Top 10 Best Guitar Cables of 2020 – Step-by-Step Guide & Review
Not so long ago, you could easily get away with using just any cable for your guitar. This was when you didn’t have to worry about effects, or when speakers weren’t too sensitive. Advancement in technology has allowed for better sound experience and output. Better electrical circuitry that we have nowadays means that you have to be really specific with the kind of cables you use. If you’ve never had to use specific cables for your guitar, and now have no choice but to use them, then this buying guide and review of the best guitar cables will help you.
The 10 Best Guitar Cables – Guide & Review
1. Mogami Guitar Cable
If you are looking for cables that give crystal clear output, then these are your best choice. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the sharp clarity of sound that is free from any feedback or background noises. If you will be using your guitar in the studio, then this is the best cable to choose as it was designed for that purpose. If you want your music to reach your audience in its purest form without any exaggeration or loss these cables will make it happen.
We like that these cables are multi-purpose. They are suitable for all kinds of instruments and not just guitars. This is cost-effective as you won’t have to worry about purchasing another set of cables for your other instruments. You can also choose the length of the cable and it comes available in 3, 6, 12, 20, 30- and 40-foot options.
- Delivers pure sound
- Available in different lengths.
- Users report receiving wrong cable lengths
2. GLS Audio Cables
If color and bold patterns are your thing, then you will love this design from GLS Audio. The cables are encased in a tweed jacket design covering. The cable offers enough flexibility for the guitarist to play around with. Despite its flexibility, this cable is built to withstand everyday wear and tear, without compromising on its performance. With this cable, you will wow yourself and your fans with the clarity and purity of sound.
We already mentioned how capacitance can affect the quality of sound, and with this cable, a PVC shield encases the oxygen-free conductor. This helps lower the capacitance, as well as contribute to the cable’s flexibility.
This is a high-performance cable and can guarantee that you will be satisfied with the results. If you do end up choosing a different cable over this one, then it will be a matter of choice and not performance. It is 20 feet long which is just the right length for a guitar cable.
- Eye-catching design
- Flexibility and durability
- Low capacitance
- Some guitarists may find the cable too thick
3. D’Addario Accessories Cables
These are the best guitar cables to choose if you are looking for ones that help produce a natural tone. D’Addario prides itself on producing cables that provide zero interference. Additionally, the cables are made from premium materials to ensure that they are able to serve you for a lifetime.
This cable features D’Addario’s GeoTip technology which was designed to help improve the connection with jacks. So, it doesn’t matter whether you are plugging into an amplifier, effect, or instrument, you will receive quality output all the time. You’ll also like the fact that it has high capacitance resistance, thus minimizing the chances of interference.
It features another technology from D’Addario which is Helio-Fused Soldering that provides the strongest ground connection. This also aids in boosting durability and strength. Once you purchase from the company, you are eligible for their rewards program which enables you to get cool free gear. The cable comes in 10, 15, 20- and 30-foot options.
- Produce a natural tone
- Rewards program
- GeoTip technology
- Users complain of receiving dead cables.
4. Fender Professional Cable
If you are looking for a high-quality cable that can withstand a life on the road, then this is the right cable for the job. Built to withstand more than a day’s worth of wear and tear, this cable works to not only provide you with durability, but it helps retain your guitar’s tone.
As you play on stage or at the studio, you need to have the confidence that your cable won’t let you down, and this is what this product from Fender offers. You won’t have to worry about your connectors not connecting properly to the pedalboards and amps, as this cable offers reliability.
- Clear tone
- Connectors connect reliably
- Users report receiving damaged cables
5. Lulu Home Cables
This deserves a mention on our list of the best guitar cables on the market. It features an oxygen-free conductor which helps improve the electric signal. This in turn improves output. It also has an insulation outer cover which helps to reduce any electromagnetic interference that may affect the tone.
The PVC also helps make it more flexible to withstand being bent every now and then. The gold-plated plugs offer resistance to corrosion and high conductivity. This cable comes with a lifetime guarantee if for whatever reason you feel dissatisfied with the product. Simply return it and get a full refund. It is available in 10- and 20-feet lengths.
