As a guitarist, it is super important to have a quality cable that is built to last. Good guitar cables don’t create any unnecessary noise and carry an unfiltered audio signal. No matter how high-grade your amps, effects boxes, and guitar are, having a bad guitar cable can wreck your sound quality. In this article, I have compiled a list of the best guitar cables you can easily rely on for all your live shows, jam sessions, and practice sessions! Let’s take a look!
1. Mogami Gold Instrument Cable (Best overall)
- Low noise: Mogami Gold Instrument Cable has a PVC layer infused with carbon for anti-static protection that ensures minimal noise and eliminates all hums, resulting in cleaner recordings and performances.
- High-impedance cable: As a guitarist, you need a cable that can carry your sound while maintaining signal integrity and minimizing signal loss, especially over longer cable runs. Mogami Gold cables ensure exactly that!
- Authentic sound: The Mogami Gold will not add any coloration to the tone of your instrument, keeping your sound pure and transparent.
- Skinny built: The slim-profile cable is designed for light gauge applications, providing a lightweight and easy-to-handle option for musical setups.
What needs improvement
- Price: The Mogami Gold cable of 10 feet in length costs around $74, which makes these cables less affordable for many guitarists. They are definitely a premium option.
- Flexibility: You may find that the cable’s construction, with multiple layers and shielding, makes it slightly less flexible compared to simpler cables.
This cable is built to last with an OFC (Oxygen Free Copper) core, UHD (Ultra High Density) spiral shield, and conductive polymer sub-shield. In addition, it comes with a lifetime warranty!
This guitar cable is a TS (Tip-Sleeve) cable constructed in an angled shape, meaning the connector is 90 degrees to the cable. That makes your workflow all the more easy as you can push the connector in the jack using just your thumb.
The Mogami Gold Instrument Cable series comes in a few different lengths, including 2, 3, 6, 10, 18, and 25 feet. So, no matter what your on-stage needs are, this cable has you covered. There is also a 10-inch patch cable available for connecting your effects pedals.
The price is what shoos away most buyers, as this cable is on the high end. The smallest length, 2 feet, costs $33, while the 10-foot cable costs $73. Honestly, you can find good quality cables at a more affordable price, and casual and budget-conscious guitarists need not spend that much on a guitar cable.
The Mogami Gold cable is highly dependable, supported by hundreds of positive reviews and its “No Excuses” lifetime warranty. I found that this cable produces very little noise, works very well, and is made of heavy-duty materials. Mogami Gold cables are definitely a good investment that I recommend to long-term guitarists who will use them regularly.
2. Ernie Ball Braided Cable (Best braided cable)
- No crackling noise or buzz: The cable is perfect for session guitarists, producers, and studios, as it doesn’t produce any extra noise that bleeds into your recordings or performances.
- Dual conductors: The cables’ dual conductors ensure fuller sound and reproduce all frequency ranges well. Overall, the sound is also clear and unfiltered.
- Flexibility: The braided construction contributes to increased flexibility, allowing for easy handling and maneuvering, particularly in live settings.
- Colors: It’s common for band members and musicians to borrow cables and get confused about which cable is whose. With its multi-colors, you can pick your favorite color and easily identify your cable. You can also match the cable color with your artist logo/branding or your guitar for better aesthetics.
What needs improvement
- Price: $30 is a lot of money to spend on cable. Hobby musicians and budget-sensitive guitars may not find the price very attractive!
- Unclear warranty terms: The cable comes with a limited lifetime warranty, which is a vague term, and the warranty policies are unclear on the website even though the cable fetches a pretty penny. So, there could be cables with better value propositions. You can read its terms here.
The cable is made of oxygen-free copper and coated with gold. Its high-quality materials, multiple shielding, and overall build make it highly durable. Additionally, the braided exterior coating makes it tangle-free and prevents kinks in the wiring. This means that setup and tear-down at gigs will be easier, and your cable will last longer!
You can either choose between a straight/angle cable or a straight/straight. In the straight/angle Ernie Ball Braided cable, one end is straight, and the other is right-angled. In the straight/straight, both ends are straight. Both sides have TS (Tip-Sleeve) connections, and its right-angle design allows the cable to be securely looped around, preventing disconnections on stage.
While it doesn’t come in as many different lengths as the Mogami Gold, You can get the cable in lengths of 10, 18, and 25 feet.
As mentioned above, Ernie Ball Braided cables start from $22, which is relatively high-end. I am not saying that it doesn’t provide value for money, as the cable is really good in quality and has great reviews!
Ernie Ball has many happy customers! And the Ernie Ball Braided Cable is one of the best guitar cables on the market. Its tangle-resistant design, fabric-covered cable, transparent sound, and full-range signal transfer make it a great choice for most guitarists.
3. GLS Audio Instrument Cable (Best fiber optic cable)
- Exceptional noise reduction: GLS cable is a fiber optic cable, which means that it is immune to electromagnetic interference. Fiber optic cables ensure a clean and interference-free signal transmission, making them ideal for environments with high electronic interference.
