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Custom cables


MusicWorkz

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A while ago embedded in one of our threads was a conversation about instrument cables. Someone posted a link to their source for custom length cables and connectors (which I would love to find again).

 

In the interim, however, why not do it again and ask folks why kind of cabling they use for their boards, whether it is pre-made or custom (and their source) and the type of connectors preferred. I have grown tired of HOSA and LIVEWIRE...

 

 

Yamaha (Motif XS7, Motif 6, TX81Z), Korg (R3, Triton-R), Roland (XP-30, D-50, Juno 6, P-330). Novation A Station, Arturia Analog Experience Factory 32

 

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I've been a Mogami and Neutrik guy for a long time, though years ago I swore all those brittle sounding digital synths sounded better through cheap crappy cable. I used red Radio Shack cable on my DX7, TX816, D50 and just about everything else from that era.

Don't rush me. I'm playing as slowly as I can!

 

www.stevenathanmusic.com

https://apple.co/2EGpYXK

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Whirlwind, ProCo, Rapco, Horizon come to mind. I usually make my own, last batch was with Gepco cable switchcraft ends.

 

The Planet Waves concerns me from a roadworthiness standpoint... they're using a d connector. If you're putting them in a rack, no problem. But on a stage floor....

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Make my own. Belden or ProCo cable, Neutrik connectors, nylon expandable sleeving for overbraid, adhesive lined 3-1 heat shrink over each solder joint, connector, sleeve, etc. Use right-angle connectors for anything (including MIDI) coming out of the back of my keyboard to reduce stain not only on the cables, but on the jacks in the keyboards. Failures are extremely rare.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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Karl, I haven't been sold on the Planet Waves system. I want something a bit sturdier.

 

Steve, I generally have had good experiences with cheaper cables surprisingly. In a pinch, Radio Shack does the job and they are everywhere.

 

80's, the strain factor is the primary reason I am looking for rt. angle connectors. Can't find stereo pairs though.

 

Yamaha (Motif XS7, Motif 6, TX81Z), Korg (R3, Triton-R), Roland (XP-30, D-50, Juno 6, P-330). Novation A Station, Arturia Analog Experience Factory 32

 

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Bill, what are your typical lengths and costs per ft?

 

I am looking between 15-20 feet per and really prefer stereo right angles. I haven't seen anything except single cables and figure making my own will be the way to go.

Yamaha (Motif XS7, Motif 6, TX81Z), Korg (R3, Triton-R), Roland (XP-30, D-50, Juno 6, P-330). Novation A Station, Arturia Analog Experience Factory 32

 

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You can always buy a pair of singles and bundle them together either with wire ties or expandable sleeving.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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Hi Bill,

The Planet Waves concerns me from a roadworthiness standpoint... they're using a d connector. If you're putting them in a rack, no problem. But on a stage floor....

 

Are talking about the 8 channel modular snakes?

Yeah, I don't know about those. I would rather have some sort of box for the XLR ins.

 

I like the 1/4 inch TRS and TS single cable type.

I use the Planet Waves stuff for recording. And RapCo or

DIY for gigging. I don't know if the molded ends of the planet Waves would hold up on the road. Although, they have a lifetime warranty,and the guitar players seem to love em.

 

To me, the best part of the Planet waves cables, is that they use two types of shields,

foil and stranded mesh wire. = Maximum noise immunity.

And the shild is connected to ground at only one end. This is clealy marked BTW.

 

- Karl

MPCX, RD-800, Vsynth, Matrix 12
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Avoid Hosa like the plague. They make crap cables, as cheaply as possible, which means your risk of failure increases exponentially.

 

Beyond that, it's marketing.

 

That said, I have Hosa midi cables in my studio, and never had any probs with them.

 

My guitarist made my last batch of audio cables for me, all balanced. Not sure what he used, I think the ends were Neutriks though,

What we record in life, echoes in eternity.

