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Do Guitar Cables Matter?

bscepter

Member
Messages
685
I was reading the Siren speaker cable thread, and was amazed at the discussion of whether or not cable "mojo" is real or imagined.

At the moment, I'm using relatively cheap braided cable from one of the big-box stores. I don't think I've paid more than $1.50/foot for any of my guitar cables.

And now I see that a 20' Evidence guitar cable costs $125.00!

Now, I know that cabling makes a difference in terms of hum, etc., but what about tone?

And who makes the best kind?

What do you guys think?
 
Messages
6,116
bscepter said:
I was reading the Siren speaker cable thread, and was amazed at the discussion of whether or not cable "mojo" is real or imagined.

At the moment, I'm using relatively cheap braided cable from one of the big-box stores. I don't think I've paid more than $1.50/foot for any of my guitar cables.

And now I see that a 20' Evidence guitar cable costs $125.00!

Now, I know that cabling makes a difference in terms of hum, etc., but what about tone?

And who makes the best kind?

What do you guys think?






I've been a long time ProCo cable user, they use Belden wire (USA),
and switchcraft cable ends (USA).
Works for me. Its funny how Jimi Hendrix used those cheap Japanese coiled cables, whenever I got one as a kid it lasted minutes, but it worked.
Jimi Hendrix did sound good using them though.
Some company is making quality ones now, I'll have to ask Marc Ford,
he uses one with his lap steel guitars, the inductance adds flavor to the tone.

Best thing for everyone here, just try them all and find what you like.
Same goes for beer, cars, chicks and guitars!
 

Mike

Member
Messages
2,539
Depends on what you're after, but whatever tone/response you're looking for, there's a cable that'll get you there.

Mike
 

toddyjoe

Member
Messages
50
Steve Kimock apparently uses some solid-core copper wire cables. Given his perceived improvement in tone with that setup, I always wanted to give that a try. Anybody make something like that, maybe Fuchs?
 

Rich

Member
Messages
893
Yes. Different cables do sound, well, different.

But "better" is a subjective call depending on your gear and what you want to hear. You may in fact prefer a "lesser" cable over the high-enders for your purpose at hand. Ditto on the value part-- if it accomplishes what you want, then its worth the money to you.

If you have a chance, best bet is to try several of them. Gee, that sounds like the general appproach to gear (and other stuff maybe);)
 

ChrisP

Member
Messages
2,333
bscepter said:
I was reading the Siren speaker cable thread, and was amazed at the discussion of whether or not cable "mojo" is real or imagined.

At the moment, I'm using relatively cheap braided cable from one of the big-box stores. I don't think I've paid more than $1.50/foot for any of my guitar cables.

And now I see that a 20' Evidence guitar cable costs $125.00!

Now, I know that cabling makes a difference in terms of hum, etc., but what about tone?

And who makes the best kind?

What do you guys think?
just make sure you have the correct power cord :Spank
 

mbratch

Member
Messages
2,381
Roccaforte Amps said:
I've been a long time ProCo cable user, they use Belden wire (USA),
and switchcraft cable ends (USA).
Works for me. Its funny how Jimi Hendrix used those cheap Japanese coiled cables, whenever I got one as a kid it lasted minutes, but it worked.
Jimi Hendrix did sound good using them though.
Some company is making quality ones now, I'll have to ask Marc Ford,
he uses one with his lap steel guitars, the inductance adds flavor to the tone.

Best thing for everyone here, just try them all and find what you like.
Same goes for beer, cars, chicks and guitars!
+1 on the switchcraft ends. I've had issues with various manufacturer's 1/4 jacks being just a wee bit sloppy in the plug-in. Including OEM cables from Fender, etc. Enough to make them pop a little if I wasn't careful. The Switchcraft seem to fit great.

Outside of that, seems that any decently designed instrument cable is fine. Choose a length that's appropriate. You will lose a little signal the longer the cable is. I really like the Whirlwind cables. Economical in price, yet good quality. And they use the Switchcraft ends. :)
 

Swarty

Member
Messages
1,130
I was a bit skeptical when I'd heard that one cable could sound markedly better than another... I used a Monster cable and thought all was fine. A year or so ago I bought 2 20' Klotz cables from a TDPRI member and started using them... no big deal except one night whilst doing my Hendrix schtik with my upside down strat I was annoyed by the big Neutrik plug on the Klotz bumping my forearm...so I grabbed the Monster cable because it had a right angle bend on one end.... Keep in mind that the Monster cable was 5' shorter than the Klotz... The effect of using the Monster was like someone throwing a heavy blanket over the amp. I could not believe it... I went back and forth several times to confirm what I was hearing... I'm a believer
 

Scott Peterson

TGP Co-Founder and Administrator
Staff member
Messages
37,598
I feel cables make a huge difference; and it comes down to quality *proven* materials (I am not into the voodoo stuff and $100+ cables; and yes I have tried more than a few) and workmanship.

