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Silvercrow

What Mid-Priced Guitar Cables Are You Using?

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if you have a monster cable, that is dead, you don't need a receipt.

 

Just take it to a place like GC, and they will exchange it for you and send Monster the dead one.

 

at least that's what happened on the one occasion the one I bought failed.

Thx for that. I'll have to give that a go at my local GC, which is where I bought them to begin with anyway.

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I have been using two kinds. In the not to distant past I used Spectraflex and just lately ProCo...

 

no complaints with either....

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THANKS so much all! So...I ordered a Fender Performance, a ProCo Evolution and a Lava Clear II. All straight > straight.

 

I'm hoping the ProCo will be as good as my current ones- IIRC they were about $27.00 for a 15' back when I bought them. More now but of course everything goes up.

 

You guys like the Fenders and they are getting good reviews! This will be the most "cost effective" out of the three.

 

The Lava? I went back and forth with that one, finally called the company. The guy- not the owner- was very down to earth and was VERY confident I'd like their cable (obviously). He readily acknowledged there were other very good cable manufacturers out there and told me why he thought, dollar for dollar, theirs edged out the competition. His final remark was wishing me well in any decision I made and that if I bought a cable from them, that unless I totally abused it, that if it malfunctioned, ever, they'd replace it. Their philosophy is to make a superior able for the money spent- the way products used to be in this country. Heck...I just had to try one!

 

Brian

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Hey Silvercrow, it would be nice if you could post a comparison when you tested them.

Would like to see if you hear any difference between them.

 

Hi Mr. C.O. Jones! I'd be happy to do that! And I will! My equipment doesn't include a Dumble amp, a Suhr guitar or the like, but hey, I can do a working man's limited shootout! It ought to be fun.

 

I can still hear pretty well and I did (do) hear a significant difference between a cheap no-name cable I bought in an emergency years ago (relegated to a drawer I recently "cleaned out") and my current ProCo cables. I have an old Quantum cable I can throw in for a reference, too.

 

So stand by- Two that I ordered from MF should be here tomorrow...

 

Thanks!

 

Brian

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I have used a lot over the years, but mostly Pro-Co in the past, then moved on to Spectra-flex. My "main" cable has been a Spectra-flex for some years now.

 

I think one thing about it is, I think cables "break in" after having a good amount of hours on them. They tend to become less hashy, smoother, and at the same time, "open up" letting more of everything come through.

 

So...in that sense, reliability becomes more important, beyond warranty issues.

 

The Pro-Co cables I used to use (and still do, cause I still have them and they still sound good), they DO go bad on occasion, requiring a fix. I expect that from any cable, especially the way we (us musician types) use them. But to my surprise, I haven't had a Spectra-Flex go bad yet.

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I have used a lot over the years, but mostly Pro-Co in the past, then moved on to Spectra-flex. My "main" cable has been a Spectra-flex for some years now.

 

I think one thing about it is, I think cables "break in" after having a good amount of hours on them. They tend to become less hashy, smoother, and at the same time, "open up" letting more of everything come through.

 

So...in that sense, reliability becomes more important, beyond warranty issues.

 

The Pro-Co cables I used to use (and still do, cause I still have them and they still sound good), they DO go bad on occasion, requiring a fix. I expect that from any cable, especially the way we (us musician types) use them. But to my surprise, I haven't had a Spectra-Flex go bad yet.

 

Hi Stein-

 

Good points you have there IMO! There is a belief, supposedly supported by science, that cables do in fact break in or I guess more appropriately "settle in" over use/time. Some manufacturers even believe that the structure of the molecules composing the wires are affected by the particular type of amplifier matched with a specific type of pickup etc. I don't know if I believe that or not.

 

I am pretty careful with my equipment- comes from not having a lot as a kid, I guess; when I got something nice (rarely) if something happened to it it would not be replaced. Responsibility bordering on paranoia [unsure]

 

When I do this little comparison, I'm going to show pics of a ProCo cable (one of two I bought circa 1997). After a gig one night about year 2000, I inadvertently left one of them behind...in the parking lot. I suppose it slipped out of my hands, or whatever. A friend in another band, about a week later, mentioned he found a guitar cable in the parking lot of this venue. I told him my tale and he ultimately returned it to me. It apparently had been run over by a vehicle at least once (evidenced by deep gouging in the outer layer and strain relief and right-angled plug. Well, it's 2015 and I just used this same cable last night while practicing! I retired it from gig service upon receiving it back but have used it at home ever since.

 

At the end of the day I think that there are good offerings across several manufacturers. Some quality decline over years as companies are absorbed or trade names are bought / acquired, materials are compromised in an efort to stay viable. And then of course there is a bit of "snake oil" or "voodoo" attached to some claims over a wide gamut of products relative to guitars / amps / effects. Don't believe it- take a look at the postings on the Gear Page. Talk about entertainment! [flapper] One could write a book about the mysterious "Klon Centaur" and the myriad clones that followed!!

 

Brian

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...One could write a book about the mysterious "Klon Centaur"...

