The Best Guitar / Instrument Cables - Straight & Angled

The Highest Rated Guitar Cables

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More often than not, you can trace noise, signal drops and tone problems to a bad cable. As such, it is imperative that you get quality and reliable cables to reduce the chances of these unwanted problems occurring while you are performing.

For this November 2020 edition we have presented the 10 foot version of each cable to make it easy to compare prices, however each one is available in multiple lengths and the ratings we have provided represent the combined Gearank Rating for all lengths of each cable above patch cable length.

NB: 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

Author & Contributors

Alexander BrionesAlexander Briones

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

Straight to Straight

Hosa GTR 200 Series - 10'

92
GEARANK

92 out of 100. Incorporating 2500+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$11
Hosa GTR Guitar Cable

While Hosa is relatively low-key, they continue to build a name for themselves in the pro audio market, thanks in part to their highly rated GTR 200 series instrument cables.

Each cable follows conventional instrument cable designs, including the use of OFC (Oxygen Free Copper) for the conductors and shield.

This makes maintenance and repair easier, which is an important consideration for those who are working with tight budgets.

Specifications

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

Pros

The Hosa GTR 200 series of instrument cables are getting quite a lot of positive feedback, thanks to their great balance of affordability and quality. With their low price tag, it's easy to understand why they appeal to beginners. But surprisingly, even experienced musicians are impressed enough to give these cables their thumbs up.

Cons

There are a some who are concerned about reliability, a few even caution that this may not be a good choice for musicians who like to move around on stage.

Overall

If you're looking for a guitar cable that gets the job done, and you're not the type of musician who jumps and runs around the stage while performing, then this is worth checking out.

GLS Audio Tweed Guitar Cable 15'

96
GEARANK

96 out of 100. Incorporating 1500+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$16
GLS Audio Tweed Straight to Straight Instrument Guitar Cable - 15' - ¼" TS to ¼" TS

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.

Features:

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

    Most are impressed with the overall solid build of the cable, while others are taken in by the familiar aesthetic of its cloth tweed wrap. It is very affordable, while keeping the quality quite high, as evidenced by the many recommendations and positive reviews that it has. 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. 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 highly rated guitar cable.

    PRS Classic Instrument Cable - 10'

    95
    GEARANK

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

    Street Price: 

    $28
    PRS Classic Straight to Straight Instrument Cable

    Known for premium quality guitars, PRS is expanding their presence in the guitar accessories market with top rated products like their Classic series instrument cable.

    This cable features fine tuned capacitance that is designed specifically for improved signal clarity.

    It also features spiral-shielding that protects the signal from external noise while still being flexible, and it has wrapped solder joints for improved strength at the cable ends.

    Finally, PRS trusts the quality of their cables enough to offer lifetime warranty with each one.

    Features:

  • 24 AWG
  • Spiral-Shielding
  • Wrapped Solder Joints
  • Available Lengths: 5', 10', 18', 25'
  • Pros

    Signal clarity is the biggest reason in rating this cable highly, and most of the reviewers are expectedly guitarists. It also gets commendations for its good balance of durability and flexibility. Many also appreciate that this PRS quality cable is accessibly priced.

    Cons

    There's nothing special about the cable's streamlined appearance, most probably to keep the price from shooting up.

    Overall

    This is an easy buy for those with first hand PRS guitar experience, and even if you're not a PRS fan, this is still a great buy in its price range.

    D'Addario PW-AMSG-10 American Stage - 10'

    92
    GEARANK

    92 out of 100. Incorporating 500+ ratings and reviews.

    Street Price: 

    $30
    Planet Waves American Stage Instrument Guitar Cable

    True to its name, each American Stage cable is manufactured in the US, and features an in-line soldering process that joins the plug and the wire in a more sturdy and permanent way.

    The American Stage series wraps its 22 AWG OFC conductor with 95% braided shielding.

    Finally, each cable end features Geo-Tip Neutrik connectors, which secures the jack better when plugged in.

