The Best Guitar / Instrument Cables

The Best Guitar Cables

Guitar cables can't make you sound better, but bad ones can make you sound bad, if not totally cut off your sound. This results in uninspiring and often awkward experiences that musicians try to forget. To avoid this, we present you with the best guitar and instrument cables in the market, covering a wide price range so you can choose one that fits your preference and budget.

Click on a model name for further details or scroll down:

Guitar Cable Gearank Sources Length Street
Price
Hosa GTR Guitar Cable 90 900+ 10 ft. $9
Musician's Gear Tweed Guitar Cable 90 225+ 10 ft. $12
GLS Audio Tweed Guitar Cable 95 475+ 10 ft. $13
Fender Performance Guitar Cable 92 1650+ 10 ft. $17
Planet Waves American Stage Guitar Cable 92 425+ 10 ft. $20
Fulltone GS15-SS Guitar Cable 91 20+ 15 ft. $29
George L's Guitar Cable 91 40+ 10 ft. $49
Monster Rock Guitar Cable 92 275+ 12 ft. $50
Monster Classic Coiled Guitar Cable 93 30+ 21 ft. $50
Mogami Gold Guitar Cable 92 90+ 10 ft. $55

Methodology

We looked at popular and top rated guitar cables that you can easily purchase online or at retailers. To keep the list focused, we only featured ready-to-use guitar cables with at least 10' length, and we skipped on stereo TRS cables, smaller patch cables, and DIY cable kits. We limited the list to specific models of instrument cables, to avoid having a long list of the same cable with different lengths and configurations.

All the reviews and ratings are fed to the Gearank Algorithm, which in turn provided us with the scores that we used to trim the list to only those that scored high enough. For more information see How Gearank Works. Note that for some models, we incorporated relevant review data from the different lengths and plug configurations to get a better overview of its market performance.

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 that is provided, 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 cheap cables. 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 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 pedalboard 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 tends 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. Most of the top rated cables listed here have Braid Shielding, which have 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 meet 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 solderless 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, the 'law of 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 is especially ideal for top mounted output jacks. However they may not work with outputs that are recessed or have obstructions. Based on the ratings, many prefer a combination of angled and straight plugs in one cable, because it allows for flexibility. 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 the list below all have sturdy plugs that won't easily break with proper handling.

The Best Guitar Cables

We ended up with ten highly rated cables that cover a wide price range. So whatever your budget is, you'll see one that will fit your needs below.

Hosa GTR Guitar Cable

90
GEARANK

90 out of 100. Incorporating 900+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$9

The name may not be familiar to all, but Hosa Tech's decades of experience with audio equipment have enable them to produce top rated and affordable cables like the Hosa GTR. This particular instrument cable features traditional designs that make maintenance easy and convenient, including Oxygen Free Copper (OFC) conductors, OFC braided shield, and all-metal plugs. What sets them apart is how reliable and solidly built their cables are, compared to other similarly priced and configured cables in the market.

Features:

  • 24 AWG OFC
  • 90% OFC Braid Shielding
  • Serviceable Metal Connectors
  • Length: 10'
  • Available Lengths: 5' | 10' | 15' | 20' | 25'
  • Available Plugs: Straight

Pros

Hosa captured the market with its great value, as confirmed by the many reviews that point to its high quality and price ratio as its best trait. Novice musicians appreciate its accessible price, while experienced engineers found the quality to be sufficient for regular gigging use. A good number of users also found the flexible yet sturdy rubber exterior to be of high quality.

Cons

There are a few who experienced problems after using the cable for months, and they do not recommend this affordable cable if you tend to move around a lot when performing.

Overall

Overall, this is a great value guitar cable if you're not someone who moves too much while playing.

Musician's Gear Tweed Guitar Cable

90
GEARANK

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

Street Price: 

$12
Musician's Gear Tweed Instrument Guitar Cable

There's nothing out of the ordinary with this cable, rather it follows tried and tested designs and sticks with them well enough to top others in terms of sales and review ratings. It features standard 20 AWG OFC conductor wrapped in braided copper shielding, while the gold-tipped metal plugs are protected by heatshrunk tubing that alleviates strain on the solder connections. However, what seems to have captured most users attention is its vintage style flecked tweed wrap.

