Cable matters? Review – Low Impedance Oxygen Free Silver Cable – UK Made

Cable matters? Review – Low Impedance Oxygen Free Silver Cable – UK Made

YES cables matter!  Particularly when dealing with the low level broad frequency signal passive guitar pickups put out.  A cables impedance and capacitance will dictate the frequency response and overall impact of the tone.  A higher capacitance/higher impedance (which is measured per foot) will mellow out the tone, cutting out the high end.  This may or may not be desirable.  Typically with this loss of high end comes a loss of punch and overall dynamics, again, not necessarily a bad thing.

As well, silver is a better conductor than copper, and copper is a better conductor than gold.  In the case where the metal is exposed to air, though, gold trumps both as it is more resistant to deterioration.

Is the difference dramatic… from one extreme to another, sure, a “bad” cable can totally ruin your tone with hum and total loss of high end and dynamics… but if a cable does not introduce hum it is “good” and the differences are certainly more subtle than going from a humbucker to a single coil pickup… although the overall effects are relatively similar.

With the prerequisite knowledge out of the way we arrive at the meat of this review – how performs the GFS Low Impedance Oxygen Free Silver Cable (its labeled Rosetti, apparantly a UK company)?

For comparison purposes I have here a 10 foot run of the GFS “noiseless” value cable (a great deal as well!) and a 20 foot run of the typical big box sort of 1/4 “instrument” cable.

Between the 3 cables the 20 foot run of big box stuff has the least high end and dynamics out of the bunch –  somewhat to be expected from a longer run of cable, I’m talking the difference between tone knob @ 10 and tone knob @ 7.  The GFS noiseless cable is slightly better, I’d suspect the 20 foot run of noiseless would be slightly better than the big box, if not the same.  A note, I have an older “noiseless” cable that has developed a bit of hum, but I’ve used it heavily for about 6 months and no cable is indestructible.

The GFS silver cable (Rosetti), on the other hand, blows the other 2 out of the water.  The difference is ASTOUNDING!  Not only is the high end clearer and extended, the entire range of the guitar seems to be cleaner and more punchy.  Noise rejection is as good as any 1/4″ cable I’ve used.  Its not a total game changer, I could certainly “get by” with the 20 foot big box run, but for just a bit more $ the silver cable is absolutely worth it.  Actually the silver cable reviewed here is cheaper than alot of 10 footers out there that are only copper and do not have gold plated connectors.  Most silver cables start at a much higher price.

The increased high end is in no way undesirable.. in fact I find myself rolling UP the tone knob now to get yet more of the new found “crisp” high end into the picture, whereas with my other cables the high end is relatively harsh and annoying.  I draw comparison to speaker crossovers, where the difference between an elecrolytic capacitor and a metal film capacitor is the difference between a smooth high end and a harsh one.

The build is pretty solid, but I’d really love to have a strain relief.  The insulation is pretty tough, though, which is both a good and bad thing as it makes the cable relatively stiff.  The connectors will probably last forever, extremely solid 1/4″ plugs.

Really I don’t see a reason to buy the cheap stuff, this cable is noticeably better and doesn’t cost that much more.  Once signals get to a higher output the differences fade, but if your connecting your guitar to that first pedal/straight into the amp this cable will absolutely transfer more of your tone.

You could pay more for a cable that will muffle your tone, or just go straight to silver, which I am not convinced absolutely is a better choice for guitar cabling.

Go check it out, definitely worth the investment.
Link to GFS Website

Sonic Soundlabs new promo vid!!

Sonic Soundlabs new promo vid!!

Here’s a look at Sonic Soundlabs promo video done by Christopher LUNCHBOX Russ.  SS has subs ranging from the 600w RMS Subsonic all the way to the monster of a sub Xtreme Sonic which has a power rating of 3000RMS!!!!  Call today and get your sub built by Stacy Adams aka safaribass, the quiet one!

For all sales (Dealer Sales, Factory Direct or International Sales) or to become a SS Dealer call us at (352) 794-1526 or e-mail us at sales@sonicsoundlabs.com.

