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Thread: Is the capacitance of 88 pF/m "good" enough for a 6m (20 feet) guitar cable?

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    Tone Member BleedingFingertips's Avatar
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    Question Is the capacitance of 88 pF/m "good" enough for a 6m (20 feet) guitar cable?

    I've noticed recently that I got too many different cables I randomly bought over the years. Mostly no-names but also one MONSTERRRRRR

    Now I want to stick to one brand to keep my tone consistent. But before I spend some quid for quality cables, I'd like to address the "tone sucking" issue. I'm no expert but as far as I'm concerned the two main factors causing this problem are the capacitance and the length of a cable, right? Then I need to know what capacitance at which length allows me to run the guitar signal unaltered before it hits the buffer pedal.

    I'm eyeing two German suppliers - Cordial Cables and Sommer Cable. Both have fairly good reputation and I was also able to find the capacitance value: 88 pF per meter. They claim its low - so be it.

    But I don't know whether it's low enough to run a 6m (20') cable from guitar to buffer.

    Can someone educate me on this matter? I can of course grab a shorter cable but I'd like to have some room on stage.

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Jacew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the capacitance of 88 pF/m "good" enough for a 6m (20 feet) guitar cable?

    Any cable affects your sound. Just buy cable, set your gear for great sound, and keep using the the same cable and you get consistent tone.
    "So understand/Don't waste your time always searching for those wasted years/Face up, make your stand/And realize you're living in the golden years"
    Iron Maiden - Wasted Years

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    Mojo's Minions dystrust's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the capacitance of 88 pF/m "good" enough for a 6m (20 feet) guitar cable?

    Quote Originally Posted by BleedingFingertips View Post
    Now I want to stick to one brand to keep my tone consistent. But before I spend some quid for quality cables, I'd like to address the "tone sucking" issue. I'm no expert but as far as I'm concerned the two main factors causing this problem are the capacitance and the length of a cable, right?
    The factor is total capacitance which is the product of capacitance per foot/meter and total length of the cable. Two cables with the same overall capacitance but different lengths and capacitance per meter should sound roughly the same.

    Quote Originally Posted by BleedingFingertips View Post
    Then I need to know what capacitance at which length allows me to run the guitar signal unaltered before it hits the buffer pedal.
    There is no such cable; anything you play through will affect your tone somewhat. I have different cables with different capacitance that I use for different things. If I'm plugging straight in, I really like a higher-capacitance Mogami cable that has a rather warm, balanced tonality. OTOH if I'm using my pedalboard with a longer cable run, I prefer my extremely low capacitance Best Tronics Pro Audio custom cables though they sound bright & harsh plugged straight in. Your buffer and where it's located in the chain also affects the overall tone, the closer the buffer is to your guitar, the less cables matter.
    Quote Originally Posted by crusty philtrum View Post
    And that's probably because most people with electric guitars seem more interested in their own performance rather than the effect on the listener ... in fact i don't think many people who own electric guitars even give a poop about the effect on a listener. Which is why many people play electric guitars but very very few of them are actually musicians.

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    Tone Member BleedingFingertips's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the capacitance of 88 pF/m "good" enough for a 6m (20 feet) guitar cable?

    Quote Originally Posted by dystrust View Post

    There is no such cable; anything you play through will affect your tone somewhat.
    I see... "Unaltered" was too bold a word perhaps. By unaltered I rather meant that the clarity shouldn't suffer too much.

    BTW, where is the threshold between high and low capacitance?´IS there some "industry standard"?

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    Tone Member BleedingFingertips's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the capacitance of 88 pF/m "good" enough for a 6m (20 feet) guitar cable?

    Quote Originally Posted by dystrust View Post
    Your buffer and where it's located in the chain also affects the overall tone, the closer the buffer is to your guitar, the less cables matter.
    So, a cable straight into amp VS the same cable through buffer and pedalboard and into amp = the same tone (with bypassed pedals obviously)?

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    Mojo's Minions dystrust's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the capacitance of 88 pF/m "good" enough for a 6m (20 feet) guitar cable?

    Quote Originally Posted by BleedingFingertips View Post
    I see... "Unaltered" was too bold a word perhaps. By unaltered I rather meant that the clarity shouldn't suffer too much.

    BTW, where is the threshold between high and low capacitance?´IS there some "industry standard"?
    Unfortunately there isn't a standard, but some manufacturers publish their specs. The Mogami cable I mentioned is made with their 2524 cable which has a spec of 130pF/m, while the BTPA cable is their CA-446 which specs at 65pF/m. I've seen published specs for Canare, but Monster for example are notoriously non-transparent in terms of specs / performance. The spec you quoted of 88pF/m sounds like a good medium/low value which should sound good as long as you're not running a ton of pedals or an extremely long total cable run. The shortest answer is what Jacew said; "Find a cable you like, and dial in your sound for it.".
    Quote Originally Posted by crusty philtrum View Post
    And that's probably because most people with electric guitars seem more interested in their own performance rather than the effect on the listener ... in fact i don't think many people who own electric guitars even give a poop about the effect on a listener. Which is why many people play electric guitars but very very few of them are actually musicians.

