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.

Guitar cable capacitance -- how much is too much?

Discussion in 'Amp Tech Center' started by King Fan, Jul 25, 2020.

  1. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    61
    Posts:
    23,200
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    My understanding of typical wireless units is that they EQ the signal in the wireless preamp section, based on the known high end loss.
     
    tubegeek likes this.
  2. tubegeek

    tubegeek Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    3,879
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2020
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    companding too: compression in the transmitter, expansion in the receiver.
     
    telemnemonics likes this.
  3. kris ford

    kris ford Tele-Meister

    Age:
    46
    Posts:
    173
    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2019
    Location:
    Detroit
    I had my favorite cord, a Lava 30ft curly..I got a shorter one, and I like it better..(15ft)..it was like an epiphany!
     
  4. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,337
    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2003
    Location:
    Santa Barbara, California
    For big arena rock shows with large stages and lots of moving around the stage it seems practical to use a wireless rig, especially for those rock stars who change guitars almost every song. I think most of them have made adjustments as needed to their rig to be happy with their wireless tone. Angus Young actually got part of his tone from the intrinsic boost he got from his wireless unit, allegedly. I also suspect that some players tried using a 30' or 40' cord and compared it to their wireless tone and decided the wireless tone was better. Maybe not better than a 10' cord, but better than a 30' or 40' cord.

    Then of course there's Albert Collins who used a super long, 100'? cord so he could play in the audience. With his Tele and his Fender rig dimed it was still plenty trebly-- ice-picky, even. He must have lost his upper range hearing many years before I saw him. His tone would peel paint.
     
  5. 41144

    41144 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    67
    Posts:
    1,586
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2017
    Location:
    Brummagen
    Quite possibly ignorance is bliss but - I played a c. 30 foot Vox curly for years ... never once thought if it might be affecting 'tone'. Last 10 years have flip-flopped about between various Fender and D'Addairo ones usually 5m (20') but also use 3m and 1.5m at home and have never bothered to even measure a capacitance .... even since first reading about cable make/length and capacitance 10+ years ago.

    If you're a studio/home ie same place all the time, with the same amp/guitar/whatever ... then maybe I/one could tell how differently various guitar cables 'sound'.
    As it is, to me, as soon as you play someplace else even with the exact same gear ... something needs tweaking to accommodate new room/venue for how we hear the sounds generated and, again for me, any advantage to a particular cable goes out the window/into the ether.

    PS. I love all the really techie stuff written about in this one - makes my ears hurt ;)
     
  6. albatros

    albatros TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    78
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2016
    Location:
    ITALY
    Capacitance matters if you play clean and you can hear it going from a clinical sound (George L's) to sound muddiness (Vox curled cable). My best choice is Gibson pure cables 15961245561752160470024945026817.jpg
     
  7. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,337
    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2003
    Location:
    Santa Barbara, California
    Wow,do those Gibson jacks even fit into a Telecaster jack socket???
     
  8. Left Coast

    Left Coast TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    8
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2020
    Location:
    Cleveland
    There is always confusion regarding gold plated connectors, some companies market that by trying to say they sound better (I stand by my claim that no one can hear the difference in plating types but there are some who claim they can...) , but their actual use is to prevent oxidation-which can affect sound. The problem with gold is that it is soft and the plating (which is only a few microns thick) is prone to scratching, Rhodium is the best material of for this purpose but of course its platinum and damn expensive.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2020
  9. DBDM

    DBDM TDPRI Member

    Age:
    49
    Posts:
    11
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2020
    Location:
    Nashville Tennessee United States
    I always think of this issue whenever people debate the tiniest of changes in capacitors and wiring and pots. I have stopped asking, what is your guitar hooked to? They simply do not know nor have they thought of that. The length of your wire absolutely changes tone. Sometimes better, sometimes worse. Pedals, amps, and where the amp is plugged all do too. The flow of electricity does not exist only in the parts of the guitar. Everything about the circuit changes everything else about the circuit. (my favorite is number of winds of the humbucker).
     
  10. DBDM

    DBDM TDPRI Member

    Age:
    49
    Posts:
    11
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2020
    Location:
    Nashville Tennessee United States
    As for the "gold plated" connectors--I love it when the kid at "Best Buy" tires to sell me the gold plated cables to connect some device to my TV. I always respond, you mean to tell me that Comcast has run 100 miles of the ****tiest coaxial cable that they could buy, to my house, with like 1000+ splices, yet somehow the picture will be improved, somehow, if those 4 feet are made of gold? Seriously?
     
