Review: Spin X guitar cable (aka Mad Professor RED Cable)


When I wrote the original (Finnish) version of this review, the company behind this guitar lead, Spindeco Oy, had been making tentative noises about marketing the cable using the Spin X brand name. Since then I have been informed that Spindeco won’t start marketing this lead, after all. The cable will continue to be sold as the Mad Professor RED Cable – same specifications, different colour.

For the sake of clarity, the English version the review will refer to the product as the Spin X cable, too.

Spin X 2

Seldom has there been this amount of Internet chatter and general hysteria about any guitar accessory, as there has been about the Finnish Spin X cable, which is only a guitar lead of approximately 75 cm length, with two giant 1/4-inch connectors (a female input; a male output).

The Spin X cable (sold for 129 € as the RED Cable by Mad Professor) is manufactured by a Finnish company called Spindeco Oy. The cable promises to improve the efficiency of its conductors by means of a nano-electrical phenomenon, known as the electron spin. Special graphite-coated conductors are meant to rearrange the signal-carrying electrons in such a way, that the signal flow is improved. Spindeco claim that the main benefit of this technology in a guitar lead is an improved phase correlation between the different frequency bands of the signal. Apparently, traditional leads tend to pass high frequencies quicker than low frequencies, which tend to arrive at the amplifier with a very tiny time lag.

Using the benefits of the noble search engine, I quickly ascertained that the electron spin is, in fact, no voodoo, but rather generally acknowledged quantum physics. Still, we guitarists are interested in audible results; we ask questions like:

Does the Spin X cable do what it says on the tin? Is there truly a discernible difference in sound? Do I have to own one if I want to be a Tone God?


I was given a Spin X cable for reviewing purposes.

There’s been some rumours about miniature transformers, or buffers, inside the lead’s giant connectors, which is why I had to take a closer look inside. Nope, it’s just a bunch of different conductors – some left unused – attached with traditional soldering tin!

The short length of the Spin X cable has also been the centre of some speculation. Guitarists have been asking: ”Why is it just a short extension cord, instead of a full-length guitar lead?”

Take a closer look at these pictures (click on them for a larger view), and the answer becomes rather obvious:

Spin X cable – plug 2

Spin X Cable – jack 2

It seems that Spin X relies on two identical conductors to function in the desired way. One is the hot (signal) conductor, while the other goes to earth (ground). But using this type of cable results in a less-than-ideal setup, when it comes to mains hum and electromagnetic interference.

guitar cable


Traditional guitar cables are built as coaxial leads, where a centre conductor carries the guitar signal. The centre conductor runs inside a layer of insulation, which in turn is covered by one (or several) shields. The shield is connected to ground and serves two purposes – one: its the audio signal’s earth; two: it’s a Faraday cage that shields the signal conductor from extraneous interference, like mains hum.

If you connect only the Spin X cable to an amp, and turn up the volume, you will be greeted by an unacceptable amount of hum and microphonics, but as soon as you plug your regular lead into the Spin X, all the noises disappear. This means that the Spin X needs the traditional, coaxial guitar lead to do away with all the interference.


The Spin X cable seemed reasonably rugged and well made.

The only thing that bothered me in the road-worthiness department were the badly secured strain relief cuffs in both connectors of our review sample.


I wanted to find out, whether you could ”measure” any real speeding up of the guitar signal in the confines of a home studio. I came up with the following setup:

I recorded the acoustic sound of a Fender Stratocaster using an AKG C3000 condenser microphone onto the left channel of a stereo signal, while direct-injecting the high-impedance guitar signal going through a Whirlwind Leader cable into my sound card.

Whirlwind Wave

As you can see above, the DI’ed guitar signal (waveform on the bottom) is a tiny bit behind the miked up acoustic sound.

Spin X Wave

This picture shows clearly that the Spin X doesn’t ”speed up” the guitar signal in any way noticeable in a standard audio sequencer.

