Austin Tone Lab
29 August, 2015
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Austin Tone Lab offers the finest handmade cables for instrument and speaker use. We use only Neutrik™ connectors and Canare™ wire for all applications.

Cable Lore by Bill Ussery

One of the most overlooked pieces of the "tone" puzzle are the cables that connect the instrument to the amplifier and the amplifier to the speakers. So it comes as no surprise that most pro players have a definite preference as to what cables they use with their amp rig. I have been making custom cables for myself and my clients for nearly 30 years and have some definite opinions on the subject.

A significant discussion in recent years is the "polarity" or "directionality" of audio cable. There are those who scoff at this theory, but believe me, there is something to it. There is a huge difference in the sound if you know what to listen for. It's not easily explained, but once you hear it, you'll know. The best or most basic explanation I've been able to come up with is the following:

  1. When the polarity or direction is correct, the tone opens up and has a bouncing quality. The notes seem to jump out and are very touch sensitive, as well as responding faster to your picking technique.

  2. In the opposite direction the tone sounds choked and flat. Touch sensitivity is also compromised.

Go down to your local music retailer and peruse their cable selection and you will find at least one brand that has arrows marked on each end of the cable to indicate signal flow. There are plenty of companies that are in the business of "marketing" the hype. Believe me, "marketing" is the operative word. I have tested lots of the mass produced "molded" cables with marked ends and have found about a 50/50 ratio of correct polarity.

I personally test every reel of cable we receive for polarity correctness. I trust my ears. So do many of todays well known professionals.

ATL Premium A Instrument Cable
Neutrik NP2C-AU-Silent (straight) and NP2X connectors, Canare GS-6 cable

10' - $55.99

20' - $65.99
ATL Premium B Instrument Cable
Neutrik NP2RX-AU-Silent (angled-90) and NP2X connectors, Canare GS-6 cable

10' - $57.99

20' - $67.99

ATL Premium Speaker Cable
Neutrik™ NP2C connectors, Canare™ 4S6 pure copper, oxygen free quad cable. Amp and Speaker ends are marked as such. Available lengths are 5 feet and 10 feet. Color - gray

5' - $39.99

10' - $45.99

Custom lengths are available - To order