  11. albatros

    albatros TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    78
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2016
    Location:
    ITALY
    They perfectly fit into a vintage telecaster jack socket like the Bahia
     

    Attached Files:

  12. Wrighty

    Wrighty Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    66
    Posts:
    3,300
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2013
    Location:
    Essex UK
    Honestly can’t see that in a modern home atmosphere oxidation of a plug inside a socket would be a problem. Just moved my set up and didn’t see (or hear?) any signs of oxidation on the numerous connectors.
     
  13. aging_rocker

    aging_rocker Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,209
    Joined:
    May 8, 2019
    Location:
    The upsidedown
    I concur.

    Exactly.

    I currently have 3 guitar cables. They are all of different length and from different manufacturers. One of them is blue and significantly longer than the other 2. I made one of them myself. They all sound exactly the same to me.

    I feel I should declare that:
    • I have tinnitus.
    • I fully understand the whole capacitance/HF roll-off thing.
    • I will concede that for some folks there can be differences in perceived sound between different guitar/speaker cables.
    However, I spent too many years working in the wacky world of high-end hifi to have any tolerance left for cable waffle. I've been present/facilitated at more than several blind tests with interconnect and speaker cable where not one participant could reliably tell the difference between different cables, never mind identify which ones were the (very) expensive ones and which were (literally) standard house wiring cable. Some could wax lyrical about the benefits of cable A versus cable B when we hadn't swapped the cables at all. It felt almost cruel to do it to them.

    You will never convince me that changing between different guitar cables makes any real difference. Unless one of them is broken or complete rubbish.

    This is, of course, just my personal experience. YMMV... :twisted:
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2020
  14. aging_rocker

    aging_rocker Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,209
    Joined:
    May 8, 2019
    Location:
    The upsidedown
    And one hot tip that I just remembered - try unplugging/re-connecting your hifi leads and cables occasionally - it 'breaks' any oxidisation which may have developed between the contact surfaces which may have developed and often improves the sound a little. This can be a main reason why some people think their shiny new expensive cables sound better than the old ones when they plug them in.
     
    JIMMY JAZZMAN and tubegeek like this.
  15. tubegeek

    tubegeek Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    3,879
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2020
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    But what about the side fumbling?
    In the context of hifi, where equipment generally is designed and implemented with low impedance outputs feeding high impedance, resistive inputs, your skepticism is ENTIRELY warranted. Because a guitar is a higher impedance generator, with a fairly complex output impedance characteristic, the possibility of significant, audible interactions with a modest cable capacitance really does exist. This thread has presented evidence using very plausible simulations - no voodoo or snake oil.

    But I wouldn't spend a LOT on a solution unless I was clear that it was a problem, myself.

    Hifi marketing "science" is very very prone to nonsense and the stuff that emerges from the back of a male bovine. (Not saying instrument "science" is always straight-up, either.)
     
    telemnemonics and aging_rocker like this.
  16. aging_rocker

    aging_rocker Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,209
    Joined:
    May 8, 2019
    Location:
    The upsidedown
    Exactly. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

    I have a (purely nostalgic) craving for a curly lead at the moment. I'm torn between a green one and a red one.

    If I do get one (of either flavour), I'll be sure to report back on any audio nirvana that ensues as a result.
     
    tubegeek likes this.
  17. tubegeek

    tubegeek Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    3,879
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2020
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Nirvana seems an inevitable result of this plan.
     
    aging_rocker likes this.
  18. aging_rocker

    aging_rocker Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,209
    Joined:
    May 8, 2019
    Location:
    The upsidedown
    Indeed!

    P90's > HF-sucking curly green/red capacitor > home-brew Guvnor pedal > Katana 50 crunch channel - what can possibly go wrong?
     
  19. tubegeek

    tubegeek Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    3,879
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2020
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Jeeze where do I start?
     
    aging_rocker likes this.
  20. JIMMY JAZZMAN

    JIMMY JAZZMAN Tele-Meister

    Age:
    69
    Posts:
    494
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2019
    Location:
    Baltimore
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.