To get information or to become a Sonic Soundlabs Team Member, call us at (352) 794-1526 or e-mail us at team@sonicsoundlabs.com.

Get Loud My Friends!

TOP 10 SPL subwoofers of All Time

TOP 10 SPL subwoofers of All Time

Somehow war drives innovation, much of our daily use technology stemmed from a military effort.  In this way, car audio competition (soundoffs) drive innovation of new products.  Amps, subwoofers, woofers, midranges, tweeters, battery power, alternator power, capacitors… everything right down to the wiring would NOT be what it is today had the pioneers not battled it out for that elusive title –  “best of the best”.

There are 3 main branches of competition at most soundoff events, style, sound quality (SQ), and pure output (SPL).  This top 10 list focuses on the woofers that people use to vibrate the soul of anyone who dares to sit inside the vehicle… and in some cases, nobody has *ever* heard the internal mayhem because doing so would be equivelant to standing next to a space shuttle taking off.

These woofers below have been known to generate such mayhem… some current, some nostalgic, some – well, you’ll see =)

1:  DD 9500 series
If you go to a big soundoff – you will see multiple cars running these woofers.  Having a long history of being the champion’s choice – the Digital Designs 95’s are legendary compeition woofers that hold gobs of power and do plenty with it.

2: Fi BTL
Fi will custom build your woofer with a handful of options to choose from.  Get it like you want it, perhaps an oddball configuration – maybe sometime more standard.  Testing is key in SPL, and sometimes something so simple as the pole piece venting makes or breaks the setup.  With Fi you have options most other companies don’t offer.

3: DD Z
Innovative design has made these just about the loudest subwoofers in the world.  Neo-demetrious iron proton with a Permendur top plate… you can read spec sheets for days and never see another woofer with that combination.  These things are SPL monsters and drive the loudest cars on planet earth… and some may even argue the technology is so advanced it must be handed down by beings from outer space (queue the wierd space music).

4: MTX Jackhammer
Has it REALLY been a successful contendor in the SPL lanes…  Not so much.  BUT, this thing carries with it a certain flair, a certain awe, a certain excess that gives it a warm place in every subwoofer lovers heart.  It may or may not win you a world championship, something like having a ferrari won’t necesarily ensure your dragstrip victory over that can of pop motor’d honda… but it still holds it own as far as output, and will garner alot of Ooohs and Ahhhs from the crowds.

5: Cerwin Vega Stroker
Old School WANG.  Designed more like a pro audio woofer with the clearly identifiable top mounted spider, these subs are legendary.  They don’t hold up to today’s high excursion monsters, but in their day they were a force to be reckoned with.  Crazy effeciant in a day where a 1000w amp was like having a nuclear powerplant in your trunk.  Just one thought of these woofers brings back memories in the mind of most any old school SPL competitor.

6: American Bass VFL
A long running line, these guys compete with all the top woofers out there.  BIG numbers are capable with these woofers and they are been in many championship cars over the years.  SPL purpose built they handle tremendous power without exploding – one of the best SPL woofers out today.

7: Kicker L7
“Hey, look, that guy that won DBDrag World Finals uses the same subs I have in my hatch!”.  Thats right, kickers square woofer holds championships, quite a few.  While its perfectly at home in a lowly sealed box, recieving a few hundred watts… moving just a few mm to give some oomph to your favorite song… the L7 has a hidden talent that is uncovered when it is driven HARD.  Just the right box, plenty of power, and these things come alive.  Something like the lowly librarian that gets a little liqour in her and parties all night long.

8: Alpine Type R
Similar to the L7, these woofers have a home in thousands of daily beaters around the world.  But setup properly they come alive in the same way L7’s do – but they like to play a much lower note.  A big mechanical xmax with a small/lightweight but relatively sturdy voice coil mean the woofer can effeciantly move alot of air.  In a box designed to make use of these properties the type R’s have been known to best woofers that “should” be alot better.

