Electric Guitar Cables - your electric guitar cable questions answered
Your guitar cable plays a vital role in giving you guitar sound from your electric guitar cable to your amp.
In this article, I will answer some of the questions you might have about guitar cables from 'does the guitar cable matter?' to 'what guitar cable you should buy?' and everything wires, cables and leads in between.
Let's look at some of the questions you have about the all important guitar cable!
Table of Contents
What is a guitar cable called?
An electric guitar cable to amp can be referred to or called a guitar amp cord or a guitar lead - it all means the same thing - a cable to connect guitar to amp.
A guitar cable is a TS cable - Tip Sleeve Cable.
The point at the end of the cable is the Tip and the longer metal shaft is the sleeve. The tip and sleeve is the guitar to amp cable.
What kind of cable does a guitar use?
A guitar cable is a piece of wire insulated with a coating to an electrical signal from our electric guitar to guitar amplifier.
Does it matter what guitar cable you use?
A guitar cable is hugely important and can have a massive impact on your sound.
A guitar cable does not really “do” anything to your sound.
Therefore, the focus is on durability and transparency - transferring a high quality sound without interference from guitar to amp.
The wire in a guitar cable holds and transfers electricity - this is called capacitance.
As guitarists, we want the transfer of that electricity to be smooth and clean.
The transfer can have an effect on the audio signals that get through from guitar to amp.
Guitar Cables will be labeled as “ low capacitance’ which will cut frequencies that go over a certain threshold.
Low capacitance might add some top end or high EQ to your guitar tone.
What guitar cable should i buy?
Buying a guitar cable is an absolutely essential purchase for an electric guitarist!
We ain't gonna be able to rock without it!
Buying an affordable, quality guitar cable will give you a great guitar tone, long lasting value save you headache of replacing cables.
You don’t want any nasty noises, hisses or buzzes.
You want to get the most durable guitar cable you can afford.
What is a good length for a guitar cable?
Does guitar cable size matter - let’s look at the options!
You can get guitar cables of any length from 10 foot to 20 foot.
If you are playing guitar at home (or on a small stage) a 10 foot / 3 metre guitar lead will be sufficient for most guitar players (unless you want to unleash your inner Angus Young)
Guitar to Amp Cable
If you are playing directly into your amp, you will only need one guitar cable.
However, if you are connecting guitar pedals, you will need to connect a guitar cable from your guitar to your pedals then from your pedals to the guitar amp.
How long is too long for a guitar cable?
Anything over 20 feet and you risk losing and degrading your guitar tone, a 10 foot cable if you are playing at home means you preserve that pristine guitar tone with no loss of tone or signal.
How long should my guitar cable last?
If you look after your guitar cable, you will enjoy many years of guitar playing with that cable.
When a cable is well made with good parts it should be durable and last many years.
Rough handling of the cable in and out of the guitar and an amp or pedal; standing on the guitar cable and wrapping it without care will damage the cable affecting your sound and the life of your guitar cable.
Check out the guitar cable I sell - I use this guitar cable with my guitar students in my Warrenpoint Based Guitar Studio and live with my duo Those Guys below.
It keeps my guitar tone intact, is super silent and is ultra durable.
Guitar cables for electric guitar and Bass Guitar: is there a difference?
In other words: do guitar cables work for bass?
There is no real difference between a guitar cable for an electric guitar and a Bass Guitar.
This guitar cable will work perfectly for both guitars.
You strike the strings of your electric guitar or bass, that creates a vibration that is “picked up” by the magnets in your pick-ups.
The electrical current that is produced in the pick up needs to be transferred to your amplifier.
That transfer is carried by your guitar cable or lead.
The electrical current travels through a conductive metal which is at the core or centre of your cable.
The material around the core acts like insulation to prevent noise, hum and hiss.
Should I buy a more expensive guitar cable?
If you are playing in a professional set up, a more expensive cable may last longer and prevent interference in your guitar signal and tone.
This guitar cable will do the job perfectly for you in that environment without having to spend a fortune.
If you are jamming guitar at home with your amplifier , this cable is the perfect solution.
Can guitar cables cause buzz?
Wear and tear can cause guitar cables to buzz.
It’s vital to look after your guitar cables by wrapping them carefully and storing them safely.
Poor quality connections and material can speed up this process.
Well made guitar cables will use braided wire - where all the copper wires are weaved together to provide a much thicker shield that prevents buzz from your cable.
Don’t always blame the guitar cable though!
Guitar hum and noise can be caused by the guitar pickups or guitar amp so its useful to have a checklist system to eliminate all potential causes.
Where you can find me for more help?
I am a guitarist and guitar based in Warrenpoint, Co. Down, Northern Ireland.
I sell guitar accessories online and from by Warrenpoint based Guitar studio.
Check out this superb 10 ft / 3 metre Guitar Cable I sell below.
For a Limited time only you can grab my Book FREE- Guitar Cables, Amps & Effects: Getting Started - when you buy a Guitar Cable below.