 

I could certainly write a good one about that thing, the usenet days of making fun of it, guitar shows spent in drunken giggle fits every time we saw one, and a couple guys locally that used them. It was a weird time.

 

rct

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There is a belief, supposedly supported by science, that cables do in fact break in or I guess more appropriately "settle in" over use/time. Some manufacturers even believe that the structure of the molecules composing the wires are affected by the particular type of amplifier matched with a specific type of pickup etc. I don't know if I believe that or not.

 

At the end of the day I think that there are good offerings across several manufacturers. Some quality decline over years as companies are absorbed or trade names are bought / acquired, materials are compromised in an efort to stay viable. And then of course there is a bit of "snake oil" or "voodoo" attached to some claims over a wide gamut of products relative to guitars / amps / effects. Don't believe it-

Brian

 

If I'm not mistaken, electrical flow of electrons generates a type of resonance, different from "electrical resonance" or the "resonance circuit." Resonance does have an effect on metallurgy that you can see under extreme magnification but it is only remotely possible that a human can hear a difference.

 

In fact, I believe snake oil - social programming, power of suggestion, marketing, propaganda, or just wanting to believe - is a huge factor in things like hearing differences between cables and getting lost in the rabbit hole of tone chasing.

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I love cables with an angle plug on one end. Better if they're not black, which can factor huge in theft and loss deterrent.

 

If you like the look of curly cables, you have to be a bit of a princess with your gear to avoid tangles, particularly because curly cables need to be extra long or else moving around while playing is like bungee jumping. They are heavy and, depending on the guitar you play, may tug persistently.

 

Tweed cables look cool but they tangle like crazy and it's like velcro for dust, dirt, hair, and pet fur. Supposedly they make "non-tangle" tweed cables though. Still, the cable kinda abrades itself in the friction of normal use - coiling/uncoiling, rolling around on the floor, getting stepped on, rubbing against other crap in your gig backpack, etc - and the tweed fibers degrade into something like a medium-stiff fuzz that traps all kinds of fine funk & debris. The hair is gross - longhaired musicians and the girls shed hair like crazy and stages & rehearsal rooms almost never get vacuumed or swept well.

 

I have this one and I like it but I wish it had angle plug on one end! http://www.musiciansfriend.com/accessories/fender-california-instrument-cable

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Hi Stein-

 

Good points you have there IMO! There is a belief, supposedly supported by science, that cables do in fact break in or I guess more appropriately "settle in" over use/time. Some manufacturers even believe that the structure of the molecules composing the wires are affected by the particular type of amplifier matched with a specific type of pickup etc. I don't know if I believe that or not.

 

 

 

 

 

Brian

 

 

If I'm not mistaken, electrical flow of electrons generates a type of resonance, different from "electrical resonance" or the "resonance circuit." Resonance does have an effect on metallurgy that you can see under extreme magnification but it is only remotely possible that a human can hear a difference.

 

In fact, I believe snake oil - social programming, power of suggestion, marketing, propaganda, or just wanting to believe - is a huge factor in things like hearing differences between cables and getting lost in the rabbit hole of tone chasing.

I know there is science to explain it, but I certainly don't know what it is.

 

I can say, as an absolute fact, that there ARE differences in sound quality between cables. In my own experiences with audiophile-type cables, and changing wiring with different brands/types, there is often a HUGE difference not just in tonality, but in quality and accuracy between one type or another.

 

Also, I can promise you, there IS a break-in period that occurs, particularly with "quality" cables, that takes some hours before that particular cable will sound it's best. Usually, the better the cable, the more drastic the change.

 

This also happens with components, CD players, amps and the like.

 

I think where the "snake oil" comes in, it's a two way street. Many believe the reason a guitar amp sounds better, "breaks in" so to speak, is because the speaker needs time to "loosen-up". But I think that it is more the electrical components breaking in, and perhaps the coil in the speaker breaking in (electrically) rather than the cone becoming more flexable.

 

Having said all this also, I have on many occasions, changed wire or cables in something expecting an improvement or change, and not heard any at all.

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I've tried a bunch and have found two that are easy to coil and have excellent capacitance.

 

Lava Cable - Magma: 20 foot - 29.5 pF/ft. cap - Made in USA - about $30-35.

 

D'Addario/Planet Waves - American Stage: 20 foot - 28.5 pF/ft. cap - Made in USA - about $25-30.

 

I agree with some posters here that the fabric covered ones tangle easier and they are a PIA to coil.

I own two Spectraflex, and they perform well, but pretty is not a necessity and it doesn't make your

music any better. They look real good but the only ones who will see it on stage are the other

musicians and the techs.

 

Here is a nice comparison chart to look at: Audio Cables Compared

Gets you thinking about the hoopla surrounding cables and getting what you pay for...

 

Good luck on your hunt. You will learn a lot of useful information on the journey...

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I used to use Rapco Road Hogs, and I have a few that have been in use over 10 years. None of the Road Hogs have ever failed me. For a while now I've used Vox coil cords. I abuse them and they usually last me several months of gigging 6-10 times/month.

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