Episode 023: Cables, cables, cables

Your cables are some of the most (ab)used and also important tools in your arsenal.

Music: JahzzarPlease Listen CarefullyspinningmerkabaUrbana-Metronica (wooh-yeah mix).

Show notes

What can we say about cables? A cable is a cable, right? So why do we accumulate so many?

In regards to the gig setup, here’s the quick list we pack:

  • Dave
    • ¼” line or guitar cables (shielded)
      • Pedalboard Patch Cables
    • XLR or Mic cables
    • Speaker cables
  • Paul
    • Same, mostly; I also carry a short XLR patch as well as…
    • IEC power cable!

What about quality?

  • Paul
    • I usually don’t buy the bargain-basement brand anymore. The unpredictability just isn’t worth the savings
    • There’s a point where the supposed features just don’t add up to enough value to make the extra $$ worth it
    • That said, I do like the Monster and Planet Waves brands
    • I personally will switch when I see a verifiable, double-blind test
  • Dave:
    • There are a couple brands that do the lifetime warrantee thing
    • What’s the deal with the coiled?

Does size matter?

  • Paul
    • NOT TOUCHING THIS ONE
  • Dave
    • Cables coiled up and tangled on stage or in the studio kills me
  • Paul
    • OK, I’ll touch it a little bit ;-D
    • So the longer a run of an unbalanced cable, the more noise you can pick up
    • That being said, I hate being restricted on stage… I’d probably go wireless if I found something worth buying that was easily portable

Other areas to consider:

  • Speakon vs. generic
    • Speakon is only for high current stuff, like amps to speakers
  • Labeling your cables
  • They do go bad
  • Caring for them — what do you watch out for?
    • Dave — I treat the tips like I do any other valuable piece of equipment.
    • Paul — teaching bandmates how to coil them and/or use cable ties
  • Studio vs. gig
    • Paul — I use balanced lines here way more often than on stage
    • Dave — Cable Nightmare! – Really messes with my head…

Photo by Tim Wright on Unsplash

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