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best cable for building guitar cables
Old 11th May 2007
  #1
best cable for building guitar cables

I would like to build my own guitar cables. What would be the best brand/type of cable to use? I'm looking for a brand name and number. These would be for home studio use. Probably no more than 10-12 feet and some short jumper cables for effects pedals.
Old 12th May 2007
  #2
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elambo's Avatar
Evidence Audio - Lyric HG
Old 12th May 2007
  #3
Thanks. I'll check it out.
Old 12th May 2007
  #4
Old 12th May 2007
  #5
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elambo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfarness View Post
...and some short jumper cables for effects pedals.
Oops, I just saw that part.

For pedals, Evidence Audio - Melody line is good. More flexible than Lyric and sounds great. A little cheaper than Lyric, too.
Old 14th May 2007
  #6
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megl's Avatar
 

Evidence is good - but very expensive

Mogami makes great cables too!!

/megl
Old 21st May 2007
  #7
Gear Addict
 

I have ab'd lots of cables and really really like george L's. You can only build them yourself but they are solderless so it takes about 5 minutes. They are not durable cables though so only in the studio, i cant really play them out at all.
Old 21st May 2007
  #8
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Gear Tramp's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluestarbass View Post
I have ab'd lots of cables and really really like george L's. You can only build them yourself but they are solderless so it takes about 5 minutes. They are not durable cables though so only in the studio, i cant really play them out at all.

Solder them.

Old 20th June 2007
  #9
gear tramp, are you saying that I should solder the George L's or I should stay away from them because they are solderless?
Old 21st June 2007
  #10
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doorknocker's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfarness View Post
gear tramp, are you saying that I should solder the George L's or I should stay away from them because they are solderless?
I use them in the studio and for all pedal connections, great cable. Just be sure to get the George L cable checker too, it's the ONLY way to know that the solderless cables really work. Sometimes the cables seem o.k but will go out in the middle of a performance which isn't much fun........but it never did happened to me again since getting the cable checker:

George L's Cable for Guitar Effects Pedalboard, Racks, Speakers, RCA, Pedal Board
Old 21st June 2007
  #11
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Blast9's Avatar
the right angle jacks can unscrew themselves so check them regularly.

If they are permanently on a pedaL board you should be fine.

I've had a couple of long leads where the conection has gon ebad after a couple of years, but its easy to snip the end off and screw the jack back on --- matter of seconds
Old 21st June 2007
  #12
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megl's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blast9 View Post
the right angle jacks can unscrew themselves so check them regularly.

If they are permanently on a pedaL board you should be fine.

I've had a couple of long leads where the conection has gon ebad after a couple of years, but its easy to snip the end off and screw the jack back on --- matter of seconds
Have you tried the caps:



/megl
Old 18th February 2013
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfarness View Post
I would like to build my own guitar cables. What would be the best brand/type of cable to use? I'm looking for a brand name and number. These would be for home studio use. Probably no more than 10-12 feet and some short jumper cables for effects pedals.
Most of these recommendations are pretty good. The strengths and weakness become more apparent when you try it on different sources such as guitar vs bass and active vs non active electronics. Are you most interested in building your own cables or getting the best results at a reasonable price?
Old 18th February 2013
  #14
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foldback's Avatar
I got a lot of Canare GS-6 guitar cable wire (left over from an installation), it's very flexible, has a good braided shield and a heavy gauge inner conductor.

I also have miles of Belden 8410 that I've used for years, all soldered Switchcraft connectors, I very rarely have a cable fail.

I personally don't care for the push-together compression type connectors, I've tried a lot over the past 40 years and they are not reliable like a good soldered plug.

Large electrical conductors, low resistance per foot and low capacitance are the desireable electrical characteristics to look for in a guitar cable, they influence the tone the most in a high-impedance unbalanced circuit such as the connection between my Les Paul and Mesa Dual Rect head.

Good luck and good music to all.
Old 19th February 2013
  #15
Gear Nut
 
kneelie's Avatar
Here are some good options.
Van-Damme Silver Series Session Grade instrument cable Lo-Cap 55
Lava Cable
Gepco XB20UB
Klotz AC110SW
Cardas Golden Chord
George L

Canare and Mogami have a high capacitance which will reduce the highs.

For Connectors I use Neutrik's NP2X-B

For solder For the best quality either Kester 44 - 62/36/2 tin, lead, silver or Cardas Quad Eutectic - 61/35/3/1 tin, lead, silver, copper. A diameter of 1mm or .04" or a bit smaller is a good size to work with.
Old 19th February 2013
  #16
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rob S's Avatar
I went the canare.
Sounds very good.
Side by side comparisons with george L, monster, evidence,,,,,,
Old 19th February 2013
  #17
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Auslander's Avatar
 

I prefer Canare.
Old 20th February 2013
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfarness View Post
I would like to build my own guitar cables. What would be the best brand/type of cable to use? I'm looking for a brand name and number. These would be for home studio use. Probably no more than 10-12 feet and some short jumper cables for effects pedals.
BELDEN 8410

The most rugged , high quality cable available for guitar cables. 80% braided shield will not delaminate and get noisy with use. Due to its extremely rugged (MIL spec.) construction it's a bit more difficult to work with when building cables but it's well worth the effort. There are more expensive "premium" cables but I absolutely guarantee you that 8410 will outlast them.

Use Switchcraft solder-on plugs.