The listening test also doesn’t reveal any noticeable differences between using only the traditional lead or adding the Spin X cable. If anything, adding the Spin X might even add a minuscule amount of time lag to proceedings, at least to my ears:


I then recorded a series of sound clips, using my trusty Blackstar HT-1R valve combo. In each clip the first half is played through just the traditional Whirlwind lead, while the second half has the Spin X cable added into the signal chain.

For comparison purposes here’s a clip of a Fender Stratocaster DI’ed into the sequencer (first half Whirlwind only; second half Whirlwind plus Spin X):

A Strat through the Blackstar:

Gibson LP Junior:

Hamer USA Studio Custom:

Gibson Melody Maker SG:


Next I took the Spin X to the guitarist of Rock-Ola & The Freewheelers. Sami Saarinen went through several different vintage and custom shop guitars and amps at band rehearsal volumes – both straight into the amp, as well as using a pedalboard.

The differences in sound between using only a traditional guitar lead and adding the Spin X cable seemed a little bit more pronounced using Sami’s setup at higher volume levels, compared to what I could make out in my home studio.


Spin X 1

For the last bit I wanted to make sure that the Spin X cable’s function was not dependent on valve technology:

I borrowed my son’s Marshall MG30CFX combo for a short test run. All sound clips start with only the Whirlwind cable connected; the Spin X comes in at the halfway point.

Fender Telecaster (neck pickup):

Both pickups:

Bridge pickup:


Based on my tests I have to state that the Spin X cable really does add a little ”something” to the sound. The Spin X’ effect is more easily spotted with a quality guitar and a quality amp at slightly higher volume levels. It also seems that the tonal effects are more pronounced in singlecoil-equipped guitars – like a Stratocaster, a Telecaster, a Les Paul Junior, or a non-reverse Firebird – than when using humbucker-carrying guitar models.

The Spin X’ ”sound” is similar to the effect a buffer amp has on a long signal chain. You will get a slightly more refined top end, a whiff of added presence and openness, as well as a tighter and more pronounced bass. Strats and Teles will sound a tiny bit more HiFi, while a P-90 pickup will lose a little of its lower-mid congestion.

The Spin X seems to make the signal louder by an inkling, but this could also be a mere psychoacoustic effect, caused by the added presence.


Spin X 5

There’s no simple and straight answer to the question, whether the Spin X cable genuinely ”improves” your tone. Many Rockabilly, Punk or Metal guitarists wouldn’t want to make their guitars sound ”more polite”. Some styles and genres simply demand a gritty, unruly top end, and some chunky mid-range grind.

For some tone hounds and sound aesthetes, however – players following the in the footsteps of guitarists, such as David Gilmour, Michael Landau or Eric Johnson – the Spin X cable’s tiny tonal changes might make all the difference.

In any case, it is up to you to decide how much this minuscule fine-tuning of your guitar signal is worth to you.


Spin X Cable

For more info on the Mad Professor RED Cable go HERE.

Review: Vuorensaku Custom Pickups S. Kamiina set

Vuorensaku Pickups Package

Not all custom pickups are created equal.

Most custom winders seem to be on the hunt for the ”ultimate vintage experience”, whatever that really means. Those makers try to source the most vintage-correct materials and try to zone in on the right way to bring their pickups to the desired authentic NOS specifications. For a Fender Stratocaster this could mean either going for a dry and woody Fifties-style tone or for a juicier and grittier Sixties version.

Vuorensaku’s Saku Vuori fearlessly approaches the subject of custom pickups from a different angle. The result is a pickup set with a refreshingly personal sound that isn’t frantically trying to reclaim past glories.

The Vuorensaku S. Kamiina set’s (prices starting at around 200 €) is based on thicker magnet wire, compared to what an original Fender pickup uses. The S. Kamiina set is wound using 40 AWG gauged wire, while most classic Fender creations use 42 AWG wire (except the Telecaster’s neck pickup, which is wound with a thinner 43 AWG wire). The thicker wire in the S. Kamiina set is complemented with Alnico II magnets, which are a milder type of magnet than Fender’s preferred Alnico V variety.

