If you ever wondered what can ruin a concert faster than a malfunctioning instrument, than you may have been blessed to never have to deal with a bad guitar cable. These things are more than just important to your musical performance, they are probably one of the most important guitar accessory to make sure are ok before you perform. If you don’t, you might end up with a lot of noise coming out of your instrument, interference or just plain not be heard if the cable is in that bad of a shape. Which is why it is important to understand why these things are important, how bad ones can affect you and how the best guitar cables can be more than an asset to your band or to you. After all a bad cable might end up ruining a potentially great time in your life, while a good cable will not be noticed for a long time before it is gone.
Table of Contents
Top Guitar Cables
|Hosa GTR-210 Straight Guitar Cable||(4.8 / 5)||Check on Amazon
|Fender Performance Series Instrument Cables||(4.8 / 5)||Check on Amazon
|GLS Audio 20 Foot Guitar Cable - Right Angle to Straight||(4.8 / 5)||Check on Amazon
|AMBOZ CABLES Red Dragon Guitar Cable||(4.8 / 5)||Check on Amazon
|KIRLIN Cable IWB-202BFGL-10/CA||(4.8 / 5)||Check on Amazon
There are many ways to fail at buying the right guitar cable. One of the easiest ways to do so is to go cheap. I understand the temptation, I’ve been in a spot where the extra 20 bucks I would be spending on a cable would end up being really useful in a different situation. Like for a round of beer for the pals at the bar tomorrow. The thing is though, when you end up buying cheap, you end up getting what you pay for. In guitar world you might have an option of a cheap but good guitar, but in the cable world cheap does mean bad. Easily torn or simply bad at conducting signal, the cable will eventually end up being thrown out and you will have to shell out more money for a new, better cable. Don’t learn the lesson the hard way. Be smarter than that. Buy a good cable from the start, even if you end up paying an extra 20. It’ll save you money in the long run.
There is a relationship between the length of the cable and the strength of the signal delivered to the amp through it that needs to be considered when buying a cable. The longer a signal has to travel the more power it loses, meaning a less powerful output from the amp. Not ideal if you are looking to have a good time with the band. So when buying a cable remember, you don’t need the longest they have, neither the shortest they have. Strike a comfortable balance, 10 feet, 12 and even 14 feet should be fine. If you go longer than that you might have to expect problems with the signal and sound.
Everything you possess requires maintenance at one time or another. A house needs cleaning and repairs, dishes need washing, a car needs check ups and oil changes and guitars need regular cleaning. The guitars cables also need regular cleaning, even when you are the cleanest person you know. Eventually a small layer of varnish or gunk will end up gathering on the ends of the cable, which will impede the signal transfer. Taking a rag to the cable ends regularly will save you the trouble of wondering what might be wrong with your sound.
I have heard so many horror stories about people having a hard time with their cables. Stories ranging from buying a cheap cable that within a weak stopped working to people having to delay their performances to make an emergency run to a friend’s house to pick up an extra cable that would work. All the horror stories that could have been avoided if only the person in the situation had been taking care of their cable, or picked a good cable up in the first place. Though sometimes these horrors are not the result of carelessness or being cheap or ignorant about what makes a cable quality. You see, things age, and things as often in use as guitar cables age fast. The best guitar cable might last you two years at most, if you are extremely lucky, but eventually they break too. There is nothing that can be done about it, it should be accepted as a fact of life. You should expect a cable to go bad one day and have to replace it. If you do not you will one day find yourself in front of an audience, waiting for your performance, expectations high and pressure crushing down on you, without a sound coming out of the amp because your cable broke. If you do not have a backup in this situation, you better have friends with extra cables. And if you do not have even that, then be ready to feel shame as you apologize to the people because you cannot perform. Last time I had to do that my cheeks were burning red, I was sweating bullets and I swore never to have that problem again. Thankfully my friend saved me by giving me his backup, but the 5 minutes where I thought I had no way of playing were extremely painful. Learn from me, have a backup for important situations.