Our Top Pick for 2018: GLS Audio 20 Foot Guitar Instrument Cable
Read our full review.
A guitar cable is a device that a musician needs to carry the music that they are playing to an amp, a pedal, or any other device that will change the sound of your electric guitar. This type of cable is required to connect your electric guitar or bass to an amp, pedals, or other guitar related devices. There are several different kinds of guitar cables, which can be constructed from different material. We have comprised a list of three great guitar cables as well as a budget friendly option that you may prefer.
#1. GLS Audio 20 Foot Guitar Instrument Cable
GLS Audio is a manufacturer that you rely on for top of the line products that will last for years. They make audio cables that are designed from a high quality material, they have a classy look, and a low price point. This braided tweed guitar cable seems to actually make the tones that you are creating have an even crisper sound quality that will not degrade over the years. It is the perfect guitar cable for clean tones that you would hear in jazz music and rock and roll.
The braided tweed exterior is designed to ensure that extra static is not produced from the cable wrapping back on itself, so that means that you will not have to untwist this wire every time you use it. To strengthen the actual cable, GLS audio used three separate strategies to test its endurance and stress relief. These strategies include heat shrinking, rubber tubing, and metal clamping. In addition, a conductive PVC shielding and an additional insulator shield are included in this cable to help decrease the amount of radio frequency interferences that you can hear through the cable.
This guitar cable features a straight tipped jack on one side and an angle tipped jack on the other. It only comes in a 20 foot length, which is perfect for most venues and stage situations, but it may be a bit long for when you are jamming out at home. The cables are made from oxygen free copper, which is designed to give you a clean signal with every use.
The coloring of this guitar cable is brown and gold tweed, which is braided to give the cable additional strength without taking away the flexibility of the cable. It also gives this guitar cable a classic style that will be noticed on stages across the globe. It can also be purchased in black and red if you prefer those color options.
When it comes to reviews, this GLS tweed guitar cable is a true gold pick. Consumers and critics alike love this cable; in fact, on Amazon a whopping 97 percent of the users who reviewed this cable gave it a positive review of at least four stars. 89 percent of the reviewers actually rated it with five stars. Here is an example of one of those stellar five star testimonials: “I was overwhelmed with so many choices available and some of the prices and claims by the different manufacturers make a straightforward pick even more difficult. After reading some of the comments on GLS audio, I decided to purchase one of their 20′ guitar cables and I was shocked at the quality of the audio. The result was a tremendous increase in detail and tone, and the level of craftsmanship is impressive to say the least.”
#2. Red Dragon Guitar Cable
Amboz Cables is a leading manufacturer when it comes to producing guitar cables that offer you a full spectrum of audio options. The Red Dragon is a guitar cable that offers the same level of quality to amateurs and professionals alike. This cable comes in a length of ten feet, which is the perfect size for any small room or venue. This cable gives you the ability to produce a full spectrum of sounds that are crystal clear at any frequency.
This cable features two straight connectors that were hand soldered to perfection. The gold connectors are perfect for creating a corrosion resistant surface that will last for years to come. In addition to having quality connectors, this cable also has a high level of connectivity. It uses an oxygen free copper core, which is a great way to produce a cleaner sound. The copper wiring is insulated with a flexible polyethylene insulation as well to preserve the quality of the signal going through the cable.
Insofar as shielding, the Red Dragon has two different types of shielding that are present in the cable. A conductive PVC shield to protect against electrostatic interference and decrease the obnoxious crackling heard whenever the wire is touched. It also comes with a copper serve shield to prevent radio and cell phone interference. The red dragon is a high quality guitar cable, and to ensure that every cable maintains the quality levels that you deserve, they go through a rigorous testing phase. In addition, there is an internal metal clamping system that gives the cable extra strain relief.
This guitar cable is designed to give you not only a quality device that you can use for years, it is complete with a design that will be noticed when you use it on stage. The black and red design is braided in such a way that it almost looks like the skin and the scales of a dragon. Since the Red Dragon was designed to be a durable option that guitarists love, the manufacturer has decided to include a three year limited warranty with the purchase of the cable. If you dislike the product for any reason in the first 60 days, you can return the cable for a full refund.
When it comes to reviews, the Red Dragon has a plethora of positive testimonials on Amazon. 97 percent of all of the reviews gave this guitar cable a four star rating or better; in fact, 88 percent of them deemed this device worthy of a five star rating. Here is one of those five star reviews: “This braided cable is one of the nicest I’ve ever used that was under $50. The sound is crisp and not distorted with no buzz or ground hum, even jumping on the cable did not produce any undesired sound bleed. The ends are gold plated for increased connectivity and the ends are well shielded with a quality heat shield tubing covering the wire connections.”
#3. Fender California Series Instrument Cable
Fender is a well known company when it comes to the world of music, especially when you are talking about guitars and devices that amplify and make your guitar sound better. If you are looking for a brand name that you know and love to manufacture a flashy guitar wire that will stand out and be noticed at your gigs, then our bronze pick may be the perfect guitar cable for you. Fender’s California Series is a great line of guitar cables that are often used to connect an electric guitar to an amplifier. The signal produced by this cable sounds amazing on an amp, but it may be a bit unstable to hear clean clear audio through a PA system.