Vuorensaku’s set includes a reverse wound/reverse polarity middle pickup, resulting in hum-cancelling switch positions two and five. The set’s bridge pickup has received a few extra windings for a little bit of extra output.

In terms of its electronic values the Vuorensaku set clearly differs from your traditional Strat pickups:

The resistance of a regular Stratocaster singlecoil lies in the ballpark of around six kilo-ohms, with a typical inductance of  2,3-2,4 henries. The pickups in the S. Kamiina set read 2,2 kΩ for resistance (bridge pickup: 2,3 kΩ) with an inductance of two henries.

Judging by these numbers only, we can surmise that the Vuorensaku pickup set will probably sound brighter than a traditional vintage Strat set, while also having a slightly lower output.


Vuorensaku Custom Pickups S. Kamiina Set

Saku Vuori was kind enough to provide a S. Kamiina-equipped Classic Series Fender 70s Stratocaster for this review. The guitar has an ash body, as well as a maple neck with a maple fingerboard. For comparisons I used my own Fender Japan Stratocaster with one-piece maple neck and an alder body.

I was right in expecting the  Vuorensaku set to sound brighter than most vintage-style Stratocaster pickups, but the supposed drop in output level is of a more theoretical nature than of real practical importance. The S. Kamiina set imbues the 70s Reissue with a very cool Gretsch- or Rickenbacker-type jangly tone and grit. The Vuorensaku pickups also feature a cleaner lower mid-range, when compared to traditional Stratocaster pickups.

For comparison purposes the first (neck pickup) and last (bridge pickup) phrases of the sound clip have been played using my own vintage-style Strat, while the five phrases in between have been recorded with the S. Kamiina set (starting with the neck pickup):

The presence lift in the Vuorensaku set is also easy to spot in distorted sounds. The S. Kamiina’s delivery is a bit more aggressive and in-yer-face, which isn’t a bad thing at all.

For comparison purposes the first (neck pickup) and last (bridge pickup) phrases of the sound clip have been played using my own vintage-style Strat, while the five phrases in between have been recorded with the S. Kamiina set (starting with the neck pickup):

The demo song contains four guitar tracks:

• two rhythm guitar parts – left channel: neck and middle pickup; right channel: neck pickups

• a mystically floating backing guitar: middle and bridge pickup

• lead guitar: neck pickup with the tone control turned halfway down


Turenki Tonefest 2015 002

If you’re an stickler for authentic vintage specs, the Vuorensaku S. Kamiina set probably isn’t what you’re looking for – these pickups are no mere vintage clones.

If you’re after a brighter tone, though, especially if you dislike the neutrality of many active pickups, the S. Kamiina set is definitely one to check out! Vuorensaku’s pickups will breathe life into a dark-sounding guitar, while also giving your controls a wider tonal range to work with. These are pickups that won’t mush up.

By the way:

Saku Vuori applies his ”low output principle” to other Vuorensaku pickups, too, like the Telecaster- and P-90-style pickups he uses in his handcrafted Vuorensaku T. Family guitar models.


Vuorensaku Custom Pickups S. Kamiina set

Stratocaster sets start from 200 €

Additional options: pickup cover, relicing

Contact: Vuorensaku



+ handmade in Finland

+ original sound, no vintage copies

+ rw/rp middle pickup

Review: Rautia Guitars Dual Tone Style

Rautia Guitars Dual Tone Style – flying guitar

This time we’re in for a real treat:

We’ll take a closer look at master luthier Veijo Rautia’s handmade interpretation of a lesser known 1950s Supro-model – the Dual Tone. Mr. Rautia has included a handful of updates, which bring the playability of this guitar up to modern standards. In contrast to many lesser Supro-, Valco- and Airline-copies, the Rautia Guitars Dual Tone uses the correct type of pickups.

To people in the know Veijo Rautia is already a well-established name, rising to fame as the chief designer of the original Flaxwood models. These days Rautia focuses mainly on making pickups and custom-order guitars.


