12 Best Guitar Cables in 2018
Think all guitar cables are created equally? Think again.
There is a lot more to this little cable than meets the eye.
If you’re new to this type of equipment or simply want to know which brands are worth considering, then the information in our guide will help clear up any doubts you have. Here, you will learn how to select the best guitar cable for your playing needs and your budget without all of the technical jargon.
Take a quick look at our list of the top cables and then continue reading as we discuss a few key areas to keep in mind as you shop for one.
Top 12 Guitar Cables Ultimate Table
|1. KLIQ Guitar Instrument Cable||Varies||10 – 20 feet||4.9|
|2. GLS Audio 20 Foot Guitar Instrument Cable||Straight/Right||20 feet||4.8|
|3. RIG NINJA 1/4 GUITAR CABLE||Varies||10 – 20 feet||4.7|
|4. Kirlin Cable IWB-202PFGL-20/OL -20 feet- Straight to Right Angle 1/4-Inch Plug Premium Plus Instrument Cable||Straight/Right||10 – 20 feet||4.7|
|5. Mogami Gold Instrument 25 Guitar/Instrument Cable||Straight||3 – 25 feet||4.6|
|6. GLS Audio 20 Foot Curly Guitar Instrument Cable||Straight/Right||20 feet||4.6|
|7. Lava Retro Coil 20 Foot Instrument Cable||Straight||20 feet||4.5|
|8. Fender Performance Series Instrument Cables||Varies||5 – 25 feet||4.5|
|9. Neutrik Gold Plated Silent Plug – Guitar Bass Instrument Cable||Straight/Right||12 feet||4.5|
|10. Donner Guitar Cable||Varies||10 – 18 feet||4.4|
|11. KIRLIN Cable LGI-201-10/BK 10-Feet Straight 1/4-Inch Plugs LightGear Instrument Cable||Straight||6 – 10 feet||4.1|
|12. Mogami Platinum Guitar 12||Straight||12 – 40 feet||4.1|
What Type of Guitarist Are You?
Have you just purchased your first electric guitar? If so, you will need a cable as you’re not going to have one lying around like most musicians. If you’ve been playing long enough, guitar cables become like smartphone chargers. You probably have several, and never throw old ones out on the off chance it will become useful again.
Now before you get ready to drop $100 bucks on a new cable, you need to ask yourself one simple question. How often do you play and how serious are you? Guitars are not easy instruments to learn, and there’s a reason pawn shops are full of used models. In other words, we recommend going for a midrange cable if you’re on the fence, as you’re not going to notice a difference between top level and midrange until you learn the ropes.
Type of Cable
The term “guitar cable” is general and can throw some consumers off once they start browsing. You may think all cables are used to plug your guitar into your amplifier, but that isn’t the case at all. Some are used in your signal chain to hook up pedals or stomp boxes, which can complicate things if you are unsure of which way to turn. There are two main types of cables, and while you’ll only find one style on our list, you need to stay away from the other kinds unless you’re running a signal chain.
- Guitar Cable – This is the style you’ll find on our table and its run from your guitar straight to your amplifier more often than not. The length varies wildly as do the ends and materials used in the construction. How much of a difference that makes depends on the cable and your ears as we’ve seen $10 cables that sound the same as $80 ones.
- Guitar Patch Cable – These are generally used to “patch” your equipment together. While you’ll run a regular cable to your first pedal, all the cables between that pedal and your amp will need to be shorter unless you like tripping over things. You can use long patch cables in a pinch as well, but they usually won’t hold up as well over time.
Length & Connectors
At the end of the day, this is the most important factor to keep in mind when looking for the best guitar cable. It’s all about length. If you buy a cable that’s too short, you risk the chance of the cable becoming unplugged as you gyrate around on stage or prone to “happy feet” while you play.
On the flipside, a cable that’s too long can cause just as many issues. It may not come unplugged, but they can be easy to trip over which could result in a catastrophe on stage. The last thing you want to have on your mind while trying to hit the right notes is the length of your cord, so think about your playing style when choosing the length.
The connectors aren’t quite as important as the length in this case as all the cables we chose have high-quality connectors. That said, some will have straight plugs on both ends, while others will use a right angle plug. It’s a matter of preference in some cases and a necessity in others. If you are concerned about wear around the plug, look for ends that have heat shrink in place.
Top 5 Best Guitar Cable Reviews
KLIQ makes plenty of accessories for guitarists including tuners and various types of cables for your pedals and axe. Our top choice is the KLIQ Guitar Instrument Cable, which a hails from their custom series and is sturdy, affordable and pretty good looking as far as cables are concerned.
