Basic question about cables and pedals

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by avigo, Aug 14, 2019.

  1. avigo

    avigo TDPRI Member

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    Hey guys. Newly back into electric. I am definitely a newbie.

    I plan on only using one pedal right now with my stage right tube amp.

    I want to use the fender custom shop tweed cables.

    Don't know where to begin.

    What is the best length cable to go from amp to pedal? Should it be straight on both ends, angled on one, angled on both, etc?

    For guitar, I like having angled go into the guitar. Should straight or angled go into the pedal? How long should that cable be?

    Don't want to lose quality but want enough cable to comfortably walk around a small room.

    Thanks!
     
  2. DrPepper

    DrPepper Tele-Afflicted

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    Whatever works best for you, there are no rules...
     
  3. aerhed

    aerhed Friend of Leo's

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    You need clean floors for tweedy cables.
     
  4. avigo

    avigo TDPRI Member

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    Why's that? I have carpet. Is that ok?
     
  5. DrPepper

    DrPepper Tele-Afflicted

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    Static guard then... :)
     
  6. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

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    What guitar? What amp?

    Some guitars like a Les Paul suit a right angle, some like a Stratocaster suit a straight jack. Some amps do not have space for a right angle and suit a straight plug.

    I generally buy or make cables that have one right angle and one straight.

    I prefer right angles into pedals just to reduce chance of breaking anything if I stand on them.

    A couple each of 5m and 10m lengths can cover everything inc stages and give you spares. Unless they are really cheap cables you should not notice much difference in tone unless cables are very long.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
  7. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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  8. speranza

    speranza TDPRI Member

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    Whether you use straight or right-angle ends depends almost entirely on what fits, on the orientation of your amp and its input jack, and I guess whether it's possible to accidentally tip your amp over by accidentally stepping on the cable in the wrong place.

    I prefer a right-angle jack at the guitar end, but some of them don't have the clearance to fit into the guitar's output. And I prefer straight ends in the other three positions just because it makes pedal layout more predictable — and my amp's input jack is in a spot where a right-angle tip won't fit.

    For length: between your pedals and your amp you probably want as little as you can get away with but you also want some wiggle room so there's no tension pulling on anything, and maybe some extra rope so you can accidentally snag your foot on it without getting tripped up or yanking things around. And the length of the cable from the guitar to the first pedal is partly a practical choice but can also affect the sound — a long cable, especially a curly cable, can cut into the high end of your signal, which can be nice (would have helped with my shrill old MIJ '50s reissue) or can be undesirable if you need those frequencies.

    Short answer: it's a whole thing if you want to get into it, but it's hard to go horribly wrong....
     
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  9. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    I use cheap ones that all look the same, and are different from all my bandmates' cables. It doesn't matter straight or right angle going into a pedal. Cables that are longer than 10 feet will start to suck away your treble frequencies - but it's not a big deal until the cable gets really long. Really, it's just a wire in a protective covering. As long as it doesn't break you're fine, and there is absolutely no need to buy a fancy cable, beginner or pro, whateve.r
     
  10. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    Whatever length works for you. On stage I like about a 12-15 foot cable to the amp from the pedal. Most pedals have the exit jack on the left hand side, so a right angle end is nice so the cable exits around the top of the pedal and to the amp on your right side. But this applies only if you stand on the right side of the stage!
    I dont like those tweed cables, Ihave a couple but they dont coil as easy and dont pull along as easy as just black ones do as they have an abrasive finish on them. No big deal, just noting it.
     
  11. aerhed

    aerhed Friend of Leo's

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    Carpet works, they can get pet hair stuck in em. They soak up beer too.
     
  12. DaphneBlue

    DaphneBlue Tele-Meister

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    I had similar thoughts a while back. Here's a summary:

    Angle or no angle:

    Look at your jack plugs. Take what you want/need. There's no difference but sometimes angle doesn't fit. Tetris, that stuff...

    Length:

    It depends on what you need. Just be aware that longer is not necessarily better. One special case: it is often recommended that jacks for acoustics with passive PUs shouldn't be longer than 3 metres.

    Enjoy the shopping! And yeah, tweed is often ****ed up by dirty stages. But that is only R'n'R.
     
  13. avigo

    avigo TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for all the input guys!
     
  14. Tim S

    Tim S Tele-Holic

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    No talk about cable capacitance? How many picofarads per foot are you willing to tolerate?
     
  15. graybeard65

    graybeard65 Tele-Meister

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    There aren't any hard and fast rules for cables in my world, but like someone else before me has mentioned, I like mine to be a different color than my bandmates use.

    Most of my cables have been around for years - and weren't cheap when I got them. I take care of them, and they in turn take care of me.

    I use the shortest cable that I can to connect my pedal board to the amp - whatever allows me to put the board in front of my mic and connect to wherever the amp has to be. usually that's a 10' cable -

    From there, I use whatever cable lets me have a little room at the end of my leash, but doesn't create a ton of trip hazard in my work-space.

    When it's practical, I like to use a short cable run to go from the amp to the pedal board, then the same length to go from the pedal board to a wireless, and then everything gets taped down out of the way...over the years, I've learned to keep a roll of brightly colored duct tape in my workbox. That way I don't trip over anything, I don't kick cords out, and my work area stays neat. That is a luxury set up, and doesn't work out for many gigs -
     
  16. johnDH

    johnDH TDPRI Member

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    You can hear a difference as the cable from the guitar gets longer, and you start to lose the high end zing of a bright clean tone. You might not mind or might not notice it, or might prefer it that way. Its due to the capacitance of the cable.

    I like the sound of a 10' cable. If you have a buffered or switched-on pedal, then after that it makes no difference. But if all your pedals are true bypass, the the tone-muting length includes the cable to the amp too.

    So my 10' cable goes first into a Boss pedal (tuner or OD) which all have buffers, then through a chain of true-bypass pedals to the amp.
     
  17. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    It is unlikely any practical length you would choose will impact quality to an extent that rises above the threshold of noticeability... but, if you do have an acute sensibility to sonic anomalies, I'd choose a low capacitance cable for long runs. Bill Lawrence, George's L's are two choices..

    and if such is a factor for ya, unless a cable has the capacitance listed it's not worth considering... but again.. were in the extreme stratosphere of sonic consequence at these levels..

    rk
     
  18. Anita Bonghit

    Anita Bonghit Tele-Meister

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    10 footers are the easiest to find. But I use a Planet Waves with the mute switch for my guitar to pedal, its nice to hit the switch and be able to switch guitars or whatever without noise. Try it you'll like it.
     
  19. Doctorx33

    Doctorx33 Tele-Afflicted

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    It's unlikely the OP has ever heard anything about capacitance.

    Good posts in this thread. I'll simplify:

    • Straight or right angle plugs have no effect of sound or tone. Use whatever is logistically better for your guitar.
    • Unless you're playing arenas a 10-12 ft from guitar to pedalboard and whatever you need to get from the pedalboard to the amp, usually about 12-18 feet.
    • The longer the cable the more likely a very small amount of high end will be lost from your signal, probably unnoticeable. Using the lengths above you won't hear a thing.
    • Don't spend a lot on cables. $20=$25 tops.
    • Don't use Monster cables. Just don't.
     
  20. avigo

    avigo TDPRI Member

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    Thanks guys! Yeah, I am very much a beginner so a lot of this will probably go unnoticed to me. I really like the look of tweed and angled cables. So I bought 2 10ft fender custom shop tweed cables with right angles on one end. Going to start there. Thanks again!

    (When I used to play as a kid, I LOVED monster cables haha)
     
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