The Best Guitar / Instrument Cables - Straight & Angled

The Highest Rated Guitar Cables

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To make the most of your guitars and related gear, you need to connect them with quality cables that protect your audio signal from interference and noise.

Here we present you with what the market considers as the best quality and most reliable guitar cables, based on actual reviews and ratings including the most recent ones up to late September of 2022.

Note that we mainly feature the 10 foot version of each cable to make it easy to compare prices, but each cable is available in multiple lengths, and the ratings we have provided represent the combined ratings for all lengths of each cable that's longer than patch cable length.

Note: We also have a guide to Wireless Guitar Systems that free you up from being tied to your amp on stage.

The Best Guitar / Instrument Cables - 2022.09

Author & Contributors

Alexander BrionesAlexander Briones

I've written about and researched music gear for many years, while also serving as a music director at my local church, in addition to teaching guitar, bass and mentoring young musicians.

Straight to Straight

GLS Audio Tweed Guitar Cable 15'

96
GEARANK

96 out of 100. Incorporating 4150+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$13
GLS Audio Tweed Straight to Straight Instrument Guitar Cable - 15' - ¼" TS to ¼" TS

Cons

  • Average shielding

Pros

  • Vintage style tweed cloth wrap
  • Easy access to solder joints
  • Balance of value and quality
  • Good quality material and build

GLS Audio started out as a guitar amplifier builder in the mid '60s, now they are known for affordably priced cables and accessories. The Tweed guitar cable that they produce continues to get high ratings with its balance of quality and affordability.

This cable comes with double insulator shields (OFC insulator and PVC conductive shields) and oxygen free copper all wrapped in braided tweed cloth jacket, which is quite good for the price. Unfortunately shielding specs are not provided, so while it works great for home use or small stages, it may not offer enough shielding in areas with higher interference.

Thanks to its cloth tweed wrap, this cable looks more premium than it actually is, and fits really well with older amps. This soft yet sturdy exterior does a good job of protecting the innards, and makes the cable easy to twist and store. It also helps prevent issues like cable kinking and breaking.

And it's not just skin deep because everything about the cable is solid and well built, including the plug and the soldering joints. Speaking of soldering joints, this cable allows for easy access to the joints, which makes them easier to check and maintain.

While the original soldering work is good, it will give out - sooner or later, depending on how you take care of the cable. Thankfully, resoldering is quick and painless.

With its great balance of quality, value and old school looks, you won't be disappointed with this highly rated guitar cable.

Specifications

  • OFC Copper
  • Double Insulator Shielding
  • Heat Shrink Strain Relief
  • Braided Tweed Cloth Jacket
  • Available Lengths: 6' | 10' | 15' | 20'
  • Fender Professional Series Cable Straight to Straight

    96
    GEARANK

    96 out of 100. Incorporating 5250+ ratings and reviews.

    Street Price: 

    $14
    Fender Professional Series Straight to Straight Instrument Cable

    Cons

    • Cable is quite heavy

    Pros

    • Quiet operation
    • Heavy duty yet flexible PVC jacket
    • Reliable plugs with sealed soldering joints
    • No kinking or twisting

    Fender is one of the biggest brands when it comes to guitars, amps and related accessories, so it's not surprising to find the brand doing well in the guitar cable market.

    The Fender Professional Series cable does not stray off from the tried and tested path, with a 22 AWG wire that is protected by a 95% OFC spiral shielding. This ensures road worthy quiet operation free from worries of interference.

    All of that is protected from the elements by a sturdy 8mm outer wire jacket PVC jacket. It feels solid to the touch but has good flexibility, which helps in preventing cable twisting and kinking. The downside to its thick PVC jacket is that it is relatively bulky and heavy.

    Both ends feature nickel plated connectors that work properly for a long time, thanks to sealed soldering joints.

    With its big brand backing, the Fender Professional Series cable is worth looking at especially when reliability is your top concern.

    Specifications

  • 22 AWG
  • 95% OFC Spiral Shielding
  • Nickel-plated Connectors
  • Available Lengths: 5' | 10' | 15' | 18.6' | 20'
  • Mogami Gold Instrument Cable - 10'

    97
    GEARANK

    97 out of 100. Incorporating 1100+ ratings and reviews.

    Street Price: 

    $68
    Mogami Gold Instrument Instrument Cable Straight to Straight - 10'
    At publication time this was the Highest Rated ¼" TS Straight to Straight Instrument Cable for the third year in a row!