9 JL Audio W7
Perhaps they get more credit than they deserve, with many a fan-boy touting them as the “loudest woofer ever built”… but regardless of what shark type salesman have instilled in the minds of the unsuspecting, these woofers epitomize the term “SQL” (Sound Quality, Loud).  The JL w7’s sound amazing, but still offer PLENTY of output.  They are in the realm of the jackhammer as far as real world results in the SPL lanes, but w7’s hold sound quality championships while delivering enough output to piss off a block of old people who hear more BOOM BOOM from the car 50 yards away than Judge Judy on the TV 5 feet in front of them.

10: Funky Pup !
The legends.  These woofers trump all the above, without even trying.  1 watt to a funky pup is like 10000000 watts to a DD Z.  These are Chuck Norris’s choice, not for bass, but to replace the engines in all his WalkerTexasRangerMobile’s… 1 funky pup = 500 horses, 2 funky pups = 1500 horses, 3 funky pups = time travel.  There was never an atomic bomb, there was 4 funky pups in a .25″ particle board sealed box.  They stopped making funky pups because the warehouse they were stored was quickly shifting the earth’s magnetic field.  As a result, most of the world’s funky pups are now stored in a secret underground warehouse below Santa Claus’s Elf sweatshop.  Its not certain what exactly makes the funky pup’s so much better than everything that ever existed, but it is absolutely certain – THESE ARE THE BEST W00FERS EVER MADE BY MAN OR SPACE MONKEY!

Record at a Home Studio or Record at a Professional Studio?

Record at a Home Studio or Record at a Professional Studio?
A debate that has crossed the mind of any up and coming musician is
“should I pay to record at a pro studio or should I build a home
studio and handle the recording myself?”.
While this concern is crossing your mind, follow it with “Why am I not
working on my music right now?”.  Whether you record in a wet basement
with a handheld tape recorder underneath a pillow – or you head to
Abbey Road Studios (http://www.abbeyroad.com/)… you need *quality
music* first and foremost.  You can run a dog barking through 10
million in equipment, but its still just a dog barking.

Why do I want to record at all?  What is your goal?  Why do you need
your music able to be reproduced on cd/mp3?

This is truly an endless debate – there are numerous ups and downs to
either path, and frankly all that matters is that what you wish to
create gets created.  Your goals must be met, thats rule number one.

Want to throw some vids up on youtube?  Well, there are plenty of
simple solutions to achieve this goal – a USB Large Diaphragm
Condenser microphone is going to be your easiest method to get your
voice/instrument out there.  The Audio Technica AT2020 USB
(http://www.amazon.com/Audio-​Technica-AT2020-USB-Condenser-​Microphone/dp/B001AS6OYC)
is a great low cost USB LDC that comes highly reviewed   Another
option is the Blue Snowflake
(http://www.amazon.com/Blue-​Microphones-Snowflake-USB-​Microphone/dp/B0012AUHXW).
Going to a pro studio in this situation is very inconvenient and
largely unnecessary – but if your going for the highest quality video
possible a pro studio should definitely come into consideration.

Maybe your wanting to create a demo to pass around to hopefully get a
gig/contract.  There are many opportunities on sites such as
Reverbnation (www.reverbnation.com) to submit demo’s to big name
recording studios and events/festivals needing talent.  There are also
contests to enter – many where recording quality is important.  Here
is where a pro studio may be worth it.  If your goals are larger
venues where there is great competition for a few spots on stage -
your gonna need to stand out.  A pro recording will yield a higher
quality demo than the equivalent money put into home recording
equipment.  $2000 can get you enough time to get your set
recorded/mixed at a great quality in a studio (pending you are well
rehearsed), but $2000 in home recording equipment is just the tip of
the iceberg – not to mention you have to learn how to use said
equipment.  Nothing makes up for poor performance, but all else equal
a quality studio recording is going to put you ahead of someone who
used a zoom h1 dangling from the ceiling of their garage (though the zoom is certainly a useful device!

