1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

George L but soldered?

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by NorthenLights, Mar 5, 2021.

  1. NorthenLights

    NorthenLights Tele-Meister

    Age:
    35
    Posts:
    179
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2017
    Location:
    Sweden
    I started using George L as patch cables a long time ago because of two reasons. First was that at the time, everyone said it was the lowest capacitence cabel availble. Second was that Eric Johnson was using them, and I thought his board looked so good with just minimal amount of metal on the connectors.

    Nowdays, I'm pretty fed up with solderless. They always give me trouble after having been unconnected, and everytime I change something on my board, I have to go through the trouble of trouble shooting faulty connections when all I want is to play. So I've decided to going soldered. I know I can just use my old George L cables, but I need new plugs. Which plugs out there does resemble George L the most? I know those flat, pancake plugs are hot right now, but I find them ugly as butt.
     
  2. wildschwein

    wildschwein Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,728
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2009
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    I’ve been using George Ls for about 3 years as patch leads and plug them in and out of pedals and multi fx units on a weekly basis and haven’t had one fail on me yet. I use the Bill Lawrence ones too (for about 7 years) — I think I have had a couple of those I needed to re-do in that time. I think most of the low capacitance benefits pay off in recording situations.

    For my fixed pedal board for live playing I mainly use pancake connectors with regular instrument cable that I made myself as well as moderately priced guitar leads.
     
    nojazzhere and Nick-O like this.
  3. 65 Champ Amp

    65 Champ Amp Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,312
    Joined:
    May 28, 2011
    Location:
    Illinois-Wisconsin line
    I love Georgie L cables.
    I think it’s a toss up between them and soldered cables as far as staying together. But in the rare instance one comes loose, I know which one is easiest to fix.

    And if you only pull on the metal end, not the cable...
     
  4. Viejo

    Viejo Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    1,442
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Location:
    Central IL
    I gave up on George Ls a long time ago. I had my '70 50 watt Marshall connected to the cab with a George L speaker cable. I was rewiring a Marshall 4X12 with one of those input circuit boards where you plug into different jacks for different ohm loads and either 2X12 8 ohm or 4X12 16 ohm. I wanted to make sure I had wired the circuit board correctly so I plugged in the George L speaker cable and clipped my meter to the end. 150 ohms. I grabbed another cable and got the correct readings for 8 ohm and 16 ohm circuits. I measured the George L speaker cable and it had around 140 ohms resistance. I was very surprised I hadn't fried the OT in the head. I called George L and they could really have given a damn less. They offered to send me new cables as replacement but did not seem to grasp the seriousness of having a 140 ohm speaker cable on a tube amp. I declined their replacements and pitched every George L cable I had in the trash.
     
    MatsEriksson likes this.
  5. mfguitar

    mfguitar Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    1,783
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2008
    Location:
    Buffalo
    I still have several Bill Lawrence solderless that have to be almost 40 years old, Belden Made in USA cable. I have never had an issue.
     
    kennl likes this.
  6. NorthenLights

    NorthenLights Tele-Meister

    Age:
    35
    Posts:
    179
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2017
    Location:
    Sweden
    I only pull on the plug, but keeps having connectivity issues anyway. I guess I would trust them if I hardly ever switched things up, but I enjoy experimenting too much. Is there a secret technique to assemble them that I have missed?
     
  7. 65 Champ Amp

    65 Champ Amp Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,312
    Joined:
    May 28, 2011
    Location:
    Illinois-Wisconsin line
    I don’t think it’s a secret.
    There’s a small shop I like run by working rocksters. They build a lot of custom boards for people. When I asked, they told me they use GL, and showed me how to put them together. I guess the only secret is push the wire in hard, and tighten them down real tight. Once in a great while, after moving pedals around (a lot), I’ll get a crackle when stepping on a pedal. Check the cable, and sure enough~ the screw on cap on the rt angle plug is not tight. Twist it in hard, and good to go. I think that after a LOT of pulling them out, I inadvertently twist that little cap, loosening it.

    Maybe twice in 15 years, I had to cut 1/2” off an end and re-tighten.
    No need to heat up the soldering iron.
    Nothing against quality soldered cables. No matter what you use, better check them.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2021
  8. alnico357

    alnico357 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,817
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2015
    Location:
    Arkansas
    I bought a GL cable several years ago and dedicated it to an amp with a circuit board mounted input jack to save wear and tear on the jack. One day I used my Whirlwind Leader Elite cable instead and was dumbfounded by how much better the Whirlwind sounded. The GL was definitely inferior.
     
    MatsEriksson likes this.
  9. northernguitar

    northernguitar Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,147
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Location:
    North of Toronto
    I just make my own with Neutrik or even generic right angle plugs. I keep old cables around and the job is easy peasy.
     
    Lies&Distortion and nojazzhere like this.
  10. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    69
    Posts:
    14,159
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2017
    Location:
    Foat Wuth, Texas
    Almost thirty years ago, after reading about Eric Johnson's endorsement, I picked up a set of George L's cable and plugs, to try them out. Sure were pricey, but I figured if it made me sound like Eric, it would be worth it........imagine my surprise when it didn't. I was vastly underwhelmed. I buy "good" cables (not ridiculously expensive) and take GOOD care of them. I am careful in plugging and unplugging them, and most of all, don't step on them. (or let others step on them) I'm confident in my soldering abilities, and trust I make good connections.
     
