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  1. #1
    Fenderfied
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    Default The Captain's (pointless) Cable Shoot-Out

    I had to repair a noisy cable today and while testing it out afterwards I decided to collect together the assortment of cables I've acquired over the years to see if I could hear a difference between them (yes, it was raining outside and I had time on my hands!).

    Anyway, they're all in the 10 to 12 ft range:

    Bullet coily, Fender Premium, American Stage, Lava Clear Connect, Custom Shop Tweed, Standard Planet Waves, Fender Vintage Volt.


    I didn't expect to hear much of a difference, however, I kept going back and forth between cables with the same guitar straight into the amp and the differences were miniscule at best. I finally convinced myself (and I needed a lot of convincing!) that the Lava exhibits a slightly more forward mid range and top end. The Bullet, American Stage and Fender Premium are grouped just behind that (cannot tell those apart), with the Custom Tweed, Planet Waves and Vintage Volt in a close run third group (slightly darker sounding than the rest but cannot distinguish between them).

    The test was largely pointless of course - these cables sound as close to each other as to not matter and I continue to be happy to plug-in with any of them.

    ...But at least I got some playing done while I was about it.
    I'm a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.

  2. #2
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    Default

    Now, don't you feel better?
    There is none so blind as he that cannot see...

  3. #3
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    Default

    Oh yeah, that's an age old study, for sure. I've tried tests like that in my ol' garage when I've had time on my hands, with similar results. I remember years ago, when Guitar Player magazine did a review on a bunch of cords that were then available on the marketplace. In the end, the super high-priced cables didn't sound significantly better than a lot of the cheaper examples. In fact, they gave the Carvin cables the best value for price and performance. That made me feel pretty good because I was already using a lot of their cables and thought they were quite nice (I'm actually still using those same cords years later). Shortly after that, I bought a Monster cable to see if I could hear a difference between it and my other Carvins. I couldn't. I still have that Monster cable too, and it is built quite a bit stronger. I have had to replace the ends on some of my Carvins, while the Monster is still factory stock and rockin' on. And that's about all I have to say about that.
    Some contend that rock 'n roll is bad for the body & bad for the soul
    Bad for the heart, bad for the mind, bad for the deaf & bad for the blind.
    It makes some men crazy and they talk like fools.
    Makes some men crazy and they start to drool.

  4. #4
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    Default

    Please look out for the next installment in the Captain's "Pointless" Series, which will examine the tone benefits of different coloured jewel lamps...
    I'm a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Bb View Post
    Please look out for the next installment in the Captain's "Pointless" Series, which will examine the tone benefits of different coloured jewel lamps...
    Dude, I've done that one too! I changed a couple of my Fender amps to a lovely shade of blue jewel lamps, and they definitely perked up. More saturation, clarity in the mids, and a sweet-complex high end.
    Some contend that rock 'n roll is bad for the body & bad for the soul
    Bad for the heart, bad for the mind, bad for the deaf & bad for the blind.
    It makes some men crazy and they talk like fools.
    Makes some men crazy and they start to drool.

  6. #6
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    Damn it man! Are there no frontiers of tone left to explore?
    I'm a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.

  7. #7
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    Default

    Oh yes, there is the critical elements of speaker cloth, and tolex colors. I haven't done much research in those areas (yet).
    Some contend that rock 'n roll is bad for the body & bad for the soul
    Bad for the heart, bad for the mind, bad for the deaf & bad for the blind.
    It makes some men crazy and they talk like fools.
    Makes some men crazy and they start to drool.

  8. #8
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    Default

    What about the dampening effect of different rubber feet?
    Bottle Rocket Scientist.....

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SAguitar View Post
    Oh yes, there is the critical elements of speaker cloth, and tolex colors. I haven't done much research in those areas (yet).
    I can confirm it, for example famous Marshall already made some series of its amps with black, red (orange), blue, white and silver tolex.

    Serious: It's hard by ear to distinguish rich of sound by using different cables; I'm convinced myself that cables for half/full stack head to cabinet connection and guitar cables can't be same thing, speaker cables are designed to carry the higher current needed to drive a speaker and thus have thicker conductors. Also, they are typically unshielded so they wouldn't work very well as a guitar cord....unless you like lot's of noise.
    I do use Hot Line cables and can't say nothing against: thick, no hum, no noise. Probably Cooperhead, Monster and others cables are better by unimeter measurement but taking in account price difference of these cables - mine Hot Line is still good.


  10. #10
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Bb View Post
    Damn it man! Are there no frontiers of tone left to explore?
    You have to be careful what you do. I changed all the light bulbs in the back of my Peavey Classic 30 to the low energy ones the government insist we use and they knocked all of the tone (and volume) out of the amp!
    You know, said Arthur, its at times like this, when Im trapped in a Vogon airlock with a man from Betelgeuse, and about to die of asphyxiation in deep space that I really wish Id listened to what my mother told me when I was young.
    Why, what did she tell you?
    I dont know, I didnt listen.

 

 

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