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Good Guitar Cables?

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(@sgt-pepper)
Eminent Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 13
Topic starter  

Just wanting some input on the qualities of guitar cables.

Maybe I don't fully understand how the cables works, but I don't see how a $10 cable can be worse than maybe an $80 top of the line cable. Maybe completely wrong, but when guitar cables are relatively short, do the cheapo cables have that much more signal degredation than the expensive cables?


   
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(@piano-man)
Eminent Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 34
 

I have one of the monster cables, and a standard cable. they both sound the same, and the monster is thinker, and harder to manage. It isnt as pliable as a standard cable.

needless to say the monster cable doesnt get any use.


   
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(@david_mohn)
Trusted Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 79
 

I've never really noticed much of a difference in sound under 10 feet. The longer you get though, the higher quality cable you want. And most of the time, the more expensive cables hold up better. I honestly prefer to make my own cables. I can get a very good quality cable for roughly
$.35 to $.50 a foot, and you can get the 1/4" connectors for $1-$3 if you look. I just made a very nice 25 footer for about $18. I would have spent at least $30 on a cable of comprable quality and length.


   
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(@undercat)
Prominent Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 959
 

There is a consensus here that Monster cables aren't worth the scratch.

The gold plating is quick to wear off, and really only relevant on a hi-fi system that is not frequently unplugged, and most braided sheilding is relatively similar.

I shoot for the Ernie Ball ones myself. They seem to hold up well, and their protectors are easy to screw off in case of maintenance issues. Price wasn't too bad either, at least on mine.

Do something you love and you'll never work a day in your life...


   
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(@greybeard)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5840
 

A couple of considerations, which have nothing to do with the actual guitar sound:

1. As some cables get use, the insulation and screening get worn and starts to generate noise whenever the cable is moved.

2. Unscreened (or poorly screened) cable can act as a radio antenna - not good if, in the middle of "Love Me Tender", your cable picks up a police call to a domestic disturbance. :?

I started with nothing - and I've still got most of it left.
Did you know that the word "gullible" is not in any dictionary?
Greybeard's Pages
My Articles & Reviews on GN


   
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(@english-one)
Estimable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 153
 

I've only really started to realise the importance of decent cables recently.

-I turned up to a gig with 3 cables, 2 din't work when we got there, i was luck I had the third.

-Guitarist in my band has been playing through a load of effects, all hooked up with really cheap cables. The background noise was awful, and impossible to work with. Decent cables and its fine.

-The number of times I've picked up french radio on my guitar when playing through cheap long cables at home is incredible (I live in england!). Fortunately it's never happened to me at a gig.

So, I feel that decent cables ARE very important! However, There is really no need to spend £80 on a cable unless your a top flight pro gigging every night. However, it is quite neccessary to get at least reasonable ones. I've had good experience with Venom and Viper cables, and I would always buy shielded ones. It'll save you money in the long run. Good cables can last for years, cheap basic cables can last months if your lucky.

Just a few of my thoughts.

Peter


   
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(@diceman)
Reputable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 407
 

I bought a 20' Whirlwind cable 20 years ago that still works fine but 2 years ago I let "Monster" convince me that I needed to upgrade . So I bought their 19' cable for $50 (!) and started using it as my lead . One night during a gig my amp cut out . I frantically ran through the list of possible culprits : battery in my active guitar , amp fuse etc . I absolutely refused to consider that it was my brand new $50 guitar cable but eventually after all else was checked that is what it turned out to be .
I couldn't believe it . So , I plugged in the old Whirlwind and finished the gig without further problems . When I returned the cable ( "lifetime guarantee" ) , Guitar Center replaced it with another of the same model . To make a long story short , it too went bad on me within 2 months time . To look at it , the cable was perfect . It wasn't cut or outwardly damaged . Now I had to make another trip to Guitar Center (20 miles - one way ) to exchange this extremely unreliable cable . Needless to say , I didn't want any more to do with Monster cables , so after they refused to give me my money back and I refused to accept another of the same cables in exchange , I convinced them to give me a lesser priced Planet Waves cable instead . I have had no problems since . I am sorry to be so long-winded . I needed to vent a little . No more Monster cables for me !!!

If I claim to be a wise man , it surely means that I don't know .


   
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(@wishus)
Trusted Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 53
 

Planet Waves is just rebranded Hosa, which is some of the worst cable I've ever owned. Remember, Hosa will Hose You.

Peavey cable seems to be OK. I used to like Horizon cable, but I haven't seen them in a while. Anything made with mogami or canare cable is great stuff. Whirlwind is good too. Monster is overrated.

Third Take a blog about home recording


   
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(@paul-donnelly)
Noble Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 1066
 

I only use cables with the plugs soldered on. Those are the ones that have a metal barrel that you can unscrew (although there's sometimes thin plastic over it for looks). Never the molded plastic kind, like Monster, because I can't fix those when the jack goes out.


   
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(@greybeard)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5840
 

I've made my own.

I bought some good quality shielded cable and a couple of jack plugs - one of which is angled (90°) because the socket is on the face of the guitar. It took a few minutes to solder the plugs on, a few more to remove them again, so that I could put the sleeves over the cable, then another few minutes to resolder the plugs in place, put the sleeves over the connections and screw the covers on.

I started with nothing - and I've still got most of it left.
Did you know that the word "gullible" is not in any dictionary?
Greybeard's Pages
My Articles & Reviews on GN


   
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(@waltaja)
Estimable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 170
 

kind of like Nigel Tuflin's wireles system on This is Spinal Tap. he starts playing Sex Farm and gets all those military airwaves coming through his amps and stuff haha good times
A couple of considerations, which have nothing to do with the actual guitar sound:

1. As some cables get use, the insulation and screening get worn and starts to generate noise whenever the cable is moved.

2. Unscreened (or poorly screened) cable can act as a radio antenna - not good if, in the middle of "Love Me Tender", your cable picks up a police call to a domestic disturbance. :?

"I got a woman, stay drunk all the time!"

-Led Zeppelin-


   
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(@tim_madsen)
Prominent Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 724
 

I had a 20 ft. Lemm cable that lasted about 2 months. I replaced it with a 21 ft. Monster that I paid about $25 for. Its held up 6 months now, I'm pleased with it so far.

Tim Madsen
Nobody cares how much you know,
until they know how much you care.

"What you keep to yourself you lose, what you give away you keep forever." -Axel Munthe


   
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(@Anonymous)
New Member
Joined: 1 second ago
Posts: 0
 

i use the monster cables myself and have never had any problems with it. not only that but if anything EVER happens to this one i get another one for free. this cable only costed me about $20.


   
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(@demoetc)
Noble Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 2167
 

I used to always make my own. I guess I had a bunch of shielded cable laying around from making my own slotcar 'pickup braids' so I used that. Slotcars get you started soldering so it was cool.

Then in the 80s I got a set of George L type solderless cables, and they never really failed since. The only thing that ever happened was somebody onstage accidentally tripped on one of the cables and tore the cable right out of the plug, but it was a simple matter to just unscrew the setcrew, cut a new clean end, push the plug back on and screw the thing in.

Simple, easy, reliable.

The only thing is, I don't remember it as being George L brand. Wasn't there another, competing brand back then?


   
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(@wishus)
Trusted Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 53
 

Planet Waves is just rebranded Hosa, which is some of the worst cable I've ever owned. Remember, Hosa will Hose You.

Sorry, I think it's actually Live Wire that I was thinking about. I don't know about Planet Waves. If you look at the printing on the cable it will tell you if it's Hosa.

Third Take a blog about home recording


   
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