Instrument cable companies often struggle to differentiate themselves. After all, a 1/4” cable only does so much, and with today’s technology almost all companies sell cables with a huge bandwidth and precise sound reproduction. However, a few companies have found ways to make their products stand out. For instance, they might offer cables suited for specific genres, as Monster did. Some align themselves with specific musicians, like Vox. Finally, they can make the cables themselves look distinctive, as was the case with Spectraflex. The famed cable company has long held a reputation as the creator of the tweed jacketed cable, as seen on their Fatso and Vintage Series cables. While the tweed jackets are no doubt distinctive, as Spectraflex grew in size, they discovered increased demand for cables of a similar quality, but with standard rubber jackets. Their response to this demand was the Baldee Series. This high quality cable features all of the technological innovations we’ve come to appreciate in Spectraflex’s cables, but delivers it in the standard black rubber package emulated by so many other companies.
Spectraflex cables have always been renowned for their wide bandwidth and high quality sound, and the Baldee appears to be no exception. With a phenomenally low capacitance rating (around 39 picofarads per foot), the Baldee Series accurately passes sound with minimal attenuation of higher frequencies. While a professional recording studio might not wish to use these cables for patching between the mixer and the monitors or in other situations which require extreme accuracy, they should more than stand up to the task for guitarists, bassists, and other instrumentalists who plug into their amp. The Baldee also contains ample ground shielding, which prevents noise from external electromagnetic activity from coloring the sound. All in all, the Baldee Series does a great job of passing sound accurately while only adding a small bit of color to the tone. This cable would be appropriate for players in all genres, but we could see it being particularly useful for acoustic players requiring a crisp sound.
Despite the lack of tweed jacketing, the Baldee Series feels quite durable and can easily take hundreds of hours of playtime and travel abuse. The cable features a pair of Amphenol tips, which are renowned throughout the industry for their durability. Furthermore, Spectraflex typically solders the wire to the connector contacts. While this might make repair marginally more tedious, it also ensures a stronger and longer-lasting connection.
One of the downsides of using the PVC rubber jacketing over the braided jacketing is the lack of rigidness. Players typically have more trouble keeping their cables straight and tangle-free than with the tweed jacket. That said, you can coil them with a tighter radius, so there is a little bit of a storage advantage versus the Spectraflex tweed cables.
Like all of Spectraflex’s cables, the Baldee series features ultra-pure 20 AWG copper wiring. This ensures a high quality sound with minimal distortion, handling noise, or signal noise. However, the use of ultra-pure copper has become an industry standard, and this feature is by no means unique to Spectraflex or the Baldee series anymore.
Due to the lack of braided jacketing, many of the cosmetic options players have come to enjoy about Spectraflex’s products are not available in the Baldee series. The cable only comes in one color, black, and can only be solid. Furthermore, only the silver sock Amphenol tips are available, though anyone with even basic knowledge of cables and soldering should have no trouble switching these out with better tips if they so desire. However, consumers may choose to replace one or both of the straight Amphenol connectors with a right angled connector instead.
One of the strengths of the Baldee Series is the massive variety of lengths available. There are 11 different cables lengths ranging from 1 ft. to 50 ft., as well as a 6” and 9” patch cable.
The Spectraflex Baldee can be found fairly easily both online and offline. Amazon.com usually has the best overall deal as they offer free shipping and a competitive price. Expect to pay between $10 and $50 for a new cable, depending mostly on length. All in all, the Spectraflex Baldee is a great option for players that want the quality of a Spectraflex cable without the braided jacketing.