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I used two of the cables I bought from @greco to make this comparison between a very short cable vs a long one using clean, boosted, dirty and lead tones from a few pedals and different volume setting on the guitar...

Hopefully you'll find it as interesting as I do.
 

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If I'm lazy and don't watch YT videos - what did you learn from your experiment?
 

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That clean tones sound fatter with a long cable and driven tones sound more defined with a short cable.

Now I have to figure out how to implement that in a stage situation
I used to run a 10ft from board to amp and 20ft from guitar to board, now it's 2x 20's unless it's a basement. We're so loud I doubt the audience would hear a difference hahaha.
 
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Interesting. Hard to tell what it would sound like live but there is a definite difference. On the whole I preferred the longer cable.
 

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I would personally go for the short one, particularly on stage.
The reduced definition of the longer cable diminishes your ability to "cut through".

My two cents.
 

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I thought the longer cable had a bit of reduced definition (as @BMW-KTM wrote) ...maybe that was just the result of the rolled off high end (as @jb welder wrote) I'm not a high frequency guy but I do like definition. However, after all is said and done, I preferred the long cable ...for the most part.
This fence is very narrow and getting difficult to sit on for much longer.

Above everything, I enjoyed the guitar playing and tone(s).
 

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Nice Demo. Pete Thorn did an excellent demo of this with a 50 ft cable, and why it's important to have a buffer somewhere in your signal chain if you want a consistent sound when using short and long cables.


After all that, it's hard to say that one is "better" or "worse". My personal preference is actually the darker sound. But that can all be achieved using tone controls and EQ. The important part is getting a consistent tone that isn't dependant on cable length.
 

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I don't believe the guitar cable is the best device to adjust your tone.

For consistency, I prefer a short-ish cable to a buffer/pedalboard and then it doesn't matter what you do after that.

But sometimes I need to walk the room and listen to the PA so a longer-ish cable is necessary. Perhaps a wireless would solve my issues but the ones I used decades ago were pretty nasty. And I don't feel like investing multiple hundreds of dollars on something that a long cable fixes for those 3% of situations I need it.
 

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Pete Thorn just posted another demo yesterday on the same topic! This time he exaggerated it with 100 ft of cable. Note the hair "upgrade". :)

 

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OK, but the buffer thing as a solution to long unbalanced HiZ cable runs is overblown. It will help, but only to a point. Go over, say, 20' and same issue. The main thing that helps with is cuttting your overall length in half (i.e. at the pedal board) as regards distance before loss. If your pedalboard to amp cable (or inst to board for that matter) is over 20 ' then you still have a problem and nobody ios going to put a buffer pedal every 10' along the run because that's just gonna be annoying.

Best practice is:
1) keep cables short. Personally my instrument to pedal board cables are 6 feet (I am never on a big enough stage where I can move around much more than that) and my board to amp is 10'. There are bufferred pedals on my board; frackly, I think one would be hard pressed to find someone without at l;east 1 bufferred pedal (unless they were one of those people who specifically set out to do that with the whole True Bypass craze hit a few years back, but even then - who doesn't have a Boss pedal somewhere?).

2) It is better to use a long speaker cable (high power and LoZ means no problems with noise or signal loss over long runs) between amp and cab than to use a long instrument cable. This is particularly useful in the studio (play with the head in the control room so you can adjust yer tone/vol, run the speaker out onto the floor of the live room where it's miced up without your playing/fidgeting noise) but can also be applied live (especially with modern super-mini format heads units - put the head on your board and run a long speaker cable to the cab instead of instrument cable from the board to head on top of the cab with a short speaker cable).

3) when all else fails (e.g it's a combo not separate head/cab) and a long run is unavoidable, convert your instrument level signal (unbalanced HiZ as mentionned) to mic level (LoZ balanced) for the run, and back to instrument level at the receiving end. Devices to do this are available (see the Radial SGI system - the send/transmit box aka TX and the recieving box aka RX; any 2 passive DIs - backwards at the recieving end; watch your XLR cable gender as you'll need a converter or a fem to fem cable) or easy to DIY (transformer based is easiest and requires no power, but active solutions are more complex, but still pretty simple, and a lot cheaper) for about half the cost of the Radial SGI system (assuming transformers; cheaper still if basic active IC based device). With such a system you can run an instrument signal a few hundred feet without problems.
 
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Like you, @Granny Gremlin , I usually use a 6 to 10 foot cable from guitar to board, except for the 3% of nights I need to walk the room while playing early on. A little tweak of the tone control compensates on those nights and is way cheaper than wireless or Z-adjusting devices. Usually 10 feet is more than enough, and less stuff spooled under my feet where I'm standing the majority of the time.

But I do occasionally use longer than 20' from board to amp, sometimes because of distance but more often for cable routing and keeping a relatively trip-free stage. But all my boards have a buffer somewhere in the chain, so no problem there.

Being as my #1 amp and #2 amps are combos, the remote head situation won't work for me, although a viable one for those that use separate heads and cabs. I don't know if I'd want a good 100 watt Marshall plexy on the floor within beer spilling and foot kicking range, though. Perhaps on a table beside me. Sure makes tweaking easier.
 

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Yeah, those best practices won't work for everybody in all situations, but it don't work for nobody if you don't know them.
 

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So, the long and the short of it is.....................................
 
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Buddy Guy uses 100 foot cables. That was more for showmanship, he would wander through the crowd and go outside and solo on the sidewalk.
 
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