Rautia Guitars Dual Tone Style – full front

Rautia Guitars’ Dual Tone (approx. 2,500 €) is a very stylish singlecut electric guitar.

Its alder body is partly hollowed out for better balance and tonal resonance.

Rautia Guitars Dual Tone Style – full back 2

Old (wooden) Supros used a very idiosyncratic neck attachment.

Rautia’s solution feels far more stable, using four wood screws and separate washers.

Rautia Guitars Dual Tone Style – headstock

Looking from the front, the Dual Tone’s machine heads seem to be traditional Kluson-copies.

Rautia Guitars Dual Tone Style – tuners

In fact, Rautia uses a set of mini-sized, high-tech and ultra-light Gotohs, called Stealth tuners.

The Stealth set works great, and the tuners turn very smoothly.

Rautia Guitars Dual Tone Style – neck pocket

As per original specs, Rautia’s Dual Tone uses a very shallow neck pocket, with the neck set quite some way into the body. This high neck joint makes it possible to use a jazz guitar style bridge on a guitar with no neck angle.

Rautia Guitars Dual Tone Style – fretboard

The Indian rosewood fretboard is bound. It sports 22 medium-sized frets and rectangular pearloid position markers.

The fretwork is excellent, as you’d expect on a boutique grade guitar such as this.

Rautia Guitars Dual Tone Style – bridge

The Tune-o-matic bridge on the Dual Tone Style – made by Schaller – sits on an ebony foot.

Rautia Guitars Dual Tone Style – pickups

Original Supro (and Valco) pickups look like humbuckers, but they are in fact a very special breed of singlecoil pickup.

Rautia Valco PU

(Photo courtesy of Rautia Guitars)

The Valco-pickup uses two alnico magnets mounted between two steel plates. One of these plates is L-shaped and serves as the mounting plate (and magnetiser) for the assembly’s single bobbin.

Rautia Guitars Dual Tone Style – controls

There are two volume and two tone controls on the Dual Tone.

Just as on the original model, the pair that is closest to the bridge deals with the bridge pickup (!), while the pair further away from the bridge is connected to the neck pickup.

The Rautia-model comes with a push/pull phase switch for the neck pickup.

Rautia Guitars Dual Tone Style – body beauty 2


Rautia Guitars Dual Tone Style – beauty shot 2

Rautia Guitars’ Dual Tone Style is a lightweight electric guitar offering boutique grade playability.

The neck’s gloss finish is very thin, and doesn’t feel sticky at all. The neck’s C-profile is well-rounded and comfortable – not clubby or too much of a handful.

From a modern guitarist’s standpoint, the Dual Tone’s deep neck set makes it a bit more difficult to reach the top end of the fretboard than what we’re normally used to. Some players would also prefer a fixed bridge for fear of knocking the free-standing bridge out of place in the heat of the moment. Based on this test, though, I must state that I really enjoyed playing the Dual Tone, and experienced no problems whatsoever!

The clean tones on the Rautia Dual Tone are really very beautiful, open and bell-like. These pickups aren’t as sharp-sounding as your traditional Fender singlecoil, but they aren’t as cluttered in the mid-range as a Gibson P-90, either.

The pickups are played in the following order; neck PU –> both PUs (in phase) –> both PUs (out of phase) –> bridge PU:

Rautia’s Valco-type pickups also sound fantastic with some distortion. There’s ample grit for the guitar to cut through, without the Dual Tone ever sounding thin or brittle:

The demo track features two rhythm guitar track, both using the middle selection on the toggle switch, as well as the phase reverse switch.

The first lead guitar part uses the neck pickup, then you’ll hear both pickups together (neck phase reversed), and the last pass is played using the bridge pickup on its own:

Rautia Guitars Dual Tone Style – beauty shot 1


Rautia Guitars Dual Tone Style – body beauty 2

It’s so easy to fall in love with such a fantastic instrument!

Rautia Guitars’ Dual Tone represents the best in Finnish craftsmanship. Veijo Rautia’s vast knowledge in the field of guitar pickups really shows, making this a guitar which plays and sounds like a dream.