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    Tone Member BleedingFingertips's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the capacitance of 88 pF/m "good" enough for a 6m (20 feet) guitar cable?

    Quote Originally Posted by dystrust View Post
    Unfortunately there isn't a standard, but some manufacturers publish their specs. The Mogami cable I mentioned is made with their 2524 cable which has a spec of 130pF/m, while the BTPA cable is their CA-446 which specs at 65pF/m. I've seen published specs for Canare, but Monster for example are notoriously non-transparent in terms of specs / performance. The spec you quoted of 88pF/m sounds like a good medium/low value which should sound good as long as you're not running a ton of pedals or an extremely long total cable run. The shortest answer is what Jacew said; "Find a cable you like, and dial in your sound for it.".
    I can take those values as a reference, thanks

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    of the Forum PFDarkside's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the capacitance of 88 pF/m "good" enough for a 6m (20 feet) guitar cable?

    You could always just install a Redeemer Buffer in the guitar(s), then you are buffered at the source.

    https://www.creationaudiolabs.com/redeemer

    One time I plugged a 12” George L cable into the amp, wow was that bright. My point is that everything is going to roll off and alter some high end. I agree with the thought to choose a cable then dial in around there. While not ultra low capacitance, Mogami is an industry standard cable that’s not too expensive. The cable you found I’d classify as low capacitance. So to get anything “better” you’d need George L or the buffer above.






    Grab some along with the connectors you want and make your own: (unless that’s the plan!)

    Last edited by PFDarkside; 05-24-2020 at 01:33 PM.
    Oh no.....


    Oh Yeah!

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    of the Forum PFDarkside's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the capacitance of 88 pF/m "good" enough for a 6m (20 feet) guitar cable?

    Oh no.....


    Oh Yeah!

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    Mojo's Minions dystrust's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the capacitance of 88 pF/m "good" enough for a 6m (20 feet) guitar cable?

    Quote Originally Posted by BleedingFingertips View Post
    So, a cable straight into amp VS the same cable through buffer and pedalboard and into amp = the same tone (with bypassed pedals obviously)?
    Sorry, missed this one, and I don't actually know if I can give an absolute answer to it. The answer depends on how long the total cable runs are in both cases, the type of bypass the pedals have, and where the buffer(s) are in the signal chain. Most (if not all) buffers will alter your tone somewhat, and they typically result in a brighter tone than straight in. So you start out with a guitar straight into amp tone which is loaded down by cable length and pedals, but made brighter by buffer(s). As long as you're happy with the resulting tone, it's all good.
    Quote Originally Posted by crusty philtrum View Post
    And that's probably because most people with electric guitars seem more interested in their own performance rather than the effect on the listener ... in fact i don't think many people who own electric guitars even give a poop about the effect on a listener. Which is why many people play electric guitars but very very few of them are actually musicians.

  11. #11
    Tone Member BleedingFingertips's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the capacitance of 88 pF/m "good" enough for a 6m (20 feet) guitar cable?

    Quote Originally Posted by PFDarkside View Post
    You could always just install a Redeemer Buffer in the guitar(s), then you are buffered at the source.

    https://www.creationaudiolabs.com/redeemer

    One time I plugged a 12” George L cable into the amp, wow was that bright. My point is that everything is going to roll off and alter some high end. I agree with the thought to choose a cable then dial in around there. While not ultra low capacitance, Mogami is an industry standard cable that’s not too expensive. The cable you found I’d classify as low capacitance. So to get anything “better” you’d need George L or the buffer above.
    ..
    I can actually live with some high end loss. Those Black Winters of mine have plenty of them..

    Never heard about the Redeemer Buffer. So, it's basically like having active PUs? I guess I need an extra cavity for the battery.

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    Tone Member BleedingFingertips's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the capacitance of 88 pF/m "good" enough for a 6m (20 feet) guitar cable?

    Quote Originally Posted by dystrust View Post
    Sorry, missed this one, and I don't actually know if I can give an absolute answer to it. The answer depends on how long the total cable runs are in both cases, the type of bypass the pedals have, and where the buffer(s) are in the signal chain. Most (if not all) buffers will alter your tone somewhat, and they typically result in a brighter tone than straight in. So you start out with a guitar straight into amp tone which is loaded down by cable length and pedals, but made brighter by buffer(s). As long as you're happy with the resulting tone, it's all good.
    Makes sense. Altough it will take some time to find out, since my pedal board is growing

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