8 Best Guitar Cables – Which One Is Suitable For You?

You know what’s the thing every electric guitarist can’t do without? That’s right, a cable. And you know what the one thing every electric guitarist says that’s plain wrong? That’s right, “All are the same, it’s just a cable.”

In this guide, we’ll do our best to explain to you the differences between cheap and expensive models and how they can affect tone.

Additionally, we took the liberty of singling out 8 champions across a variety of domains and price ranges. Here goes!

Are Guitar Cables All The Same?

Elite_Guitar_HiNo, not really. BUT, there are some things that are simply the same with most items. A cable is essentially a piece of shielded copped wire, featuring a core diameter of 0.265 inches.

This is a standardized thickness that all utilize, meaning that they ALL indeed have the same signal impedance and resistance.

To put it in most basic terms possible, the cross-sectional area is very much the same; and seeing that copper resistivity cannot be changed from its 16.78 Ωm value and that the wire length is determined by consumer, a clear conclusion arises the basic construction will always produce the same sound quality.

So they’re the same then? No, they are not. As the time advanced, the manufacturers found a variety of clever ways to increase the value, durability and quality of their products, and we’re about to dissect them.

What Makes Expensive Models Different From Cheap Alternatives?

There are a few important factors to take into consideration here. Also, note that sound quality is not everything and that durability and reliability are also an important factor. After all, buying a $20 cable that will last you a whole year is certainly better than buying a $5 one that will last you a month, even if the sound quality is the same, right?

Anyhow, here are the key differences between budget friendly and high-end items of this niche:

  • Shielding: The shield is a part of the cable used for keeping the sonic interference from getting to the so-called “hot” center conductor at the point where the audio signal is going through. The shield is made of braided copper and its job is to cover the conductive core. Additionally, having a low transfer impedance is a greatly appreciated quality here.
  • 60-cycle hum protection: This is the factor high-end options stand out with. Through electrical hum protection, a cable can visibly increase sound quality. Less hum equals better sound, it’s as simple as that. For the budget-friendly domain, the strongest defense from audio hum is storing a coiled-up excess cable away from your power sources like amp, power splitters, and similar devices.
  • Insulation: In order to properly preserve the quality of the signal, a copper conductor needs to be insulated. Needless to say, this also secures protection from power shocks to the user. In most cases, insulation is created by using thermoset materials like neoprene and rubber, or thermoplastic materials like polypropylene and polyethylene. This factor does not affect the signal quality, but it does play a role in flexibility, which then plays a role in making it less prone to breakage and thus more durable.
  • Connecting ends: There’s a variety of connecting ends out there, and they can affect the sound both by decreasing hum and being less prone to crackling and breakage. A popular high-end option are golden connectors, and the main reason behind it is the fact that gold is the element’s anti-corrosive nature.
  • Warranty: It’s always good to get some nice warranty and security for your purchase, and high-end models usually come with this type of guarantee.

I Just Want A Simple Cable That’s Cheap, Does The Job, And Offers Top Value For Money

Sure thing, we have just the one for you! There is actually a nice variety of options that get the job done. The low-cost domain offers a string of solid items that deliver the same sound, and the main thing you need to look out for is durability. The core construction is similar, yes, but the big question is how long they will all last.

The specific option we had in mind is the 20-foot model known as the Hosa GTR220. This fella utilizes a set of standard straight to same connectors combined with a 24 AWG OFC (oxygen-free copper) conductor and a 90% OFC Braid shield.

This is not a stereo cable that can perform any advanced functions, but it is a device that can operate just fine on any electric or bass guitar. For the listed money, we are looking at an absolute top bang for the buck.

It’s flexibility is decent, and although the item might feel a tad stiff to some, it’s still top bang for the buck. As for durability, our experience has shown that the GTR220 can last around twice as long as its similarly-priced peers.

Hosa GTR-210 Straight Guitar Cable, 10 feet
  • Length: 10 Feet
  • Connectors: Straight to Same
  • Conductor: 24 AWG OFC

Which Expensive Guitar Cable Is Really Worth The Money?

There’s a variety of high-end options that are all fine and dandy, but not really worth the money. However, the folks from Monster have really nailed it the right way with their Standard 100.

This thing costs a pretty penny, but is still confined within reasonable financial boundaries of how much such an item should cost. The gizmo is super sleek, silent, and will last you a very long period of time. It really has it all, from sound quality to longevity and durability.

It features a top level heavy-duty connector made to resist the physical damage, combined with the super flexible Duraflex protective jacket. This allows it to fold and unfold effortlessly, meaning that not only will your life become easier with less tangled-up cables, as a result this fell will suffer less damage that tangling up causes.

In the sonic department, it includes a set of high-end copper winding that produce a clearer tone with more expressive basses. Natural tone reproduction is secured through the renowned Magnetic Flux Tube technology, while another nifty feature includes a set of color coded rings to make the cables instantly recognizable from the rest.

If you want to make a good investment, this is it!

Monster S100-I-12 Standard 100 1/4-Inch Instrument...
  • Heavy-Duty Injection Molded Connector - Specially designed strain relief increases cable durability and resists damage
  • Color-Coded Rings - for easy identification when you're plugging in multiple cable. Several colors included
  • Ultra-Flexible Duraflex® Protective Jacket - Coils & uncoils effortlessly. Withstands heavy use and provides cut resistance...

What Other Options Do I Have?