    Specifications

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

    Pros

    Owners of American Stage cables report substantial sound improvement compared to their previous cables, they also commend them for being quieter. Even with their thinner 22AWG cable, owners describe them as sturdy and reliable, some even report years of use without any problems.

    Cons

    There are some who caution that the cable is prone to twisting and tangling. There were a few reports of noise and crackling straight out of the package - but this came from only a small number of users so it doesn't seem like a widespread issue.

    Overall

    If you're looking for a long-lasting cable US-made guitar cable, then this is for you.

    Mogami Gold Instrument Cable - 10'

    98
    GEARANK

    98 out of 100. Incorporating 375+ 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.

    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. And judging from it's almost perfect ratings, Mogami did successfully accomplish its design objective.

    For noise protection, Mogami opted for high-density spiral shielding and conductive polymer sub-shielding. It also utilizes carbon-impregnated PVC to help reduce handling noise.

    And like all their premium cables, Mogami offers a no-excuses lifetime warranty.

    Specifications

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

    Pros

    The higher the price, the higher the expectations, but with its close-to-perfect ratings, it seems that the Mogami gold cable has exceeded almost everyone's expectations. Owners describe a big jump in overall sound quality after switching to this cable, and almost every one agrees that it is well worth the investment. Many also credit the cable for being quiet, and reliable both on stage or in the studio.

    Cons

    This is definitely not a cable for those working with tight budgets.

    Overall

    If you want nothing less than the highest rated option, then get the Mogami Gold Instrument straight cable.

    Straight to Right Angle

    Ernie Ball Braided - 10'

    96
    GEARANK

    96 out of 100. Incorporating 850+ ratings and reviews.

    Street Price: 

    $22
    Ernie Ball Braided Straight to Right Angle Instrument Cable 10'

    Ernie Ball is a renowned manufacturer of quality guitar strings and accessories.

    And this same quality is applied on their guitar cable offerings, the highest rated of which is the Ernie Ball Braided cable series.

    This cable features a braided exterior that improves durability without being too stiff. This allows the cable to be sturdy yet flexible and easy to roll up.

    Another distinct feature is the use of two 16AWG conductors, and also features dual shielding to protect it from noise and interference.

    Specifications

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

    Pros

    Solid and robust nicely summarizes how most owners describe this cable. It is commended for being sturdy and reliable, some having used the cable for long periods of time without encountering any issues. It also helps that its colorful braided exterior makes the cable nice to look at.

    Cons

    There are a few reports of the cable giving out earlier than expected, while some complain that the cable is too stiff.

    Overall

    If you're looking for a colorful yet reliable cable then check out the Ernie Ball Braided.

    Fender Deluxe Series Tweed - 10'

    97
    GEARANK

    97 out of 100. Incorporating 650+ ratings and reviews.

    Street Price: 

    $28
    Fender Deluxe Series Tweed Straight to Right Angle Instrument Cable

    You can literally find Fender in everything guitar gear related, and guitar cables are not exempted.

    The Fender Deluxe Series Tweed cable is their current top rated cable, featuring 24K gold-plated connectors and soft-woven tweed cable jacket.

    At its core is a 20AWG conductor running across the cable with 95% OFC braided shielding.

    Another noteworthy feature is the use of custom-molded ends for protecting the cable to jack connection.

    Specifications

    • 20 AWG Dual Conductor
    • 95% OFC Braided Shieldingr
    • Soft-woven Tweed Cable Jacket
    • Available Lengths: 5' | 10' | 15' | 18.6' | 25'

    Pros

    The classic look of its tweed jacket makes it appealing to many guitarists, and this is reflected in reviews. But it's not just about the looks, because it also gets commended for being sturdy without being too stiff. Tone wise, most owners are satisfied if not impressed with its quiet operation and transparency.

    Cons

    While tweed works nicely with many guitar styles, it may not be a good fit visually for some modern guitar designs. There are also a few noise related issues reported.

    Overall

    If you're looking for a classic looking guitar cable with big-brand backing then check out the Fender Deluxe Series Tweed cable.