A savvy person can certainly find deals and build a good quality home
studio on the cheap – but the the balance must be maintained between
furthering the musicianship and gaining the ability to transfer that
musicianship into recording.  If you are heading into the home
recording realm, www.recordingreview.com and www.gearslutz.com are
great communities to help you.  Places like www.ebay.com
www.musicgoround.com and your local music store can have amazing deals
on used equipment.  Sometimes guitar center (www.guitarcenter.com)
will have some bargains as well.

Do your research and spend wisely but be forewarned, the home studio
can turn into an endless money pit which yields little to no profits.
A focus on gear over quality of music will get you $10,000+ in
equipment without a dime of revenue.  Likewise, investing in
substandard equpiment is a waste of time and money, and will only cost
more in the end.  Gear Slutz (www.gearslutz.com), Harmony Central
(www.harmonycentral.com), and Amazon (www.amazon.com) are great places
to look for reviews of equipment you may happen upon – sometimes there
are fatal flaws in products which make them useless for your
situation, but these flaws may not be readily apparent.  Typically in
searching for a specific piece of equipment similar items will be
discovered – which opens doors unseen.

Ultimately the best music will by nature end up being recorded in a
professional studio.  The time and money spent on getting the best
equipment and the best room acoustics just won’t happen in a bedroom
or a basement.  It is the folly of many a musician to focus more upon
recording than creation/performance.  Put your soul into it, and great
things will come of it.

PSI Neodymium Earbuds

PSI Neodymium Earbuds

PSI Earbuds

The drivers in PSI Car Audio’s Earbuds are a beefy 10mm, and driven by neodymium magnets.  Neo magnets are strong and lightweight, which is perfect for the application.

Earbuds are typically uncomfortable, fall out, sound thin and harsh with little to no bass, and generally are useless.  For years I have personally shunned the earbud revolution – being a conosuer of quality audio reproduction.  These earbuds change my mind, completely.

The in-ear feel is very comfortable, the rubber cushions ship in 2 different sizes, the ones I am using now fit great and stay put.  The rubber selected provides just enough friction to stay put, but is smooth enough to be comfortable – while being pliable enough to form fit the ear canal and provide the proper seal required to deliver full sound quality.

Once properly positioned (positioning is KEY with ‘buds!) the PSI earbuds deliver a very full sonic picture – full bass, somewhat bright but still crisp highs.  Esperanza Spalding sounds like Esperanza Spalding, piano sounds like piano, and bass is not lacking at all.  In fact the bass is surprisingly smooth and enjoyable.  The high end can get edgy with some material, but its rarely uncomfortable.

A trick with these ‘buds I discovered is to cover the rear vent holes with masking tape.  This seems to help flatten the frequency response through the midrange and gives a nice bass boost.  These are cool headphones without this little “mod”, but they sound *sweet* with the holes plugged up.

Great ‘buds, check em out @ PSIcaraudio (http://psicaraudio.com/products-page/earbuds/earbuds-3/)

 

 

 

Top 10 Car Audio Brands

Top 10 Car Audio Brands

TOP 10 LIST: CAR AUDIO BRANDS- Here are the top 10 car audio brands.  These guys have a track record for excellent products that are highly consumer minded. In no particular order:

1: Kicker, Long held in high regard in the car audio world Kicker has been around since 1980 – when the original KICKER full range box was designed.  Since then the company has created high quality amplifiers – subwoofers (most iconic the square shaped L7) – signal processing (crossovers, etc) – accessories (wiring, etc) – and coaxial speakers/full range component systems. Kicker has even branched into home/marine/and portable markets.  Whatever Kicker puts its name on – you know it will be a quality product! http://www.kicker.com

2: Sundown Audio, Making big waves in the competition circuit in recent years – Sundown Audio has a line of subwoofers and amplifiers that offer extreme performance in even the most demanding conditions. From the E to the NS series, Sundown fills the woofer needs of entry level to world champion. – the same goes for the amps – with the saz-3500d providing the greatest power output of the line @ a whopping 3500 watts @ 1 ohm mono. http://www.sundownaudio.com

