The Under Tone Audio Vari-Cap guitar cable features a variable capacitance, which has been implemented by fitting a little box on the cable with different capacitors that you can switch between with an onboard dial. The cable allows you to switch between a low 180 pFto 1,780 pF in 100 pF steps using the onboard switch. Of course, if you use an active pickup on your guitar or bass then this cable will not do a thing. So the UTA Vari-Cable will only work with traditional passive pickups.
First, I have to say, ‘Why not just put it in a box?’ The thought of extra wiring inside my cable puts me off straight away, as cables move around, get pulled and trodden on. So surely this cable will just come apart eventually? This makes it unattractive for me.
You though may think this is an amazing idea. Below is a demo of the different ‘tones’ available from the Under Tone Audio Vari-Cap guitar cable. The demo below is an overview of all the different sounds that you can get. I feel that design would fall apart within a few years worth of gigs. The switch itself would get busted.
The Vari-Cap was designed by producer/engineer Eric Valentine and circuit designer Larry Jasper. I think the pair of them should have just put this into a pedal. Surely putting it into a separate box would have been more robust, as you could house it in a metal box with a full-sized solid switch. But what do I know? I understand that part of the design means that it has to be plugged directly into the guitar to work and so they placed the switch on the cable. But surely just a small re-design would have made this more robust?