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Stereo guitar cable vs mono


jomaco
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Most guitars use mono cables. Stereo would be silly. This guitar,

 

P1060391.jpg

 

has piezo pickups in the bridge. It has a stereo output jack, so it can use that cable, then a Y adapter to send the piezo signal to an accoustic amp, and the electric guitar pickup signal no a normal electric guitar amp.

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Google up Rickenbacker Ric-O-Sound. They are wired for stereo bit you wouldnt have a TRS at both ends.

One end would be a Y jack for connecting two channels or two different amps.

 

Unless you rewire the guitar pickups for stereo, and have a stereo jack installed in the guitar and

it makes no sence to use a TRS cable. Those cables are used for low impedance patc bays, and connecting

low impedance gear together that dont have the XLR jacks or plugs available. You find allot of vintage gear using

TRS jacks.

 

You can use a shielded TRS cable for a guitar so long as the jacks at both ends are switching.

All thats going to happen is the tip and ground are used. The ring wont do anything.

 

 

If you plug into a guitar box that uses a switched TRS jack you can have problems with the

battery/DC connection. Guitar boxes usually use a TRS jack and the mono plug sleeve shorts

the Ring and Sleeve connections to activate the DC power. Its not advisable to use a stereo

jack or cable unless you short the sleeve and ring connections together. otherwise with the center ring

connection floating, your guitar pedals will be dead when you plug into them.

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Google up Rickenbacker Ric-O-Sound.

 

... or Gibson's original ES345/355 stereo models, designed to send each pickup to a different channel, or a different amp. Guitarists were not, in general, particularly impressed, and so many of those models have been rewired for a mono output. The current BB King Lucille model (in both its Gibson and Epiphone editions) has two outputs, wired so that it functions in mono if you only plug into the left one.

 

To reiterate: a stereo cable is pointless-verging-on-counterproductive unless you own a stereo guitar, or one with specially-wired transducer and/or synth output circuits.

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The thing is I've found I can get the planet waves cables (linked to above) for ridiculously cheap (10 GBP) so I wouldn't be paying any more for the stereo cable - in fact it would be a lot less than a mono one of similar quality. Would there be any detrimental effect from using them?

 

Thanks

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depends on your amp, really. some amps will ground a stereo cable correctly, others may have extra hum. it's not gonna hurt to try it. i used a stereo cable when all of my cables somehow needed to be fixed/replaced at the same time and i didn't have any trouble with it. on one of my cheaper practice amp it did have a little more noise but overall it was fine. i wouldn't use them as my main cables. you could always splice into the wiring and connect the ring and sleeve wires together, effectively creating a mono cable.

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You know your strat most likely isn't wired for stereo, right? Giving electricity two paths to get to the same place is a recipe for noise.

The second conductor isn't going to cause extra noise in most settings because nothing will go through it. However, I recommend against it. There are two main reasons:

 

1. In active guitars, a TRS jack is used to detect that a cable has been inserted. This may not work if you have a stereo cable.

2. Many audio interfaces have a balanced TRS jack for instrument input and there, it actually can cause noise since the ring is not connected to anything at the guitar, making it just a live cable. Minimal, but it can happen.

 

Use a mono cable unless you need stereo. Plus, two conductors vs. one means that the stereo cable might be stiffer and more prone to failure.

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The second conductor isn't going to cause extra noise in most settings because nothing will go through it. However, I recommend against it. There are two main reasons:


1. In active guitars, a TRS jack is used to detect that a cable has been inserted. This may not work if you have a stereo cable.

2. Many audio interfaces have a balanced TRS jack for instrument input and there, it actually can cause noise since the ring is not connected to anything at the guitar, making it just a live cable. Minimal, but it can happen.


Use a mono cable unless you need stereo. Plus, two conductors vs. one means that the stereo cable might be stiffer and more prone to failure.

 

I guess it won't go through as long as the prong on the jack isn't touching it, but there's completely no point in a stereo cable otherwise. The extra wire either makes more noise or does nothing.

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  • 7 years later...
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On 5/13/2012 at 2:12 PM, csm said:

 

Google up Rickenbacker Ric-O-Sound.

 

 

... or Gibson's original ES345/355 stereo models, designed to send each pickup to a different channel, or a different amp. Guitarists were not, in general, particularly impressed, and so many of those models have been rewired for a mono output. The current BB King Lucille model (in both its Gibson and Epiphone editions) has two outputs, wired so that it functions in mono if you only plug into the left one.

 

To reiterate: a stereo cable is pointless-verging-on-counterproductive unless you own a stereo guitar, or one with specially-wired transducer and/or synth output circuits.

For a Gibson ES345 stereo model, i want to make a stereo cable. The jack that plugs in the guitar will be stereo, but the jack that plugs in the amp (there's only one amp) , has to be mono, or stereo ? 

 

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