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I put a new phone plug on a monster cable

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  • #16
    Back in the "old days" we used to buy bulk cable, cut it to exact size and solder the ends on ourselves. Those days are gone with mixed results. (no, I'm not longing for the 'good old days'). We don't get the exact length we want, but we save a lot of time - the first time.

    But sooner or later the ends will fail, and since there isn't a trade-in place near me that means fixing them myself - the same work as I used to do the first time.

    But it seems that especially XLR connectors were easier to solder back in the stone ages. They actually had little lands with holes in them to wrap the wire through, thus making an easier mechanical connection before applying solder. And I don't think it's my eyesight but the little solder lands are more difficult to see clearly. They must be making them fuzzier. So I don't solder XLR plugs anymore.

    But the XLR's don't seem to fail as much as the 1/4" phone plugs. Probably because they flex less on the gig. So for phone plugs I use Switchcraft model 70. -- Jumbo size, screw on connectors, and that makes an on the job repair quick and the only tools I need are a pair of diagonal pliers and a screwdriver. Soldering on the gig is a PITA.

    Notes
    Bob "Notes" Norton
    Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com
    Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box
    The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<

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    • #17
      Soldering my own cables made sense back when I was on the road and had nothing else to do during the afternoons anyway. Nowadays? Life is way too short.
      _________________________________________________
      Appears the singers biggest problem is pitch and to much lesser degree his tone or phrasing. --- chord123

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      • #18
        I got to agree with that Guido.

        Because of where I live, and using the Switchcraft 70s with screw on terminals, it takes much less time to repair a cable than to drive to the music store.

        When I was on the road, I used to take apart my saxophones once or twice a year and polish the hundreds of parts that make it up, then carefully put it back together. Took about 7 hours. I haven't done that in decades.

        But when I was on the road, the biggest non-gigging activity for me was trying to get lucky with some pretty girl!!!

        But that's another thread.

        Not to hijack this one. I hear Planet Waves has a easy connect system that gets good reviews. Anybody know of it?

        Notes
        Bob "Notes" Norton
        Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com
        Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box
        The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<

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        • #19
          Originally posted by guido61 View Post
          I just walk in with a cable. No receipt needed.
          I looked, and the LiveWire cables are about double what I pay for the EWI cables from Audiopile. That being the case, I don't see the value in the LiveWire cables.

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          • #20
            Any return policy is going to be about convenience to a certain degree. I don't believe there is anyone near me who carries EWI cables. But there's a GC I drive past a couple of times a week anyway. Similarly, someone said earlier they had no GC close to them. So for them, the LiveWires wouldn't make much sense.
            _________________________________________________
            Appears the singers biggest problem is pitch and to much lesser degree his tone or phrasing. --- chord123

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            • #21
              I see the "spin" of Monster cable has not abated It really is crap. And anything over 20 feet (in an unbalanced cable) is going to be highly suspect to induced hum and r/f interference. You get no discernible increase in audio quality using monster cable over say, Mogami or any other quality brand cabling. It really is one of those urban myths! But if you are happy .....I do strongly suggest though that if you need runs over 20 feet, change up to balanced cable.
              https://soundcloud.com/miden-entertainment

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              • #22
                There's always a market for ridiculously-overpriced-pay-for-the-name stuff in every line of goods and products. Not that such things probably matter much to anyone these days, but at least with Monster you're buying stuff made in the US. Not sure where LiveWire builds their cables, but at least they are an American company. EWI is based in Korea. But yeah. Their cables are very inexpensive.
                _________________________________________________
                Appears the singers biggest problem is pitch and to much lesser degree his tone or phrasing. --- chord123

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                • #23
                  Personally, I think they are over-engineered for the application and past that point of diminishing returns cost wise. At least they aren't selling cheap junk at the higher price. And I can see some people paying for the convenience of never having to replace a plug (I'm not one of them) or somebody just wanting to spend more. After all, how much better is that Lexus than the Camry with the same body and engine? Is that Gucci handbag really worth many times more than the Gucci knock-off or a more generic handbag? Some people think so.