    Cons

    • Requires a substantial investment
    • Cable is a bit stiff

    Pros

    • Noticeable jump in clarity
    • High resistance to interference
    • Low handling noise
    • Premium build quality

    Mogami is known for offering expensive premium cables and their Gold Instrument cable straight is their highest rated offering.

    This cable features a high quality oxygen-free copper core that's designed to be as transparent sounding as a cable can. There's a noticeable jump in clarity when using this cable, and this translates to more accurate playing and better overall tone.

    For noise protection, Mogami opted for high-density copper spiral shielding with 100% coverage. And this is supported by a conductive polymer sub-shielding. It also utilizes carbon-impregnated PVC to help reduce handling noise. All these premium features result in interference free quiet operation, ready to take on the busiest stages and recording studios.


    Mogami Cable Components
    Mogami cable components

    Speaking of premium, the Mogami Gold cable requires a substantial investment that goes beyond the usual budget for cables. And given its improved shielding, the cable is a bit stiff, not as flexible as regular ones.

    The higher the price, the higher the expectations, but Mogami stands by their cables enough to offers a no-excuses lifetime warranty. If you want nothing less than the highest rated option, then get the Mogami Gold Instrument straight cable.

    Specifications

    • 20 AWG OFC Conductor
    • Spiral Shielding
    • Conductive Polymer Sub-Shield
    • Available Lengths: 6' | 10' | 18' | 25'

    Rating Source Highlights

    Website Source *Rating Value
    YouTube The Desire Company 97/100
    *Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

    Straight to Right Angle

    Ernie Ball Braided - 10'

    98
    GEARANK

    98 out of 100. Incorporating 1200+ ratings and reviews.

    Street Price: 

    $25
    Ernie Ball Braided Straight to Right Angle Instrument Cable 10'

    Cons

    • Average quality Plugs
    • Braids are prone to staining

    Pros

    • Sturdy yet flexible braided exterior
    • Easy to roll up and setup
    • Low handling noise
    • Snug fitting plugs

    Ernie Ball Braided cable is a consistent market favorite, rating highly across multiple retail stores. And closer inspection reveals why, build quality is really top notch.

    The braiding is neatly done down to the smallest details. I really tried but I couldn't find any cosmetic flaws to complain about. If you're not into the green and black color of this cable, there are a a lot of color options to choose from. The cable feels soft yet sturdy, and it has good flexibility. Rolling up is easy and is not rough on my hands. I haven't encountered any tangling problems, and it's not as heavy as I expected to be. More importantly, it does all this while providing protection for the innards.

    Speaking of innards, this cable uses two 16AWG conductors made from 99.95% OFC (Oxygen-Free Copper) for improved resistance against corrosion. And underneath the braided exterior are dual shielding, to protect the it from damage and interference.

    Ernie Ball Braided Instrument Solder Joints
    User serviceable with rubber jackets over the solder joints.

    Ernie Ball secured the solder joints properly with sturdy rubber jackets and metal covers. The rubber jackets make it harder to bend the cable at the joints. The metal cover adds even more protection, and serves as the handles for the plugs. More importantly, the joints are user serviceable, which adds to the life expectancy of the cable.

    The plugs are made from nickel, they feel solid and have a good heft to them. I've tried plugging it into different electric guitars and acoustics, and I didn't encounter any problem. I can even use the right angle plug on my Strat, and it fits nice and snug - no annoying sideway movements. I've also plugged it in my amps, and got good results. The plugs are a bit longer than my regular cables, so the straight one is more prone to being accidentally hit and bent. This is why I prefer right angle plugs, because they can positioned in a safer manner. I find that using right angle plugs and looping the cable around the guitar strap makes for a safer and more secure setup.

    Ernie Ball Braided Plugged-in
    Used it on my Strat, Les Paul and Martin acoustic-electric, it's been incredibly quiet with no operation noise.

    This cable is noticeably quieter than what I'm used to. No handling noise, and no crackling even when I move the cable and plugs around. This could be attributed to it being new, so it's double shielding is still 100% intact. It's nice to be able to move around without worrying about cable noise.

    All in all, the Ernie Ball Braided instrument cable outclassed my other cables with its premium build quality and quiet operation. It really lives up to its impressively high ratings across major retailers.

    Specifications

    • 16 AWG Dual Conductor
    • Dual Shielding with Braided Jacket Exterior
    • 99.95% OFC Conductor
    • Available Lengths: 10' | 18' | 25'

    Rating Source Highlights

    Website Source *Rating Value
    Gearank Alexander Briones 98/100
    *Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

    Boss BIC-10A - 10'

    98
    GEARANK

    98 out of 100. Incorporating 225+ ratings and reviews.

