I have always used a high quality low capacitance guitar cable and so it goes that it's normal for me. But I lost sight of the fact that not all my customers know the difference between cables, that is until today.
I have been sending various Impersonator Strat pickup models to someone who I consider to be the best critical evaluator of pickup sound I have ever met, for confirmation that my Impersonator series live up to my claims. One particular test came back with the low E strings on the neck pickup slightly lacking attack and I was puzzled as to the cause. We considered many possible reasons but in the end it turned out to be excessive capacitance in an inferior cable.
Evaluating my pickups with a low capacitance cable was crucial to obtaining the utmost performance from them. When he used a low capacitance cable suddenly the issue vanished and he heard the glorious tone and dynamics springing from the low E string that I take for granted.
Here's what he wrote >>> I spent this morning comparing the Impersonator E56 with Fender's CS54's using my Fender Deluxe Reverb amp.
On all 3 pickups, with the Fender cable (380pf) the E56 sounded a bit dull compared to the CS54. However, with a lower capacitance lead on the E56 (200pf) it regained the top end attack that was identical to the Fender CS54. But then the CS54's overall sounded just a bit thin compared to the E56, the latter having a more solid upper mid-range, with a nice chime particularly noticeable on the middle pickup (but still obvious on all 3). Bloody nice actually! (That's why we call it the E for enhanced 56 - CK)
By contrast, with the low cap cable the CS54's sounded quite harsh and brittle. I certainly won't be putting the Fender CS54's back in.
Re-visiting this explains why it is that the occasional customer complains on forums that Kinman's fight him and holds him back. I know that's not indicative of my pickups because I do my utmost to engineer as little parasitic coil capacitance and as much dynamic range and aliveness as possible into all my pickups ,,, and I can tell you it is no easy thing. Furthermore, unless a pickup rewards me with a feel-good experience it doesn't get released for sale. But today I realized that a lousy cable will undo all my efforts, similar to turning the tone control down. And not only the guitar cable but short patch cords between pedals on a board can also ruin your sound so upgrade them too.
A side effect is that a by-pass filter (treble bleed) is not necessary when you have a low capacitance guitar cable because their function is to compensate for excessive capacitance.
Ask yourself why do cable makers go to so much trouble manufacturing low capacitance cables? It's so you can get pristine sound, so please, please PLEASE buy a high quality cable, the shorter the better and unleash the awesome performance of your Kinman pickups. Total capacitance should be no more than 270pf regardless of length and that length includes the patch cords connecting your (unbuffered) pedals that have true bypass.
Here is a list of some popular cables and their capacitance in pico-farads, the lower the capacitance the better and note the dastardly impact of length. The ones highlighted in Grey have too much capacitance.
|3m (10 feet)|
|Sommer Spirit LLX||165pf (another winner)|
|Klotz vintage 59||345pf|
|2.5m (8 feet) long:|
|Sommer Spirit LLX||130pf (the winner)|
|Proline:||220 pf(runner up and probably acceptable)|
|Fender 2:||320 pf|
|Fender 1:||380 pf|
|5m (16 feet) long:|
|Cloth covered:||560 pf|
|Ernie Ball:||506 pf (clearly longer is worse)|
|My recommendations below 200pf over total length:|
|Maximum recommended length|
|•Sommer Spirit LLX||165pf||3m or 10 feet|
|•Hosa CGK series|
|• Klotz La Grange||65pf/m||3m or 10 feet|
|• Klotz Bonamassa||70pf/m||3m or 10 feet|
|• Klotz Titanium|
|• Van damme Silver Series Session Grade instrument cable 55 p/F per metre (not as|
|flexible as for stage work)||3.6m|