 

MOXF8, Electro 6D, XK1c, Motif XSr, PEKPER, Voyager, Univox MiniKorg.

https://www.abandoned-film.com

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Steve, I generally have had good experiences with cheaper cables surprisingly. In a pinch, Radio Shack does the job and they are everywhere.

 

Just to be clear: I didn't use Radio Shack cables because I thought they were just as good. At the time, I was certain they were not as good, particularly at passing higher frequencies. Those early digital synths sounded harsh to my ears and I liked them better when the audio passed through inferior wire.

That was then. Now-a days, all of my racks and keyboards are wired (as I said) with Mogami and Neutrik, and I still have to tweak my sounds to compensate for the lost bandwidth that comes from traveling through so much studio mic cable to get to the control room!

Don't rush me. I'm playing as slowly as I can!

 

www.stevenathanmusic.com

https://apple.co/2EGpYXK

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Try Audiopile.com if you want cables made to whatever specs you want. Mark and Liz are great to work with. He has most decent brands of connectors and cable. Reasonably priced too. They are a small fish that put out a good product.
SR guy thats finally decided to put his collection of toys to personal use (extremely G.A.S.'y) LOL
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Bill, what are your typical lengths and costs per ft?

 

I am looking between 15-20 feet per and really prefer stereo right angles. I haven't seen anything except single cables and figure making my own will be the way to go.

 

Costs are always a market variable. I have a decent solder station and I made some connector holders to make soldering easier. When you are doing a whole studio, and I've done my share, it helps to have blocks to hold at least 8 XLRM and XLRF inserts, and quarter inch plugs and those little 'helping hands' thingies to hold wires. A pile of shrink wrap in different sizes, a heat gun to shrink the tubing...meters, tools, toys.... DIY is easy but can be costly.

 

Like so many others here, I've used Belden 8412 and Switchcraft or Neutrix connectors. I prefer the Switchcraft, but not to any great extent, either works. I don't like the neutrix quarter inch because they don't fit into a lot of places, the barrel is too fat. But any good cable will do. Since I tend to buy spools of cable, I've no idea what only a few feet would cost and frankly, if I were to need four 20 foot guitar cords tomorrow, I'd go buy them, I would not bother to make them.

 

We tend to want to get all tweaky with our rigs, and then we find that we've made things so esoteric that a simple cable or connector failure brings down the whole rig. My road rig doesn't use anything other than 1/4" guitar cables. No fancy snakes, nothing tricky. (I'm a guitar player, not a keyboardist.) My pedals are wired by custom made custom length 1/4" with right angles, but any 1/4" cable could replace them.

 

So, if your cables are exposed, a heavyweight cable like the 8410 or 8412 is a good idea. Right angled connectors are fine, but you can also work out stress support with re-usable wire ties or velcro. I like right angled connectors, but I'm not a fanatic.

 

If your cables are not exposed to the world, a thinner, less hardy cable might be just the ticket. I used some of the Gepco I had left over from wiring the last studio to make my pedal board cables, and I've had no failures in 8 years. I don't remember the number, but I think that the typical is a West Penn wire 452.

 

But you usually do not save much money if any by making your own cables. The economy of scale is against you.

 

I have a couple of Whirlwind Lifetime cables that I bought in the 70s, a few Monster guitar cables, a couple of Conquest cables, and a pair of Planet Waves that I bought about 4 or 5 years ago. All are in decent shape. Other cables that I've had over the years have not fared so well.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Oyarsa, you are absolutely right! Just don't tell Mark that I screwed up LMAO Audiopile.net. Great to work with and reasonably priced. Decent cables are the best investment musicians can make. There is a lot of "marketing hype" on what a cable can actually do. If it works, it works, the question is how long, and under what circumstances. Personally, I want cables that I don't have to be paranoid about stepping on.
SR guy thats finally decided to put his collection of toys to personal use (extremely G.A.S.'y) LOL
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