Old school but modern? Don’t count on it.

Finished Sommer tweed style cable with Neutrik jack sockets

Cables, connectors and sound

A few weeks ago I decided to make my own cables.

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I scoured the web and decided to buy some Sommer Cable along with Neutrik NP2X jack plugs and some silver solder.
I will be very honest I picked the cable because I’d read Sommer were good and I wanted a tweed affect covered cable.

Having very little in the way of experience I grabbed a soldering iron, so old it says made in England on it, a bit of solder, some old 2 core and earth and went to town for a few hours.

Two core and earth first try at soldering.
Two core and earth first try at soldering.

This was my first try and I was reasonably pleased considering I hadn’t used a soldering iron in twenty years, my prowess improved until I was comfortable enough to try the actual cable building.

Construction

The final finished cable looks right and works.
Along the way I discovered that the solder did not really want to stick to the jack plugs when tinning and while the tweed jacket around the inner cable may look cool it frays something awful when you cut it so i used electrical tape around the ends to clean everything up.

Finally got this done. #guitar #diy #cables #tone

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Final Thoughts

First thing, this is great fun. I lost a few hours doing this and have bought some pancake style jacks to use in the future when I make patch cables out of a spare guitar cable that hasn’t been used.
The cable itself. I actually don’t like the sound, it is marketed as a vintage style cable with a warm and fat vintage sound. This is spot on to my ear with a loss of top end and volume which makes me feel it is a little muffled. A modern sounding cable with the tweed covering would be awesome.
If – what do I mean if. When I do this again, I would look at the Tricone XXL cable as I think this would have a sound I’m looking for, additionally I may consider the Van Damme cables as they come in different colours but if you want a cool old school tweed covering with a modern sound don’t count on it.

Where to begin with cabs?

The reason for starting this blog was due to my indecision around guitar cabs and amplifiers.
I am of the opinion that a separate head and cab is the best solution as this leaves me with options for changing the amp head in the future or allows me to own more than one head at some time.
But…

With limited space, wanting to be sensible with funds but also get something a little different. I am bogged down by options.
Do I go 1×12 or 2×10?
My original idea was to get a custom built 2×8. My reasons being that this would give a good spread of sound but would not massively increase both actual and perceived volume. For those interested the whole 1w @ 1m and so many decibel’s thing is quite mind boggling and links to efficiency of speakers which is a post for another day.

So where do I sit at the moment?

The 2×8 is out of the window, however cool an idea this sounded there is limited choice for speakers. Plus if I follow through I’m very much stuck with it because how many people do you see on forums saying “You know what I really need. A 2×8 cabinet.”
A 1×12 is standard for guitar cabs and you get plenty of choice for speakers because of this.
A 2×10 will be a similar size but my concern is how much increased volume this will put out. The plus points are that you can run a stereo set up through two speakers and get different impedance with different wiring configurations.

My brain is a bit frazzled by all this choice and some of this is just the cabinet, which comes with more options.
Then of course there are speakers.

My next post will look more at speakers.

Bye for now.

Welcome to the Tone at Home blog

Welcome to the Tone at Home.
I am starting this blog to catalogue my efforts in both finding and trying different things to get a better sound at home.

Tone is forever subjective and the aim here is not to get into discussions of what is better or worse as it is all my opinion.

Hopefully I’ll gain a few followers along the way and maybe have some fun.

Enjoy!