This is a handcrafted guitar at a very fair price.


Rautia Guitars Dual Tone Style

2,500 €

Contact: Rautia Guitars



+ handcrafted in Finland

+ workmanship

+ playability

+ sound

+ rare type of pickup


– vintage-style top fret access

Boss SY-300 – now on SoundCloud!

Boss SY-300
• polyphonic guitar synth
• uses the guitar signal, no MIDI-pickup necessary
• three oscillators and four FX blocks
• 70 factory presets, 99 user patches
Guitar used: Gibson Melody Maker SG


Lisätiedot: Roland

Testipenkissä: Rautia Guitars Dual Tone Style

Rautia Guitars Dual Tone Style – flying guitar

Tällä kertaa on tarjolla hyvin harvinaista herkkua:

Tämä soitin on Veijo Rautian käsintehty versio 1950-luvun Supro-mallista – Dual Tone. Rautia on tehnyt tähän kitaraan useita parannuksia alkuperäiseen verrattuna, mikä nostaa kitaran soitettavuutta selvästi nykypäivän tasolle. Lisäksi Rautia Guitars Dual Tone -mallissa on – monesta Supro-, Valco- ja Airline-kopioista poiketen – alkuperäisellä periaatteella rakennetut mikrofonit.

Joensuulainen soitinrakentajamestari Veijo Rautia ei varmasti kaipaa esittelyä – mm. alkuperäiset Flaxwood-kitarat ovat hänen käsialansa. Nykyään Rautia keskittyy omassa pajassa kitaramikrofonien ja custom-kitaroiden tekemiseen.


Rautia Guitars Dual Tone Style – full front

Rautia Guitarsin Dual Tone (2.500 €) on erittäin tyylikäs, yhdellä soololovella varustettu sähkökitara.

Runko on veistetty lepästä, ja se on kaiverrettu osittain ontoksi.

Rautia Guitars Dual Tone Style – full back 2

Vanhoissa puu-Suproissa on hyvin omanleimainen kaulaliitos.

Rautian ratkaisu on perinteisempi ruuviliitos neljällä ruuvilla ja erillisillä prikoilla.

Rautia Guitars Dual Tone Style – headstock

Dual Tone -mallin virittimet näyttävät edestä katsottuna vintage-tyylisiltä virittimiltä.

Rautia Guitars Dual Tone Style – tuners

Todellisuudessa tämän Rautian koneistot ovat Gotohin minikokoiset ja kevyet hi-tech-virittimet, nimeltä Stealth.

Stealth-virittimet toimivat hyvin sulavasti ja kevyesti.

Rautia Guitars Dual Tone Style – neck pocket

Rautian Dual Tonessa käytetään esikuvansa tavalla hyvin pitkää, mutta samalla verrattain matalaa kaulataskua, joka mahdollistaa korkean vintage-tallan käyttöä ilman kaulakulmaa.

Rautia Guitars Dual Tone Style – fretboard

Reunalistoitettuun ruusupuuotelautaan on asennettu 22 medium-kokoista nauhaa, sekä isoja otemerkkejä helmiäismuovista.

Nauhatyö on – luonnollisesti, kun kyse on suomalaisesta käsityöstä – boutique-tasoa.

Rautia Guitars Dual Tone Style – bridge

Dual Tone Style -kitaran talla on Tune-o-Matic Schallerin valikoimasta joka istuu eebenpuisella jalalla.

Rautia Guitars Dual Tone Style – pickups

Supron (ja Valco-yhtiön) mikrofonit näyttävät kaksikelaisilta humbuckereilta, mutta ne ovat todellisuudessa yksikelaisia mikkejä hyvin erikoisella rakenteella.

Rautia Valco PU

(kuva: Rautia Guitars)

Kaksi alnico-magneettia on asennettu kahden teräslevyn väliin, joista toinen (kulmarauta-tyylinen) toimii kelan kiinnitysalustana.