Features:

  • 20 AWG OFC
  • Braided Copper Shielding
  • Heatshrunk heavy duty tubing for strain relief
  • Gold-tipped metal plugs
  • Length: 10'
  • Available Lengths: 10' | 20'
  • Available Plugs: Straight or Angled

Pros

From practice, to weekly church use, to regular gigs, reviewers have put this cable to use with satisfactory results. And as expected, many commend the cable's value for money as its main selling point. The cable's elegant appearance also got a lot of thumbs up, satisfying even guitarists who have expensive vintage instruments. Others were happy to point out that this cable is easy to roll up and untangle.

Cons

There were some users who had their cables give out earlier than they expected, some after a year, while some just after a few uses. The general impression is that the cable requires proper handling if you want to keep it in good working condition for a long time.

Overall

As long as you're not planning on abusing it, this affordable and good looking guitar cable will get the job done.

GLS Audio Tweed Guitar Cable

95
GEARANK

95 out of 100. Incorporating 475+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$13
GLS Audio Instrument Guitar cable

GLS Audio started out as a guitar amplifier builder in the mid '60s, now they are known for affordably priced cables and accessories. Interestingly, the Tweed guitar cable that they produce got the highest rating in this list, and did so with its balance of quality and affordability. For the price, this cable comes with double insulator shields (OFC insulator and PVC conductive shields) and oxygen free copper all wrapped in braided tweed cloth jacket.

Features:

  • OFC Copper
  • Double Insulator Shielding
  • Heat Shrink Strain Relief
  • Braided Tweed Cloth Jacket
  • Length: 10'
  • Available Lengths: 6' | 10' | 15' | 20'
  • Available Plugs: Straight or Angled
  • Pros

    Most of the users are impressed with the overall solid build of the cable, while others were impressed with the elegant appeal of the cloth tweed wrap. And while its not the cheapest in this list, it does come close while keeping the quality quite high, as evidenced by its high ratings. Some even go as far as commenting that the quality matches their experience with more expensive boutique cables.

    Cons

    There were a few who had popping and ground issues after using the cable for a few months of use. They recommend inspecting the solder between the cable and plug when encountering the same issues, and to re-solder when needed.

    Overall

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

    Fender Performance Guitar Cable

    92
    GEARANK

    92 out of 100. Incorporating 1650+ ratings and reviews.

    Street Price: 

    $17
    Fender Performance Series Instrument Cable

    When it comes to guitar gear, there's no denying Fender's production capability, and it's not just about quantity, because they do make highly rated cables like this one. With their machinery, you can choose between a wide variety of looks and lengths, so you can have one with just the right length for your needs. Features include a PVC jacket, 90% copper shield, metal connectors and strain relief.

    Features:

    • 90% Copper Shield
    • 8mm Diameter PVC Jacket
    • Metal Connectors
    • Length: 10'
    • Available Lengths: 5' | 10' | 15' | 18' | 20' | 25'
    • Available Plugs: Straight or Angled

    Pros

    A good number of reviewers found the Fender Performance cable to be better than what they used before, and they found the quality difference to be substantial, considering that the price difference is not that much. Some users found it to be quieter than even more expensive cables, surprising even experienced users.

    Cons

    There was one who compared his old Fender cable with a new one that he recently bought, and found that the quality seem to have lowered. There are a few who got issues out of the box, but they were able to have the cable replaced, or serviced themselves to good working condition.

    Overall

    If you're looking for a cable from a trusted brand, or you want one to match your Fender guitar, then this is your pick.

    Planet Waves American Stage Guitar Cable

    92
    GEARANK

    92 out of 100. Incorporating 425+ ratings and reviews.

    Street Price: 

    $20
    Planet Waves American Stage Instrument Guitar Cable

    D'Addario is well known for quality guitar accessories, and their sub brand Planet Waves secured a spot on this list with the USA made American Stage guitar cable. It features a slightly thinner 22 AWG OFC conductor wrapped in 95% braided shielding. Planet Waves employed an exclusive in-line solder process that permanently bonds the wire and plug, which ups reliability and longevity. It also features Geo-Tip Neutrik connectors that help keep the jack in place when plugged in.

