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hoosierhiver
02-21-2017, 04:46 AM
Surprisingly, I've never seen this discussed here before. Does anyone have a prefered brand of amp cord?

Booli
02-21-2017, 05:16 AM
Not so much a brand preference, but a 'style' preference...

I try to buy whatever guitar cable has the 'full metal jacket' as the plug and a good strain relief, but I'm not particular to any brand.

I prefer these to the ones where the entire plug ends are all molded plastic, since the all-metal plug ends can be easily re-soldered and the all plastic ones need to be cut off and a wires stripped and tinned and a new plug sourced, which often costs about the same as the whole cable for a REAN, Neutrik or Switchcraft quality plug.

Musicians Friend, Guitar Center and Sweetwater all have sales on 4-packs of 10 foot cords right now for the tail end of the 'President's Day Sale' ending tonight at most vendors...

If the instrument has a Strat-type 'recessed football' jack then a cord with both ends straight is fine, but for most any other kind of jack that is on the surface of the instrument, I prefer that one end of the cable has the plug 90 degress so that it does not stick out, and is less likely to get bent or broken on something because of NOT protruding 3" from the front or edge of the instrument....

ETA: I've bought lots of cables from MONOPRICE over the years and never had one fail, and prices are better than most vendors, and quality is at least as good as the Mogami cables I used to buy:

https://www.monoprice.com/category?c_id=115&cp_id=11509&cs_id=1150901

hollisdwyer
02-21-2017, 05:18 AM
I use a Lava brand cable http://www.lavacable.com/index.php?id=23
from my uke to amp/pedals, etc and Mogami patch cables.

Rllink
02-21-2017, 06:27 AM
I'm partial to the Fender Tweed cables. Don't ask me why, because I don't know, I just do. That is all I've ever used, so I can't compare them to anything else. But I've never had any issues with them. I've got three of them.

kohanmike
02-21-2017, 06:35 AM
I used to buy the least expensive ones at Guitar Center with the blue tape wrap, but they do not hold up, the wiring breaks inside easily and they tend to transmit noise. Now I buy the better quality ones.

Recstar24
02-21-2017, 06:40 AM
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AQBT53Q/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Planet Waves, very good quality and reasonable price. I like the right angles, and these particular plugs insert smoothly and are smooth on pulling out. That really is my biggest concern, the jacks themselves and making sure you get a nice smooth insertion and pull.

Brad Bordessa
02-21-2017, 11:10 AM
Mogami Gold. Got hundreds of gigs on the first one I bought 5+ years ago. I couldn't believe I spent $50 on a cable at the time! But I'm glad I did. It's all I've bought ever since to replace various other brands.

Just the other day I bought some bulk Mogami cable and a bunch of Switchcraft plugs to wire my pedal board. Seems like the obvious way to go if you can figure out how to solder. You'll save about half of the sales price for a pre-made Mogami cable.

Interesting side-note on cable quality: I've been recording for the past few months. Just been using the XLR cables I had kicking around. I bought a couple of Mogami XLR cables for fun. Plugged them in and tried to overdub a couple of vocal parts on a track recorded with the old cables. The difference in tone was quite noticeable! Noticeable enough that I had to plug the old cables back in to get a vocal sound that matched the earlier track. Needless to say, I tracked everything from that day on with the Mogamis.

lfoo6952
02-21-2017, 11:29 AM
Hipppie Guy: that's interesting to note that you have found a difference in tone with different cable brands. It has been debated on another forum (acoustic guitar forum) that there are no differences. As a result, I had been using cheap store brand cables all these years. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

Brad Bordessa
02-21-2017, 03:32 PM
Hipppie Guy: that's interesting to note that you have found a difference in tone with different cable brands. It has been debated on another forum (acoustic guitar forum) that there are no differences. As a result, I had been using cheap store brand cables all these years. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

My experience is with a mic recording a voice - two pretty high fidelity things. I could see the difference being much less noticeable with 1/4" cables and plugged-in instruments since the source sound usually starts out in pretty sad shape already (piezos suck - let's be honest). There's a lot more sound content to transfer from a mic. That's my hunch. But maybe I'll try recording my uke direct in one day and A/B some cables.

TCK
02-21-2017, 03:56 PM
Lava- vintage tweed. Metal ends, right angle...looks cool. Have to appease the inner rock star.

ramone
02-23-2017, 12:41 AM
I order all of my cables from Butch at Bayou Cables. well worth it as his cables last for years if not forever!

cdkrugjr
02-23-2017, 12:58 AM
The brand isn't important provided they use good quality terminations.

Audio isn't RF--only goes to 20kHz, so discussions of things like "skin effect" and "transmission line" is pretty silly to we engineers.

kitsunegarcia
04-23-2018, 08:12 AM
Sorry to resuscitate such an old thread, but I am feeling overwhelmed with cable choices. Shielded? check. Brands people like? Canare, Mogami, Lava, etc.. Thanks for the above advice!

More questions, sorry if these seem silly or obvs as I am new to this :

1.) Is the right angle connector piece useful/desireable? Does it connect to the amp side or the ukulele side? I got gifted with one and don't know which way it is supposed to connect.

