General knowledge about electric guitar connection cable

General knowledge about electric guitar connection cable

Spending tens of thousands of dollars on the three big things - electric guitars, effects and amps - is par for the course among guitarists, but spending hundreds of dollars on a guitar cable is less palatable. Is there a need to choose a high-end guitar cable?
  The background noise of many effects and amps is very low, but we often hear complaints about their noise problems, some of which are problems with the criteria for judging the size of the noise, most of which are caused by the use of poor quality guitar cables. Guitar cables themselves are structural integrity antennas, so they are often subject to interference from electromagnetic radiation from stage lights, transformers and other electronic equipment, producing a noisy signal. This electromagnetic radiation noise can be solved with a mesh shield, and the use of a mesh shield is also the minimum requirement for guitar cable quality. Check the quality of shielding is simple, the guitar cable straight into the front of the monitor can be, a good guitar cable should not have any noise intensity changes. (You use LCD monitor? ......)

  In theory, the material and density of the shielding layer does not have much effect on the shielding effect, but in practice, guitar cables are often stepped on or bent, there will be localized capacitance changes where they are stepped on or bent, generating noise, so it is very necessary to require a certain density and strength. There should not be any gaps between the outer plastic, nylon or rubber protective layer of the guitar cable and the internal shielding network and signal cable, and the shielding layer should not have a significant change in weave density when bent by hand.

  Guitar cable external strength also has certain requirements, the line quality is too soft will be easy to wind together or produce hard bending, the use of very troublesome, but also affect the tone. The outer protective layer of material with a soft black rubber guitar wire is easy to get dirty, the strength is also too poor, the general high-end guitar wire will not use this material. The nylon outer layer of the guitar cable is ideal, will not age hard, and there will generally be a variety of colors to choose from, easy to distinguish. Guitar wire with very low noise is easy to find, but guitar wire that only achieves low noise is also substandard and must also require tone.

  The impact of the guitar cable on the tone is mainly reflected in the difference in capacitance of the guitar cable. The capacitance and length of the guitar cable increases, the high frequency attenuation increases. If the capacitance value is too high or the guitar cable is too long, the high frequency conduction will be significantly slower than the low frequency, resulting in phase drift phenomenon, the clarity and cohesion of the tone will be greatly reduced. The effect of capacitance on tone is most serious when using a passive pickup with high output impedance (that is, an electric guitar without batteries...) and a speaker with high input impedance, such as a traditional Fender with a tube speaker (the high input impedance of the tube speaker and the characteristics of the tube itself will attenuate the highs of the Fender, making the tone more rounded and less harsh). (So sometimes good tone is from the electrical defects of ......). If your effects output impedance is low, then the capacitance of the wires between the effects and the speaker or mixer will have a very slight effect on the tone.

  Specifically for stage use, if your foot is a speaker simulator or a synthesizer with speaker simulation function, the output standard signal to the mixer, then your guitar and effects between the line must be high quality, between the effects and the mixer with good shielding quality of the mid-range line can be. If your feet are several single block effects, effects connected behind a row of Marshall speakers, then the guitar to the effects and effects to the speakers with a high quality line. If you have a couple of normal single block effects under your feet (not the DigitechX series ones with speaker emulation) and a single block effects connected to a mixer, then .... Then ...... simply can not be so connected!

  If the bypass function of your effects (e.g. SansAmpGT2) is truly bypassed (i.e. directly connected between the input/output jacks after the bypass switch is depressed), and you want to use the tone in both bypassed/non-bypassed states, then you should also use a high quality connection cable.
If you are playing at a high volume, the return tone may also be generated by the guitar cable. Good insulation between the inner signal wire and the shield of the guitar cable can effectively avoid this problem. (Do your own line of friends, the signal line inside the plug and the insulation of the shield should be done very strictly). P.S. The input / output signal matching of common equipment related to electric guitar The guitar cable is good, if used for the wrong equipment connection will not have good results, so it is necessary to figure out the correct signal matching method.

  The input signal specification of the device connected to the electric guitar is about 10dB/250mV/1M ohms (called G signal in the following), and the guitar input interface of any effect or amp is designed with this specification. Therefore, no matter how you connect them in series, the guitar input port of all devices should get a signal equivalent to the strength of the G signal. When connecting a single effect in series, the output gain (i.e. volume) of each single block should be as close to the G signal strength as possible to avoid overloading the next effect.
  Single block effects should not be directly connected to a mixer, recording card, and other general audio signal (hereinafter referred to as S signal) input devices. If you need to connect them this way, you should use a direct barge box to match the signal to the S signal strength. Generally, synthesizers have dedicated output jacks for connecting devices that require G or S signal input. For example, the AX1500g has a 1/4" jack for connecting to a guitar amp and a headphone jack for connecting to a mixer, etc. The Zoom 707 allows you to set the type of equipment to be connected to the output jacks. Please refer to the manual of the effector for specific operation. (The manual of the effector has time or look at it, even the manual of a single effector is also very useful.)
There are also some special cases. For example, Digitech's X series single block effector has a built-in speaker analog function, and there is an S signal output interface for connecting to a mixing console or recording card. Generally this type of special equipment are clearly stated on the packaging.
Rackmount effects mostly have both G-signal and S-signal input interfaces, and qualified sound engineers will give you the right choice of interface. Some guitar amps have high impedance / low impedance two input interface, generally high impedance for connecting the guitar, low impedance connection effects, etc.. High-grade speakers and some synthesized effects have "Effects loop" function (that is, send and return two interfaces), generally designed for external G signal strength of the effects. Effects Loop" function on the mixer is generally designed for S signal strength. However, it is not absolute, pay attention to the corresponding introduction of the manual.

  If the effects are too far from the mixer, it is best to use the balanced 1/4" output of the effects or balanced XLR output (if available), which can effectively avoid signal degradation and noise. Too long XLR connection cable is not easy to buy, you can ask for custom-made when you buy the effect device. If there is no balanced output type of interface, you should use a synthesizer or other device to boost the signal closer to the guitarist before transmitting it over long distances. For example, with synthesized effects, the guitarist is 15 meters away from the mixer, you should use a 3-meter line to connect the guitar to the synthesized effects, and 12 meters to connect the effects to the mixer. The same 15-meter distance, if you use a single block of effects, guitar and effects, effects and guitar speakers should be used between the 3-meter line, if the guitar speaker volume is not enough, you should use a microphone to guitar speaker pickup after accessing the mixer, you can not put the guitar speaker too far away from the single block of effects.

Back to blog