    Features:

    • 22 AWG OFC Conductor
    • 95% Tinned Copper Braided Shielding
    • Flexible Jacket
    • Geo-Tip Neutrik connectors
    • Inline Soldering Process
    • Length: 10'
    • Available Lengths: 10' | 15' | 20' | 30'
    • Available Plugs: Straight or Angled

    Pros

    Many users and reviewers describe this cable as having a very clean transparent sound, with some even claiming to hear nuances that were lost with their previous cables. There were also reports of the cable being very quiet even when moving around. The American Stage cable is also commended for its reliability and longevity, used by some for years without any issue.

    Cons

    There were a few users who reported that the geo-tip design is not compatible with some guitars, and while the reports mentioned older instruments, there were some who had connection issues with modern instruments like an Ibanez Jem. Other users noted that the cables twist and tangle too quickly, but to them, it is a small price to pay for its rigidity.

    Overall

    If you're looking for a reasonably priced US made guitar cable that's meant to last, then check this one out.

    Fulltone GS15-SS Guitar Cable

    91
    GEARANK

    91 out of 100. Incorporating 20+ ratings and reviews.

    Street Price: 

    $29
    Fulltone GS15-SS Instrument Guitar Cable

    Joe Perry, Keith Richards, Nigel Tufnel, Stone Gossard, Jack Bruce and Tom Petty are just a few of the many professional artists that trust their sound to Fulltone gear. As such, it may do you well to heed their recommendation and check out the GS15-SS, which is specifically designed for guitars. Fulltone understood the importance of the complex overtones in the mid frequencies, so they designed the cable with that in mind, including its OFC conductor, shield and construction methods.

    Features:

    • Gold-Plated jacks
    • Length: 15'
    • Available Lengths: 10' | 15'
    • Available Plugs: Straight or Angled

    Pros

    For something priced higher than standard off-the-shelf cables, a lot of users found the Fulltone GS15-SS to be a great value cable. And this is because many were impressed with how it blends boutique level quality with a more accessible price tag. The general consensus is that it has a great clean sound that doesn't add nor subtract from your tone.

    Cons

    No specific complaints on the cable, other than some experienced users on forums who comment that it may be best to go in and check the soldering and fix any issues before using.

    Overall

    While this cable is by no means cheap, you will want the Fulltone GS15-SS if you're looking for a more affordable alternative to boutique cables.

    George L's Guitar Cable

    91
    GEARANK

    91 out of 100. Incorporating 40+ ratings and reviews.

    Street Price: 

    $49
    George L's Instrument Guitar Cable 15'

    Tone connoisseur Eric Johnson trust George L's cables with his tones, and that is enough for me, and many others, to better consider this boutique cable. George L's pioneered the convenient no soldering and no stripping guitar cable design, and they did so without compromising sound quality. These allowed users to make custom cables in the exact lengths that they need for their rigs. Their pre-packaged cables are also popular enough to make it to this list, with its audiophile sound quality and easy to maintain design. The company lets you choose between gold, nickel and unplated brass plugs, which depending on your ear sensitivity will have a subtle effect on the resulting tone. It's top notch sound quality has made it a mainstay in many guitar rigs and recording studios.

    Features:

    • Solder-less Plugs
    • Lifetime warranty on Plugs
    • Length: 10'
    • Available Lengths: 10' | 15' | 20'
    • Available Plugs: Straight or Angled

    Pros

    "Superior sound and build quality" is a good summary of how the market perceives this cable. Some were even skeptical when they first tried a George L's, but ended up being a fan and even recommending the cable. Most of the users have great things to say about its sound, specifically the sound details that were missing before with their previous cables. Many were genuinely amazed at the difference this cable made to their sound.

    Cons

    There were a few who expressed concern with how stiff and thin the cable is. There was also one user had connection issues after a few months of use, and cautioned that the cable should be handled with care.

    Overall

    If you're looking for a boutique guitar cable for recording then get this one. If this cable is fine by Eric Johnson, then it should be more than enough for most of us.

    Monster Rock Guitar Cable

    92
    GEARANK

    92 out of 100. Incorporating 275+ ratings and reviews.

