When we first picked up guitars any old cable would do. Sometimes with the case broken off and the solder showing on the plug. Hum, noise, and crackling were part of the soundtrack.
But then someone thought this isn’t good enough and well designed, efficient cables arrived as we all became a little bit more professional in our approach to making music.
Technology has moved us into a time when cabling is recognized as vital. Quite rightly so. So, let’s have a look at the Best Guitar cables around…
- Top 10 Best Guitar Cables In 2021 Reviews
- 1 Planet Waves American Stage Guitar And Instrument Cable
- 2 Mogami GOLD INSTRUMENT-10 Guitar Instrument Cable
- 3 Spectraflex Original Series Instrument Cable
- 4 Fender Performance Series Instrument Cables
- 5 Red Dragon Instrument Cable
- 6 KLIQ Guitar Instrument Cable
- 7 GLS Audio 20 Foot Curly Guitar Instrument Cable
- 8 Hosa GTR-210 Straight To Straight Guitar Cable
- 9 George L’s 155 Gauge Cable
- 10 Donner Guitar Cable 10 Ft
- Your Instrument Cable Is Important, So What To Buy?
- Our Choice Of The Best Guitar Cable…
Top 10 Best Guitar Cables In 2021 Reviews
1 Planet Waves American Stage Guitar And Instrument Cable
This is a cable that is designed specifically to ensure the quality of sound reproduction. The company have addressed two main issues, firstly interference levels and secondly to ensure that you hear the natural sound of the instrument in exactly the way you want it to be heard.
To achieve this, they have used audiophile-quality wire. The quality of the wire used in the cabling is important because it will make a difference in sound transfer.
This is an issue not wholly accepted by some, but many people can hear the difference, and there is a difference.
Interference can also be a problem and using quality cabling wire will help to alleviate unwanted noise.
There are other measures to be taken as well. The plugs themselves are vital, and this cable comes with Neutrik plugs produced for them in Europe.
Stability is a further issue. By nature of their use, cables come under tremendous pressure, sometimes deliberately, by performers. They, therefore, have to be able to withstand a lot of punishment.
The Planet Waves cable has a strong and stable bond between the wire and the plug giving it strength, and the geo-tip design ensures a good fit in all sockets.
It produces a very clean sound and is not affected at all by movement.
The cable is designed to fit all instruments, and the right-angled jack will fit the Fender’s and their input sockets.
A quality, well-made cable using good materials which is not overpriced. At 10 feet long it should be adequate for most live environments. This cable has accessible jack plugs.
2 Mogami GOLD INSTRUMENT-10 Guitar Instrument Cable
Mogami cables are considered by many as the industry standard and are used extensively in recording studios because of their quality. The cables are also used as the preference on stage by a number of ‘big name’ acts.
This cable features dual shielding and a high-density polymer sub shield that gives interference free usage. To prevent any external noise from handling there is a PVC plug cover.
Mogami Gold cables utilize high definition sound wiring and are ideal for use not only with a guitar but also acoustic guitar, bass guitar, keyboards, and pedal effects. Jack fitting is also very good, and there is very little peripheral movement.
They are at the top end price-wise, but they do deliver good performance and are built to be sturdy and reliable and offer peace of mind both live and in the studio where quality is demanded.
An important consideration, of course, is the sound these cables carry. They are the link between your instrument and the sound system, and therefore sound production by a cable must be considered important. These cables deliver a great sound across all frequencies with no signal loss, which makes them superior in many environments.
They are able to hold the sound, and there is no audible loss of quality.
A quality cable that gives excellent performance. They come in 10-foot lengths and carry a limited lifetime warranty.
3 Spectraflex Original Series Instrument Cable
Spectraflex designed the original braided cable. It is made with a very flexible external covering of braid made from a tough nylon material that will resist all the hardships of use, that cables will inevitably suffer.
These are high-performance cables that come with a central copper conductor and a polymer shield. They are designed to give a quality of performance and a low handling noise.
The absence of hum is an important element with these cables, and it is reduced to a level where it is inaudible. This is achieved with proper shielding at the business end. They certainly have a style of their own, and the braided manufacture makes them visible and great for being seen, even under low light conditions.
Come to the end of the gig and packing away time you won’t have to look too hard to find your cables. It is though, not just about looks, the braided finish makes them tough and durable and not prone to get tangled up with other rubber based cables.
Price-wise they are moving towards the top end, but that is understandable. Quality doesn’t come cheap, and these cables are designed not only to be good at what they do but also to last a long time. And they do.
You spend a lot of money on your instrument and rig so why cut corners on the cabling which after, can seriously impact the performance level. They are not the most expensive you can buy, but they are certainly in the area of being the best you can buy.
If you are looking for a quality cable to give you years of service with a great performance, then Spectraflex is worth considering.
Cable is supplied in a 14-foot length allowing plenty of room for movement.
4 Fender Performance Series Instrument Cables
Fender, of course, have a range of guitar cables that are well made and reasonably priced.
