With all this talk of amp tone, and the current amp shootouts that are always taking place both on this blog and in my mind, I’ve realized one thing. And that one thing is often the most overlooked factor in amp tone. It’s the AC power cable. I mean, this is what actually pulls the power to your amplifier. I see so many guitarists out there with $3,000 amps, and then a $10 power cable from Radio Shack. (Well, Radio Shack’s a rip-off anyway…a $20 power cable from Radio Shack then, without any added quality.) And I’m thinking to myself, how have the tonal nuances of these power cords escaped some of the most brilliant musical minds and ears of our generation? And the answer then of course must be, I am more brilliant than them. So, on to the shootout:

The Players

Cisco Technologies AC power cable (boutique, but not handmade):

Power Cable 1

Radio Shack AC power cable (mass-produced):

Power Cable 3

Quantum Tonal Laboratories AC power cable (handmade, shielded copper):

Power Cable 2

The Clean Tone

Prairiewood Les Paul (Wolfetone Dr. V pickups)–>

Matchless Spitfire (which all the cables are going to be plugged into and tested on)–>

65 Amps cab (Celestion Blue and Celestion G12H-30)

Possible Biases

–The Quantum Tonal Laboratories one does have a very sleek finish. Very classy. Looks great behind the amp and running along the ground into the wall socket.

–I hate Radio Shack. Their stuff always breaks, and never works right. I really did not want to like this one.

–The rectifier tube on the Matchless is brand new, and might not be burned in enough yet to be able to hear the proper amount of sag in each power cable.

And the Shootout:

And I’m totally kidding. For now.

Splendid.
Karl.