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> Connecting A Head To A Cab, speaker cable vs instrument cable
Scott Gentzen
post Jul 19 2008, 05:07 PM
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This topic comes up on here occasionally. I finally got a cabinet to go with the Valve Jr I have so I decided to check it out.

I already had a 3' instrument cable and I just picked up a 3' speaker cable.

With the speaker cable, it sounds like it should.

The instrument cable is interesting. It is a lot different. The sound's muted, muffled, sorta. The low end is a little louder, but muddy and has a weird pulsating effect...kind of like a weird tremolo effect isolated to a certain frequency range. It increases as the volume increases.

I don't think it's damaging anything. It doesn't sound as "good" as one would expect it to sound but I don't think it's completely "wrong" either....just different. Makes me wonder what else I could put in between the head and the cab without wrecking the head..


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kjutte
post Jul 19 2008, 06:31 PM
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QUOTE (Scott Gentzen @ Jul 19 2008, 06:07 PM) *
This topic comes up on here occasionally. I finally got a cabinet to go with the Valve Jr I have so I decided to check it out.

I already had a 3' instrument cable and I just picked up a 3' speaker cable.

With the speaker cable, it sounds like it should.

The instrument cable is interesting. It is a lot different. The sound's muted, muffled, sorta. The low end is a little louder, but muddy and has a weird pulsating effect...kind of like a weird tremolo effect isolated to a certain frequency range. It increases as the volume increases.

I don't think it's damaging anything. It doesn't sound as "good" as one would expect it to sound but I don't think it's completely "wrong" either....just different. Makes me wonder what else I could put in between the head and the cab without wrecking the head..


DO NOT use signal cables. This is a power cable, it needs higher dimension wires, or it will litterally burn up.
I emphasize, do NOT use signal cables to cabinet.

The reason it sound muted is because your speaker needs alot more electrical current to function than a signalwire can deliver.

I don't know the exact digit, but a signal cable may be able to deliver 3amps or something, whilst a powercable can deliver 20amps.

Again; Do not use signal cables to cabinets!!!

This post has been edited by kjutte: Jul 19 2008, 06:33 PM
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Andrew Cockburn
post Jul 19 2008, 06:38 PM
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I totally agree - don't do it!

Worst case, the cable will fuse and break, then you will have no speaker connected to your amp and it in turn will then blow an output transformer or maybe redplate your tubes - either way ... D O N ' T D O I T !


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kjutte
post Jul 19 2008, 06:40 PM
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QUOTE (Andrew Cockburn @ Jul 19 2008, 07:38 PM) *
I totally agree - don't do it!

Worst case, the cable will fuse and break, then you will have no speaker connected to your amp and it in turn will then blow an output transformer or maybe redplate your tubes - either way ... D O N ' T D O I T !


Well, the fuses will blow, if the wires fuse together. May still damage the cab though.
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Bogdan Radovic
post Jul 19 2008, 06:47 PM
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I hope Scott reads this topic as soon as possible ! unsure.gif
I don't recommend experimenting with "what can you put in between speaker and head" smile.gif


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kjutte
post Jul 19 2008, 06:49 PM
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Yeah man. Though, it's quite obvious. The poweroutputs are red, and have lightninggrahpics next to 'em. Should ring a bell.
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Andrew Cockburn
post Jul 19 2008, 08:25 PM
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QUOTE (kjutte @ Jul 19 2008, 01:40 PM) *
Well, the fuses will blow, if the wires fuse together. May still damage the cab though.


Not necessarily , and definitely not if the wire melts and goes open circuit - that's when the real damage happens to a tube amp!


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kjutte
post Jul 19 2008, 09:00 PM
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QUOTE (Andrew Cockburn @ Jul 19 2008, 09:25 PM) *
Not necessarily , and definitely not if the wire melts and goes open circuit - that's when the real damage happens to a tube amp!


What's the fuse for then, if not overload, andrew? Melt together=short circut=massive overload.

