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George-L cable review
Guitar Player Magazine, September 1997
"We plugged each cable into a '57 Fender Strat and a PRS classic Electric, and listened to them through an ADA Barracuda, a reissue Ampeg Reverberocket, a Mesa/Boogie Blue Angel, a Vox ac15 reissue and a Matchless Chieftain 212. We also used a high-impedance, low-capacitance, ultra-low-noise Carrotron C-1023 preamp for critical listening.
To test jacket strength (always fun), each cable was laid uncoiled on a piece of shelving board and subjected to a direct hit from a 20" Zildjian ride cymbal dropped from a height of 30". Each bronze-guillotine survivor-there weren't many-was then given a one-minute jump-rope test to check strain relief and solder joints and expose unseen wire damage. To find out which cords survived these ordeals, see the "Chop Shop" sidebar below.
Bean spill. Rather than make you wade through all this to find out what we thought was the best-sounding cable, let's just say that nothing beat the 20' George-L’s. With its capacitance measuring an incredibly low 418pf (the highest was 2,150pf), this transparent-sounding cord was lively, immediate and totally revealing of every guitar we used It was also very quiet. Available in .155" ($ .58 per foot) and 255'. ($82 per foot) thickness’, the George-L cable features a solid center conductor and is designed to be used with special solderless 1/4" connectors ($4.75 each, right angle; $4.40, straight). That's right, no soldering or wire stripping, just insert a clipped cable end into the connector and screw it into place. If a connection goes bad (the ultimate fate of all cables), all you do is cut off the damaged section (even a toenail clipper will work) reinsert the cable into the plug, tighten the screw (or knurled cap), and you're back in action.
The George-L system takes the drudgery out of wiring a rack or pedal board, but the big payoff is how it clarifies your sound. Think you're clinically neurotic about your tone? Eric Johnson calls George-L’s "my favorite cord. It's all I use."
While George-L is superior for recording and other critical applications (such as comparing against other cords) , consider some of our other excellent-sounding discoveries for live gigs. Though none matched the George-L’s low capacitance, some came close. A few of these were also quiet and astonishingly resistant to damage. Here's how the pack stacks up.
Miller time. While a sizable number of entrants were fine sonic performers, only 10 out of 36 survived the dreaded Zildjian and "double Dutch" tests. And of these, only eight were both quiet and able to approximate the clarity depth and top to bottom alignment of our benchmark George-L’s. These were Spectraflex's Instrument and Fatso-Flex, Horizons vintage II, DiMarzio's, Switchcraft equipped EP1718SSBK and EP 1718SSRB, and the Neutrik equipped Ep1718NSvt; Ep1718N5BK and EP1718NSRB. It's worth noting that all of the wining cords (with the exception of the George-L’s) featured woven jackets. Though we destroyed some similarly clad cables, it's fair to say that a woven exterior greatly increases a cord's ability to survive the rigors of the road. It also provides a slippery surface that coils easily, glides on the floor, sloughs off debris and doesn't make you go "yeech" when you touch it. And if you've been seduced into thinking you have to pay big bucks for a "high-performance" cable, consider this: Our winners' suggested retail prices ranged from $20 to $43. Some of the more easily damaged (but still impressive-sounding) cables were even less."
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