    MatsEriksson and northernguitar like this.
  11. bluesholyman

    bluesholyman Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,331
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2013
    Location:
    Salt Life, Gulf Coast
    Statistically speaking, solder joints have a higher Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) than physically connected cables. I think this is largely due to the amount of contact area a soldered connection has versus a screwed down (or in the case of telco a wire-wrapped) connection.

    I bring up "telco" because if you ever go into a PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) switching center (most haven't and can't, but I have) you will see the back of the switches and all the thousands of twisted pair wires going into them are wire wrapped, not soldered. Those switches have to meet a 99.999% annual uptime requirement and they do that with wire wrap, not soldered joints.

    I haven't spent the money on solderless connectors, but I would believe they don't fail as often as soldered do, if they are assembled correctly.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2021
  12. Richie Cunningham

    Richie Cunningham Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,200
    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2020
    Location:
    Midwestern United States
    I can appreciate a good solderless connection. I used to prepare and terminate different wires with compression F-connectors, RCAs, and BNCs — not just RG6QS and RG59, but mini plenum RGB. I was good at it and almost never made a dodgy connection.

    A couple of years ago I bought a sample pack of George L’s. Four right-angle connectors and a couple feet of cable. I tried it. And tried it. And tried it. I couldn’t get it right. I kept pushing and twisting and recutting, but I never made a good cable out of that stuff. Maybe when they come up with a linear compression tool for it, my ship will come in.
     
    MatsEriksson likes this.
  13. northernguitar

    northernguitar Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,147
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Location:
    North of Toronto
    When done right, and cables treated with care, solder joints work just fine.
     
    MatsEriksson likes this.
  14. MatsEriksson

    MatsEriksson Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,297
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2011
    Location:
    Sweden
    I agree. MeToo. I am fed up.
    It has been debated in numeruous threads among the years. I think it is has gone way due its past date this with solderless. The actual cables sounds good, but the contacts, angled or straight, is the main reason for grief. Now this applies to other companies too, that wows for solderless - Evidence being the most ones that stumps me with their earlier ciritical stance on solderless, but has since creating them.

    I do not mind EVER if any cable plug is butt fugly, or nice. There, only function, reliability, and ergonomics rules. I use the Occams Razor principle. I soldered all of the George L cables onto pancacke plugs, and a mix of the thicker and larger Neutrik plugs. I did this 10 years ago, and not a single one has failed on me, and boy, have I been pluggin in and out!

    Today, I have resorted to use those flat braided EBS patch cables that works and sounds equally as well. What people forgets about patch cables between pedals, is that there, when it's that short, any such thing such as low capacitance, impedance and so on is totally moot. After the first pedal, the impedance is converted to low impedance signal, and signal (treble) loss is not virtually but NIL throughout the chain. George L cables mostly shines when using LONG cables with overly weak PLUS passive guitar pickups. Today, these kind of IKEA cables that you assemble yourself is totally moot. The plugs (George L's) and the soldered/solderless makes absolutely no difference in capacitance, or impedance.

    The technique to learn to solder, you may have advantage of in other areas, other than making your own cables. The technique you have to learn to put in the wire exactly onto that pin, can only be used there on George L's plugs, and nowhere else. Solder gives a shield for protecting the copper cable from oxidizing leaving verdigris/patina after a while if not soldered. Which it does when using solderless. I have yet to hear anyone hear difference between actually soldered connection and solderless IN PATCH CABLES BETWEEN PEDALS in a blind test, and even on long guitar cables. The thing is when the green verdigris/patina showing up and starting to oxisize the copper it actually will turn treble signals faint and weaker, and then you have to take it out again, clip it off, and use a "fresh" part of copper again, and make the cable shorter.

    Beats me. If you do not like soldering. Well, buy a stash of spares, they are not that expensive today. You can spend truckloads of money on picks, spare strings, so when a patch cable is broke, just buy another one instead of fixing it. EBS flat cables takes up less space than George L's anyway.

    I am up for a Randi test, 1 million dollar award for anyone who can listen for any difference between if a plug is soldered or solderless, especially George L cables soldered or unsoldered onto any plug.
     
    Nick Fanis and Tim S like this.
  15. kennl

    kennl Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,677
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Location:
    Moon Township, PA
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2021
    MatsEriksson likes this.
  16. MatsEriksson

    MatsEriksson Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,297
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2011
    Location:
    Sweden
    FWIW, I bought a package of KORG molded/sealed patch cables in 1979 that I used for patching pedals. Yes, you read the year correct 1979. A package of 10 pcs. I think it was in 2018 where I actually backed my office chair's wheels over one of them and it went south directly. My bad, my fault. The other 9 are still working and sounding flawless. And they have been tugged at, drawn in and out at, whatever abuse. Still works and sounds the same.

    And...speaking of that tone hound, nitpicker Eric Johnson...here's what happened once, on his HOB concerts, at the dramatic intro song:



    George L's solderless, giving up on him, crapping out at:

    You hear the first scratch/buzz and bad connection between 01:10 - 01:30
    Then at 4:40 - 4:58 he kicks in the patch that has the buzz again and strikes out his hand and wonders wtf ...
    at the break in between tune he disconnects the whole "line" with this broke patch cable and re-routes it. You can see it. So much for EJ's endorsements of cables that are crapping out on him. ;)
     
    Tim S likes this.
  17. MatsEriksson

    MatsEriksson Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,297
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2011
    Location:
    Sweden
    The main reason solderless cable exist, is in aircrafts, they are clamped together. If there's a fire the solder will melt and loose connectione before the actual copper, so one can keep them in line should the heat turn up or melt the isolation even. solder joints melts at lower temperatures.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.