The Make Your Own Damn Cables Thread

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by MaxOfMetal, May 23, 2013.

  1. ryanougrad

    ryanougrad SS.org Regular

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    Thanks.
     
  2. mr coffee

    mr coffee SS.org Regular

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    Brings me to a question. I make my own cables all the time, I'm pretty comfortable with that. Recently, I've had a few plugs that the shells seem to want to unscrew on their own. These are good Switchcraft plugs. Any ideas for getting them to stay put? I was thinking about blue LocTite...

    -m
     
  3. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    If it's really bad, maybe. I've done it before and it's a pain in the butt to work on them later. I had some Neutrik jacks like that.

    I've noticed that a lot of the big names tend to have good and bad batches. I try to weed out the bad as soon as I get them.

    I will say, Anphenol jacks have been the best in that regard.

    Personally, I use heatshrink tubing to keep my jack ends together. No mess, no fuss.
     
  4. charlessalvacion

    charlessalvacion SS.org Regular

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    Great thread. Made my own patch cables last night for a rack noise gate & a 16ft cable.

    What I used:

    - Amphenol plugs (Agree with Max they are quite compact & tight to work, but soldering is nice. Plugs are solid & price is great.)
    - Canare Cables L2T2S
    - heat shrinks for the plugs
    - 30watt soldering iron

    Very proud so far on what I accomplished. I wont be buying guitar cables from now on. :)
     

    Attached Files:

  5. vansinn

    vansinn ShredNeck into Beck

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    I find it interesting noticing the fairly different capacitances in the cable table above..
    Some of those with high capacitance are often cited positively.

    Now, capacitance has a way of rolling off the high end, and yet I have the same experience as Max, that different cables all tends to work just fine.

    What IMHO is missing is the influence of the isolation material, that is, it's di-electrica (speeling?).
    It's fairly known that i.e. PVC isn't a good insulator for audio, while i.e. teflon is.
    I have no idea about which plastics are used in those in the cable table, though..

    Nearly all soft and flexible cables I've had have worked just fine.
    For hifi/studio, most every time I've replaced a stiff cable for a moderately priced soft one, I've noticed a small difference in detail and to some extend, in dynamics.
    Point being that, to my knowledge, the stiffer ones had isolation of the PVC types, while the softer ones were of various types with better di-electric qualities.

    My other experience is that buffered circuits, like adding a zero-gain opamp driver to a guitar, will render the importance of the cable to nearly zilch.

    Interestingly, I've often notices on pro rig builds that those often use the same thin types of cable Max talks about.. ;)
     
  6. cult

    cult SS.org Regular

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    Nice Thread.

    Have been making cables for a long time for myself now, but recently I stumbled upon something I will need to craft, but I don't fully understand the schematic.
    Find it here:

    http://training.tcelectronic.tc/Files/Training/TCSI/images/answers/891/Laney_GMajor.pdf

    Solder side will mean the side which is pictured in the lower left in this picture, right?
    http://www.canford.co.uk/Images/ItemImages/large/43-5001_01.jpg

    So I can just go from left to right?

    I've got all the plugs and a 2 core+ground cable at hand, so there's no problem with that. I've soldered a lot before, so this is not where the problem should be in the end ;)
     
  7. GuitarBizarre

    GuitarBizarre Listen to physics.

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    Vansinn - The simple answer is that because capacitance in ALL of those cables is very low, it will only produce a really audible effect over a long (40ft+) cable run. Most people don't use or need cable that long, so it's minute differences and ultimately the amp masks it all as soon as any distortion is thrown into the mix. The link I post at the end of this post even says, if you wish to experience a 0 capacitance cable, wire your guitar up with a patch cable instead of your normal 10-20 footer and you've got pretty much the same thing because there'll be so little cable there to add capacitance.

    Also worth mentioning by the way, is that even though you'd think the rolloff from capacitance would be smooth, it's actually a passive filter - so there's a small BOOST in the higher frequencies of the signal immediately below the point it rolls off. Inconsequential, largely, but worth knowing.

    For the quad-core thing - The concept is that you can reduce skin and proximity effect in an electrical conductor, by passing the signal through many small wires which, when braided, "equalizes the proportion of the overall length over which each strand is at the outside of the conductor."

    For audio purposes it is, to my knowledge, useless to braid wires. The frequencies involved are too low to make the skin effect a real concern for designers of instrument cable. Most practical instances of Litz wire usage involve much higher frequencies. The reason for this is because skin effect is more pronounced the thicker the conductor is and the higher the frequency being transmitted. Guitar cable is already quite thin and so most of the current remains steadfastly in the middle of the conductors.

    Even if you did do it, you'd need to use individually insulated wires of incredibly small diameter. It'd be interesting to see someone do it with insulated pickup coil wire though I guess :p

    Since we're dealing with this kind of thing in this thread...

    Atlantic Quality Design, Inc., ZEROCAP(TM) Guitar Cable

    Anyone ever seen these before?
     
  8. charlessalvacion

    charlessalvacion SS.org Regular

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    I just found out that the Canare L2T2S cables I have used to make my guitar & patch cables are actually MICROPHONE CABLES.

    Still functions great though. Can't hear or probably wont hear any difference compared to my regular guitar cables. :)
     
  9. leecloudpitt

    leecloudpitt SS.org Regular

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    I just want to say that I had no soldering experience, but managed to make a few mic cables from one damaged 100 ft cable recently. I wasn't sure what I was doing but, bolstered by a few of those aforementioned youtube vids, did very well and ended up with great results. 3 of the 4 cords I made are still working a year later with weekly use. Maybe same odds with new store bought cables.
    Honestly it took a little thinking through at first to get the 3 wires going to the matching sockets of the 2 ends -- it felt kind of backwards to me -- and a couple tries getting the solder on making a solid connection, but after a couple solder joints it started getting easy. And it was fun and a rewarding experience. Something different to try.
    Don't worry about screwing up. Just expect going in that you may have to redo a connection or two. :)
     
  10. Ice4600

    Ice4600 SS.org Regular

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    :bowdown:

    Going to have to give this a try again. I experimented with different cables a while back but ended up with excessive noise. More than you'd get if you plugged a guitar in with a speaker cable (not braided). Ever experience this?
     

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