They have been built for reliability in performance and are manufactured with that in mind. Featuring a copper shield to cut down on interference, they also have a PVC cover to eliminate handling noise.
They come as a quarter inch cable with a straight jack to straight jack set up and operate well with guitar, bass guitar, and audio setups.
Extra padding has been placed around the jack plugs to give them that extra bit of strength.
Priced towards the lower end of the cost range for a cable, they are still considered a quality instrument product. The sound transfer is good, and any hum is eliminated thus making them suitable for studio work as well as on the stage. There is no noticeable signal loss.
In the hand, it feels substantial and has a rugged feel to it. A good thing when you consider that cables have to put up with being pulled, pushed and stamped all over at times. Many musicians have problems with breakages, possibly as a result of enthusiastic performances, so you need cabling that will not let you down.
If what you are looking for is a cable that will last a long time and produce good results then this product is indeed worth considering. It does everything it should do, and the price makes it a very attractive option.
It comes as a ten-foot length cable.
5 Red Dragon Instrument Cable
Another rugged cable this time produced by Amboz. It has been produced to be suitable for any environment and is built to last. It has a copper core reducing signal loss, and all connections are hand soldered. A high-density copper shield ensures that any potential interference is removed to give you a clean performance.
A very clean sound is produced across all frequencies making it suitable for guitar or bass guitar.
The cable itself is of a braided design in red and black with quarter inch jack plugs. It is therefore attractive but equally strong enough to last.
The Red Dragon is supplied as a 10-foot cable with straight to straight plugs or in 20-foot lengths with a choice of either straight to straight, or straight to rectangular plugs.
This cable is placed at the lower end of the pricing structure but should not be discarded as being cheap. Featuring quality materials, it is well made and ‘road-tough.’ There are some cheap cables out there, cheap in performance as well as in price, but this isn’t one of them.
It delivers a quality sound with no interference or hum and is strong enough to last. It is a quality cable and a good option and at the price worth considering.
Comes with a lifetime guarantee.
6 KLIQ Guitar Instrument Cable
Kliq, founded by a group of musicians who were discontent with the quality of the leads and cables they were using so made their own, have come up with a resilient quality cable.
This low capacitance cable has a copper core and a high-density shield to remove any unwanted hum or other noise distraction. It also has dual shielding to ensure the rejection of EMI and RFI noise and allow the sound of your guitar to come through.
It comes with two jack options – straight to straight or straight to angled, on both their 10 foot and 20-foot cables.
The jack plugs are by Rean, a brand of the better known Neutrik, and are in gold color.
The cable itself is sturdy and designed to cope with all that today’s musician can throw at it with its tweed material outer. It is indeed a well-constructed cable that delivers accurate sounds. It operates at all frequency levels and therefore is suitable not only for guitar but also bass and keyboards.
Some of the black rubberized cables will often dry up and crack, sometimes without any visible sign, but the braided cover on this cable will not do that giving you a little bit of added peace of mind. The only downside is that braided cables can attract dust and grime that is awkward to remove.
All the bases are covered on the cable, and it is worth considering for live work or studio, and at the price, it is very affordable.
It comes with a lifetime warranty.
7 GLS Audio 20 Foot Curly Guitar Instrument Cable
GLS has produced with this cable, a well-performing 20-foot instrument cable suitable for either guitar or bass. They have a flexible rubber jacket and are built to be durable.
Copper is used for the insulation, and the central conductor and the cables are double-shielded with a PVC and OFC Insulator. They employ a triple shield that will give you many years of usage.
The cabling itself is curly and is measured at 20 feet before the cable is actually coiled.
For practical usage, the length of the cable will be about 10 feet when plugged in. When not in use this shrinks down to about 4 feet.
10 feet though is an acceptable length if you can accept the curly design, which to some may feel awkward. In our experience after some usage, the cable will stretch somewhat and will extend a little further than 10 feet.
The length of curly cables can be an issue though, we have experienced dragging your effects pedals around with these kinds of cables, and they are often best employed going straight from guitar to amp.
Curly leads must not be mistaken for the old ‘telephone cables’ we once used. The modern-day leads are constructed with better materials and with more emphasis on excluding buzzes and hums and ensuring the sound delivered is of high quality. About the only similarity is they look the same, hence our comment on it.
The cable comes with straight and a rectangular jack plug fittings of chrome effect. It is priced in the middle of the cost band.
8 Hosa GTR-210 Straight To Straight Guitar Cable
Hosa has produced with this cable a cost-effective alternative to its more expensive competitors. The quality though is of a decent standard. They include all metal jack plugs and copper conductors. They also utilize a hi-density braided shield to eliminate EMI and RFI noise.
This is a premium product but will be popular not just because of its pricing. It is well made and sturdy and will work well with both guitar and bass guitar. However, as a premium product don’t expect it to work like a cable that is much more expensive.
We are not sure how much punishment on a stage this might take before something goes wrong. You can expect the expensive cables to take the stamping around etc., but this cable is not necessarily built to take too much.
