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Soldered a new jack onto a cable and it now sounds darker than before. Why?


Osiris
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I have an old cable, it wasn't expensive but has been trouble free for years. It only gets used in the house so doesn't need to be anything special. Anyway, it has a cheapy angled jack on one end that had developed a loose connection so I cut it off and have soldered a brand new Neutrik angled jack on in its place. I'm no expert with a soldering iron but have successfully made up a number of cables without issue over the years.

 

It looked OK when I put it back together, the shielded core went to the jack pin and the non-shielded copper core went to the little tag thingy, just the same as the knackered jack that I'd removed. There was no obvious contact between the cores, both of which had been tinned first and the connections looked clean and solid to me. 

 

But once the cable was reassembled I noticed that the tone is much darker i.e. with noticeably less treble content than before. Any ideas why that is? Have I done anything obviously wrong? Anything I can do to restore the missing treble from it? 

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7 minutes ago, Osiris said:

I noticed that the tone is much darker i.e. with noticeably less treble content than before

Sounds like you’ve  made yourself a reggae cable , can you let me know what you did 😁

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There's a simple, folkloric solution to this common problem. Crack a hazelnut and the sound of it cracking will awaken the spirit goblin who guards your house and he'll restore the top end.

 

Give it a try and let us know how you get on.

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Years back I bought a 10 m length of, quality, cable and 4 Neutrik plugs (3 straight and one right angled). Cut the cable in half and soldered on the plugs, creating 2 5m cables.

One is much darker sounding that the other, to the point of it being pretty unusable.

The darker one has the right angled plug!

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24 minutes ago, Stub Mandrel said:

Just turn the little knob on top.

 

https://www.neutrik.com/en/product/np2rx-timbre

 

Unfortunately it's not one of those jack types 😉

 

19 minutes ago, Stub Mandrel said:

It's possible, but highly unlikely, you have done something that's created a significant amount of extra capacitance in the lead

 

If so, any idea how that can be rectified, if at all?

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10 minutes ago, skankdelvar said:

There's a simple, folkloric solution to this common problem. Crack a hazelnut and the sound of it cracking will awaken the spirit goblin who guards your house and he'll restore the top end.

 

Give it a try and let us know how you get on.

 

It's the wrong season for hazelnuts in my mind. Would a macadamia work, or at a push an almond? 

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10 minutes ago, bartelby said:

Years back I bought a 10 m length of, quality, cable and 4 Neutrik plugs (3 straight and one right angled). Cut the cable in half and soldered on the plugs, creating 2 5m cables.

One is much darker sounding that the other, to the point of it being pretty unusable.

The darker one has the right angled plug!

 

Funnily enough, although the new jack hadn't been used before, I've had it for years, I bought a load in bulk probably 10 years or more ago. Still got around a dozen left too. Maybe there was a duff batch at the time? 

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3 minutes ago, Osiris said:

 

It's the wrong season for hazelnuts in my mind.

 

Not a bit of it. Hazelnut harvesting time is September and October, depending on one's geographic location and the type of Hazel. 
 

7 minutes ago, Osiris said:

 

Would a macadamia work, or at a push an almond? 

 

If you're looking for alternatives you could try filberts because that's another name for hazelnuts.

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21 minutes ago, Raymondo said:

Crumbs you Egyptian Gods are something else obvz!

 

 

It would be nice to be able to say 'you heard it here first'...................

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

th?id=OIP.tcEwrf-WLU67h5Uhnt85ewHaD2%26p

 

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Has the cable got a semiconducting layer? It’s usually a black layer in between the core and the shield and it can be easy to let it touch the core if you aren’t careful. You can end up with a high resistance short between hot and earth and a much increased cable capacitance that can make the cable sound very strange.

 

(look at Van Damme Pro Grade Classic XKE Instrument Cable for an example)

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Basically, with angled jacks the signal is going along in a straight line then suddenly has to go through an unexpected 90-degree turn. The lower frequencies move more slowly so they make it through the turn, no problem. The faster moving and frankly irresponsible high frequencies just spin out and never make it to the amplifier.

 

Like I say, crack a hazelnut and have a cuppa while the spirit goblin sorts it out.

 

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49 minutes ago, nilebodgers said:

Has the cable got a semiconducting layer? It’s usually a black layer in between the core and the shield and it can be easy to let it touch the core if you aren’t careful. You can end up with a high resistance short between hot and earth and a much increased cable capacitance that can make the cable sound very strange.

 

(look at Van Damme Pro Grade Classic XKE Instrument Cable for an example)

 

Thanks for that. I think I know what you're talking about and if so, then yes I think it has got a semiconducting layer. Of the 2 cores running through the cable there's the outer non-shielded copper core and the shielded core. The shielded one has 2 covering layers (I appreciate this probably isn't the correct term but it'll do if you know what I'm referring to!) a black outer layer and an inner clear layer. I noticed on the old plug that the black outer layer was trimmed further back, maybe 10-15mm or so leaving the clear inner layer covering the core pretty much up to around 1mm away from the solder joint. Not knowing any difference, and being lazy sod, I trimmed both layers off equally a mm or 2 short of the new solder joint. I'll dismantle the cable tomorrow and trim the black layer back and try again. Hopefully it's that simple. 

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42 minutes ago, skankdelvar said:

Basically, with angled jacks the signal is going along in a straight line then suddenly has to go through an unexpected 90-degree turn. The lower frequencies move more slowly so they make it through the turn, no problem. The faster moving and frankly irresponsible high frequencies just spin out and never make it to the amplifier.

 

Like I say, crack a hazelnut and have a cuppa while the spirit goblin sorts it out.

 

 

Welly is currently awash with a plague of squirrels, no doubt sent by the object of desire of that cack-handed idiot from a few posts above. There's nary a nut to be seen around these parts, unfortunately. 

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17 minutes ago, paul_5 said:

Good job it’s not a curly lead, could you imagine one of those into a 90 degree jack?!?

It just slows the signal down.

Since people stopped using coily cables, computers now add latency to make up for the less congested cables.

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Sorry to be sensible, but when you say "darker", do you mean fatter, with more lows? If so, it could be that you have improved the lead, which you say was a cheapie, by making a decent contact between it and the new plug (which, being a Neutrik, probably makes a better connection than the old one). The highs could be the same as they were, but you perceive it as darker/fuller because you are now hearing the low end properly as well.

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3 hours ago, Dan Dare said:

Sorry to be sensible, but when you say "darker", do you mean fatter, with more lows? If so, it could be that you have improved the lead, which you say was a cheapie, by making a decent contact between it and the new plug (which, being a Neutrik, probably makes a better connection than the old one). The highs could be the same as they were, but you perceive it as darker/fuller because you are now hearing the low end properly as well.

 

The low and mid content are the same going by ear, there's no additional bass, at least none than I can perceive. And that's not really something I'd want anyway as I play short scale basses which tent to be more rounded in the lows than longer scale basses. It was just the high end clarity that was missing, like turning down a passive tone control. However...

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