Avoid Neutriks and similar plugs for guitar cables - the twist on strain reliefs have a tendency to work loose in guitar applications.

Avoid those solderless cable kits like the very plague unless you enjoy having your cables fail on a regular basis.
Old 26th February 2013
  #19
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I've had great success with Canare GS-6 with Neutrik NP2X connectors. You can get the cable in a bunch of colours, and the connectors in black, gold, regular nickel etc.
Old 27th February 2013
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Draytone View Post
I've had great success with Canare GS-6 with Neutrik NP2X connectors. You can get the cable in a bunch of colours, and the connectors in black, gold, regular nickel etc.
Canare is nice cable but not very durable over the long run. Belden 8410 is MIL-spec. That means it's made to qualify for military use where it can't be allowed to fail or people could die.

Canare is good for studio cables where the cable doesn't get worked that hard.

I've had Belden/Switchcraft cables that lasted 15 years or longer with no problems.

The Neutrik connectors are easier to work with than Switchcraft (especially on an assembly line) and a bit less expensive but since the strain relief relies on the tailpiece of the connector being screwed on tightly they can work loose, compromising support for the cable.
Old 1st March 2013
  #21
Gear Nut
 
qvplite's Avatar
 

Mogami
Old 1st March 2013
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by qvplite View Post
Mogami
Once again, a great brand for studio cables. Not what I'd choose for an instrument cable unless you don't plan on playing live much.
Old 2nd March 2013
  #23
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rob S's Avatar
Canari sounds really good so i guess it depends on what you are going for.
I built the cables my self and havent had any problems.
They get used hard in the studio every day.
Old 3rd March 2013
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob S View Post
Canari sounds really good so i guess it depends on what you are going for.
I built the cables my self and havent had any problems.
They get used hard in the studio every day.
I think there might be something of a difference between your concept of "hard use" and my concept of hard use.

If you're just using the cable in the studio, Canare and Mogami are both excellent cables.

That, however, is not what I consider hard use.

When I say "hard use" i mean it won't fail when run over by a flight case with a Leslie in it. When I say "hard use" I mean it will stand up to being used by a guitarist who jumps around like a spastic grasshopper and routinely stomps on it with the heels of his cowboy boots. When I say "hard use" I mean it will resist being frequently soaked in puddles of alcohol and Coke (one of the most corrosive substances known to man) which contain shards of broken glass. Not to mention being coiled around the elbows of ham-fisted morons who don't know the difference between audio cable and hemp rope. When I say "hard use" I mean you can literally put it in your mouth and chew on it and it won't fail, although you might break a tooth.

When I say "hard use" I mean I would have no concerns using it on a major tour, night after night, when you can't afford to have a cable go intermittent in front of a crowd of 50,000 people.
Old 4th March 2013
  #25
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rob S's Avatar
Gotcha.
I guess sound isnt as important in those situations as durability.
Old 4th March 2013
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob S View Post
Gotcha.
I guess sound isnt as important in those situations as durability.
There's nothing wrong with the sound of the Belden 8410 - it's just as good as either Canare or Mogami.

It is, however, a LOT harder to work with because of the robust construction, the layers of cotton reinforcing and filler that prevent the shield and conductors from slipping when the cable is flexed over time, and the extremely durable rubber used in the jacket and conductor insulation. It has to be stripped by hand with a razor blade and you have to manually pull the cotton filler out of the braid with a pick or small screwdriver. You can't use an automatic stripping tool on it, which makes it a lot more labor-intensive to deal with (it's not a cable for pussies.)

The reason you don't see it much in the cables available in stores is that it is totally unsuited to mass production - it's not machine friendly AT ALL, and must be assembled by hand.

There also isn't much room for dealer mark-up in a cable that must be assembled by hand instead of a machine.

Because of the robust construction it's also a much stiffer cable, especially when new. It doesn't have that soft, sexy smooth lie that the Asian brands (Mogami and Canare) do, although it does lose some of the stiffness after it's broken in a bit. On the other hand you don't see much Canare or Mogami that's still in use after 10 or even 20 years.

The two conductor version, 8412, is the preferred mic cable for many, if not most touring sound companies in the US.
Old 4th March 2013
  #27
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I can't say I've ever had a Neutrik NP2 work itself loose. The only ones that work loose (ime) are the Switchcraft 280 style ones w/o any strain relief, regardless of brand.

I used mostly Gotham GAC-2 & GAC-3 because it was left over in my studio. It's just as good or better than any of my other guitar cables (Mogami, Lava, etc.), with the exception of Van Den Hul. Strangely enough, when it was time to make more, I tried some GAC-1 and hated it.
Old 4th March 2013
  #28
Unbuffered runs: Klotz La Grange or Wilde BL-10
Buffered runs: Canare or Mogami quad

Quote:
Originally Posted by nandoanalog View Post
That site has some nice sample that illustrate the effect of capacitance: http://www.aqdi.com/faceoff.htm
Old 7th March 2013
  #29
I use Mogami pretty much exclusively for stage and studio, works great for me!
Old 17th March 2013
  #30
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I'm just going to ride piggyback on this thread –*does anyone know how Switchcraft 228 plugs (the pancake plugs) should be soldered? I'm having difficulties/doubts over how to solder the braiding to the chassis. I'm assuming that if pros use them, they must be reliable; I just want them to get to the stage where I can throw them into a board without being afraid the soldering will come loose...
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