The Essential Guide to Finding the Best Guitar Cable + Reviews
Finding the best guitar cable is not an easy task in a world so full of possibilities, but with the help of this guide, we hope that you discover the one model that you need. If you don’t have too much time on your hands make sure to at least read our first guitar cable review, as we have found out this is the product most experts and consumers like. After intense analysis, we discovered that the GLS Audio 20 Foot Guitar Instrument Cable is the one model that suits many needs. The conductor and the insulation shield of this cable are made of oxygen-free copper which ensures good conductivity. The tweed jacket covering the cable will make sure it doesn’t get tangled. Measuring 20 feet, it is a long cable. If you can’t find it anywhere, look for the GLS Audio 10 Foot Guitar Instrument Cable which is just shorter.
Our Top Choice
Because it is so long and flexible, this cable can successfully be used on stage for live performances. It is also durable so you don’t have to worry about breaking it. It comes with an oxygen-free copper core that ensures the best possible conductivity.
Although recommended for other instruments it doesn’t work that well on bass guitar.
Being a long and flexible cable, this one is great for on-stage performances. It is also quite resistant, so you can put it through intense tests on stage or in the studio. It produces almost no noise.
Thanks to the braided tweed jacket it has, this cable won’t tangle and won’t bend awkwardly. The 90-degree jack will help the cable stay put in the guitar or amplifier. The fact that this cable comes with an oxygen-free copper center and insulation means it will sound great.
The cable is a short one and that means you won’t be able to use it while performing on stage.
A durable cable that can be used for many purposes, this one is ideal for in-studio use. It comes with a right-angled jack and a straight one, which means it will seat nicely plugged in an amplifier.
Also To Consider
This is an ideal cable for touring, thanks to how thin and flexible it is, and durable at the same time. It also comes with strong metal plugs that make it sturdy and crash-resistant. The cable has an OFC braided-shield that offers good protection and EMI and RFI rejection.
This is a thin cable that is susceptible to cuts, so make sure you don’t step on it with rough boots.
Hosa is known as a brand capable of delivering quality music accessories, and this cable from them stands up to the standards. Given its quality, this cable can be used for many purposes, including live shows.
10 Best Guitar Cables (Updated Reviews) in 2020
The following guitar cable reviews took into consideration what experts had to say about each model and how consumers enjoyed using each of them. On this list, you can find anything from a simple and affordable guitar cable to the best coiled guitar cable, so make sure to read all the reviews.
- 1. GLS Audio 20 Foot Guitar Instrument Cable
- 2. GLS Audio 10 Foot Guitar Instrument Cable
- 3. Hosa GTR-210 Straight to Straight Guitar Cable
- 4. GLS Audio 20 FT Black Gray Tweed Cloth Jacket Instrument Cable
- 5. M MAKA Premium Guitar Coil Cable 20 Feet
- 6. GLS Audio 15 Foot Guitar Instrument Cable
- 7. New bee Electric Instrument Cable Bass AMP Cord
- 8. Miracle Sound Guitar Patch Cable for Pedalboard Effects
- 9. Cable Matters 2-Pack 1/4 Inch TS to TS Electric Guitar Cable
- 10. Penker Guitar Instrument Cable 10 Foot
- Our Comprehensive Buying Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions:
1. GLS Audio 20 Foot Guitar Instrument Cable
If you are looking for a professional guitar cable that is very flexible so you can enjoy your stage performance, this is the right choice for you. This cable has a tweed jacket that makes it less stiff than other plastic jackets so you don’t have to worry about breaking it so easily.
The cable is shielded with a Conductive PVC and OFC Insulator Shield and it comes with Oxygen-Free Copper for both components. The sound quality is provided by the Picofarad rating which is very low (38 Picofarads per foot).
To enjoy your cable for a long time without getting used so easily, the cable comes with a triple strain relief system such as an internal rubber booty strain relief, an external rubber heat shrink strain relief, and an internal metal clamp strain relief. It has a very low capacitance for an outstanding musical experience.
This is a versatile cable with a standard structure that can be used not only for guitar but for other instruments too like violins.
It is a flexible cable that allows you to move on the stage without worrying about snapping.
The cable has Oxygen-Free Copper for both the insulator shield and the conductor.
This cable doesn’t tangle on itself thanks to the tweed jacket and the Velcro loops that keep it coiled.
It comes in an attractive color that gives you more style while on stage.
The cable has a rating of only 38 Picofarads per foot which means that the sound quality is very good.
The size of this cable is 20 feet which should be long enough for rehearsals and stage performances.