I personally buy all my cables from Butch at Bayou Cables - Neutrik ends, Canare cable - and he does a fantastic job putting them together.

His speaker cables are high quality and his costs are far less than the Big Box store asks for Monster Cable (been there, done that too).
 

aleclee

TGP Tech Wrangler
Staff member
Messages
13,182
Some prefer crystal clear, others prefer the cheapo radio shack coils. Different strokes for different folks.

Like Doug, I'm a longtime ProCo user. The cable in my gig bag is one that I bought in 1981. Sounds good to me (not too bright, not too dark) and has lasted almost two decades.
 

el34power

Member
Messages
1,497
Scott Peterson said:
I feel cables make a huge difference; and it comes down to quality *proven* materials (I am not into the voodoo stuff and $100+ cables; and yes I have tried more than a few) and workmanship.

I personally buy all my cables from Butch at Bayou Cables - Neutrik ends, Canare cable - and he does a fantastic job putting them together.

His speaker cables are high quality and his costs are far less than the Big Box store asks for Monster Cable (been there, done that too).
+1 on the Canare GS-6 cable and neutrik connectors...FWIW $125.00us for a guitar cable is ridiculous
 

LaXu

Member
Messages
6,982
I can't hear any difference between two quality cables. However, there are differences in things like handling noise, durability, how easily it gets twisted around itself and so on. I can't see myself buying something as expensive as the Evidence cables.

I like Neutrik and Switchcraft plugs. They're easy to fix if needed and durable. Molded plugs are the worst.
 

drbob1

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
28,098
Hey, Evidence is cheap. There's stuff out there that goes for $400 for a 20' cable! That said, there's no "best" cable, you've gotta try it and see what you like/can live with. I've been happy with Klotz, Canare and some other high end stuff to amp or to effects, then George L from Effects to amp.
 

Strung Up

Member
Messages
1,595
This may be more a +1 to the post on the speaker cable thread about the amp wiring, but since this is the appropriate side of the signal chain, I'll throw this one out here:

If someone isn't doing it already, evidently there's a market for aftermarket rewiring of effect pedals with the magic guage, material, polarity and directionality wire.

Wait a minute, what about the IC's? Doh!
 

Beer

Member
Messages
110
bscepter said:
I was reading the Siren speaker cable thread, and was amazed at the discussion of whether or not cable "mojo" is real or imagined.

At the moment, I'm using relatively cheap braided cable from one of the big-box stores. I don't think I've paid more than $1.50/foot for any of my guitar cables.

And now I see that a 20' Evidence guitar cable costs $125.00!

Now, I know that cabling makes a difference in terms of hum, etc., but what about tone?

And who makes the best kind?

What do you guys think?
My only experience that tells me there IS a difference in tone has been with cables that degrade over time and seem to become "dull", which I can only assume is the cable attenunating frequencies. Logically, if a cable can sound bad, there must be cables that sound good or keep their good sounding properties longer.
 

slowburn

Member
Messages
1,967
if you can find a power cord from an old 50s or 60s vaccum, that does wonder for your sound.
 
D

dinrodef

OMG YES cables matter!

Especially when you've got lots of guitars and plug straight into the amp as much as possible.. Some are scooped, some are bright, some have thicker bass response etc... (and that's just the good cables)

The main problem with cheap cables is noise... but the more expensive pro cables sound very different from each other

For example, I'll use a bass heavy or dark sounding cable for metal... and then switch to a brighter jazz cable for my strat

Length matters too... you can tame a bright amp by using a longer cable. Or you can brighten a darker amp with a short cable

If you can't hear the difference.. cool. But don't ever listen to that crap about "my cheap cable is just as good as your expensive cable" nonsense
 

nondeplume

Puppet For Prophet
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,016
Roccaforte Amps said:
......
Some company is making quality ones now, I'll have to ask Marc Ford,
he uses one with his lap steel guitars, the inductance adds flavor to the tone.

....
When you find out the company, pls post the info...I use the Radio Shack cheepies and yeah..they just fail sitting there, but I do like the 'sound' of them in certain spots, specially when one is going bad, lol. Thanks.
 




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