If you’re serious about your tone, it’s worth mulling over the differences between the best guitar cables on the market.
Guitar cables are an integral part of a guitarist’s rig, and their importance is hard to overstate. However, they are often an afterthought and many folks do not spend enough time considering their vital role in sound.
In essence, a cable is responsible for carrying your carefully crafted tone from the guitar to the amp or pedalboard, or PA. A good cable will do this with the highest sound quality and a minimum of noise.
And you want a cable to do this consistently and reliably. Whether you are embarking on a tour, recording sessions from your bedroom on a daily basis, or just jamming along with friends, you want your tone to be consistent at every turn.
Also, understand that not all cables are created equal. Materials can vary greatly, and the impact they have on your sound can make a noticeable difference. In this article, we give you seven of the best cable models in the market today, so you can find the right one for you. Keep reading.
- Our top 3 choices for Best Guitar Cables
- Best Guitar Cables – Individual Reviews
- How To Choose The Best Guitar Cables For Your Rig
- Final Thoughts on the Best Guitar Cables
Our top 3 choices for Best Guitar Cables
The Mogami Gold Cable is Our Top Pick. With high quality construction, durable design, and outstanding sound transfer, this cable is considered by many professionals as one of the best options on the market.
The D’Addario PW-CGTPRO-10 Classic Pro is our Best Budget option. It features the company’s in-out technology for signal transparency and durability, it is a great option for those that are budget conscious.
Finally, the Monster SP2000-I-12A Studio Pro 2000 is our Editor’s Choice for discerning musicians. It comes with top-notch materials for the best in quality and durability, ideal for guitarists committed to the best tone and overall features.
Best Guitar Cables – Individual Reviews
The Mogami Gold Series cable is considered among many professionals as the best guitar cable available today thanks to its high-quality construction, durable design, and outstanding sound transfer.
Its core is made of heavy gauge, oxygen-free copper that comes with a high-density spiral shield. This helps preserve your guitar tone by severely limiting any interference to your signal and ensuring that your tone is passing through without picking up noise on the way.
Additionally, this cable features Neutrik black and gold plugs for ultimate stability and security, as well as a conductive polymer sub-shield for great functionality. The black and gold plugs also give it a slick and elegant appearance.
The Mogami Gold cable features a design with conductive carbon-impregnated PVC on the outside, to aid with noise reduction, as well as 130 pF/m capacitance. In other words, you will be sure that your cable allows you to have a pure signal and that there is no sound loss present.
For our tests, we used our strat directly into our pedalboard and then out to a Fender Deluxe Reverb amp. Our tone remained intact, with a full frequency range and no detectable noise.
We also put this cable to the test by trying it out with our Cordoba Fusion Classical guitar. Here again, we got a pristine tone with a full frequency response and no sound loss.
Mogami Gold cables come in a variety of lengths to fit the needs and preferences of everybody, from weekend warriors and amateurs all the way to dedicated professionals. This company is so sure of the quality of their product that they offer a lifetime warranty with every Mogami Gold cable.
In short, a cable made for all types of guitarists that appreciate quality, durability, and tone.
Verdict: The Mogami Gold Series cable is built with quality and durability as top priorities. Features like oxygen-free copper and Neutrik black and gold plugs give the user not only reliability but the confidence to know that this cable ensures tone integrity by offering great sound transfer and low noise.
The D’Addario PW-CGTPRO-10 Classic Pro cable features the company’s famous in-out technology that ensures signal transparency as well as Geo-Tio Neutrik connectors for stability and reliability when connecting.
These cables also come with Oxygen-free copper conductors for reducing noise as well as spiral shielding to further protect your tone.
D’Addario cables have been popular with guitarists for decades, in great part due to their low capacitance which ensures higher transparency. However, the main reason so many guitarists love D’Addario cables is that they are relatively inexpensive while still delivering good quality to preserve your tone.
In our tests, we observed this firsthand from the moment we plugged our Strat directly into the amp. This cable features flexible jackets and single-molded strain relief plugs that gave us the confidence that it can withstand years of use.
Our tone remained intact with the D’Addario PW-CGTPRO-10 Classic Pro cable, even when we plugged it into our pedalboard to add distortion and fuzz.
We wanted to test how this cable would fare with our acoustic guitar. To test it further, we plugged in our trusty Takamine into a Roland JC-120 and got the pure acoustic tone that we expected. In other words, this cable truly protects your tone by keeping away any unwanted noise and effectively transferring your sound.
In short, we were reminded of why D’Addario is such a popular guitar cable brand among guitarists of all types.
Verdict: The D’Addario PW-CGTPRO-10 Classic Pro cable is a great choice for guitarists that want unadulterated tone and durability at a great price. With D’Addario’s in-out technology this cable gives you sound transparency, stability, and reliability that last.
The Monster SP2000-I-12A Studio Pro 2000 cable features this company’s patented Time Correct windings as well as multiple-gauge Bandwidth Balanced design. Both of these technologies provide maximum protection against interference and offer arguably the cleanest achievable full range frequency response on a guitar cable.