2.) Does length of the cable matter? Does the signal get degraded over long wires? What are your preferred lengths? I'm playing mostly at small venues/cafes etc.

3.) What about those cables between pedals? Should I look for the same quality in those?

4.) What about those coily cables? Worth it or no?

Brad Bordessa
04-23-2018, 09:53 AM
Sorry to resuscitate such an old thread, but I am feeling overwhelmed with cable choices. Shielded? check. Brands people like? Canare, Mogami, Lava, etc.. Thanks for the above advice!

More questions, sorry if these seem silly or obvs as I am new to this :

1.) Is the right angle connector piece useful/desireable? Does it connect to the amp side or the ukulele side? I got gifted with one and don't know which way it is supposed to connect.

2.) Does length of the cable matter? Does the signal get degraded over long wires? What are your preferred lengths? I'm playing mostly at small venues/cafes etc.

3.) What about those cables between pedals? Should I look for the same quality in those?

4.) What about those coily cables? Worth it or no?

1. I've never found it desirable. A right-angle doesn't always fit. A straight jack always does. Exception: pedal patch cables (usually).

2. Yes. If you run more than 20'-ish without help from a buffer or preamp you will loose some high-end. Booli could tell you why. I have 10' and 18' cables that I bring to most gigs. If I'm not far from my amp/mixer/pedals and don't plan on running around or jumping off things, I'll use the 10'. Otherwise the 18' almost always is enough, if not you should have a DI between anyways.

3. Patch cables are simply one more place for things to go wrong. Unless you have a ton of boxes the length/quality probably won't be that big of a deal. FWIW, I use Mogami/Switchcraft.

4. Only if you want to look cool for a short amount of time before they get kinked and crackly (in my experience).

Booli
04-23-2018, 06:24 PM
...2. Yes. If you run more than 20'-ish without help from a buffer or preamp you will loose some high-end. Booli could tell you why. I have 10' and 18' cables that I bring to most gigs. If I'm not far from my amp/mixer/pedals and don't plan on running around or jumping off things, I'll use the 10'. Otherwise the 18' almost always is enough, if not you should have a DI between anyways....

I try to keep my own 1/4" unbalanced cables 15 ft or less.

This is for 3 reasons:

1. At 20 ft, you get into where the cable's treble falls off, as Brad said, and this is due to the linear electrical capacitance of copper, which per foot is not an issue with shorter cable runs, but at 20 ft or longer, the capacitance can act as a low-pass filter, unless you are using cables that have the signal core wire at about 12 AWG, and at 12AWG the cable can actually carry enough voltage to run longer, maybe ~35 ft before capacitance becomes an issue again.

2. Unbalanced cables act like an antenna for EMI and RF interference. This interference from most VHF and UHF and 50/60 cycle A/C power hum, and the harmonics of these frequencies often find their way into unbalanced lines longer than ~18 ft due to the wavelengths of the interference being periodic (or sinusoidal) relative to the length of wire.

3. As Brad also mentioned 'buffering', this is an issue solved with either a DI, buffer box, or some other pre-amp or eq inline. Unbuffered signals exhibit both loss of treble frequencies and loss of gain due to voltage drop on longer cable lines. Inserting some kind of buffer into the circuit will correct any voltage loss, and/or boost voltage of the signal for the next leg of the cable, usually up to 750mv (millivolts) or 1mv, such that the terminating point of the cable is able to render the -3dbA or +4dbA expected where the cable will plug in to a mixer, PA system, amp or recording device....

Having said all the above, cheap cables are more likely to have problems. Buy cheap buy twice.

Mogami and Canare are both good brands. I also have had great success with audio cables from Monoprice, which IIRC a little birdie told me are made by either Mogami or Canare, but a little cheaper to buy since they are sold as the Monoprice 'house brand'.

In my olden days of being fugal and foolish, I used to buy HOSA brand cables, and for a fixed installation at home, where the connectors will never be subject to stress, these might be ok, but as Brad said cheap cables will break down, usually at the connectors or plugs from repeated stress/abuse.

I used to have HOSA cables for my portable setups and all lasted maybe a yr, and then were replaced with either Mogami, Canare and later Monoprice when I learned about them.

Hope this helps. :)

kitsunegarcia
04-24-2018, 12:18 PM
Thank you all for the great suggestions!

@Hippie Guy: yeah coiled cords don't work out well for hair dryers either seemed sort of gimmicky.

@Camsuke: That makes sense for people who sit down! I tend to stand for playing as much as possible.

@Booli: I was given my current cables but when it is my turn to buy I will buy decent ones! Thanks for the explanation! I tend to be hard on equipment so it would be worth it to me to not have things break.

ricdoug
04-25-2018, 06:36 PM
Livewire cords have free lifetime replacement. In two decades I've used that warranty exactly once. That is also a testament to their reliability. Sound quality deteriorates immensely after 18', so you will need to use active/passive DI boxes for longer runs to the mixer. Here's some of mine:

https://i.imgur.com/9gSFXk7.jpg