- Longer transmission distance: A fiber optic guitar cable is known for transmitting high-fidelity signals, maintaining the audio signal’s integrity over longer distances without degradation.
- Low latency: The GLS Audio Instrument cable can transfer the audio signal at high speed, which results in a lower latency.
- No ground loop issues: Fiber optic cables do not conduct electricity. They eliminate the risk of ground loop issues, ensuring a cleaner audio signal.
What needs improvement
- Limited length options: This GLS cable is available at a maximum of 20 feet, which could be limiting for some purposes.
- Style preference: The cable has a braided tweed design, colored brown/yellow. I personally like this color, but color-conscious or brand-conscious guitarists may have different preferences.
The tweed cloth on the table gives it a thick texture and makes it quite sturdy. You can depend on this cable for your tours and live shows. Its all-metal-interior construction also adds to its durability.
Additionally, this GLS cable is fiber optic, making it less prone to wear and tear and offering enhanced durability over time. It makes it resistant to corrosion and can withstand bending and twisting without affecting performance.
The GLS instrument cable comes in either a straight/angle or a straight/straight design, depending on what works best for you. It has a 1/4-inch TS connector, so you can ensure tight and secure connections during your performances and jam/studio sessions.
The cable comes in lengths of 6, 10, 15, and 20 feet. Unfortunately, the cable does not have patch cable lengths less than 6 feet or longer cables over 20 feet.
This guitar cable is one of the best deals in terms of cost, coming out to $16 on the low end and up to $25 for longer lengths. Considering the cable is fiber optic, braided, and sounds excellent, this is a steal!
I highly recommend this cable because it provides a satisfying tactile experience and boasts noticeably superior quality in a decent price range. The all-metal connectors and tough tweed wrapping make them super durable. What blew me away is how insanely quiet these cables are!
Overall, the braided design and optic-fiber construction are the main features that make it stand out!
4. Fender Pro Series (Best budget guitar cable)
- Low noise: The cable has 95% oxygen-free spiral shielding and a PVC jacket of eight millimeters, resulting in lower interference and lesser noise capture.
- Corrosion resistant: Fender Pro Series cables are nickel-plated, which makes them resistant to corrosion, providing a protective layer that helps prevent rusting or tarnishing. That also enhances conductivity, ensuring a reliable and stable signal transmission with minimal signal loss.
- Great customization: You can find the cable in all styles of connectors (straight/angled), lengths, and price ranges. So, whatever your requirement is, you can find the cable of your preference.
What needs improvement
- Heavy cable: The cable is bulky, which can cause many problems. One such example of the problem is that its weight can cause the plug at the straight end to separate from the cord. Next, it could also get difficult to wrap the cable.
This Fender cable comes with a lifetime warranty. With its copper conductors, PVC insulation, and nickel-plated connectors, the cable is quite durable. However, there have been a few reviews online about how it stopped working after using it a few times.
This Fender guitar cable is available in straight/straight, straight/angled, and angled/angled connector types. The straight connectors offer convenience and flexibility, while the angled connectors give you a more solid connection.
This is an extremely customizable cable in terms of length. You can find it in 6-inch or 1-foot patch cables, as well as 3, 5, 10, 15, 18.6, and 25 feet. It’s also available as a 30-foot coiled cable.
In terms of pricing, its 1-foot (shortest available) cable costs around $12 and ranges up to $37 for its 25-foot cable. This price range is quite affordable compared to other high-end cables.
Finding a brand name and quality like Fender at this price range is a great bargain and value offer. If you are tight on budget and are looking for a high-quality guitar cable, I definitely suggest going with this cable!
5. Monster Prolink Rock Guitar Cable (Premium guitar cable)
- High-quality sound: This cable’s multi-gauge network and microfiber dielectric will preserve the natural characteristics, harmonics, transients, and frequencies produced by your instrument, giving you a crystal clear sound.
- Minimises noise: Crafted with a dense braided shield to reduce interference and hum, a carbon-infused polymer that minimizes handling and vibration noise, and a 95% copper braided shield ensures noise-free sound.
- Tough guitar cable: Monster guitar cables are built to last, made of extremely strong fibers that should last you years if you properly maintain the cable.
What needs improvement
- Price: The price is definitely not competitive, but you are paying for the premium quality of the cable.
The densely braided shield with 95% copper infusion and carbon-infused polymer is a great combination. Additionally, a Duraflex protective jacket adds an extra layer of toughness, making the cable well-suited for various environments and extensive use.
Lastly, Monster backs this cable with its confident lifetime warranty and replacement guarantee.
You can purchase this cable in straight/straight, straight/angle, and even angle/angle connections. It also has high-quality gold connections that will snuggly fit in your instrument or amp.
The cable is available in 3, 6, 12, and 21 feet in length. The longer lengths make it highly suitable for gigging artists and sound engineers. You can also buy smaller, 8-inch patch cables.
Monster has priced its 3-foot cable for $35, while its 21-foot cable is $65, which, as discussed in the cons, is pretty high. This is definitely one of the best-angled guitar cables, but its value-to-price ratio is arguably less than Ernie Ball and Fender. That said, Monster provides lifetime warranties and exchange guarantees.
