Before an adoring public can begin to appreciate your axe-wielding wizardry, the signal from your electric guitar will probably need to make its way down some copper cable to get to the Marshall stack. On the way, the tone of the guitar can get flavored, capacitance can cause frequency loss, and if you're really unlucky, the to and fro of nearby taxi conversations can add some unexpected color to a performance. The Light Lead from London's Iconic Sound promises the kind of signal clarity that many players might very well kill for. Claimed to be the world's first optical analog jack-to-jack guitar cable, it's touted to have zero capacitance, zero loading, electrical safety and a virtually infinite lifespan.
The Light Lead is the brainchild of sound engineer David Holmes, and was developed after a problem experienced by a guitarist on stage – his cable started to receive radio signals. The patent-pending ultra-high-density, small diameter fiber optic cables are said to be resistant to crushing and impact, so should be very long-lasting indeed, and benefit from full electro-magnetic immunity, making distortion and interference problems for other players to worry about. According to Iconic Sound, the signal transmission through the cable is completely flawless, with zero loading and zero capacitance offering guitarists a precise, dynamic, crackle- and hiss-free instrument sound, no matter the cable length.
UPGRADE TO NEW ATLAS PLUS
More than 1,500 New Atlas Plus subscribers directly support our journalism, and get access to our premium ad-free site and email newsletter. Join them for just US$19 a year.UPGRADE
The cable is reported to be capable of auto sensing high or low impedance, can automatically detect if the guitar is using active or passive pickups, and doesn't suffer from motion noise. The jacks at either end of the Light Lead can be moved from right angle to straight positions, and the outer housing is also home to a power button, four-position simulated loading switch and a battery release button.
Players can expect to get up to 18 hours of continuous use from a single AA-sized battery, and the Light Lead has an auto-power-off feature to help conserve battery life in the event of a forgetful noodler not remembering to turn it off when not in use (though this can be disabled if desired).
Though initially developed for the guitar, the developers say that the technology can be adapted for use in microphones, studio patch bays, speakers and more.
Iconic Sound will be at NAMM 2014 in a few weeks to show the Light Lead off. The company has also revealed to Gizmag that a new prototype which doesn't require a battery in either end to operate will also be available to view and test at the show.
The video below overviews the product and draws opinions from some folks in the industry.
Source: Iconic Sound