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Cheap guitar wireless is more noise-free than cables - !?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Thoughtfree, Jan 19, 2021.

  1. Thoughtfree

    Thoughtfree Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Just now, I've been playing a 2-humbucking guitar into my squeaky-clean Roland JC-77 amp, alternating between a few old 10-foot cables. No effect boxes. Despite the humbuckings, considerable noise comes through the amp unless I make firm contact with the metal parts of the guitar.

    Then I tried the 40-buck guitar wireless setup - two small plastic units that charge off a USB port - that I bought on the internet a while ago. No noise! Far better than the cables in this regard.

    A few questions come to mind:

    1) Have my cables - at least 15 years old - gone bad? Do cables have a lifespan?

    2) Is there a real difference in quality between cable brands, correlating with price? Should I spend some big bucks on new cables, and chuck the old ones?

    3) Will a wireless always be quieter than using a cable? Maybe a name-brand wireless should be in my future.

    I have been playing 50 years, but still have not figured this stuff out. Thanks for any replies to this nagging issue.
     
  2. LOSTVENTURE

    LOSTVENTURE Tele-Afflicted

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    I Have cable that are 50 years old and are still perfectly quiet. But recently I added the Xvive wireless system for the praise team I play with, and it's working just fine also. I do keep an "emergency" cable ready in case I outplay the battery in the Xvive.
     
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  3. dogmeat

    dogmeat Friend of Leo's

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    there is a difference in cables. I have some relatively new that are noisy as all get out, and old ones that are quiet. of course, if a speaker cable gets mixed in on a guitar setup will be terrible
     
  4. Deeve

    Deeve Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I picked up a cheap wireless set up and like like it so much, I got another one for my nephew. It's cheap and it's great.
    I make my own cables, so there's nobody to blame...
    My next-steps for noise reduction will involve shielding the single coils.
    The 'buckers are already effectively noiseless.
    Peace - Deeve
     
  5. stxrus

    stxrus Poster Extraordinaire

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    A ground issue with the guitar?
     
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  6. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    I do like the new non freq/non antenna units, like xvive. I remember
    in the 80s with the UHF/VHF stuff and getting baseball games in my amp.

    I use an xvive in acoustic rig.
    THat said, I am still too picky to use in electric setup and use
    my trusty lava coily.
     
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  7. P-Nutz

    P-Nutz Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Used Xvive for two years until it crapped out on me. Bought a cheap $40 unit, and the battery didn't last very long in the transmitter, so I bought another and switch 'em out when necessary, even live. Love the live wireless as it allows me to dance with the lead singers (were a funk band).
     
  8. Ron R

    Ron R Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    It's going to take a LONG worship session for you to outplay the batteries in the XVive (assuming you've charged them before the show). I've used mine for many gigs and practices that have lasted 4 plus hours with no issues.

    As to the OP's question, I do think cables have a limited lifespan. I've literally had cables that just stay in the practice space go bad.
     
  9. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    Cable age not an issue.
    Cable construction is.
    I have some recent inexpensive cables, when they drag on the non carpeted floor they make noise. My good quality older ones do not do that.
     
  10. DekeDog

    DekeDog Tele-Afflicted

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    This is a timely thread. I've been getting some hum/hiss/crackling issues lately that I narrowed down to two out of three, six foot GHS cables connecting guitar and pedals (FX and direct) and amp. Those GHS cables are less that two years old, appear to be thick and durable, and I'm extremely disappointed that those cables have gone bad so quickly. It's not like I'm rough on cords. I replaced them with some old Dimarzio cables and the amp is now dead quiet. I've ordered some D'Addario/Planet Waves replacement cables because of their good reviews and reasonable price ($30). I only need six foot cables, but had to order 10 foot because of availability issues.

    And BTW, I've got a large drawer full of bad cables... most lasted more than a couple of years even with rougher treatment. Don't know why I keep them.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2021
  11. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Friend of Leo's

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    Yea, some shielded cables don't shield. Like some water-resistant watches stop working after they are immersed. Or the lifetime warranty on my glasses that is only good for 3 years...
     
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  12. Count

    Count Friend of Leo's

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    XVive system, no noise except when they jiggle around in a loose socket, fixed that with a 4 prong socket. Nux B2 system, similarly no noise except when there is interference from an outside source then just switch channels and that is fixed. Fender tweed cable, noisy; cheap free bee cables, noisy; expensive Dimarzio cables, dead silent. Seems that cheap wireless systems are fine, cheap cables are not. I tend to keep noise free cables as back up for my wireless systems, batteries go flat when i forget to switch teh units off etc. Got a drawer full of noisy cables that will probably end up as load tie down cables for my ute.
     
  13. tah1962

    tah1962 Friend of Leo's

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    +1...I do exactly the same thing. You never know when electronics will fail, but it usually happens when you least expect it. :eek:
     
  14. galaxiex

    galaxiex Tele-Afflicted

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    Test for cables....

    Take a cable, any cable, new, old, expensive, cheap, it doesn't matter...

    Plug into amp and guitar.
    Turn amp up loud and/or high gain.
    Turn guitar volume down.

    Take cable and grab about a 1 ft loop somewhere in the middle of the cable length.
    Slap the loop hard on the floor, maybe several times.

    Hear noise in the amp? Crappy cable.

    No noise in amp? Cable ok.

    You're welcome. ;) :D
     
  15. AmpHandle

    AmpHandle TDPRI Member

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    Its a crap shoot, My 2 cables over 30yrs have been a Spectroflex colored braid, and a Mogami which might last forever, I'm now using a little George L. they all sound the same.
     
  16. Geo

    Geo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Even new $11 Planet Waves Classic cables are quiet.
     
  17. Twang-ineer

    Twang-ineer Tele-Meister

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    Agree, cable age does not matter. The construction and usual wear and tear cause the problems. Also, noise in a guitar signal is a many, many faceted thing. I also find that wireless cleans things up..... sometimes..... depends on where the noise is being injected. When in a VERY RF noisy environment, I just play my guitar with the Fishman Fluence system, nothing is quieter.
     
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