This is a budget cable not a top of the range; however, it will still do its job and depending on what exactly you want to use it for, is worth some consideration. As we’ve said though, it is well made and delivers a good sound, and for the price, you really can’t go wrong.
It does not have sealed jack plugs, and so you can unscrew them if something is not quite right for repair.
A straight to straight plug line up it comes in 10-foot lengths.
Well worth considering as a less expensive cable.
9 George L’s 155 Gauge Cable
A well-respected manufacturer GL has produced a cable that challenges some of the best around. They have integrated an anti-static into the cable that will cut our the hum, buzz and any other unwanted noise.
They are very lightweight and have fixed plugs which some users will appreciate. Certainly, because the leads are so light, you will need to remember your instrument is actually plugged in.
The cables themselves are actually very thin and give the first impression that they may be vulnerable if not taken extreme care with — an obvious problem in a live performance situation. But with the fixed plugs so well protected and the lead itself so flexible, it does not appear to be an issue.
If you are in any doubt that a cable can make a difference to the sound of your instrument, then this product may be the reason you believe it. They have been created to produce great sounds, without unwanted noise, and do just that.
Possibly the most significant difference you may notice is in the top end. This cable seems to accentuate the highs and doesn’t dull them as can sometimes happen with cheap cabling. They are also very active when used with other pedals without allowing some of those irritating background noises.
Sitting comfortably as a mid-range price product they constitute to be an excellent buy. They come in 10-foot lengths with brass jack plugs.
10 Donner Guitar Cable 10 Ft
With this cable, Donner has produced a very cost effective instrument lead. It has many of the standard requirements to reduce unwanted noise and comes with a copper conductor.
It has a braided, woven jacket that is both quite attractive but at the same time rugged and made with performances in mind. It’s therefore built to last. They will take some punishment, though not having a fixed molded jack plug might cause problems if things get a little too wild.
It comes in 10 feet lengths with one straight and one right angle jack plug. The plugs themselves are metal with gold plated contact points.
The price is incredibly low, and this cable is what you might refer to as a premium product. Having said that, it is very well made and has no problem in cutting out unwanted noise.
It is a good weight, and the jack plugs are able to be disassembled giving you access in case of repair problems.
It functions well with either guitar or bass guitar.
At this price, these cables are of great value. They are not top of the range, they do not claim to be, but neither is the cost. They are functional cables that do a good job and are hard wearing and likely to give you good use.
Certainly worth considering as a budget option.
Your Instrument Cable Is Important, So What To Buy?
So, you’ve spent a lot of cash on your guitar, bought a great amp and some stunning effects pedals. Can the sound really be ruined by a bad cable anywhere in the chain?
Ruined might be a bit harsh, but a bad cable can affect. We have reviewed ten cables to help you decide what is the best guitar cable for you.
We know that some cables transfer the sound in a clearer, more definitive way than others, These are the cables that contain quality materials that are constructed with care and with the backup of a lot of technical knowledge and understanding. Just choosing a cable with a low-capacitance is not the answer.
So What Exactly Should We Be Looking For?
As always, our first question is, what are you going to use it for? This answer will come in one of only three ways. On stage, In a studio, rehearsal room, or at home or all four.
The requirements for the environments may differ somewhat. If it’s a stage cable, it will have to be tough and rugged as well as producing a great sound. It is likely to take a bit of punishment from time to time as you step on it, pull it, push it, even jump on it.
In a studio, rehearsal room or at home this is not so important, but the quality of the sound is especially of importance when we consider the unwanted hums and buzzes we are all familiar with.
Assessing The Options…
We have tried to review a variety of products, each with their own strengths, and then given an appraisal of each. They are all excellent cables but vary in quality and price, and therefore somewhat in performance. There are straight leads, and curly leads, braided and rubber, some with fixed molded jack plugs others that can be taken apart.
Two things come to our mind when picking your next lead. If it’s for stage use, as we expect most of them will be, make sure its battle-hardened and will last the pace, and the other might be a bit obvious, and we apologize in advance, but make sure the cable plugs fit your instrument.
For example, if you play some Fender’s, there might be an issue with a right-angled plug fitting at the guitar end.
If you use effects pedals, then a cable that will not drag the board or any of the pedals around is important, so maybe a lightweight cable is a good option.
All of the products we reviewed are quality cables, and we have no reservation in recommending any of them. You just need to know what is its prime use and choose accordingly.
Our Choice Of The Best Guitar Cable…
We plan to use our cable on stage and in the studio. Therefore we must have excellent noise reduction with no hums or buzzes and a quality transfer of sound with no signal loss across the frequencies.
Because it will be used in a live environment, it’s got to be rugged and sturdy but also lightweight. We do not want to walk across the stage and find our pedalboard has got lonely and followed us, so realistic cable length is also important.
After serious consideration, we have decided that the best cable is the…
There is a real quality with this cable and is not at the very top end of the pricing list.
A great cable that will give you everything you need.