Episode 053: Choosing Cables

How to choose the right cables for your rig, and take care of them so they live longer.

Do you have a preferred brand of cable for different uses?

  • Dave:
    • Mogami — especially like the entry that usually has the gold tips, not sure of the exact type
    • Probably Silver?
  • Paul:
    • I used to not care too much, bought whatever worked or was on sale
    • Then had Monster instrument cable that lasted a long time (but big $$)
    • Started really looking into this

What do you look for in a cable?

  • Dave:
    • Connectors that will stand up to being dropped
    • Used to look for thicker gauge
    • Need a certain length for gigs, so needs to not get twisted up
  • Paul:
    • Thickness — Especially in amp to speaker cables, remember these carry heavy wattage
    • Suppleness
    • What people don’t research: capacitance!
      • Measured in picofarads/foot — the higher, the more you tend to lose high end brilliance
      • Big bucks to get below 100 pf/ft; Mogami 2524 “gold” is 130 pf/ft
      • It’s the total over the whole length that matters. So a 10’ cable can sound just as good as a 20’ cable that has half the capacitance
    • Tight fitting connectors with stress relief

Extras?

  • Cable ties!
    • Paul: I love the clip and elastic ties that Planet Waves supplies on their cables, can also get them separately
    • Velcro works fine, too
    • Ever use hair ties?
  • Pushbutton circuit interruption
    • But mechanically can break down
  • Neutrik noiseless sleeves

Taking care of cables

  • Avoid yanking them, obviously
    • You can use Velcro ties to hold one end down to a fuzzy amp cabinet
    • Or run it through a handle to reduce stress in case of a yank
    • At bass side, run cable around your strap and then into jack
  • Storage
    • Coil in circular loops, and tie firmly
    • If possible, store it in a way that keeps other things from smooshing or pinching it
  • Get a cable tester!
  • Might be hard to believe, but we’ve had two previous episodes about cables — this one about how to run them efficiently on stage, and this one about different cable types!

Photo by Jaroslava Petrášová on Unsplash. Music: JahzzarPlease Listen CarefullyspinningmerkabaUrbana-Metronica (wooh-yeah mix).

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