If this is true A, our fuse cabinets at home would explode too, when the kid shoves something in the contact.

This post has been edited by kjutte: Jul 19 2008, 09:02 PM
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Scott Gentzen
post Jul 19 2008, 09:39 PM
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QUOTE (kjutte @ Jul 19 2008, 01:49 PM) *
Yeah man. Though, it's quite obvious. The poweroutputs are red, and have lightninggrahpics next to 'em. Should ring a bell.


Actually, they don't. Not on mine anyway. There's the normal warnings about power and heat but nothing specifically on the head about cabling. I didn't really read the manual though.

Kept an eye on the cable for heat buildup and didn't play around like that for long. No damage done.

I'll not mess around with that anymore. I promise. Thanks for the heads-up, guys. biggrin.gif


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kjutte
post Jul 19 2008, 09:41 PM
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QUOTE (Scott Gentzen @ Jul 19 2008, 10:39 PM) *
Actually, they don't. Not on mine anyway. There's the normal warnings about power and heat but nothing specifically on the head about cabling. I didn't really read the manual though.

Kept an eye on the cable for heat buildup and didn't play around like that for long. No damage done.

I'll not mess around with that anymore. I promise. Thanks for the heads-up, guys. biggrin.gif


Hehe, well now you know. Signal and power is very very different cables.

Glad I could help!
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Andrew Cockburn
post Jul 19 2008, 11:06 PM
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QUOTE (kjutte @ Jul 19 2008, 04:00 PM) *
What's the fuse for then, if not overload, andrew? Melt together=short circut=massive overload.

If this is true A, our fuse cabinets at home would explode too, when the kid shoves something in the contact.


Because tubes have high voltages in them, not high currents. Fuses protect against high currents only. When you disconnect the speaker from a tube amp, the secondary of the output transformer goes open circuit, which reflects back through inductive coupling to the primary making it also go high impedance. Since the impedance is high, the voltage is also forced higher as there is nothing to load it down. If the voltage goes high enough, it can arc inside the transformer, burning out the insulation, or in some cases, the raised voltages within the tubes causes arcing there instead.

Either way, it isn't good, and a fuse won't protect you - but this is a peculiarity of tube amps only.


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kjutte
post Jul 19 2008, 11:15 PM
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QUOTE (Andrew Cockburn @ Jul 20 2008, 12:06 AM) *
Because tubes have high voltages in them, not high currents. Fuses protect against high currents only. When you disconnect the speaker from a tube amp, the secondary of the output transformer goes open circuit, which reflects back through inductive coupling to the primary making it also go high impedance. Since the impedance is high, the voltage is also forced higher as there is nothing to load it down. If the voltage goes high enough, it can arc inside the transformer, burning out the insulation, or in some cases, the raised voltages within the tubes causes arcing there instead.

Either way, it isn't good, and a fuse won't protect you - but this is a peculiarity of tube amps only.



Even if the tubes have high voltage, the current will still raise massively when you short circut, and the fuse will instantly blow. Also, you say the voltage will raise, but I don't understand this

voltage=reistance*current, and when the wires melt, you get zero resistance, lower voltage.

Am I thinking wrong? Enlighten me please.
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Andrew Cockburn
post Jul 19 2008, 11:36 PM
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QUOTE (kjutte @ Jul 19 2008, 06:15 PM) *
Even if the tubes have high voltage, the current will still raise massively when you short circut, and the fuse will instantly blow. Also, you say the voltage will raise, but I don't understand this

voltage=reistance*current, and when the wires melt, you get zero resistance, lower voltage.

Am I thinking wrong? Enlighten me please.


I'm saying the wires melt and go open circuit, not fuse together ...


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kjutte
post Jul 19 2008, 11:47 PM
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QUOTE (Andrew Cockburn @ Jul 20 2008, 12:36 AM) *
I'm saying the wires melt and go open circuit, not fuse together ...


aha aha, I understand, and agree.