3: Alpine, Offering a full line of car audio and marine solutions, Alpine may be most well known for its excellent Head Unit offerings.  As the OEM has offered more, Alpine has continuously stayed ahead of the curve in terms of features and functionality.  Before it was a dealer option, Alpine had navigation units built into its high end source units. Aside from all in one entertainment systems Alpine offers a full line of car audio products including the venerable Type R line of subwoofers.  Excellent amplification and crystal clear component sets are just a few of the things Alpine offers http://www.alpine-usa.com

4:  JL Audio, Another company that has now expanded from car audio into the marine and home audio arena is JL audio.  Gaining a strong following for its top notch build and sound quality – JL audio products are excellent. The benchmark w7 line of subwoofers, the innovative flagship HD line of amplifiers, and the “sounds like I’m at the concert” ZR series component speakers.  The name JL Audio speaks quality – it is absolutely one of the top 10 car audio brands. http://www.jlaudio.com

5:  Digital Designs, While DD has branched into personal and home audio – they are most well known for the world class competition quality woofers and amps they produce.  Go to a world finals competition – you will be seeing Digital Designs woofers and amps in the SPL victory lanes.  One of the most (if not THE most) decorated car audio companies is DD.  This equipment sets world records, and will continue to set world records. The Z series woofers look like they came from the crashed alien spacecraft at Roswell – SERIOUS engineering!  The m4a amp is said to put out 7000+ watts.  When you see DD in the SPL lanes you better be ready! http://www.ddaudio.com/

6:  Pioneer, Another company known for its full line of car audio products – Pioneer has an expansive line of car, home, portable, pro, and computer audio.  Pioneer now has the APPRADIO 2 (App Radio) which connects to your Iphone/Android and allows you to control your apps from your in dash head unit!  Pioneer also offers the high end Stage 4 line of reference quality products. From the smallest budget to the “anything goes” budget, the Pioneer brand can fulfill your needs. http://www.pioneerelectronics.com

7:  Kenwood has everything a car audio enthusiast could desire.  From the integration convenience of the Carportal system to your basic cd player head unit with mp3/bluetooth to the full blown navigation and entertainment system.  Kenwood also offers a full line of Home Audio products. If you go Kenwood – go Excelon.  The products are well designed and offer great features for the buck. http://www.kenwoodusa.com

8:  MTX THUNDER!,  MTX makes amps/subs/speakers/and enclosures for the car audio enthusiast.  You’ve got the beastly jackhammer – the 24″ version having a 56.25lb *magnet*!!!  All the way to the flat 1.75″ deep 12″ FPR woofer that can fit in all sorts of creative places (subs in your doors!?!?).  MTX amps are no slouch either, the big boy being the 4000W x 1 TE4001D. The line of speakers is top notch as well – headlined by the Thunder Axe series Component set.  They’ve got marine and home audio too if that’s what ya need.  Whatever it is, MTX stuff is good stuff. http://www.mtx.com

9:  Rockford Fosgate, Starting to show up in the OEM (Suzuki, Mitsubishi, Nissan, and even Tesla), Fosgate makes some seriously good equipment.  The enigmatic Punch line of subwoofers and amps has been rattling trunks since before everyone had a cell phone (a land before time, yes).  The newer prime line brings Fosgate quality to the value market. The power line has a home in the most demanding applications – be it pure bang or sweet SQ.  Fosgate stuff serves the entry and the top just as well. http://www.rockfordfosgate.com

10:  Any combination you so choose!!!! With so many brands available, its possible to find *precisely* what you are looking for.  Rarely does any one company serve “all” of your car audio needs – but there is no doubt a combination of this company’s X and that company’s Y will get that Z result your looking for. The best brand is really the one that *your ears* choose!  This list should help set you on your path – but ultimately you must choose what sounds best to you.  Each speaker has its own sonic signature – each head unit its own unique feature set.  This is true within the same brand just as well as between the various car audio companies. So go to your car audio shops and look for your AtrendUSA products – your car audio competitions – watch youtube – get informed and make the best decision you possibly can to fulfill your needs. –

Anthony Potts

Senior Editor- Elusivemag.com