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Cable Matters: Instrument Cables Affect the Frequency Response of Electric Guitars

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This paper presents analysis results of the effects an instrument cable has on the timbre of an electric guitar. In typical, well-designed audio equipment with proper impedance buffers, the effect of the cable can be considered insignificant at audio frequencies. In contrast, magnetic pickups used in electric guitars, act as resonating low-pass filters. The cable is attached to a resonating electrical circuit and hence its impedance characteristics can influence the system. The simulation and measurement results show that the capacitance of an instrument cable affects the frequency response of the system, whereas the effects of the inductance and series or parallel resistance are negligible. The largest shift in the resonant frequency for the measured cables was 1.4 kHz.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society