    Street Price: 

    $50
    Monster Rock Instrument Guitar Cable

    If you're asking how a guitar cable would cost this much, Monster Cable will point you to its features - patented time correct windings which they say help improve sound transfer, the extra-flexible Duraflex jacket and IsoTec vibration isolation that help reduce operation noise. They also employ what they call multi-gauge design, and they claim that as a whole, the cable's design helps alleviate unwanted hum, crackles, and drop outs. So far, the company has been doing really well, maintaining their foothold on the premium guitar cable market with big name artists like Scott Ian, Zakk Wylde and Kerry King recommending their products.

    Features:

    • Multi-gauge
    • Carbon-infused polymer shielding
    • Duraflex Jacket
    • 24K Gold Contacts
    • Length: 12'
    • Available Lengths: 3' | 12' | 21' | 30'
    • Available Plugs: Straight or Angled

    Pros

    Reliability and transparency are the best traits of this cable, as alluded to by many reviewers. There was even one who've had a Monster Rock cable for 12 years and still found it to be performing really well. Most users immediately noticed the quietness and clarity of their tone, with some of them noting that you'll have a hard time switching back to other cables after trying one.

    Cons

    Aside from very few customer service related issues, there aren't any notable concerns with the cable itself. However you will find that non-users will often comment that the price is too high for a guitar cable.

    Overall

    With its high rating and commendations from experienced musicians, the Monster Rock guitar cable is well worth the investment.

    Monster Classic Coiled Guitar Cable

    93
    GEARANK

    93 out of 100. Incorporating 30+ ratings and reviews.

    Street Price: 

    $50
    Monster Classic Coiled Instrument Guitar Cable

    In this price range, it's only natural for increased expectations, yet Monster Cable is not one to back down. They've been building their reputation on premium audio gear, which include their recreation of the classic coiled guitar cable. Aside from its coiled design, this one follows the company's premium design to the letter, with its 20 AWG copper conductor, 90% copper spiral wrap shielding, duraflex jacket and twisted pair construction.

    Features:

    • 20 AWG
    • 90% Copper Spiral Wrap Shielding
    • Twisted Pair Construction
    • Duraflex jacket
    • All metal connectors
    • Length: 21'
    • Practical Stage Length: 4' coiled and stretches to 10'

    Pros

    Many users consider this as their best cable purchase, and considering the price they had to pay for this cable, these are big statements. All in all, users are very pleased with the substantial difference in tone, which some claim to have improved, while others rightfully comment that the cable simply lets everything through. Being a coiled cable, there were some users who found the cable ideal for bright sounding guitars, subtly taming the excess highs.

    Cons

    There aren't that many complaints about the cable in general, aside from a few who found the coiled cable to be shorter than they expected. Surprisingly only those that have not tried the cable complained about its premium price tag.

    Overall

    If you're looking for a premium road worthy cable and want the vintage swag of coils, then this is highly recommended.

    Mogami Gold Guitar Cable

    92
    GEARANK

    92 out of 100. Incorporating 90+ ratings and reviews.

    Street Price: 

    $55
    Mogami Gold Instrument Guitar Cable

    Foo Fighters, Pearl Jam, and Fleetwood Mac are just a few of the growing list of popular bands and artists that are affiliated with Mogami. As such, the company's high end cable products continue to gain traction in the market, of which the highly rated Mogami Gold is included. This cable features dual shielding - high density spiral and conductive polymer sub-shield for quiet and interference free performance, while the carbon impregnated PVC jacket stops handling noise.

    Features:

    • 20 AWG OFC
    • High Density Spiral Shielding
    • Conductive Polymer Sub-Shield
    • Carbon-impregnated PVC Jacket
    • Length: 10'
    • Available Lengths: 3' | 6' | 10' | 18' | 25'
    • Available Plugs: Straight or Angled

    Pros

    The general sentiment is that this cable is well worth the money, giving you precious peace of mind with its consistent performance and reliability. Both acoustic and electric guitar players reported experiencing tone improvements because of better sound transfer. The way the plugs securely connects with instruments, amps and other gear were also commended.

    Cons

    There were a few users who complained about the cable being expensive, hoping that it could sell for a bit less.

    Overall

    The Mogami Gold is a premium cable that's well worth the money, especially for those who want peace of mind during gigs and recording.

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