I know technically this is not the question to ask here but since I don't know where else
I'm going to give it a try!

What are the most commonly used patch cables? Budget wise let say from mid range to the more expensive ones.

I was thinking to use a combination of the tiptop stackables and EricaSynths patch cables.

Thanks in advance!

Jazzy


LMNTL and Nazca (part of Pittsburgh these days) see a lot of use. Both have some fairly cost-effective multipacks of their various lengths. Also, LMNTL makes some very convenient inline 1-5 mults that most anyone should have a few of. I've known people who've been happy with both.


Thanks! When I check Muffwiggler I see the brand "BlackMarket" passing by a lot.
They are easy to get here in Belgium. Do you have an opinion on them?


I have some black market cables and like them a lot. Matttech also sells eowave cables which are similar and also really nice.
And of course stackcables are absolutely great.


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Modular Addict has great prices on patch cables.


I do use a lot of BlackMarket cables: inexpensive, wide range of colors, easy to plug, never had a problem.
On the other hand Tiptop stackables: great quality, some helpful long length (up to 350cm), but regularly a bit hard to plug/unplug.


What does everyone think of Hosa patch cables? In my experience, they seem to be great quality for the price but I'd like to hear opinions. I'm experimenting with selling a box of accessories and have gone with Hosa for the first rev. Where do you rank Hosa patch cables in the market? https://www.synthtalk.net/shop/modular-box


What does everyone think of Hosa patch cables?
-- SynthTalk

I have a huge amount of Hosa cables in my studio. As in most of the snakes, a bunch of the 1/4" patchcables, and so on. And while I keep getting pushed toward expensive AF Mogami and Gotham Audio stuff, I stick with Hosa. I've never noticed any sonic issues that would lead me to believe that they're inferior...but then, I think the "exotic gluten-free artisanal pure praesodymium with static-free hi-capacitance silk manufactured in low-G ISO5 clean containment" nonsense in cables is...well, nonsense. At audio frequencies, wire is wire. And while there ARE some differences, these really only manifest at RF frequencies, from my experience. Like, over 30 MHz frequencies...that sort of thing.

Now, one point where they're not 100% is in shielding. But this really only emerges as a problem in high-noise environments, like if your studio is located a few hundred yards from a 10 kW broadcast transmitter. Most ambient "electronic smog" issues encountered by the average user don't rise to that level of induced signal on a cable, and certainly not on a patchcable.


Hi Lugia,

I don't know the brands Mogami and Gotham Audio stuff but if you take for example Audio Quest and you go to a HiFi shop and ask them to demo the cheapest audio cable of Audio Quest for you and the most expensive one of also Audio Quest; perhaps add a mid range cable from the same brand too. Just to get an idea of the difference between them then you seriously wouldn't believe your ears. I just recently (Autumn 2019) heard a demo for power cables for audio devices, not even the usual audio speaker cables, no just the power cables, just the standard strip that's packed with the device (amplifier for example) and the top line of Audio Quest (I think that cable costed Euro 60+k for just one cable! I know totally ridiculous) and a few of their (Audio Quest) mid line cables.

The funny thing was when they started to demo with the cheapest cable and after that the next (low) range power cable, you didn't hear much of a difference and you thought: "What a nonsense, I don't hear much difference and pay a few hundred for just a cable?" BS (bullshit)! Same for that next level from low level to medium level cable (around thousand plus), still didn't hear much difference and people started to walk away because they felt that was so much BS they couldn't believe it. I decide to stay a bit longer and took one of the places in the middle of the stereo spot where just a few people left (because where I stand before wasn't very good but the room was full, the demo's of that person are well known here in Germany from Stereo magazine). Then up to the top level cable, yes you could here a bit but of course that's not worth that 60k.

But now it comes... then they went back from the 60k cable to that "cheap" included cable that came with the device, suddenly the difference was so huge, you had to puke to listen to that standard cable. Technically almost can't be explained but there can be a huge difference. That 60k cable was a kind of fun but of course not realistic for most of the people so they went back to a mid range cable and then back to the standard cable and going back in quality you can hear the difference much better than the other way round.

Hence the same for audio cables.

The problem is that like me, you and billions of other people, you just don't want to believe it, it's technically difficult to explain (well one of the explanations is the copper quality, it's close to 100% copper that is ridiculous expensive and the insulation is complicated and expensive too) and you just can't understand it. But please do yourself a favour and go to a HiFi shop and ask for a Audio Quest cable demo (or any audio top brand but Audio Quest most HiFi shops have) and after that, I am sure, you will update your above comment :-) No, please don't be stubborn, just go to a HiFi shop and follow a demo ;-)

But for your wallet it's better to keep believing this is all BS and don't do that demo, because once you have heard that it can be better, you also want that few hundred or few thousands cable and you are seriously thinking of selling your house... so... yeah better don't do that demo ;-) It's better for your wallet!

But of course for a patch cable that's not all worth it, I agree. However for your speaker cables you might want to check this out.

Kind regards, Garfield.


Actually, I went through all of that decades ago back in Nashville, when the whole "super-premium wire" thing got up to steam. Like a lot of other engineers down there, I did those A/B tests...and like a lot of other engineers down there, I didn't see a qualitative difference that would translate into something that would justify the prices. The problem is this: no matter how high-end your own stuff is, what you're creating will be pumped through lowest-common-denominator playback gear 99% of the time. So if you get a small incremental benefit, this then gets wiped out at the consumer end, or when it gets uploaded to a content aggregator that uses mediocre compression algorithms.

But with speaker cables, there IS a major difference that you gain from stepping up your wire gauges, having a higher amount of conductors in the cable, etc. Big wire = less resistance, which lets your amp loaf a little better, which means it's not being overtaxed by big transients. And lots of little conductors in the wire means that the higher frequencies have more "skin" to move along, since "skin effect" is gradually more important the higher you go in frequency. And this one is something you DO benefit from, since monitor clarity is critical to knowing what you're doing. But there's a BIG difference between a line level or synth level signal and the output of a power amp...higher voltages, more current, etc, so reducing the resistance has a payoff at the amplifier levels, but you lose some of that benefit at lower signal levels as you're not trying to pump a massive signal through a tiny wire there.

So while I do advocate cheaper cables for line level signals, I use 14 and 12ga fine-stranded speaker lines here, with the gauge depending on the amp power (the Crest FA601 gets the 12s...it has a VERY high slewing rate, and clearly prefers driving a load with the bigger conductors). No voodoo or hype there, though...just good ol' basic EE at work.


Hi Lugia,

Since you took care of your speaker cables, I am already less worried :-)

And of course spending hundreds or thousands for cables or certain equipment but still having somewhere a "weak" device in the loop, then that doesn't make sense indeed. But something tells me that you took care of that too ;-)

Kind regards, Garfield.


@lugia thanks for your response. Good to know you are sticking with Hosa.