For me guitar cables are kind of like my car. I rely on them endlessly, I know that you should take care of them, and I don't really think about them at all until they break. But, it's very hard to do life as a guitar player without them. Unless you are a big cable enthusiast (which woo you if so!), they aren't the most exciting purchase to spend your money on. However, last year I was forced to learn more about purchasing them so I thought I would share what I learned with you.
When my husband John and I got our doggie Bentley (aka Boodles/ Bean bucket/ Buntly etc...), the shelter told us he was a calm adult 2 year old border collie mix who was super chill and well behaved. However, in the month following his adoption, the vet told us he was in fact a 6 mo old retriever mix just beginning his years as a rebellious teen. We hadn't bought a crate for him and were planning on letting him roam free. I had just bought a new cable the week before that was cool and teal and had always left it out with Bentley around. One day though, we walked in and noticed teeny tiny bits of teal all over the carpet. Bentley was happily throwing my cable remnants in the air. We were so mad at him. Since then he had ripped off the rubber foot pad on my flanger, eaten 3 acoustic clip on tuners, 2 capos, another cable, and like a million picks. Anyways, this experience forced me to learn more about cables (as well as get my doggie a crate and try to work on not being so forgetful and leave things out... yikes!
I wanted to make a quick guide for you with what I learned in case you need to go cable shopping soon. I also don't love super long, detailed, and highly technical explanations of gear so this one will be a bit more light hearted!
What makes a cable better or worse?
Like all things having to do with tone, there is really no better or worse, but more a matter of taste. Every part of a cable (length, jack, material) though can effect the "capacitance." If you haven't recently brushed up on your circuitry lingo, this basically means how much of the charge the cable can carry from start to finish.
FYI: As a child, I took a Zoobots course (aka making animal robots). I tried to make a giant penguin that could fly and swim. It could do neither and during the robot test, my penguin literally did nothing. So i definitely leaned my circuits the hard way!
The lower the capacitance, the brighter the tone.
It seems like most high quality cable companies are trying to shoot for something that is a good balance of not letting the cable lose too much charge, but also not letting to much though ( so it's not an ear splitting sound)!
2. Connectors and build
You'll want to think about how well things are soldered and the quality of the build (duh).
Does price determine how good a cable is?
No! I read a lot that some companies do lifetime guarantees which can make them more expensive. That may be worth it to you though!
With that being said, here are some awesome guitar cables options that are in the budget, durable, and have good sound quality! I haven't personally used all of them, but some have been recommended to me from awesome guitarists whose opinions I trust! I used mostly links from reverb.com because I love all the deals!
Here's some options!
Here are some cable companies that are in the $25-50 range. :)
How do you take care of them?
Coming soon... this will be on my brand new VLOG! i'm going to be doing different videos all on fun tips, inspo, guitar videos, and some lessons. I'm so excited! The first video will be released on Sunday so subscribe here to stay updated!
Thank you so much for reading and I would love to know if you have anything awesome you want to share about your cable experience below!