- Signal stabilization
- Insulating outer layer
- Lifetime guarantee
- Users report receiving faulty cables
The best way to ensure that you get the right output for your guitar, including the tone, is for you to check that you have the right guitar cables. As mentioned earlier, a few years ago, guitar cables were not that important as long as they were connected and the guitar made a sound. However, choosing the right cable can be what makes your guitar stand out. Now that you know just how important it is to have the right guitar cable, we will highlight factors that you must consider when shopping for your next guitar cable. We’ll look at factors such as construction, type of shielding, type of plugs, and even the length of the cable. All these factors combined are what make a great cable.
If you’re completely new to guitar cables, then before you learn to distinguish between excellent and poor-quality cables, it would not hurt to learn how about their construction. First off, you have a center conductor which works by carrying a signal between the amp and the guitar. Covering this center conductor is an electrostatic shield, insulation material, an outer jacket, and an outer shield. These are standard materials that you can find in all the guitar cables. You may be wondering why there is a difference in guitar cables if all of them are constructed the same. Well, the difference lies in what these cables are composed of, and how they’ve been constructed.
As mentioned earlier, the center conductor plays an important role in guitar cabling, and without which, your guitar won’t work. Since your center conductor is supposed to carry an electrical signal, using poor material for your conductor will only result in poor sound, or no sound altogether.
With the conductor, the best material to use would be 18 to 24 AWG single copper. The second material you can use a stranded conductor and it has to be between 32 and 40 AWG. If you are familiar with cables, then you should know that there are some that have a solid center. We do not recommend these because they have a reputation of breaking quickly. These conductors are tempting to buy because they are less expensive than stranded cables, and this is because they are manufactured quickly.
On the other hand, stranded cables have a more detailed production process, hence the vast difference in price with their cheaper counterparts. They tend to fare better than solid conductor cables because the center of these conductors has individual strands. In the long run, stranded cables tend to perform better. Cables with 36 AWG or more are premium cables and they generally outperform cables with individual strands.
The ability of something to store a charge is referred to as capacitance. In case you didn’t know, capacitance does have an effect on the quality of sound a guitar cable produces. High-quality cables have low capacitance. The two materials used in this case are polyethylene and rubber, with the preference being for the former because of its low capacitance. You are likely to find polyethylene in both low and high-end guitar cables. Cables with rubber used as an insulator are hard to come by as rubber is no longer the insulator of choice. So, when shopping for cables, inquire about the type of insulation and only choose cables that have polyethylene.
If you’ve had the chance to look at the exterior cover of a guitar cable you should have noticed that there are different kinds. Specifically, there are three kinds and these are serve shield, braided shields, and foil shields. The outer shielding, just like the internal conductors, also has an effect on sound output. Additionally, you will find that some exterior types allow for better flexibility while others do not.
For serve shields, you can identify them by looking at how the copper strands are wound and their positioning. They are wound around the center conductor in either a clockwise or an anti-clockwise direction. This shield has medium tensile strength although it offers a lot in terms of flexibility. This shield is best suited for frequencies under 100kHz.
Braided shields offer consistent coverage by the use of copper braids. With this particular shielding, the electric signal will not experience any RF interference. Even though it costs more than the other two shields, it is not as flexible.
Foil shield is the cheaper alternative. They may get the job done, but they do not offer any form of flexibility. They feature aluminum foil wrapped around the copper wire. If you are on a tight budget and are looking for cables to get the job done, even though they won’t serve you for long, then these are the cables to buy.
For this type of shielding, there are two forms, and one of them is Conductive and Dacron PV. In this case, there is none that is superior to the other as both of them do get the job done. Premium quality cables do not skimp out on having electrostatic shielding like cheaper cable brands do. For cables that do not have this type of shielding, you will frequently hear sizzling sounds whenever the cable is moved.
This is another factor that you should consider as you shop for the best guitar cables. The standard length for most cables is around 25 feet, and this is to help reduce the amount of noise or feedback you may experience. Generally, the longer the cable, the higher the increase in noise. Depending on your needs, try and keep the cable as short as possible to enhance your audio output.
Type of Cable Plug
There has often been a debate on whether gold-plated cable plugs are better than nickel-plated plugs in terms of connection. In reality, none of them outperforms the other. They are equally good at getting the job done. Interestingly, gold-plated plugs aren’t even pure in the first place since they are mixed with nickel to make them durable.
The only advantage gold plugs have over nickel ones is that they will serve you longer as they do not corrode as easily, though it is a difference of a small margin. Whichever plug you choose will ultimately boil down to preference.
Now that you’ve had a look at the factors you should consider when buying the best guitar cables, you are now better informed on how to choose them. Below is a list of the best cables you can find on the market currently.