This cable is not made for big concerts as it is more suitable for beginners and amateurs.
It may not work for bass guitar as well as for the recommended instruments.Buy from Amazon.com
2. GLS Audio 10 Foot Guitar Instrument Cable
This cable offers you the freedom to perform on the stage without worrying about bending it as it is very flexible thanks to the braided tweed cloth jacket. This is a 10 feet cable that is very durable thanks to the internal rubber booty strain relief, the internal metal clamp strain relief, and the external rubber heat shrink strain relief.
The cable is shielded with Conductive PVC and OFC Insulator shield as both components have oxygen-free copper. The cable has a very low capacitance and only 38 Picofarads per foot which means that the sound quality reaches your expectations.
This cable works for any instrument that contains a ¼ inches plug-in. The design is versatile for any instrument model and for any person as it comes in a beautiful black color. Its structure doesn’t allow it to tangle or to bend so you can enjoy the product for a long period of time.
This cable is very flexible and it doesn’t bend awkwardly or tangle thanks to the braided tweed cloth jacket.
At the end of the cable, there is a 90-degree plug that helps the cable stay flush to the body guitar.
It is a versatile cable that works fine for other instruments as well as for the guitar.
The 38 Picofarads per foot rating gives the cable great sound quality so you can rock the stage.
This cable has Oxygen-Free Copper for both the conductor and the insulator shield.
The flexibility of this item allows you to move on the stage without worrying about breaking it.
This cable has only 10 feet and you may be needed to stay too close to another band member on the stage.
Depending on your speakers, once you plug in the jack, you may hear a loud buzz noise.Buy from Amazon.com for ($15.97)
3. Hosa GTR-210 Straight to Straight Guitar Cable
When it comes to quality services regarding the musical are, Hosa reaches high expectations with its products. Their products are among the top choices regarding cables, adaptors, and other audio accessories. This cable can be used in many circumstances, including some theatres as the sound quality is pretty remarkable.
This 10-feet cable is a serviceable product that contains all-metal plugs that are ideal for touring and many other applications. For improved signal clarity, the cable comes with Oxygen-Free Copper (OFC) in order to experience a professional performance during rehearsals or concerts.
For a superior EMI and RFI rejection, the cable comes with a high-density OFC braided shield. It is a standard stereo guitar cable that works on any model of electric guitar which makes it interchangeable and versatile. This is a durable cable that won’t break after constant bending during concerts.
The Hosa audio products are very prestigious among musicians and they are a top choice.
This cable is ideal for touring, and it can fit in many other situations as it has a durable structure.
The metal plugs make the cable less vulnerable use so you can enjoy a good sound quality for a long time.
The signal clarity is given by the Oxygen-Free Copper so you won’t encounter any technical issues during rehearsals or concerts.
The OFC braided shield gives the product a better EMI and RFI rejection.
It is a versatile cable that works with any electric guitar and other instruments such as bass guitar.
Depending on your amp, the signal may be lost or it may not work properly.
This cable is thinner than others so if you are not used to this type, you should look for thicker models.Buy from Amazon.com for ($10.95)
4. GLS Audio 20 FT Black Gray Tweed Cloth Jacket Instrument Cable
If you are looking for a high-quality cable of 20 feet, this model is a good choice for any musician of any level. It is very flexible thanks to the flexible tweed jacket that is superior to the plastic jackets that are stiff and easily breakable.
For an improved signal quality, the cable has Oxygen-Free Copper for the insulator shield and the center conductor too. The cable is double-shielded with a Conductive PVC and OFC insulator shield. The cable works with any instrument with a ¼-inch jack which makes it versatile.
The sound quality is proven by the low Picofarad rating which is 38 Picofarads per foot. You can use the cable for many years as it comes with triple strain relief which consists of an external rubber heat shrink strain relief, an internal metal clamp strain relief, and an internal rubber booty strain relief.
This cable is long enough for stage performances as it measures 20 feet and it is flexible and durable.
The flexibility is given by the braided tweed cloth jacket that protects the cable from damage when bent.
For more protection, it comes with a Conductive PVC Shielded and an OFC Insulator Shield.
The sound quality is very good as the cable has only 38 Picofarads per foot.
The design is classic in black color that gives the musician more style and confidence while using it.
It is a versatile item that allows you to use it on a large variety of electric guitar models and other instruments.
The cable has Oxygen-Free Copper for better signal clarity for accurate performance.
Depending on the amp you are using, you may get a buzzing sound sometimes when using this cable.
