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What guitar cord do you use?

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  • What guitar cord do you use?

    From your guitar to the amp, pedal board or processor. And, do you have any pedal/s in your chain that aren't true bypass. Assuming most such pedals will convert even the un-effected signal to a lower impedance and mitigate cable capacitance from the board to the amp. This detail is actual important to me. Also, if you like the ultra low capacitance cables, which one and what length do you use?

    TIA
    "Take two placebos, works twice as well." Enzo

    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

  • #2
    After much experimenting with different cable lengths/capacitances I have settled with cables having a capacitance of 1100pF. I use Strats and Les Pauls with vintage (type) PUs. And I prefer a vintage blues sound, mostly using bright sounding blackface type amps.
    I like a buffering pedal (like a Tubescreamer) or a separate buffer as first pedal. I don't like to have a true bypass pedal first, because the capacitance following the pedal will shape the PUs frequency response differently for direct and effect signals.
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    • #3
      Thank you Helmholtz! That's just the sort of reply I was hoping for. And I hope to get more like this as sort of short survey/consensus to get a feel for how players manage cable capacitance. Whether they're using it as part of their tone or trying to minimize it, etc.

      On another note... 1100pf seems like a lot. That's about 12 meters of standard instrument cable, right? Interestingly that's about the same capacitance being used by Glen Kuykendall to plug into his TrainWreck amps. Also using LP's and Strats.
      "Take two placebos, works twice as well." Enzo

      "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

      "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

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      • #4
        Mine is 3 meters long and measures 680p. I just use guitar-cable-amp no effects.

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        • #5
          ... 1100pf seems like a lot. That's about 12 meters of standard instrument cable, right?
          Right, but in the old days players often used coiled chords...
          I could use a shorter cable and add a capacitor.
          Last edited by Helmholtz; 01-27-2019, 06:19 PM.
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          • #6
            Originally posted by Dave H View Post
            Mine is 3 meters long and measures 680p. I just use guitar-cable-amp no effects.
            You sure about that? I mean, your DMM is accurate and all? That would be about 69pf per foot. Which is awful. Is it one of those thin, black cords with the molded jack ends? Standard professional grade instrument cable is usually about 30pf per foot/98pf per meter.
            "Take two placebos, works twice as well." Enzo

            "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

            "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Chuck H View Post
              You sure about that? I mean, your DMM is accurate and all? That would be about 69pf per foot. Which is awful. Is it one of those thin, black cords with the molded jack ends? Standard professional grade instrument cable is usually about 30pf per foot/98pf per meter.
              You're right, but why care about capacitance/foot if it's the total capacitance that matters? Apart from that, some low quality cables (especially rubber or PVC insulation) exhibit low Q/ high damping values.
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              • #8
                Originally posted by Chuck H View Post
                You sure about that? I mean, your DMM is accurate and all? That would be about 69pf per foot. Which is awful.
                You're right, I lied. it's bad but not that bad. My memory let me down on two counts. Cord measures 4m not 3m and it's about 480p or 120p/m

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                • #9
                  1100pF puts the resonance of a typical ~2.5H Fender SC with 250k pots up close to the ice picky ~3kHz range. Maybe ~2,6kHz depending on the pickup capacitance. I'd go higher to ~2nF, or much lower to ~200pF and then use caps for lower range peaks. That's what I do. I use the 19pF/foot Wilde L-150 cable. It's the same Steel core cable as George L cable. Rapco 'G1' series cable is perfectly good stuff and more flexible at 25pF/foot. The Velocity value of a Cu core is lower than Steel, so phase alignment throughout the audible range isn't as good. I don't consider that a big deal, but an A/B with a Cu cable of the same Capacitance might be interesting. Last time I checked Eric Johnson still used George L in 12~15' lengths. I think his SC pickups are ~2.3H.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Fluoroscope 5000 View Post
                    1100pF puts the resonance of a typical ~2.5H Fender SC with 250k pots up close to the ice picky ~3kHz range.
                    Who said 3k is ice picky range? Maybe we have different sensibilities on the matter but "I" think you gotta go higher than that before it's bothersome. Consider than most guys will just plug a strat into a Marshall with a 10' or 20' standard cable (300pf to 600pf) and just blang away. Sounds great too. But you have to consider that a strat is going to have 250k volume and tone pots. It's a pretty gentle peak form now and a slightly more subtle 5.5db rise. If you get into 500k pots the peak becomes sharper and goes up to 8db!
                    "Take two placebos, works twice as well." Enzo

                    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

                    "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

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                    • #11
                      Who said 3k is ice picky range?
                      ^^Exactly.

                      The 1.1nF cables give me the most authentic SRV and Hendrix (studio) sounds. And this includes pieces like Lenny and Riviera Paradise. But final sound depends on a lot of influences. It starts with the type of pick and individual picking technique and ends with the speakers.
                      I favor the same cables with my Les Pauls having PAF type PUs of 4H or so for Clapton, Green, Bloomfield sounds.

                      I'd love to see evidence of a "phase alignment" difference between steel core and copper cables. (I tried George L cables of different lengths and didn't like them.)
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                      • #12
                        Well to come clean on what I'm working on... I'm trying to develop a passive guitar volume control that's better than what's currently available. Unfortunately the sound of the guitar is very dependent on the interface between the guitar and amp and I have no control over that. If everyone used the typical 10' and 20' cables I could pull it off. Even if MOST players used those cables it could be made marketable. But I'm afraid it's too often variable between the guitar and the amp. So what I have now is over a hundred hours into developing a volume control for myself
                        "Take two placebos, works twice as well." Enzo

                        "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

                        "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          3~3.5kHz is the most sensitive range for humans according to the F-M loudness curve (ISO 226: 2003 revision). That range will generally cause pain first unless you have damage in some other range. Many guitar speakers (Celestion G12M & H series, V-Type, etc) have a dip in that range making them less "metallic" sounding. Being close to cymbals in rehearsals did a number on my ears, so I can get ringing at higher frequencies. I also lost bass response in one ear for some reason. I didn't even know that was the problem until recently.

                          300~400pF is fine with AlNiCo core ~2.5H SC pickups and 250k pots. The resonance will only be 2~3dB with that C & R value anyway -- even less with a ~3.5H Tele bridge PUP, but right in the ice pick range. I wouldn't recommend 600pF there or with standard 4.5H~6H PAF's & 500k pots though. I just prefer the flatter/more-open sound with less capacitance -- mainly on the bridge pickup.
                          Last edited by Fluoroscope 5000; 01-28-2019, 12:27 AM.

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                          • #14
                            I'm trying to develop a passive guitar volume control that's better than what's currently available.
                            Are you speaking of an optimized treble bleeder (serial or parallel) RC network?
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Helmholtz View Post
                              Are you speaking of an optimized treble bleeder (serial or parallel) RC network?
                              Something like that. There is another angle not related to typical treble bleeder circuits I've been using to get results also. I'm not ready to put it in the public domain yet.
                              "Take two placebos, works twice as well." Enzo

                              "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

                              "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

                              Comment

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