    Street Price: 

    $25
    Boss Straight to Right Angle Instrument Cable

    Cons

    • Not user serviceable
    • Sealed plugs

    Pros

    • Tough exterior
    • Clear and defined sound
    • Quiet operation
    • High quality plugs and build quality

    Boss is well known for their tank-tough pedals, and as expected, the same passion for durability and reliability is found their guitar cables, the highest rated of which is the Boss BIC-10A.

    To meet the company's standard for toughness, the main "multi-strand" conductor is protected by a woven outer jacket with an interior PVC jacket. This combination results in durability that can withstand the rigors of aggressive stage performances.


    Boss BIC10A Jacket
    Interior and outer jacket

    It's tough exterior is supplemented by braided OFC shielding with 95% coverage and polyethylene insulator. The shielding and insulator keep the cable quiet, even in locations where there are higher than average interferences.

    The cable's quiet operation works well with its multi-strand conductor, resulting in clear sound that's noticeably has more definition compared to the average cheap cable.

    Having a multi-strand conductor and molded jacks mean that repairing and modifying this cable will not be easy. Thankfully, Boss believes in the durability of this cable so much, that they back it up with lifetime guarantee.

    If you're looking for a no-nonsense guitar cable that can last a lifetime then do check out the Boss BIC-10A.

    Specifications

    • Multi-strand OFC conductor
    • Braided OFC Shielding
    • Woven Cable Jacket
    • Available Lengths: 5' | 10' | 15' | 20'

    Things to Consider When Buying a Guitar Cable

    Cable Length and Capacitance

    All things being equal, the shorter the distance that your guitar signal has to travel, the better signal transparency is, preventing high frequency loss. So the goal is to have the shortest cable length possible to get the lowest capacitance, without restricting your stage movement. In addition to clearer tone, having the right size cable reduces cable clutter and possible tangling.

    On the flip side, low capacitance and clear tone is not always the way to go, especially when considering that many of the best records were recorded using old cable technology, which is ironically similar to the cheap cables of today. This is the reason why some guitarists do not appreciate the clarity of premium cables, and prefer the subtle high-end damping of cheap cables or long coiled ones (coils add to the actual length of the cable while keeping clutter to a minimum). Note that the effect of cable capacitance and length can be almost negligible if you are using active pickups or buffered pedals (when used between your other pedals and amplifier).

    Cable Conductor

    The term Oxygen Free Copper or OFC refers to a purer type of copper that many manufacturers prefer to use, and the consensus is that the purer the conductor, the more transparent the signal transfer becomes. Note that there are even cables that utilize silver, which is more conductive than copper, but they are more expensive and are not practical for use with guitars.

    Conductors are implemented in two ways, the most cost effective are Solid Conductors, but it tend to break easily, resulting in signal degradation if not total loss. Stranded Conductors are more reliable because they are inherently flexible, and allow for better signal transfer even when bent. Premium cables often use smaller strands for improved flexibility and signal reliability, the downside to this is that small copper strands with low impurities are harder to manufacture. This is where you can separate the wheat from the chaff, as cheap cables usually skimp on this aspect.

    Cable Shielding

    Shielding is used on guitar cables to block out interference. The cheapest is Foil Shielding, which easily breaks and offers the least protection. Many of the top rated cables have Braid Shielding, which has increased flexibility and strength, in addition to its excellent blocking of Radio Frequency (RF) and Electro-Magnetic (EM) interference generally.

    Plug Joint

    The part where the cable meets the plug is really where most problems happen, and where most low quality cables show their true colors. Premium cables usually come with better soldering, with some even using solder-less joints. Strain Relief is also important as it stops improper bending at the joint, but it can't stop sudden pulls, like when you trip over a cable. So at the end of the day, no matter how reliable the cable is, 'entropy' catches up and eventually the joint will break. This is where Serviceability becomes an important factor, where users can actually repair breakage themselves. It is also useful if there is a need to manually cut excess cable length and to re-attach the plug.

    Plug Shape and Type

    Whether you want straight or angled will depend on the instrument you're using. Straight Plugs work with most guitars, amps and pedals - but they can be intrusive and be accidentally hit and bent. Angled Plugs offer a more discrete positioning of the cable, and are especially ideal for top mounted output jacks - like the one on a Gibson ES-335. However they may not work with outputs that are recessed or have obstructions, like the Stratocaster - this recessed output requires straight plugs. Some prefer a combination of angled and straight plugs in one cable, because it allows for flexibility as you can usually plug either type into a pedal or amp. There are manufacturers who claim that the material used on the plugs have subtle effect on the sound, but this can be debatable. Thankfully, the cables in our recommended list all have sturdy plugs that won't easily break with proper handling.