Between the high-end option and the cheap one, there’s actually a string of neat options that just might match your needs to a tee. We narrowed them down to a little rundown, check ’em out below.

Planet Waves American Stage

The strongest point of this 10-foot cable is the strength of its connectors. The Planet Waves fella is a fairly standard item that fits the bill for most players and gets the job done well at a cheap price, but it stands out from the rest through implementation of the Geo-Tip technology.

We are looking at an exclusive patented tip that will fit any guitar or amp jack like a glove, all while establishing a super firm grip and therefore no crackle whatsoever.

The product also utilizes the so-called In=Out technology to make sure that no sonic interference occurs inside it, as well as a set of in-line solder joints to deliver superior conductivity and extra strength.

Sale
Planet Waves American Stage Guitar and Instrument...
  • Geo-Tip: exclusive patented tip design for improved fit in all jacks
  • Exclusive In=Out technology: the signal you put into it is the signal you get out of it
  • In-Line solder joints for superior conductivity and strength

Mogami Gold

In case you’re a bit obsessed with getting 100 percent silent and crackle-free cables, but aren’t exactly into spending thousands of dollars on it, the Mogami Gold is a great choice.

It is fully silent and comes with a fully neutral balance, which is great for bringing out the natural, organic tone of any electric instrument. The jacks fit the plugs perfectly and the item even includes a lifetime warranty. The price is on the high-end spectrum as far as cables go, but is still reasonable and worth every penny. Good stuff, highly recommended!

Mogami GOLD INSTRUMENT-10 Guitar Instrument Cable,...
  • Mogami GOLD INSTRUMENT Guitar Instrument Cables provide crystal-clear tone and a drop-dead silent background. The top choice...
  • Engineered for the highest level of transparency, Mogami Gold Instrument Cables are constructed with a conductive polymer...
  • Wired with Mogami Guitar/Instrument High Impedance Cable, Mogami Gold Instrument Cables feature high definition sound ideal...

George L’s 155 Guage Cabl

Up next, the perfect match for fans of best thin guitar cables – the George L’s 155. This fella is super thin and not prone to tangling up, yet still strong, reliable, and highly durable.

They come in elegant full-black design and easily attachable jacks. The sound is bright, loud, and very clear. For this quality, it even struck us as a tab cheap, but that probably has to do with the general slimness of the product. Treat these puppies right and they will serve you well for a long time.

Amboz Red Dragon

Now if you like your gear in piercing red, with plenty of thickness and sturdiness, but still enough flexibility and an affordable price tag, go with the Red Dragon from Amboz.

To secure the best sound, this puppy utilizes oxygen-free copper (OFC), as well as high-density shielding and a pair of heavy-duty metal jacks. We are looking at a 10-foot length featuring a PVC layer placed to serve as an electrostatic shield and increase durability to the highest level. If longevity is what you’re after, this one is something you should most definitely consider. It’s a true dragon, we tell ya!

Sale
Red Dragon Guitar Cable - Sturdy & Durable...
  • ★ BUILT TO LAST - STURDY & RELIABLE CONSTRUCTION FOR THE ROAD, STAGE AND STUDIO: Outstanding 10 ft guitar cable with...
  • ★ GET OUT WHAT YOU PUT IN - FULLY MAXIMIZED SIGNAL STRENGTH: Oxygen-Free Copper (O.F.C) core for the highest level of...
  • ★ INTERFERENCE AND HANDLING NOISE AKA "CRACKLING" NOISE PREVENTION: High density stranded copper serve shield acting as a...

How Much Money Should I Spend On Guitar Cables?

This is a frequently asked question, and the answer depends on whether you’re looking for the best experience in general or the best bargain or just a budget item that gets the job done.

If you want something that’s just top notch, anywhere between $40 and $60 should suffice. We listed several items of this price range on the list and we thoroughly recommend each of them.

If you are in pursuit for a good model with a low price, we advise diving into the under $15 domain. However, this is also the price range where stinkers can be found, so it’s not a bad choice to stick to the affordable fellas we have listed here. Once again, we thoroughly recommend each and every one of them for the listed price tag.

What’s The Most Expensive Guitar Cable I Can Get?

Alright, we’ll dive into that one as well; after all, everybody likes watching the extremes. The most expensive one in the world that we’re aware of is the Golden Oval from Analysis Plus. Crafted in the US, this thing is described as “heirloom quality” utilizing 100 percent oxygen-free copper and coating made of pure gold.

And yes, having pure gold picks that price tag up quite a bit. The sound is reportedly as clear as it can get, and durability is nothing short of amazing. As for the price, we’re looking at a rather measly figure, as you can see.

Analysis Plus Golden Oval Guitar and Instrument...
  • Oxygen free copper
  • 100% shieleded coverage
  • Made in the USA

What’s The Ideal Length To Pursue?

This is a question we frequently encounter among guitar aficionados, and the answer varies from one player to another.

But for most cases, the ideal length is between 10 and 20 feet. Going below 10 feet is way too short, and going above 20 feet can be a bit of an overload. However, in our opinion 20 feet is ideal if you start landing larger gigs such as festival performances.

In our book, getting a 20-foot cable for gigs and a 10-foot model for house practice is your optimal option.

Conclusion

And that about wraps it up, ladies and gents! We hope that this guide and our reviews helped you learn something new about the world of cables and how they operate, and maybe even helped you find your ideal pick.

Each of the lads listed here are great picks, and now it all just comes down to the matter of jotting down your exact personal needs, expectations, and preferences in order to single out your perfect match.

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