This cable is thinner than most guitar cables on the market so it may tangle easier than others.Buy from Amazon.com
5. M MAKA Premium Guitar Coil Cable 20 Feet
If you are looking for a cable that has as the main feature flexibility, this is just the right choice for you. The cable comes with an exclusive elastomeric PVC outer jacket that makes the cable coiled and more flexy.
The plugs are ¼ inches and they can be used straight or you can adjust them in right-angle form. The sound provided is very clean with no added disturbing sounds. The design of this cable is minimalist which gives a glimpse of elegance to any musician.
For good insulation, the cable is PE and PVC-coated to let you perform your music without encountering any unwanted technical issues. The Oxygen-Free Copper conduct ensures a good signal quality to let you enjoy your musical experience at its finest. The straight part of the coiled cable is 11 inches so it fits most guitar models without influencing the playing.
This cable is special as it is more flexible than the usual cables as it has a coiled form that allows you to move freely on the stage without worries.
The flexibility of this product is given by the PVC outer jacket that makes the cable suitable for any musician.
Its plugs can be used in two different forms: a usual straight form or they can be bent in right-angle, according to your needs.
The minimalist color design suits any musician giving him/her confidence and elegance while performing.
The cable comes with PVC and PE coats for good insulation to make the product reach higher standards.
Keep in mind that the size of 20 feet refers to the size of the cable before it is coiled so it is shorter in its final form.
If you are a fan of the classical cables models, this may seem unfit for you at first sight.Buy from Amazon.com
6. GLS Audio 15 Foot Guitar Instrument Cable
If you are looking for a durable 15 feet cable for your guitar in order to enhance your musical performance, this model comes with the solution for you. The braided tweed cloth jacket makes the cable more flexy and protects it from any eventual damages.
The cable has only 38 Picofarads per foot which means that it is a high-quality product that delivers great and accurate sound. For an improved signal quality, the cable is made with Oxygen-Free Copper for both the insulator shield and the center conductor. The cable comes in an attractive color that will make your guitar look cooler.
The plug fits any electric guitar and other instruments too, which makes the cable a good choice for most musicians. The durability is enhanced by the triple strain relief: an internal rubber booty strain relief, an external rubber heat shrink strain relief, and an internal metal clamp strain relief.
This cable measures 15 feet which makes it ideal for stage performances as it gives you freedom of movement.
It is a flexible cable thanks to the braided tweed cloth jacket which allows you to bend it without damaging the other components.
This cable sounds amazing thanks to the low Picofarad rating of only 38 Picofarads per foot.
The Oxygen-Free Copper conductor offers the product a good signal which makes it worthy to have in your guitar kit.
This cable is suitable for any ¼-inches jack which means it works fine for any electric guitar and even other instruments like electric violins.
It comes in a stylish design that suits any musician, no matter the age.
When plugged in, the cable creates a ton of feedback which you may find annoying.
This cable is designed for beginners and intermediate guitar players as professional players may have other expectations from a cable.Buy from Amazon.com
7. New bee Electric Instrument Cable Bass AMP Cord
The two ends of this cable are constructed differently – one of them has the classic straight construction, while the other has a right angle build. This makes it easier for the right-angled end to be connected to pedals, amplifiers or any other device like that. The center of this cable is made of oxygen-free-copper conductors that should ensure a good signal transfer over long distances without noise.
Being compatible with a large number of devices, this cable can be safely used with instruments, but also with microphones, decoders, equalizers, amplifiers, or mixers. What’s interesting about the design of the cable is the fact that it can be disassembled easily, allowing for quick repairs.
Covered with a PVC material, the core of the cable is well protected. Furthermore, the cable is wrapped in a blue and black tweed woven jacket that is 0.27 inches thick, and this gives more durability.
Thanks to the way the jacks are designed, you can use one of the ends to plug it in the guitar, and the other one, the right-angled end, will sit neatly in the amp or pedal.
You will be glad to find out that the center of the cable is made of oxygen-free-copper, which is a conductor that has the capability of carrying signals over long distances with limited noise.
The cable can be used with many devices, from guitars to basses and electric keyboards, but you can also connect amplifiers or mixers with it.
A neat thing about this cable is that the jacks can be easily disassembled to allow for quick fixing in case you need to do that during a show.
It is a strong cable covered in a tweed woven jacket that is thick and resistant.
