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Making your own cables...

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by Mathusula2, Jan 21, 2011.

  1. Mathusula2

    Mathusula2
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    I'm sure there are plenty of opinions about this, I'd love to hear them all!!

    1. Does anyone have brand preference as to which solderless patch cable kits are best (soundwise)? I've seen George Lynch's, Planet Waves, and Core X2 DIY kits -- any opinions? Any others I should be considering?

    2. Would I be better off practicing my soldering skills and just make my own "traditional", if you will, patch cables?

    I've purchased Hosa patch cables, and I'm pretty sure I hear some sound degradation (what can you expect for a couple of bucks). Any and all thoughts are welcome. Thanks!

    Mike
     
  2. Dominik1986

    Dominik1986
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    I would improve my soldering skills if I were you. I used the Planet Waves solderless cables in the past and noticed that you get some unwanted noise with them. So I learned how to solder and bought Mogami cables and since then I never looked back.
     
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  3. MartinCliffe

    MartinCliffe
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    While I've used the Planet Waves solderless cables (they're easy to repair on the fly WHEN they fail), and some people (like Eric Johnson) seem to like the George L's stuff, there's no doubt in my mind that properly soldered cables last longer, are less prone to intermittent problems, and sound better.

    Soldering ΒΌ" jack cables is EASY. There's plenty of room to work with (smaller connectors are trickier - XLRs aren't too bad, but 3.5mm minijacks are fiddly and DIN connectors are a nightmare), they're easy to assemble, and once you get the hang of it you can rattle them off in no time. I can cut, solder and assemble a new patch lead in 5 minutes easily... and by buying cable and connectors in bulk, you'll be saving a fortune. Particularly compared with so-called "premium" brands like Monster, who I wouldn't touch with a bargepole, as they're notoriously unreliable (that's why they NEED the lifetime warranty :))
     
  4. Mathusula2

    Mathusula2
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    Outstanding. Soldering it is. I've found a nice source for the Mogami cable you mentioned... any opinions on plug ends?

    There doesn't seem to be much of a selection from what my searches find; I'm guessing there isn't too much variability between brands.
     
  5. MartinCliffe

    MartinCliffe
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    I've been using Neutrik NP2X and NP2RX connectors since they introduced them. They're a bit thinner than the older versions, but just as rugged and easy to assemble.
     
  6. ron5150

    ron5150
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    I Agree with Martin, I'm new here and just started rebuilding my old-school rack with a newer SKB-R916U20 shock case and decided to might as well over-haul the entire wiring with the Effects Gizmo and give it better cables/plugs.

    I've ordered the following from http://www.redco.com
    TS format:
    - MOGAMI W2524 (50 ft)
    - NEUTRIK NP2X-B - MALE TS,BLK/GOLD SLIM PROFILE (50 pcs)
    - NEUTRIK NP2RX-B - PLUG 1/4"MONO-RT.ANGLE.B-G (10 pcs) for 5 Pedal/Stomps

    TRS format:
    - MOGAMI W2528 - (20 ft.) - for building Insert cables for stereo Plug applications going to and from my Digitech TSR-24S Multi-Effects processor or any stereo effect sends/returns. (Mogami W2930 2-Channel Snake Cable will not work. IT IS BALANCED AND DOES NOT HAVE THE RIGHT WIRE GAGE)
    - NEUTRIK NP3X-B - TRS MALE TS,SLVR/GOLD (10 pcs)

    Using the above adds up alot of $$$... noth cheap.. approx. $500 in wiring.

    Everything is soldered, The plugs are easy to assemble and uses a plastic cam or compression grip which holds on to the cable as you tighten the boot.

    The final product/cable is a very solid, heavy-duty, long-lasting Mogami Cable! :)

    Here's a photo of the cables made from the above listed material:
    [​IMG]
     
  7. 4x4uk

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    yes plus one on the neutrik plugs I used nothing else when building my rig for all the standard Jack plugs, trs plugs and XLR plugs. Very robust , reliable and easy to solder.
     
  8. ron5150

    ron5150
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    I am considering using a Voodo Labs Pedal Power AC to power up my Effects Gizmo and provide phantom power to my Midi controller. What PINS on a 7-Pin Midi Cable does the Effects Gizmo use to provide phantom power to a MIDI Controller, standard 6th and 7th pin?

    If my controller was to use 650mA of the Pedal Power AC 9VAC 1200mA, would the system still work provided the specs have a 10% tolerance/allowance, or would I be pushing it?
     
  9. rjmmusic

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    Pins 6 and 7 are the ones that carry phantom power.

    650mA plus a stereo Effect Gizmo's 700mA draw would technically exceed the Pedal Power AC's limit. However, margins of error tend to be built into to all power related numbers. Also, the Effect Gizmo draws current in proportion to the number of loops that are on. If you're not turning on all of the loops, it's not drawing 700mA.
     
  10. RubenRoeh

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    Re-opening this thread with a new suggestions on cable assemblies. I just started using VanDamme for all my audio leads and it is by far the best sounding (or least sounding...) cable I have used. I comes in a 6mm diameter variety for instrument leads and a 4.5mm variety for patch applications. You need to be quick with the soldering iron though, the insulation separating the core from the shield is not very heat resistant.

    When it comes to connectors, I have not found the one-brand-fits-all. For straight plugs with a short housing the Switchcraft 380 still seem to be uncontested. For Pancakes I use the Hicons. Cheap, well-made and have separate solder lugs for tip and sleeve connection. No trying to solder ground to the casing, which can be a serious pain. For straight MIDI plugs, I use Rean plugs with the metal casing and ditch the rubber appendix, to allow for tighter wiring on the board. For angled MIDI plugs, I have not yet unearthed a viable alternative to the stupidifyingly expensive Switchcraft Plug that will rotate to 8 different angles. It is a serious pain to solder, too. I appreciate input on this. The Rean plugs at a tenth of the cost are significantly easier to solder.

    For instrument leads, angled or straight, I prefer Amphenol over the industry standard Neutriks by a landslide! I have yet to break or loosen a single Amphenol equipped cable, and some have seen more than 500 shows already. They all still work flawlessly. The Neutriks on the other hand failed me a long time ago. I could detect no auditorily discernible difference. I use Techflex clean cut sleeving for additional stiffness, more solid handling, and increased abrasion resistance - worth every penny. That, along with good soldering technique, high quality solder, heat glue to further fixate soldered connections and protect them from humidity and corrosion, and generous use of shrink tubes make for an indestructible, splendidly sounding cable, that sets you back no more than 30 bucks for a 20ft lead.

    Does anyone have experience with semi-balanced wiring for instrument cables? I've found very little reliable info on this subject, but it is something I am curious to explore.
     
  11. Meanoldfireman

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    Does anyone have a good source for 6 pin XLR's? That, and a solid 7 and 8 pin din. thanks
     
  12. rjmmusic

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    I buy XLRs from www.mouser.com. They have Neutrik NC6FD-L-1 and NC6MD-L-1. They also sell Switchcraft DINs of all types.
     
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  13. lbcbdr

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    I used Redco Audio when I put my pedal board together. They sell all the major brands along with there own line. I used their pancake 1/4" and they have the separate gnd lug and were easy to use. I work for an audio integration firm and they were only a few cents more per conductor for the standard stuff xlr and 1/4" and had the switchcraft right angle midi and others. I am only 1 state away but I got orders shipped same day and arrived the in 2 days via ground. With ordering online from their website. Www.redco.com. I highly recommend them
     
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  14. cosmic_ape

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    About to go down this rabbit hole. I bet I'll have questions!
     

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