Rautia Guitars Dual Tone Style – controls

Dual Tonessa on kaksi volume- ja kaksi tone-säädintä.

Alkuperäisen reseptin mukaan lähempänä kaulaa oleva säädinpari ovat tallamikrofonille (!), kun taas ne toiset kaksi säätimet ovat kaulamikkiä varten.

Rautia-kitarassa kaulan toneen on piilotettu nostokytkin, jolla kaulamikin vaihetta voi kääntää.

Rautia Guitars Dual Tone Style – body beauty 2


Rautia Guitars Dual Tone Style – beauty shot 2

Rautia Guitars Dual Tone Style on mukavan kevyt soitin ensiluokkaisella soitettavuudella.

Kaulan ohut kiiltävä lakkaus tuntuu mukavalta, samoin kuin kaulan pyöreä, muttei liian paksu C-profiili.

Nykypäivän näkökulmasta katsottuna Dual Tonen pitkä kaulatasku hankaloittaa hieman pääsyä ihan ylimmille nauhoille. Myös vapaasti seisova talla voisi olla hyvin raskaalla kädellä soittavalle muusikoille olla pieni riski. Minun täytyy kuitenkin testin perusteella todeta, että tulin itse kitaran kanssa erittäin hyvin toimeen, eikä kitaran 50-luvun sukujuurista johtuvien ominaisuuksien kanssa tullut minkäänlaisia ongelmia.

Rautia Dual Tonen puhdas soundi on hyvin kaunis, avoin ja kellomainen. Mikrofonit eivät ole yhtä teräviä kuin perinteiset Fender-yksikelaiset, mutta niissä ei ole myöskään niin paksu keskialue kuin Gibsonin P-90-mikeissä.

Esimerkkipätkässä järjestys on kaulamikki –> molemmat mikrofonit (samassa vaiheessa) –> molemmat mikrofonit (kaulamikin vaihe käännetty) –> tallamikrofoni:

Rautian Valco-mikrofonit toimivat myös todella hyvin särökäytössä. Mikeissä on riittävästi purevuutta lyödäkseen itsensä sopivasti läpi, ilman että ne olisivat niin teräviä, että soittajalta lähtisi paikat hampaista:

Demobiisissä on kaksi komppikitaraa, jotka käyttävät kytkimen keskiasentoa, sekä vaiheenkääntöä.

Ensimmäinen soolo-osa käyttää kaulamikrofonia, toisessa kuullaan molemmat mikit yhdessä (plus vaiheenkääntöä), ja viimeinen osa soitetaan tallamikrofonilla:

Rautia Guitars Dual Tone Style – beauty shot 1


Rautia Guitars Dual Tone Style – body beauty 2

Tällaiseen herkkupalaan on todella helppoa rakastua!

Rautia Guitarsin Dual Tone on aitoa suomalaista käsityötä. Kunnioituksella lisätyt parannukset päivittävät 60 vuotta vanhan soittimen nykykitaristille sopivaksi – sekä soitettavuus että soundi ovat ensiluokkaisia.

Hinta-laatu-suhde on mielestäni erittäin korkealla.


Rautia Guitars Dual Tone Style

2.500 €

Lisätiedot: Rautia Guitars



+ käsintehty Suomessa

+ työnjälki

+ soitettavuus

+ soundi

+ ainutlaatuinen mikrofonityyppi


– pääsy viimeisille nauhoille

Huomenna: Rautia Guitars Dual Tone Style

Rautia Guitars Dual Tone Style – pickups

• Handmade in Finland
• Chambered alder body
• Bolt-on maple neck
• Bound rosewood fingerboard
• 22 medium frets
• 24.75″/62.8 cm scale
• Two Rautia Valco Style singlecoil pickups
• Two volume, two tone controls
• Push/pull switch in neck tone reverses neck PU’s phase
• Schaller Tune-o-matic with ebony base
• Gotoh Stealth tuners
• Guitarkits USA tailpiece

Contact: Rautia Guitars

Rautia Guitars Dual Tone Style – beauty shot 1

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