Btw, a question to you.
I have no cabinet for my tube amp, but I took the power tubes out.
can it still be damaged? It's been working nicely, and still am, butI keep reading that it's not good having it powered up without load.
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Caelumamittendum
post Jul 19 2008, 11:48 PM
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On topic of this, I'm actually using one guitar jack cabel from my Boss GT6 output to my soundcards in, as well as one head-to-cab cable from my GT6 output to soundcard in. Is that bad in any way?

Never really put much thought into it, as they seemed pretty much the same. Had no other cables at the moment either.

This post has been edited by Caelumamittendum: Jul 19 2008, 11:49 PM


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Andrew Cockburn
post Jul 19 2008, 11:51 PM
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QUOTE (kjutte @ Jul 19 2008, 06:47 PM) *
aha aha, I understand, and agree.

Btw, a question to you.
I have no cabinet for my tube amp, but I took the power tubes out.
can it still be damaged? It's been working nicely, and still am, butI keep reading that it's not good having it powered up without load.


Hmm ... well, without power tubes, you wont have the problems mentioned above because there will be no voltage going directly across the OT, but you will almost certainly be getting higher voltage across the preamp ... that in itself may or may not be a problem depending on the amp. At the very least it will increase your clean headroom and mean you probably get less preamp distortion.Worst case you might blow the tubes and/or other components, but that is not very likely.


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kjutte
post Jul 19 2008, 11:52 PM
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QUOTE (Caelumamittendum @ Jul 20 2008, 12:48 AM) *
On topic of this, I'm actually using one guitar jack cabel from my Boss GT6 output to my soundcards in, as well as one head-to-cab cable from my GT6 output to soundcard in. Is that bad in any way?

Never really put much thought into it, as they seemed pretty much the same. Had no other cables at the moment either.


Head to cab cables are made for high current, and are not noiseless. Do not use these as signal cables.
I don't know what

Again, head to cab cables are power cables, and are ONLY ment for that purpose.

QUOTE (Andrew Cockburn @ Jul 20 2008, 12:51 AM) *
Hmm ... well, without power tubes, you wont have the problems mentioned above because there will be no voltage going directly across the OT, but you will almost certainly be getting higher voltage across the preamp ... that in itself may or may not be a problem depending on the amp. At the very least it will increase your clean headroom and mean you probably get less preamp distortion.


ohhhhhhhh andrew, so that's why my effects sound louder in clean channel than the others?

Please explain this further, I need to learn this stuff!
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Caelumamittendum
post Jul 19 2008, 11:56 PM
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QUOTE (kjutte @ Jul 20 2008, 12:52 AM) *
Head to cab cables are made for high current, and are not noiseless. Do not use these as signal cables.
I don't know what


I'm getting a bit confused here. Which cables should I run from my GT6 to my soundcards ins? Just regular jacks?


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Andrew Cockburn
post Jul 19 2008, 11:56 PM
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QUOTE (kjutte @ Jul 19 2008, 06:52 PM) *
ohhhhhhhh andrew, so that's why my effects sound louder in clean channel than the others?

Please explain this further, I need to learn this stuff!


Not loader - cleaner ... distortion happens in tubes because they cant swing enough voltage to make a clean signal. If you increase the voltage they have to work with they can do louder clean work before distortion. For guitarists, we want that sweet tube distortion so this might make your amp distort less.


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kjutte
post Jul 19 2008, 11:58 PM
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QUOTE (Andrew Cockburn @ Jul 20 2008, 12:56 AM) *
Not loader - cleaner ... distortion happens in tubes because they cant swing enough voltage to make a clean signal. If you increase the voltage they have to work with they can do louder clean work before distortion. For guitarists, we want that sweet tube distortion so this might make your amp distort less.


I see I see, and I think that's correct.
I also have a problem with my effectloop though.
All the effects seem to be more present in clean channel than the other ones. Why is that?
also I noticed that my "effect mix" pot meter is barely increasing the effect level.

Do you have any idea?
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