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Cable Slutz
Old 9th June 2002
  #1
Gear Head
 
soapbox's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Cable Slutz

I just had a bunch of cable snakes made for my keyboard module rack. It's all good stuff too: Neutrik plugs and Canare cables. The guy who made my snakes is a perfectionist who took a three-day course from NASA just to learn military grade soldering! He does a lot of tech work for Paramount Motion Pictures, and he services Speck Electronics mixers here in Los Angeles as well. This helps because I'll be using the Speck Xtramix v5 in my rack.

This rack actually has some outboard gear as well, so I still need to purchase a couple of standard insert "Y" cables (1 TRS - 2 TS). Does anyone have any brand advice for high-end pre-made cables? I'd like to stick with Neutrik plugs, but I'm open to suggestions.

FWIW, I've been advised by the Xtramix's designer not to use plugs that claim they are quarter-inch, but that actually conform to the metric system. He says that they won't make a good connection into the Xtramix's Switchcraft jacks. (There's no patchbay in this rack.) Neutrik or Switchcraft plugs were recommended for this reason.

I hope to have my new setup completed by this time next week. Thanks, in advance for any help.

Jules, I understand you spent $20,000 wiring you studio. What do you say?

Best,

Geoff
Old 9th June 2002
  #2
Founder
 
Jules's Avatar
Well I sure wrote the cheques out, but appart from it all working great 2 years on, I havn't much off a clue on the finer points of it all!

Sorry!

Old 9th June 2002
  #3
Gear Head
 
soapbox's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Jules, don't sweat it! I'm sure I'll find the right brand. I'm happy that your wiring is working so well though.

Best,

Geoff
Old 10th June 2002
  #4
Lives for gear
 
C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by soapbox
..... I'm happy that your wiring is working so well though.

for $20,000 that is the LEAST you would expect it to do spin spin


I wire / solder most things myself .... allways use BELDEN cables.

multi connectors get custom wired by a professional audio audio company specialised in doing that with me standing next to them. heh heh
Old 10th June 2002
  #5
Gear Head
 
soapbox's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Belden, eh? Thanks Chris. It's good to "see" you here, BTW.

I've just discovered that Apogee makes cables. I'd be surprised if their cables were substandard. Perhaps they make them in the configuration I need.

Best,

Geoff
Old 13th June 2002
  #6
Lives for gear
 
e-cue's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Soap, It's noteworthy that someone actually cares about the veins of their equipment these days. I've used the "hosa" cables (barter deal) and have lived to regret it, but oh well. Neutrik or Switchcraft should work fine...
Old 14th June 2002
  #7
Gear Head
 
soapbox's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Thanks e-cue. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, after all.
Old 27th June 2002
  #8
tee
Gear Nut
 
tee's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
soapbox,
Maybe this is too late if you pulled the trigger already, but I just found out about this joint.

I recently bought some cables from www.hotwiredcables.com - they do custom length Mogami or Canare with Neutrik or Switchcraft connectors. The cables were great quality and well done and priced pretty nice.

They have an ebay store or you can access them through their site above, may be worth your while to check out.

Good luck,
Tony
Old 27th June 2002
  #9
Founder
 
Jules's Avatar
I am ready to drop some serious cash on

I x gtr lead to amp or pedals
3 x connector leads between pedals
1 x lead to amp from pedals in CR
1 x speaker lead from amp to patchbay in CR (amp speaker lead socket)
1 x speaker lead from live area patch bay to 4 x 12

Screw 'live use' !! This stuff I will guard with my life!

Up to.. $160 say...

is that enough for the best SOUNDING stuff?
Old 27th June 2002
  #10
Moderator emeritus
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
I am ready to drop some serious cash on

I x gtr lead to amp or pedals
3 x connector leads between pedals
1 x lead to amp from pedals in CR
1 x speaker lead from amp to patchbay in CR (amp speaker lead socket)
1 x speaker lead from live area patch bay to 4 x 12

Screw 'live use' !! This stuff I will guard with my life!

Up to.. $160 say...

is that enough for the best SOUNDING stuff?
Jules, I've used $150 guitar cables and I've used $5 guitar cables. I didn't hear a hell of a lot of difference between the two. Buy decent cables, keep them as short as feasible (I do notice the high end los from long cables), and buy a couple of spares. For your speaker leads, I'd suggest that you go to your local electrical supply house and buy a few meters of the thickest lamp cable you can (you've got to be able to put the connecters on it) and be done with it. Are you running the speaker outs through a regular patch bay with multi-pair, or did you put speaker leads in that patch bay? I planned to isolated speakers and amps when I built my room, and have speaker wire (I think 10 gauge) from the control room into a couple of the isos and the lounge, as well as guitar cables (for combo amps).
Old 27th June 2002
  #11
Gear Head
 
soapbox's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Tony, it is too late; but this is a good thing to know for the future. I have already bookmarked the site.