The sound that is produced through an amp is perfect to complement rock music, but it also can provide you with warmer tones that sound a bit more like an acoustic guitar, which is an effect that some musicians may want in their music. This guitar cable has two straight connectors that are designed to last for hundreds of guitar sessions. The core of the wire is comprised of oxygen free pure copper that is insulated with a generous ground shielding that is designed to produce superior sound that has an excellent frequency balance. The exterior of this cable is a plastic material that is smooth to the touch, but it does tend to stick to itself, which may prevent you from walking across the stage whenever you desire.
This Fender guitar cable is offered in three different size options, which are ten feet, 15 feet, and 20 feet. This allows you to decide how far you plan on moving during your guitar sessions. It is also available in three different color options that are all unique and California themed. It can be purchased in surf green, Lake Placid blue, and candy apple red, which means that you can purchase different colors at different lengths to easily be able to grab the right cable during a gig. In addition, a lifetime guarantee is also included when you purchase this guitar cable.
When it comes to the reviews of Fender’s California Series guitar cables, 90 percent of all of the customers who purchased this cable gave it a positive rating of at least four stars on Amazon. Here is an example of one of the amazing five star testimonials given about this product: “Yes! I love this cord; it was exactly what I was looking for! It fits my Fender and amp perfectly, the sound quality is fantastic. Bonus…it’s my favorite color! It’s always nice to have extra cables handy!”
#4. Hosa Cable GTR205R Guitar Inst Cable
Many beginning musicians may have a hard time supporting themselves with their music, but just because you are low on cash does not mean that you cannot purchase a quality guitar cable to give you enhanced sounds that are free from distortion. Our ballin’ on a budget pick, which is the Hosa guitar cable, is the perfect solution for those who need a new guitar cable at a lower price point. Hosa is a leading supplier of analog and digital connectivity in musical instruments and other devices, so it is no surprise that they are able to offer a quality guitar cable that is easily affordable.
This guitar cable comes with a interior oxygen free copper core that is designed to give you a clean, clear signal. It also has a braided shield that is designed to enhance the clarity of the signal and reduce the amount of electrostatic interference and radio frequency interference that you hear. The connectors on this Hosa guitar cable are designed so that one end has a straight connector, and the other end has a right angle connector. You can purchase this guitar cable in lengths of five feet, ten feet, 15 feet, 20 feet, and 25 feet, which means you can find a size that is perfect for a large venue as well as one that is perfect for practicing in your garage. Hosa includes a limited lifetime warranty with the purchase of this guitar cable.
When it comes to the reviews of this cable, you can find several hundred on Amazon. 84 percent of these reviews gave this device a four star rating or better, which means that it is a great guitar cable if you are looking for a no frills device that can give you remarkable sounds. Here is an example of one of the five star testimonials seen on Amazon: “I’m pretty picky, well…very picky when it comes to my tone. This cable and all Hosa cables I have tried do exactly what they should do. No interference or feedback, no falling apart or failing…they just work.”
Conductor Material and Design
Conductors in a guitar cable are made from copper. The purer the copper wiring is the cleaner the signal you are sending across the cable will be. You will also need to decide whether you want a solid conductor or a stranded conductor. Solid conductors are a bit lower in cost, but stranded conductors are more flexible, which means that they will have a longer lifespan.
Length of the Cable
The shorter your guitar cable is, the more of a clean sound you can produce. Having a longer cable allows the wire to become more unbalanced, which means that you will be able to hear more electrostatic interference through the cable. Make sure to choose a wire that is less than 25 feet long.
Quality of the Connector
Connectors can be made of nickel, gold, or silver. Typically, one is not any better than the other, but if you can get gold connectors, they tend to be less corrosive and last longer.
Shielding can refer to two different parts of a guitar cable. The first protects it against radio frequency interferences and magnetic fields that may be present. There are three types of shielding that can be used to block these types of annoyances, which are:
• Braided shielding, which is the best solution for electromagnetic interferences as well as radio frequency interferences.
• Serve shielding is a bit less costly than braided shielding, but it still offers a great level of protection against interferences.
• Foil shielding is the most cost efficient option, but it offers a lot less protection from these types of interferences.
The other type of shielding that you may wish to consider is electrostatic shielding. As previously stated, braided shielding can be a good solution to the static you hear when you move your guitar cable. Two different materials can be used for this shield, which are conductive PVC and Dacron, which is a noise reducing tape. Since conductive PVC is more conductive and more flexible, it has been increasing in popularity in recent years.
The copper conductor that is present in any guitar cable must be insulated as a layer of protection. It also will help preserve the quality of the signal you are transferring through the cable. This insulation can either be thermoset material, which includes materials like rubber, or thermoplastic material, which includes polyethylene. Both work well, but thermoplastic material, which is the stronger insulation type, is now becoming the cheaper option as well.
Conclusion (Wrapping it up)
Guitar cables are not all made equally. Some have better insulation, and some may have a specific type of shielding that you want to have in your guitar cable. Take a look at our pre-purchase considerations to help you decide what features are important to you. Finding a good guitar wire can make a difference in the sound of your guitar, especially when it comes to distortions and interferences. Hopefully this guide will lead you down the right path and help you find a guitar cable that truly makes your guitar riffs sound amazing.