Monster built this cable for guitarists who are committed to having the best possible tone and that are looking for that extra edge on their rig. The Studio Pro 2000 features high quality components to achieve this.
For instance, this cable comes with a 95 %-coverage copper braid that surrounds the wire itself and a carbon-infused dielectric shield. These particular features work in tandem to ground out radio frequency as well as electromagnetic interference. The result is a pure tone with virtually no handling noise.
In use, this cable gave us a strong signal that remained pristine. Both with clean and distorted passages, our tone was coming through loud and clear, without noise or any other issues. And truth be told, this cable feels like it can take a beating for years and still perform at a high level.
Although the price on this cable is above your typical off-the-shelf model, it is well worth it. The Studio Pro 2000 comes with dipped solder joints that are protected by ergonomically contoured metal shells. In other words, this cable can withstand high levels of strain and will last you for many years.
Monster also included a thick Duraflex protective jacket to further protect the Studio Pro 2000 and extend its lifetime, even under conditions of duress and many long tours.
Another great feature of this cable is the Custom Monster connectors with 24 k gold contacts for superior resistance. In short, an ideal cable for the true professional that wants the very best there is for his rig.
Verdict: The Monster SP2000-I-12A Studio Pro 2000 cable is for guitarists that are detail-oriented and are willing to pay for the best. It features construction with top-notch materials that ensure the most pristine tone and ultimate durability.
The Ernie Ball Braided Cable offers great sonic transfer as well as a dual-shielded, dual-conductor design for superior fidelity and low noise. This cable also features one straight and one angled connector that many guitarists love as it offers convenience and flexibility.
The principle of having braided cables rests on the fact that they are more resistant to tangling than PVC-covered cables, and therefore more durable. Braided cables also feature a harder exterior, which enhances not only their functionality but extends their life well beyond your typical cable.
Another great feature of this cable is the 99.95 % oxygen-free copper for added durability. Oxygen-free copper offers great corrosion resistance and ensures that the cable remains functional and lasts even in humid climates.
In our tests, we loved how the dual conductors gave us a clear guitar tone with a full frequency response. We tested this cable with our strat and got those nice highs, and that forward mid with bite.
When we switched on some distortion, we experienced the same, with our tone being forward and rich in harmonics. There was no discernable noise at any point during our tests. This Ernie Ball cable felt sturdy and durable.
During our time with this cable, we did not hear any discernible interference or outside noise. This cable comes in different color options. You get to choose from neon green, black, neon pink, neon orange, black/green, neon yellow, and white.
In short, a very good cable with plenty of color options to choose from. Despite the fact that this is a good product, there are several other options that a particular user may like better at the same price point.
Verdict: The Ernie Ball Braided Cable offers good sonic transfer, low noise, and durability. Additionally, it comes in different colors so you can choose the one you like to add some flair to the cable’s quality, convenience, and flexibility.
The Boss BIC-10A features an oxygen-free copper core that gives the user transparent and consistent tone transfer. This cable also comes with 24 K gold-plated contacts with a custom design for maximum sound reproduction.
It is no secret that Boss has a stellar reputation for functionality and build quality at a good price, and that certainly is the case with the BIC-10A cable. Features like the braided exterior and straight-to-right angle design are ideal for guitarists for a variety of reasons.
First, a braided exterior helps prevent cumbersome tangling which in turn extends the life of the cable. And the straight-to-right angle offers great flexibility to conveniently connect to virtually any guitar or bass.
In use, this cable preserved the integrity of our tone by keeping any unwanted noise at bay and giving us great sound transfer. We also really liked how durable it feels and how the braided exterior made it easier to manipulate and avoid tangling it while we moved around.
Besides the usual tests with our beloved strat, we also tried this cable with a Cordoba Fusion GK nylon string guitar into a Roland JC-120. Once again, there was no discernable noise here, and we got a pristine classical guitar tone with the characteristics of the Fishman Presys blend system on the Cordoba.
This cable is a nice choice for most guitarists, although some professionals that demand something fancier may want to look elsewhere.
Verdict: The Boss BIC-10A comes with the proven quality and functionality typically offered by this legendary stompbox company. With transparent and uniform tone transfer, a braided design, and straight to right angle ends, this cable is a great choice for most guitar players.
The Fender Original Series Coil cable features 90 % OFC spiral shielding to protect your tone as well as the cable’s vintage look, 23 AWG wire, and nickel-plated connectors for durability.
This cable also features right-angle and straight connectors for maximum convenience. Naturally, the most striking feature of the Fender Original Series Coil Cable is the vintage look and flair provided by its coiled design.
Although 30 feet long, this cable won’t reach as far because it’s coiled. In other words, to reach the 30 feet you’d have to stretch it to the point where there are no more coils, adding stress to the cable and defeating the purpose of a vintage-looking cable.
That said, it is still long enough for most uses and applications, so there is no need to worry. Interestingly, the last foot of each end of the cable is not coiled. This ensures that you can handle it well and that it can be easily connected to any pedalboard or guitar.