The jack is made of a flimsy material that seems to break too easily.Buy from Amazon.com for ($9.99)
8. Miracle Sound Guitar Patch Cable for Pedalboard Effects
Made using quality materials, this cable is one of the strongest on the market. It comes with a standard ¼-inch thick jack that can be used to connect everything from guitars to other instruments, mixers, and pedals. Given it measures 3 feet in length it is a cable that would be better used for pedals.
Furthermore, it comes with right-angled jacks, and this is a sign that this cable is made more for being used on a pedalboard, as jacks with right angles take up less space. It is a flexible cable thanks to the outside rubber material that covers it, and as a result, it can be bent around to occupy as little space as possible.
There isn’t much said about the core of the cable, but given that, we can assume it is made of classic copper wiring, probably protected by a fair amount of rubber.
The pack comes with 3 cables that can be used to connect multiple devices. So with a single pack, you can connect your guitar to a pedal, and that pedal to two other devices.
A big advantage of the cables is the fact that they all come with right-angled jacks, which are ideal for connecting pedals on the board.
Furthermore, the cables are rather flexible, and this allows to manipulate them easier and place them better on the pedalboard.
The cables are sturdy, and the exterior rubber coating should be enough to keep them protected.
The small dimensions only make these cables suitable for pedalboard use, or for those that practice at home and like to stay really close to their amplifiers to hear everything better.
The simple copper center won’t be delivering the clearest signal, but fortunately, the cables are short and they don’t lose too much on such a short distance.Buy from Amazon.com for ($9.99)
9. Cable Matters 2-Pack 1/4 Inch TS to TS Electric Guitar Cable
Coming with ¼-inch jacks these cables can be used for anything from guitars to electric keyboards and effect pedals. The profile of this cable is straight to straight, meaning that it has to straight jacks, and these are resistant and easy to install. The flexible cable jacket will resist kicking and lays flat.
The tips of the cables are gold-plated for a better connection, and they have an easy-grip housing to stay plugged in better. The cable benefits from double foil and braid shielding and that will protect against electromagnetic noise that often appears when such cables are used. The oxygen-free copper used in creating the conductor of this cable will give a clear sound and a response capable of high frequencies.
You get two of these cables in the same pack, and measuring about 10 foot each, they are decently long to be used for most applications
Thanks to the ¼-inch straight jacks, the cables can be used for many purposes on stage, from connecting the guitar to the pedals, or the pedals to amplifiers.
The cable is a flexible one that resists bending and kicking around and it will also lay flat to allow for easy installation.
The two metal jacks are strong and durable and they have gold-plated tips to ensure good connectivity. Additionally, they come with easy-grip housing for the same purpose.
Covered in double foil and braid shielding, this cable is well-protected against electromagnetic noise.
It has a heavy-gauge oxygen-free copper center, which means it will deliver sound with pristine precision, for a high-frequency response.
You get two cables in the same package and that offers versatility.
The exterior is flexible enough but it doesn’t appear to be holding well against cuts. If you step on it with winter boots you might damage it.Buy from Amazon.com for ($9.99)
10. Penker Guitar Instrument Cable 10 Foot
Having an innovative look, this cable will catch the eye on the stage and will make you want to play your guitar every day. One of the main reasons to buy this cable is the fact that it has increased conductivity thanks to the gold-plated jacks. This gives a superior tone and the sound quality you desire.
The high-density oxygen-free copper core makes it superconductive, and that gives no delay in the audio transmission. Thanks to the same superconductive material you get no noise, and more corrosion resistance compared to other models.
This cable comes with a double-shielded design, meaning that it is covered in PVC and in an OFC insulator shield. This reduces noise and blocks interfering signals to offer high fidelity. The cable measures 10 feet and it has a durable casing that is made of braided tweed cloth. This way it doesn’t twist awkwardly.
Increased conductivity and tarnish resistance is ensured by the gold-plated endings that give a superior tone and the sound quality every guitarist wants.
Coming with a high-density stranded oxygen-free copper core, the center conductor will give no delay and will be a good option to keep interferences away.
The cable is double-shielded meaning that it is covered in a PVC and in a separate OFC insulator shield, both acting well against noise and preventing interferences.
It is a durable and flexible cable that is protected by a high-quality braided tweed cloth jacket. This jacket prevents twisting and tangling.
Having two ¼-inch jacks, the cable can be used for anything from connecting the guitar to an amp to connecting two pedals together.
It measures 10 feet and it comes with a right-angled jack. That means it is a guitar amp cable made to be plugged in directly into an amplifier, but it’s a bit too short for that.Buy from Amazon.com for ($9.99)
Our Comprehensive Buying Guide
No matter if you are looking for the best budget guitar cable, or for a high-end cable, you still need it to do its job. A good instrument cable should be able to work as an electric guitar cable, a bass guitar cable, and many others, all in one. Here are some things to consider when looking for a cable.