This premium guitar cable is superior because of its high data transfer speed (6 GB/s), high-grade build, and uncompromised sound quality. If you have the budget for a Monster cable, I highly suggest purchasing one. It is not uncommon for guitarists to use a single monster cable for a decade!
6. Fender Pro Series Tweed Coiled Cable (Best coiled guitar cable)
- Aesthetic appeal: The coiled design, especially in tweed, offers a vintage and stylish look, appealing to many musicians.
- Space efficiency: Coiled cables like the Fender Pro Series Tweed coiled cable are space-efficient and can stretch when needed, providing flexibility in various performance setups.
- Reduced tangling: The coiled design minimizes tangling, making it easier to manage and handle during performances.
What needs improvement
- Signal quality: I have read studies that suggest that coiled designs are not as efficient in carrying higher frequencies, which can impact the sound quality significantly.
- Storage difficulty: This Fender Guitar cable can be more challenging to store neatly due to its inherent coiled nature when not in use.
The Fender Pro Series Tweed Coiled Cable is built to last. It is wrapped up in a custom kink-resistant 8mm tweed jacket, giving it flexibility without sacrificing strength.
The cable boasts a 95% oxygen-free copper conductor and a 95% OFC spiral shield, working together to keep your signal clean and interference-free. The connectors are nickel-plated, adding an extra layer of sturdiness.
Lastly, its 22-gauge conductor ensures a robust and elevated signal, providing you with a high-quality audio experience.
This Fender guitar cable comes with one end having a straight connector and the other having a right-angled connector. It doesn’t make any sound while moving around and provides you with flexibility at one straight end and stability at the other angled end.
The cable is only available in a length of 30 feet.
If you are looking for a solid coiled guitar cable, the Fender Pro Series is your best bet. Priced at $40, the cable offers hand-soldered construction, clear sound, and a low signal-to-noise ratio.
This Fender cable is the best coiled guitar cable in the market, and I highly recommend it to session guitarists, studio professionals, and music producers, as it is ideal for recording high-quality and noise-free guitar, bass, and other instruments.
How I selected the best guitar cables
As a guitarist, I know the importance of investing in solid guitar accessories, including cables. I define a good cable as one that won’t betray me in the middle of a show, can handle wear and tear during touring, produces a clean, latency-free sound, and is noise-free sound during recordings.
Based on that experience and the following parameters, I handpicked these guitar cables. Here are some of the most important factors to consider when choosing a new guitar cable.
Durability and build
Whether you’re a hobbyist or a professional, you want a cable you can depend on without them going bad. A good cable should withstand the rigors of regular use and must have a robust construction.
When it comes to material, copper conductors can account for excellent conductivity, minimizing signal loss and maintaining signal integrity. You should also consider shielding, as these protect against electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio-frequency interference (RFI).
High-quality connectors are made of durable metals like nickel or gold-plated brass, providing reliable connections and resisting corrosion. A durable outer jacket, often made of materials like rubber or woven fabric, adds strength and flexibility while protecting against wear and tear.
Lastly, high-grade insulation materials, such as polyethylene or PVC, protect the internal components from environmental factors and physical stress.
The ideal cable length depends on your setup and playing style. A great guitar cable provides sufficient length for flexibility without unnecessary excess, allowing freedom of movement without sacrificing signal quality.
For live performances, a cable length between 15 and 25 feet is often suitable. In a studio setting, where you have more control over the environment, I recommend using shorter cables in the range of 5 to 15 feet.
Every guitarist will need to consider affordability. The best guitar cables strike a balance between value and cost, providing a good performance within a reasonable price range. For this article, I handpicked premium guitar cables, but you’ll find cables in all price ranges from $10 to $80.
Does cable length matter?
Absolutely, cable length matters and can significantly affect your stage presence and movement during performances. However, it being too long can also result in signal degradation or latency issues.
Is it worth buying expensive guitar cables?
I highly recommend getting a premium guitar cable for professional guitarists with rigorous work and professional dependencies, as it can safeguard your live performances and studio sessions.
How long do guitar cables last?
A well-maintained and good-quality cable can last you between five and fifteen years or even longer!
Do guitar cables affect sound quality?
Guitar cables massively affect your sound quality. As sound is also an electrical signal that is carried through the cable, it’s important to have high-quality conductors and transmitters in the cable that can carry the signal in its purest form while preserving its transients, frequency composition, and harmonics.
Are gold-plated guitar cables better?
Gold-plated guitar cables don’t necessarily improve the sound quality but are corrosion-resistant and prevent oxidation, increasing the connectors’ reliability. They also add an excellent visual appeal to your cable and overall setup.
The importance of investing in a guitar cable is often underestimated. Guitarists buy expensive instruments, amps, effect pedals, and other accessories but slack on cables. My last suggestion in this article would be to have a good budget for your guitar cable, as that will play a bigger role than you might think in your musical journey.
If you’re looking for a good gift for your guitarist friend, check out my article on the best gifts for guitarists here. If you are looking to buy a new electric guitar, head to my best guitars under $500!