This cable is what we would refer to as standard as there are no precious elements involved which helps to keep things affordable. The build quality is top-notch however with a 24 AWG Oxygen-free copper cable that’s wrapped in LDPE Insulation. The copper cord will provide excellent signal clarity while a sub-shield layer takes care of handling noise. That tech’s combined inside a tweed jacket or sleeve with another braided shield inside the help with noise rejection.
KLIQ’s cables have 24k gold-plated plugs, and you can choose between straight or angled on lengths of 10 or 20 feet. You also get a choice when it comes to the color with red & blue, or red & black. It’s a lock for the best guitar cable on our list, and perfect for beginners that need a solid cable that won’t break the bank.
Our next pick comes from the folks at GLS Audio, and while you can’t choose the length or color, it’s one of the top cables on the market today. That’s partly due to the components used in the build along with the rugged outer jacket which keeps things classy in black and silver.
This cable is 20 feet long with a flexible jacket which means it will be easy to roll up and store when not in use. It’s also a cable with a Picofarad rating, which lets you know the capacitance of the cord and not something you’ll find on cheaper guitar cables. It’s rated at 38 Picofarads per foot which is extremely low for this class and ensures high-quality audio. While we don’t know exactly what lies inside of the jacket on this particular model, it does have an OFC insulator shield and conductive PVC shielding as well.
Another perk of this cable we need to point out has to do with the connectors. They have heat shrink and an “internal” metal clamp to keep things snug and cut back on cable strain. The length may put it out of the running for some as 20 feet can be a lot to deal with, but it’s perfect if you want a longer cable with an outstanding connection.
Ninja’s and guitars aren’t two things commonly associated together, but that may change once you plug in and rock out with Rig Ninja’s guitar cable. It has the coolest moniker on our list by a longshot, and we think you’ll be impressed by the quality of the cord and connectors as well.
Looking for a cable that won’t go snap, crackle and pop when you wiggle around on stage? This one will do the trick and has a Picofarad ranging of 27, which is among the lowest we’ve come across. Signal noise will be a thing of the past with Ninja Rig’s cable as it allows for a clear “uncolored’ tone so your music will sound as its intended and won’t be altered by this one. The cable measures 7mm in diameter which is par for the course and has 1/4” gold-plated plug ends that won’t twist or kink.
Whether you need an angled connection or prefer to go straight to straight, Rig Ninja has you covered with their cable in your choice of blue with black accents or solid black. You can choose from lengths of 10 or 20 feet, so keep your playing style in mind, and you’ll be ready to rock n’ roll with this cable straight out of the box.
The Kirin IWB-202PFGL Cable carries the “premium” moniker, but you wouldn’t know it by the price. It’s one of the more affordable options for guitarists but still built to withstand plenty of abuse. While there are a few small drawbacks, the warranty won’t be one of them as it comes with a limited lifetime guarantee.
The Kirin Premium Cable has a 20-gauge conductor made from oxygen-free copper. That rests inside a woven jacket and braided shielding that offers up 95% coverage. There’s some additional protection around the cable ends, although it’s not of the heat shrink variety, but will do the trick and prevent twists and kinks from occurring at connection points. Both connectors are gold-plated as well with a right angle plug on one end and a straight plug on the other.
While there is a lot to like about this cable, there is one hurdle to overcome as you can only buy it with a straight and right angle connector. On the flipside, you’ll get more color options than usual with olive, royal blue, silver, and red.
Rounding out the top 5 is a cable from Mogami. It’s one of a handful that actually lives up to the “premium” moniker, which is ironic as they don’t use that term. We will however as it’s a fantastic option for guitarists that want the best and arguably the top cable available despite coming in a little lower than the rest.
Mogami’s cables are used in professional setups which include recording studios and in the gig bags of musicians around the globe. They provide a “silent” experience, which means you’ll never experience any interference or background noise through this cable. Your tone will be clear, true and uncolored by tech tricks or rogue frequencies with noise-free handling no matter how much you move or wiggle the cable. What’s more, you’ll receive a “no excuses” lifetime warranty, something we don’t see very often with cables as you can send it back for any reason if you don’t like the way it sounds.
This cable is only available in black, and sans the tweed jacket found on other cords in this class. That’s because it’s in a different class altogether, the one where high-end audio equipment sits. We also like the lengths offered up by the company which are unusual considering you can go with 3, 6, 10, 18 or 25 feet.