The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Instead of a default 1/4 ts cable, could I use a jack for connecting my guitar?
Old 10th February 2019
  #1
Here for the gear
Instead of a default 1/4 ts cable, could I use a jack for connecting my guitar?

Hello

I'm busking on the streets, so I'm looking for lightweight and portable gear.

I own a Yamaha APX-T2 travel guitar and a generic dynamic mic that both are connected to the main inputs (XLR/TRS) of my Roland Cube Street.

The Roland Cube Street also has an AUX input, which is a 3.5 audio jack. I can connect my guitar using a 3.5 stereo cable (and a 1/4 stereo adapter on the guitar's end) to it.

What I find interesting is the fact that I can NOT plug the guitar to the main input using the 3.5 stereo cable and two 1/4 stereo adapters (one on each end). Why's that? I'd love to use a smaller 3.5 cable instead of a bulky 1/4 cable when traveling...

What's even more confusing is the fact that when I power on the tuner/preamp thing, the signal actually goes to the amplifier, but way too loud, and there's a lot of unwanted noise and buzz. The same happens btw. when connected to the AUX input, when the tuner/preamp is active.

I'm a bit puzzled because of this. May it have to do with the 3.5 cable being stereo, not mono? But why does it work in the AUX input anyway then?

As said, I'd love to reduce the size and weight of my cables... Is there a way to make it work?

Thank you.
Joshua
Old 10th February 2019
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Richard Crowley's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh83 View Post
I own a Yamaha APX-T2 travel guitar and a generic dynamic mic that both are connected to the main inputs (XLR/TRS) of my Roland Cube Street.
There is only one combo input (XLR/TRS), so it is not clear how "both are connected to the main inputs (XLR/TRS)"?

Quote:
I can NOT plug the guitar to the main input using the 3.5 stereo cable and two 1/4 stereo adapters (one on each end). Why's that? ... when I power on the tuner/preamp thing, the signal actually goes to the amplifier, but way too loud, and there's a lot of unwanted noise and buzz.
The Guitar/Instrument input is instrument-level and the output from your guitar appears to be line-level. The instrument-level input on the amp is much too sensitive for the line-level output from your guitar. If you cannot adjust the output of your guitar low enough for your amp input, then you need to attenuate the signal. Perhaps with an attenuating cable.

If it were me, I would just make a special attenuating cable which is just an ordinary TS to TS cable, but with a couple of 10-cent resistors to reduce the guitar line-level down to the instrument-level expected by the amp.
Old 10th February 2019
  #3
Here for the gear
Thank you, Richard.

But why does it work as expected with a 1/4 mono cable, and not with a 3.5 stereo cable and two 1/4 adapters?

With the 1/4 mono cable, it works whether the preamp/tuner is powered on or not. While with the 3.5 cable it does not work when the preamp/tuner is powered off (no signal at all) and the signal is too strong (a lot of noise) when it is powered on.

So it seems to me it has more to do with the type of cables than with the preamp/tuner.
Old 11th February 2019
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Richard Crowley's Avatar
 

You have a very weird configuration using adapters and inappropriate connectors (3.5mm) and a "stereo cable". You have at least a half-dozen significant unknowns there. We don't know how your 3.5mm cable is wired. And we don't know how your adapters are wired, either. Unless those are all documented properly, it is anybody's guess why thing are working (or not). My question is not why it works like it does, but why it even works at all. Using a bunch of adapters is never a good idea if you can plan ahead and avoid it.

And 3.5mm connectors are never a good choice unless the source and or destination are natively 3.5mm And in your case, the 3.5mm input on the amp is ABSOLUTELY NOT designed for a guitar input. It goes through the "Mic channel" and not through the "Guitar/Instrument channel".

Does your guitar output "instrument-level" when the circuit in the guitar is turned off? The documentation I found for the guitar is particularly obscure about exactly how it works.

Continued fooling around with the 3.5mm cable and a bunch of unknown adapters seems like a waste of time to me. Use a proper XLR mic cable for your microphone and a proper TS cable for your guitar. It is not clear why you wouldn't choose the simple and straightforward solution?
Old 16th March 2019
  #5
Here for the gear
Hey Richard

Thank you for your answer. I‘m sorry for the late reply, I have some tough weeks traveling behind me...

And the fact that I‘m traveling is the reason why I‘m asking these strange questions: as a busker, I want to cut down size and weight from my baggage.

I‘m currently carrying around a standard 1/4 lead for my guitar, and a standard XLR cable for my microphone.

I‘d love to replace those with lighter ones, and I don‘t know whether there is something like „ultralight“ versions of such cables. For sure I can replace them with shorter ones (both of them are 3m, but they are way too long), but maybe there are additional options that would allow me to reduce even more weight and volume?

Thank you.
Old 17th March 2019
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Richard Crowley's Avatar
 

Compared to the size and weight of your amp and your guitar, and your microphone and your mic stand(?), the size and weight of the instrument and mic cables seem like a tiny fraction. It still seems odd to me why this is so important?

I certainly would NOT use large-diameter, heavy-duty 1/4 inch/6.4mm (or more) diameter mic cable. I made my microphone cables with Canare L-2E5 "Miniature Balanced Mic Cable" which is 0.181 inch = 4.6mm diameter. It is light-weight and I take 500-1000 feet of cable with me on international flights to location productions. If you don't want to make your own mic cable, you can have one made for your by vendors like Redco, who make custom cables at sensible prices, and with your choice of a wide variety of wire and connectors.

If your guitar works with the 3.5mm input on your Roland Cube Street amplifier, then that is a pretty good indication that it is line-level output, which we would expect from an active instrument with a built-in amplifier (which is why it needs a battery)

For your guitar, I would probably use something like: Hosa Mono Interconnect 1/4 in Ts to 3.5 Mm Trs 5 F: Amazon.co.uk: Musical Instruments
That is a TS to TS cable. I would assume that your guitar has a TS 1/4 inch output. But i would also assume that your amp has a TRS ("stereo") 3.5mm input. So it is not a 100% certainty that the TS 3.5mm plug will work properly on your amp?

I would vigorously avoid the use of adapters. Every adapter you use just reduces the reliability of the rig. Adapters are to be used for unknown/blind situations only. They are OK if you are out on the road and you don't know what you need to connect to. But since you are hauling around your own rig, you know exactly what kind of cable and connectors you need.

You have not disclosed your location (what country you are in?) so I have no idea whether my Redco and Amazon references would be useful for you? If you are in Europe, Asia, Africa, or Oceania, your most suitable vendors may well be sources that I know nothing about.
Old 25th March 2019
  #7
Here for the gear
Thank you, Richard!

You are right, a few cables wouldn‘t make a huge difference, when carrying around a Roland Street Cube. But I‘m letting go of it, and other than that, I‘m traveling very lightweight. So whether I carry around some heavy 3m cables or some lighter ones does make a difference to me.

So thank you for your great suggestions. I will check them out some day later, as currently I‘m heading south of Australia and not carrying any musical gear with me anymore. In a few months I will be home, and then I will check back to this post again.

Take care
Joshua
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
karoloydi / Newbie Audio Engineering + Production Question Zone
3
rivercurrents / Newbie Audio Engineering + Production Question Zone
5
Johnpjm / Newbie Audio Engineering + Production Question Zone
8
Ski spiggy / So Much Gear, So Little Time
5

Forum Jump
Forum Jump