Thanks,

Geoff
Old 28th June 2002
  #12
Founder
 
Jules's Avatar
"I planned to isolated speakers and amps when I built my room, and have speaker wire (I think 10 gauge) from the control room into a couple of the isos and the lounge, as well as guitar cables (for combo amps)."

Ditto

Gtr tie 1&2
Amp tie 1&2 (thicker, speaker grade wire)
they turn up in the main live are and 'the gimp hole'.

Thanks for the other 'no need to go $$ crazy tips....'

Old 3rd July 2002
  #13
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
I've used $150 guitar cables and I've used $5 guitar cables. I didn't hear a hell of a lot of difference between the two. Buy decent cables, keep them as short as feasible (I do notice the high end los from long cables), and buy a couple of spares. For your speaker leads, I'd suggest that you go to your local electrical supply house and buy a few meters of the thickest lamp cable you can
With all due respect, it amazes me when someone makes a statement like this.

I recently spent a few hours in the studio with a guitarist tracking and listending to a range of guitar cables. Inexpensive cables sounded anemic and flat compared to some of the higher end cables he had. That's not to say that there aren't overpriced cables out there that don't justify their price, but don't write them all off because you had one pricey cable that didn't live up to it's price.

With the better cables the significant increase in dynamics alone was worth the money, plus the tone changed with different amps. Interaction in the chain was notable with some amps and cables.

Lamp cord for speaker wire can work, but it can also limit the current you're delivering to your speakers from that amp you spent big bucks on.

I don't have anything less than cables that were, at the least, intended for audio. I did a lot of auditioning for every link in the studio and spent money where I could hear the difference. It was well worth the time and IMO you're making a big mistake to dismiss to differnce good cables can make.
Old 9th July 2002
  #14
Gear Head
 
Skwaidu's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
I am ready to drop some serious cash on

I x gtr lead to amp or pedals
3 x connector leads between pedals
1 x lead to amp from pedals in CR
1 x speaker lead from amp to patchbay in CR (amp speaker lead socket)
1 x speaker lead from live area patch bay to 4 x 12

Screw 'live use' !! This stuff I will guard with my life!

Up to.. $160 say...

is that enough for the best SOUNDING stuff?
Tried "George L's" cable? Haven't used them myself but many guitar mags have praised them over the years... Should be THE high- end guitar cable. Not very easy to obtain, though...
Old 9th July 2002
  #15
Founder
 
Jules's Avatar
YES!
I have had them in the studio, they are quite stiff, I think Chandlers UK sell em!

I should get a few!
Old 9th July 2002
  #16
Moderator emeritus
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Tubelover
[B]

With all due respect, it amazes me when someone makes a statement like this.
...

With the better cables the significant increase in dynamics alone was worth the money, plus the tone changed with different amps. Interaction in the chain was notable with some amps and cables.

Lamp cord for speaker wire can work, but it can also limit the current you're delivering to your speakers from that amp you spent big bucks on.

]
I would suggest that if a one or 2 meter guitar cable changes the loading of the guitar, someting is desparately wrong somewhere - either in the guitar or the cable. A good cable shouldn't do that.

And by when I say thick lamp cord for speaker cable, I'm suggesting that he buy 8 or 10 gauge cable, which is a lot thicker than most commercial speaker wire. I know of several mastering rooms which chose 10 gauge electrical cable after A/B tests with multiple brands of so called 'audiophile' speaker leads.

Of course, I also know of mastering rooms using welding cable, though it takes a lot more work to get the speaker connections on them...
Old 9th July 2002
  #17
Gear Head
 
soapbox's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Wow, this thread has had a greater life span than I might have predicted. Cables aren't very sexy as far as gear goes, but they can sure make a difference!

I'm happy to report that my setup sounds noticeably better than it did before. There are two main ways that the sound has improved: 1) Background noise is now inaudible while my hard drives are powered up (I have yet to check it out with them off, or isolated) and 2) The audio itself sounds more detailed.

It's hard to know how much of the improvement is attributable to swapping out mixers and how much of it is because of the cables I'm now using. For what it's worth, I eliminated my old Soundtracs Solo MIDI mixer in favor of the Speck Xtramix v5 mentioned at the top of this thread. All of the inputs on the Speck are TRS, whereas the line inputs on the Soundtracs were unbalanced. Most of the cables in my old setup were store-bought. None were as bad as Hosa, while the best store-bought cables in my old setup were Switchcraft branded. (The cables in my new setup are described at the top of this thread.)

Thanks again to all for the advice. I'm enjoying my new setup!

Best,

Geoff
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