How To Find The Best Guitar Cables With Essential Functions
Today, there are so many brands in the market that offer the best guitar cables with prices ranging from as low as $20 to as expensive as your guitar.
Thus, to an untrained eye and ears of a beginner guitarist, everything may seem to look and sound the same.
In addition, you should know that the best gear for any instrument should be used to bring out the best functions and performance of the instrument.
Many musicians, even those who have been playing for as long as a decade or two, fail to recognize the importance of using quality cables.
For you to fully understand how important it is to invest in the best guitar cables, here is a list of some of the cables’ essential functions.
However, before getting into those dangerous details, let me show you the basic parts of a guitar cable first as a warm-up.
Five Best Guitar Cables In The Market
Now that you are equipped with the adequate knowledge to influence your buying decisions, I present to you the five best guitar cables available online.
These have been tested and proven to have all the essential functions and features you need to improve your performance as a guitar player. I have also provided the pros and cons of each for your reference.
This cable fits in all standard jacks with an in-out mechanism. I know a lot of guitar players who use this cable because of its universal properties. It has superior quality Neutrik plugs at a very affordable price.
This is one of the most heavy duty cables I have ever used, which is reliable on-stage even after rigorous use.
- With Geo-Tips that ensures stays in plays even while playing roughly with rock, alternative, and heavy metal tones.
- Premium parts that ensure the cable does not quickly fall apart gig after gig.
- With HelioFused soldering.
- Reliable cable.
- Copper braid is tinned for easy soldering.
- With PVC under a jacket.
- Difficult to unplug.
- Cable does not provide a quality signal, so it often captures extraneous interference and noises.
This Monster Standard cable has a reasonable price because of its quality. This is usually go-to for many musicians including bassists. For me, it has a top-of-the-line heavy duty connector that withstands long hours of rigorous playing.
I prefer to use this when in gigs because it is easy to plug and unplug. It has a robust construction and extremely reliable. It also has just the right length, so it transmits adequate signal into your audio interface.
- With flexible outer jacket.
- High resistance.
- Copper braided shielding for noise rejection.
- Made of durable and hard anti-corrosion nickel connector.
- Versatile - can be used with bass guitar as well because of its special copper windings that provide clear, tight bass tones.
- The sound quality of the guitar may be affected if not set up correctly.
- Might not last long if used on a daily basis and in a rigorous manner.
This guitar cable is priced higher than other brands but has amazing sound. It provides neutrality and balances with perfect quiet handling. I love this cable for its versatility as it can be used in other instruments as well.
It has a standard guitar plug with robust construction and is certainly user-friendly so that I would recommend this to beginners.
- Does not create a buzzing sound when connected to Ampeg or Peavey amps.
- Made of premium Mogami cord that guarantees durability and strength.
- The solid cable that provides just the right frequency.
- Can be used with different kinds of instruments.
- Slightly expensive for a standard cable.
This Guage Cable is one of the best cables I have known as I was progressing with my guitar playing skills. Plugs can be swapped and very durable. But because of its solid construction, it may be too stiff for users. It takes getting used to using this cable, but for me, this is worth the price.
- Solid construction.
- Allows the guitar to produce pristine sound. No buzz, hums, etc.
- Also great for acoustic guitars.
- Easy to swap plugs.
- Excellent sound quality.
- May be too stiff for users.
- Premium price.
This is the only woven fabric coated cable in this review, and I am telling you, this is one of the high performers in the market today.
The Spectraflex is tailored for the professional guitar player - the kind who plays guitar for a living in gigs night after night after night.
This is a heavy duty solid cable with low capacitance. Its shielding is Polymer, and its internal is made of 100% copper.
I have bought one of these online recently, and I have no issues so far. I did complain about the price at first, but I realized it was reasonable because of its performance and functionality.
- Durable construction.
- Zero extraneous noise.
- 20 AWG
- Very low capacitance to ensure low impedance transfer to the ground.
- Does not flex that much; very stiff.
Basic Parts Of A Standard Guitar Cable
Here are the five essential parts of a guitar cable. Familiarize yourself with these before buying one.
Insulation - this is where the current is contained safely.
Central Conductor - this is the part that carries the current which transfers audio signals from the instrument to the amp.
Braided Copper Shield - this is responsible for blocking noises and extraneous interference.
Electrostatic Shield - this shields friction and reduces the noise when the cable is compressed.
Outer or External Jacket - this is the outer part that protects the internal parts of the wire.
Functions Of Guitar Cables
How does a guitar cable function? In this section, you will find out how the cable works to make your guitar playing experience more satisfactory.
Provides Proper Capacitance
One of the essential functions of a guitar cable is capacitance. Furthermore, when two electrical conductors are close to one another, a capacitor is formed. This allows for a low-pass filter, which allows for a low impedance transfer to the ground.
Prevents RF Interference
Guitar cables are shielded to prevent RF interference or extraneous signals that cause noise and feedback especially if there are other electronic devices nearby.
A cable with the proper resistance provides excellent tone quality and durability even after long hours of use.
Proper Insulation For Protection
It is important that the copper conductor of the cable is insulated. This preserves signal quality and most importantly, protects the guitar player from electrocution.
Also, a properly insulated wire is usually thick. Thickness also determines the flexibility of the cable but is not an indicator of signal quality.
Anti-corrosion Connector Ends
Although the type of connector does not completely affect signal quality, the right choice should prevent corrosion. A gold-plated plug is highly recommended because of its anti-corrosion property. Not to mention, a gold-plated connector looks attractive, too.
Prevents 60-cycle Hum
A good cable should be able to avoid a 60-cycle hum while playing. A ferrous metal component should be present in the cable to fully prevent electrical hum.
Key Features of a Guitar Cable
A high-quality guitar cable should have the key features to make sure you get the most out of your purchase. There are expensive brands that claim a lot of extra bonuses, but they may not be suited for an average everyday guitar player.
Some of these cables may just be right for the show. Meaning that they only look good physically, but the functions and key features are the same as the affordable ones. Arm yourself with the right knowledge so that you will arrive at the best purchasing decision.
The longer the cable, the more likely will you get progressive noise. Also, too long cables disrupt the signal from your instrument to your audio interface or amp. You may notice that some guitar players coil the excess length of their cables to maintain a length that does not disrupt the signal transfer.
Traditionally, the required length is around 25 feet maximum, but there are already brands that offer cables with premium parts that guarantee quieter and cleaner sound quality.
There are two different types of conductor design namely, solid conductors and stranded conductors. The solid conductors are cheaper but are low in quality.
The premium conductors are the stranded types because they are more flexible and a lot stronger. But because of the quality, it is also pretty expensive. Preferably, a 32-40 AWG cable should be used to ensure the longevity of use and oxidation prevention.
Electrostatic shield prevents static build-up whenever friction occurs between the copper shield and insulation.
Materials such as Dacron and Conductive PVC should be present in the cable’s shielding. The Dacron is a type of tape that reduces noise while the conductive PVC provides a shield from friction because of its thickness.
Which One Should You Purchase?
You can choose any of the reviewed best guitar cables. All of which has all the features and functions of a high-quality cable but they may differ in performance and longevity of use.
What’s important is that you are now equipped with the proper knowledge about cables so you can decide on your own which one to buy.
Did this guide help you decide? Which one from the reviewed cables will you pick? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section.