How much cable is too much?

Last year I played a festival and the jcm 800 (KK model) amp I was using was way back behind me. The number of bands and the crowded stage made it nearly impossible to move the amp forward, closer to me. So I used a union to mate 2 20 foot cables back to the amp from my pedal board. there was certainly some tone suck. I was wireless into my board, so it could've been worse. Another 15 or 20 foot cable would've really sucked. And what if I used the effects loop for some of my effects? there would be 2 more long cables for send and return. What are my options?


  • are your pedals true bypass? You might need a buffer. Those usually prevent tone loss, to some degree. Boss pedals get bad rep sometimes, but I have heard they usually help for this things.
  • Dinosaur David BDinosaur David B Posts: 18,272
    edited January 2019
    I think you would have done better with one 40 foot cable than two 20s, but honestly anything over 20 is a pain in the ass. The other option (other than some kind of wireless solution) is to get a long SPEAKER cable, and move the amp head closer without moving the cab and just run the long speaker cable back to the cab. I do that now with a 20 foot Monster speaker cable because my Blug is on the pedalboard and whatever cab I use is always some distance from it. (They're also great for recording because you don't have to be in the live room with a roaring cab)

    But 40 feet is gonna be tough no matter how you slice it. My personal solution would be to not play that gig again.  ;)
    Post edited by Dinosaur David B on
    I threw me guitar out. Why bother? Why bother? Use it as a coffee table. Because I can't play it like that. 
    -- David St. Hubbins.
  • I probably use about 40 feet of cables at most of my gigs, and all my pedals are true-bypass, but I have a buffer at the front of my pedal board, and it does the trick. It's made by T1M, you can check it out here. I like it because it's small and you can switch it off—if nothing else, that's an interesting feature because you can hear the difference it makes by switching it on and off, over and over again.

    In my case the difference is pretty subtle, but you can hear it if you're paying attention. In some cases I actually prefer the buffer off, because it ends up sounding a little mellower. So in a way, the buffer ended up being another effect on my pedal board. 
    My music videos and everything else:
  • cvansicklecvansickle Posts: 6,292
    edited January 2019
    Anything over 20' of cable and you need some kind of buffer. A pedal that is always on, or any Boss pedal, does the job. Beware of cable couplers - those cheap-ass little bastards are hurting your signal more than you know!
    Post edited by cvansickle on
    Death Or Glory - Who Dares Wins!
  • Hm, I've never put that much thought into length of cables.  I never thought my cable length was an issue but now that I think about it, it may be around 15-20 ft in total.  I'm good with the sound I'm getting from my rig, but I wonder if I may be missing out on certain frequencies due to cable length.
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