In use, we got a kick out of the entire feel and vibe that using a coiled cable provides. Naturally, the most important factors like good tone transfer and no discernible noise were present.
Another great thing about the Fender Original Series Coil Cable is that it comes in five different models depending on the color: Daphne Blue, Fiesta Red, Twee, Black, and Surf Green. In short, you get a good cable that not only delivers on its main function but does it in style.
Although a good and durable cable, because of the coiled design its price is a bit high and it is also not as convenient to just pick up and go after a gig.
Verdict: The Fender Original Series Coil cable gives you tone protection and durability with true Fender quality. Its main selling point is its vintage look, provided by its coiled design.
The Monster Prolink Classic cable features the company’s twisted pair construction design that helps curb distortion and preserves the integrity of the guitar’s transient attack, overtones, and overall natural warmth.
Another key feature of this cable is Monster’s Magnetic Flux Tube design. This gives the player a more natural and clearer sound by breaking up internal magnetic fields typically produced by pedals and other gear. Your Monster Classic instrument cable will keep your signal clean, ensuring a killer amplified guitar sound.
This cable’s construction also features metal nickel-plated connectors to protect against rust and crackle, as well as a Duraflex outer jacket that is resistant to bending and other mishaps. These two features extend the life of the cable by offering great protection.
Your sound is also preserved in great part by the 90 % copper spiral wrap shielding, quite effective against buzzing and hum.
In our tests, we got a sound with an open soundstage, as well as precise high-end clarity, and tight low-end. Our sound was left intact by this cable whether we used it with our Strat or with our Takamine acoustic. Additionally, there was no noise in our signal at any point during our tests.
This cable is a great option for anyone looking out for their tone while also wanting durability at a good price. Although this can be for any guitar player, this cable only comes in black, which may not please folks that seek out flashier models.
Verdict: The Monster Prolink Classic cable features a clever design and construction that avoids distortion and keeps your transients and natural warmth. Thanks to Monster’s unique features, this cable offers the guitar player a very natural sound that is also noise free. Besides doing a great job with tone preservation, the Prolink Classic is also a durable and reliable cable.
How To Choose The Best Guitar Cables For Your Rig
Good cables typically have two traits. They have good sound transfer with low noise and are durable. How durable? Well, you can expect to get a fair number of years from them, especially if you treat them well.
Like most things in life, you get what you pay for. Cables are no exception, and when you pay more you typically get a quality cable that is made with quality parts.
For instance, the jack plugs and the material used for the actual cable tend to be better in pricier cables. The same is true for the shielding around the core of the cable.
Naturally, a cable made with top-notch materials will also last much longer than an inexpensive off-the-shelf cable. It will also have lower noise and be far more capable of transferring your tone as is.
Conversely, very low-budget cables are noisy and make your tone suffer, not to mention the fact that they don’t last long. Besides the realities of how much you pay, which applies to any musical gear, cables also have specific things to look out for.
Cables hold a certain amount of electrical charge, referred to as capacitance. In simple terms, you don’t want your cable to hold charge. Instead, you want your signal to seamlessly flow through it, from your guitar and into your pedalboard and amp. For this to happen you need a cable with low capacitance.
On the other hand, high capacitance may cause a roll-off of the top frequencies, effectively lessening the treble in your tone. A high capacitance affects your tone in negative ways, while a low capacitance gives you a fuller frequency response.
Common wisdom states that you should buy the shortest cable that you can get away with. Longer cables may roll off some of your top frequencies, much like high capacitance.
On the other hand, that loss in your high frequencies may be a desirable effect, as insane as that may sound. Jimi Hendrix liked using longer lengths of cables (coiled) for a slight cut to the top-end of his signal. Of course, this works better with treble-heavy guitars such as Stratocasters.
Your personal needs
Many guitarists treat cables as an afterthought. Oftentimes, they get whatever they find at the local store or online, without any research and no consideration other than price.
Not only is this a disservice to tone and the overall reliability of your sound, but it’s also a missed chance to further personalize your entire rig. Are you trying to be a true professional with attention to detail in every aspect of your playing and sound? Then a cable with superior materials is a must.
On the other hand, if you are just starting out, a regular quality cable will do the job just fine.
Personal preference also plays a role in the cable you get. Do you like that vintage look that coiled cables offer? Or are you focused solely on the quality of tone transfer and convenience? What about colors? All of these questions play a part in which cable you decide to get.
Final Thoughts on the Best Guitar Cables
There is a big difference between a good cable and a mediocre one. Unfortunately, cables are not as top of mind as other pieces of gear in a guitarist rig.
The hard truth is that a bad cable can ruin your carefully crafted tone in seconds. After all, a cable is the one piece of gear responsible for transferring your tone from point A to point B.
To recap our top three choices, the Mogami Gold cable is Our Top Pick thanks to its high-quality construction, durable design, and outstanding sound transfer. The D’Addario PW-CGTPRO-10 Classic Pro is our Best Budget option as it does a great job at signal transparency.
For discerning professionals, the Monster SP2000-I-12A Studio Pro 2000 is our Editor’s Choice and comes with ultimate quality and durability.