Balanced cables are good
Generally speaking, instrument cables can be balanced and unbalanced. The first of them can run an electric signal that goes along three wires as follows: the ground wire, the positive leg, and the negative leg. Each of the legs has the same signal but their polarity is opposite. As a result, any noise that gets picked up along the cable will be picked up by both of these legs, but because they are opposite, when the signal reaches the end, they cancel each other.
The result is a cable that produces very little noise, even when the cable is a long one. This is known as “common mode rejection” and this is the reason why balanced lines are best for longer cables. Being less complicated, unbalanced cables are more susceptible to noise problems. That is why these cables are best when kept as short as possible (under 25 feet is a must).
Let’s not forget about the shield that each cable gets, as this has a great impact over the end sound. There are 3 main types of shields, and the first of them is the braided shield. If you have ever cut a cable, chances are you have seen one of these, as it is a common choice, no matter the industry.
The braided shield is comprised of braided bunches of copper strands that go around the insulated and electrostatically shielded center conductor. With this type of shield, you can cover a maximum of 97% of the cable’s core, and its advantage is that it still offers good coverage even if you bend or flex the cable too much.
Serve shields are similar because they use copper strands as well, but the difference is the positioning of these strands, as they go in a single direction around the core. Such a cable is more flexible and as a result better for instruments.
A foil-shielded cable will have a thin layer of aluminum foil covering a copper drain wire. This kind of shielding offers 100% coverage and it’s quite inexpensive, but the disadvantage is that it breaks if you flex it too much. That is why such a cable is good for situations where you don’t move the cable too much.
What affects performance?
When it comes to cable there are certain things that have a greater impact on performance than others. The first of them is the length of the cable, and as the length of the cable increases, the instrument becomes noisier, especially if you are using unbalanced cables. The rule here is that the shorter the cable, the cleaner the sound will be.
Despite that, there are high-end manufacturers that say their cables that are longer than 25 feet can still offer a great sound.
Speaking of that, the conductor material is another important aspect that affects the sound that a cable can help you put out. Copper is the main “ingredient” used when making cables, but nowadays there are some advanced materials like oxygen-free copper and the linear-crystal copper that give increased performance.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Can instrument cables be used for speakers?
Most of the guitar players know that they can’t use a guitar amp speaker cable and guitar cords interchangeably, but they probably don’t know why. The main reason why you can’t do that is that these two cables are designed for two distinct purposes. Using one instead of the other can have adverse effects, from a simple annoying interference to equipment failure. Even the best bass guitar cable can’t do that, despite being heavier.
Although they have the same kind of connector, a ¼-inch plug, this is the only similarity between them. The instrument cable is low power, high impendence, as it is created to transform a weak signal from the guitar, to a boosted one in the amp.
The speaker cable is the opposite of that, having high power and low impedance, and it is built to convey a strong signal from the amp to the speakers, with high AC and voltage.
Q: What the difference between a patch cable and an instrument cable?
For starters, the cable that goes directly from the guitar to the first pedal is usually referred to as the lead cable or the guitar cable. Cables between the pedals are called patch cables. They are both instrument cables and they share many aspects.
The main difference between them can be found in the jack plug terminations, and the diameters used for these cables. This is because the usual jack plug found on lead cables are awkward to use on a pedalboard, where space is important. As a result, right-angled jack plugs are used instead.
Patch cables also need to be more flexible to better fit on the pedalboard, and because they are shorter, they can afford to be thinner, as this won’t negatively affect the quality of the sound on such a short distance. A patch model is a cheap guitar cable because it doesn’t need to be too complicated.
Q: How long should my guitar cable be?
Because electric guitars are high-impedance devices, this means that their tone is affected if carried over long distances. Impedance means that the longer the signal path, the more noise, and resistance occurs along the way. After intense testing, it has been concluded that around 18.5 feet there is the maximum length of a usual instrument cable where you can still clearly hear and easily measure the sound changes in a guitar’s tone.
Furthermore, passive pickups give out a higher impedance output, and that means they will be more susceptible to tone degradation on long distances, compared to battery-powered preamp pickups. Given that most guitars have a passive pickup, you will surely have a high-impedance instrument on your hand.
If you are not using a cable made with oxygen-free copper or linear-crystal copper, it would be a good idea to keep the cable as short as possible.