point.

    So long as frequencies in this range are being reproduced by the gear in question then you won't have any troubles hearing them ..... in all of their splendor.

    Any properly functioning guitar amp will produce frequencies in this range (and much more). From a hearing perspective the limiting factor is not going to be the amp used but rather the speaker employed. The usable range for your typical guitar speaker is 75 Hz to 5 kHz (greenback for example is 75Hz to 5kHz) so there will be no problems getting the frequencies reproduced that the human ear is most sensitive too.

    As mentioned previously, however, loudness is your culprit with ANY such type of test as the shape of humans hearing response is based on dB range. So the louder the sample the more responsive/sensitive a persons' ear will be to the sound. This loudness difference should be avoided with any test done if the goal is to seek out a preferred sound.

    - Kerry
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2009

Share This Page