                  Does the fancy wood veneer on top of the same guitar make it any better? When I bought my Parker DF, I got natural wood. Book matched maple veneer would have upped the price of the guitar many hundreds of dollars. Personally, I don't think that's worth it, but a lot of other people do, and we are both correct. I did pay $200 extra for better pickups though.

                  I got the Monster because I needed it in a hurry and it was all that was available at the time. It does the job but I'm sure a lesser cable could have done the job with no audible difference. It's the first 'high end' cable I've ever bought, and unless I run into a similar situation, it will also be the last.

                  Notes
                  Bob "Notes" Norton
                  Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com
                  Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box
                  The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<

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                  • #24
                    Well, I think part of the reason people want to pay extra for Lexus' and Gucci is that the name brand impresses certain folks they wish to impress and 'says something' about who they are and the image they want to present. Outside of the high-end audiophile world, I'm not sure who is impressed by Monster cables. I don't know any other musicians who might be. So it's a bit of a weird phenomenon to me that musicians would buy them. It's not like buying a boutique amp or a vintage guitar. Nobody is checking out each other's cables, I don't believe.

                    Also a bit strange that since the lifetime warranty is one of the few things that make the cable worth more than others (although still not as much as they charge for it), that anyone would decide to cut one up and fix it themselves.

                    I just recently bought a new car and I paid a bit extra to extend the bumper-to-bumper warranty and dealer-performed regular service. Arguable whether doing so is something that is actually worth the extra money, but I'll be damned if I'm going to be changing my own oil in the meantime!
                    Last edited by guido61; 04-07-2014, 07:45 PM.
                    _________________________________________________
                    Appears the singers biggest problem is pitch and to much lesser degree his tone or phrasing. --- chord123

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                    • #25
                      The plug ends are the weakest link. Using a guitar cable as a speaker cable will fry and make them microphonic too.
                      Once the wire gets hot, melts the insulation, and lest oxygen in, the cable dies a slow death from oxidation. The copper gets
                      oxidized, tarnished and the cable gets crackly and noisy when its moved.

                      You can buy military style plugs are the best jacks made, but they are very hard to find.
                      They are one solid piece of brass with laminated nylon as insulation. Its like the whole connector
                      is epoxied together. It has no pressure couplings or thin nylon insulators that can melt soldering or loosen up.
                      Your cheaper jacks are just riveted together. One tug and the whole thing falls apart and just heating it melts the insulators and
                      loosens the ground sleeve pressure coupling.

                      I found two of them over 40 years as an electronic tech. They used to be common place. The 1/4" jacks were used by the
                      telephone company switchboard operators who plugged and unplugged patch cables all day long and the plugs would last for years of abuse.
                      The so called plugs used today are a joke in comparison.

                      The only problem with the brass is they do get tarnished with non use so you need to buff them up. The ones I have
                      are over 50 years old and have outlasted many cables.

                      Building your own cables is no longer cost effective. I do build my own when I come across good deals on cables.
                      you can buy a 50' mic cable cheap, cut it down to half size and get one mic and one guitar cord out of it. You can use the second
                      conductor wire in the center as a ground or a hot wire depending on how good its shielding is.

                      Shielding of 90% or better is what you want. Your budget cables are often 70% or less. The bare minimum for blocking noise.
                      Better cable can last a lifetime. I have some Beldin cables which I've had for 47 years.

                      I use these switchcraft Mono 90 jacks for most of my cables now. http://www.parts-express.com/switchc...ickel--093-128
                      They are a single cast of metal between the ground sleeve and base so they cant get loose like others.
                      So far after 5 years I haven't had any give me issues. I also use hot glue after soldering the connections and heat shrink the interior.
                      Plastic hot glue is non conductive and can add allot of sturdiness to the connection.

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