    Best Guitar Cable Selection Methodology

    The first edition was published in 2016 and the current edition was published on September 26, 2022.

    We looked at ¼" TS to ¼" TS (Tip-Sleeve) instrument cables with straight to straight or straight to right angle connectors, available from major online retailers in the USA, and put the most promising 44 options on our short-list to produce ratings for - you can see the list in our Music Gear Database.

    Note that many cables are available in multiple lengths, so we combined the ratings of all lengths of a particular cable from 3' and longer to produce a Gearank Rating that applies to all of these lengths, not just the 10' versions listed above. Shorter length patch cables are rated separately and covered in another guide: Patch Cables & Pedal Couplers.

    We then collated owner and user feedback about each cable on our short-list in the form of store ratings, video/written reviews, forum comments and discussions, including the most recent ones up to late September of 2022. All these data came from over 49,500 sources. We then processed this data with the Gearank Algorithm to produce a rating score out of 100 for each cable.

    Finally, we recommended the highest rated cables in each category above: Straight to Straight and Straight to Right Angle.

    For more information about our methods see How Gearank Works.

    About the Author and Contributors

    Here are the key people and sources involved in this guide's production - click on linked names for information about their music industry backgrounds.

    Lead Author & Researcher

    Alexander BrionesAlexander Briones

    I've written about and researched music gear for many years, while also serving as a music director at my local church, in addition to teaching guitar, bass and mentoring young musicians.

    I didn't have to worry about cables for a while now, thanks to our super dependable sound tech at church, who makes and maintains the custom made cables that we use. But for my personal use, I still go for ready-made Straight to Right Angle cables, and my current favorite is the Ernie Ball Braided Instrument Cable.

    Contributors

    Alden Acosta: Product research.
    Jason Horton: Editing and Illustrating.

    Media

    Main/Top Image: By Gearank.com compiled using images of the Mogami Gold and Musician's Gear Tweed Straight to Right Angle cables.

    The individual product images were sourced from websites, promotional materials or supporting documentation provided by their respective manufacturers except for the Ernie Ball Braided photos with the Gearank logo which were taken by the author.

    Comments

    I use Chord Company Cream

    I use Chord Company Cream Instrument cables a shielded twisted pair design rather than a coax design and are very happy I've changed to them.

    Same here Tone. I began

    Same here Tone. I began using Cream Cable as a live Sound Engineer 12 years ago. I now use nothing else as they are exceptionally reliable. I've saved a lot of money by not replacing cables regularly.

    I have been using Chord

    I have been using Chord Company Cream Instrument Cable for over 10 years. They sound exceptionally detailed and are very durable. I still use the original cables I bought over 10 years ago. They should be mentioned in my opinion.

    They certainly should be

    They certainly should be mentioned, Robin. No Brand mystique, just fit for purpose. My job made easier. What a refreshing change.

    If you move at all and looove

    If you move at all and looove knotted cables by all means buy the braided ones.
    I build my own using Beldon cable bought in bulk and Neutrik nys224g's.
    Because $55 for a 10 ft cable is just insane.Monster makes, well, a monster cable for those solder impaired.

    Sadly not enought cables are

    Sadly not enough cables are viewed. Whatever the price, vovox, monsters, follow by high end klotz cables, are the best by a huge margin. However klotz ones seems a bit low shielded and edgy result due to low capacitance unlike monsters cut high frequency for same reasons. Hope you test some soon.

    It has been shown that

    It has been shown that capacitance is the only thing that alters tone in a cable. Everything else is sometimes subjective or for longevity, interference and various other external reasons.
    It would be nice to see the Picofarads Per Foot on all these cables in the review. For example, the top rated cable is 38 Picofarads Per Foot. Even though they advertise that as "very low" is actually is not considered all that low in cables now in the digital world. Many cable makers have said 20-28 is a good place to start for guitar but everyone will hear differences dependent on their equipment used obviously. Nothing wrong with GLS cable, but did just want to point out that fact.

    Great breakdown! George L

    Great breakdown! George L makes some of the best guitar cables around! I'm surprised it didn't rank higher because the difference between George's cables and the Hosa at the top of the list is night and day!

    George L guitar cables tend

    George L guitar cables tend to polarize people, many good guitarists swear by them while others say they don't offer enough extra value to justify the higher prices.

    BTW - the list is sorted by price so Hosa isn't at the 'top of the list' in terms of its ratings.