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Santiago Lee

Bio Statement Play the short game

Now, here it gets complicated, with some saying that the higher capacitance works great with single-coil pickups, citing Jimi Hendrix, but we would advise looking for as full a frequency response as possible, and seek your EQ solutions elsewhere. So, low capacitance cables are a plus.

Material choices

Gold-plated plugs and connectors are nice to look at and they don’t corrode, but they don’t add anything tone-wise, and make things more expensive. They’re not the be all and end all.

Nothing shorter than 10ft Very expensive If tweed ain’t your thing

The list price for these guitar cables at various lengths sits around 60 bucks so there is a whole lot to be saved from ordering from GLS direct. The tweed outer jacket looks great in black, impeccable in brown, and the feel of the GLS Audio Tweed is excellent; it coils nicely, is durable, and for the vintage enthusiast this might be too hard to resist.

Tweed ain’t your thing

Fender’s Deluxe Series might fly under the radar when it comes to guitar cables, but with a lifetime warranty and excellent construction they offer a high-performance product at a very competitive price.

The custom-molded plugs have strain-relief in-built and make for a solid connection, while the Deluxe Series’ shielding holds its own against more expensive cables when it comes to killing extraneous noise.

Too bright for some

The British amp giant has a respected sideline in cables, using high-grade oxygen free copper for improved signal clarity and articulation, nickel-plated 1/4-inch jacks for corrosion resistance, and multiple shielding layers to kill the dreaded crackle and hum of electromagnetic interference.

Hard to find the 5-foot option in stock

Paul Reed Smith swears by these cables, which are handmade in London by Van Damme Cabling, but of course he has to say that. What’s more impressive is Van Damme’s client list, which includes the likes of the Foo Fighters, Radiohead and Abbey Road Studios.

PRS and Van Damme play the exact spec close to their chest, so we can’t say for sure what the capacitance is other than it is “carefully tuned”, but we would interpret that as low, as these are bright, crystal-clear guitar cables that make all the difference in carrying those mids and highs.

They are lightweight, low-diameter, and the option of silent plugs allows for hot-swapping – a 25-foot cable with silent plugs will set you back 90 bucks, which is decent value for a pro-quality, road-worthy cable. There is no crinkling, no hint of microphonic pop, just a pure signal. Which is exactly what you should expect from a premium cable. And there is no extra charge for straight-to-right-angle options.

No one needs a 50ft cable

Available in all the lengths and all the finishes of braided nylon you could ever want. You want cowprint? Pink? No problem! The SpectraFlex N-Flex takes its name from the addition of Neutrik plugs, and is an incredible, hard-wearing cable that coils well, feels great, and sounds pretty darn transparent.

Those Neutrik plugs will never crap out of you and the SpectraFlex say the precision-engineered one-piece tip ensures you get a nice clean contact and no breakages. This is another you could use in haulage it’s so tough.

Can be hard to find

Here is another favorite, no doubt because the likes of Slash and Zakk Wylde are fans of Monster’s Pro Studio series, but also because these are some of the best guitar cables for build quality. Click to read more. The 24k gold contacts and construction of the signature Monster turbine plugs are a little OTT with the bling, but there’s no denying these are durable cables.

Time Correct windings are used to minimize the skin effect, where bass frequencies can be fractionally delayed by the magnetic field at the heart of the conductor.

Length and Capacitance of the Cable

All else held constant, the shorter the distance a guitar signal travels, the better the signal transparency, mainly because it prevents high-frequency loss. In short, the goal is to find the shortest cable possible, so that you get low capacitance without limiting your stage movement. This will also prevent the possible tangling, and reduce cable clutter.

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