    Boss BIC-10A - 10'

    98
    GEARANK

    98 out of 100. Incorporating 125+ ratings and reviews.

    Street Price: 

    $30
    Boss Straight to Right Angle Instrument Cable

    At publication time this was the Highest Rated ¼" TS Straight to Right Angle Instrument Cable.

    Boss is well known for their tank-tough pedals, and as expected, they apply the same passion for durability and reliability in 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 is supplemented by the cable's braided OFC shielding and polyethylene insulator.

    Finally, the contact points are 24K gold-plated, and each cable comes with Boss' lifetime guarantee.

    Specifications

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

    Pros

    Given that this cable is from Boss, most who own or have tried this cable are pleased with how solid and sturdy the cable is. But more than just being tough, the Boss BIC-10A also gets a lot of thumbs up for its sound quality - described as clean and defined. Guitarists make up most of its satisfied owners, some even reporting that tone improvement is noticeable. There are also bassists who loved the cable enough for them to take the time to recommend it to others.

    Cons

    Having a multi-strand conductor and molded jacks mean that repairing and modifying this cable will not be easy.

    Overall

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

    Roland RIC-G10A Gold Series - 10'

    95
    GEARANK

    95 out of 100. Incorporating 60+ ratings and reviews.

    Street Price: 

    $35
    Roland Gold Series Straight to Right Angle Instrument Cable

    Roland is another big name brand that's gaining a lot of good rep in the guitar cable market, thanks to their Gold Series cables.

    This cable features an OFC conductor core designed to have low-capacitance for improved frequency reproduction.

    Protecting the core is spiral copper shielding and woven outer jacket, a combination that balances durability with flexibility.

    Both 1/4" jacks come with 24K gold-plated contacts.

    Finally, Roland backs their Gold Series cables with a lifetime guarantee.

    Specifications

    • OFC conductor
    • High-Density Spiral Copper Shielding
    • Woven Cable Jacket
    • Available Lengths: 5' | 10' | 15' | 20'

    Pros

    Excellent and great are just some of the many positive reactions that can be found in reviews. Users describe it as a clean sounding and quiet cable, with reports of it working well with various instruments, including guitars, bass and electronic drums to name a few. Cable exterior and plug quality is also well liked by users.

    Cons

    No noteworthy complaints, aside from a few who are concerned about the plug's durability.

    Overall

    It's really hard to go wrong with Roland, and given its high ratings, this is a cable that's easy to recommend.

    Mogami MCP GT R 10 CorePlus - 10'

    95
    GEARANK

    95 out of 100. Incorporating 60+ ratings and reviews.

    Street Price: 

    $40
    Mogami CorePlus Instrument R Straight to Right Angle Cable

    The Mogami CorePlus has a thin 26-gauge copper center core that you don't normally see used in instrument cables, making it comparably lighter and more flexible, without compromising signal quality.

    And to protect its thin core, Mogami employed high-density spiral shielding along with conductive PVC sub shield and cable jacket.

    Another noteworthy feature is its polyethylene insulation, which protects the soldered joints.

    Finally, each CorePlus instrument cable has Neutrik REAN nickel connectors on both ends.

    Specifications

    • 26-gauge copper conductor
    • High-Density Spiral Copper Shielding
    • PVC Sub shield
    • Available Lengths: 5' | 10' | 20'

    Pros

    Most users report a big improvement in their tone after switching to the Mogami CorePlus instrument cable, so much so that many of them consider it to be a worthy investment. Many appreciate the solid premium feel of the cable and plugs, while others describe it as the most transparent and quiet cable that they've used.

    Cons

    Given its brand name, this this cable is relatively cheap, but it still costs more than the average priced guitar cable.

    Overall

    Mogami CorePlus is a good entry point into the premium guitar cable market, and is definitely worth checking out if you're looking to upgrade your cables.

    Mogami Gold Instrument Cable

    95
    GEARANK

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

    Street Price: 

    $75
    Mogami Gold Instrument Guitar Cable

    Foo Fighters, Pearl Jam, and Fleetwood Mac are just a few of the 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
    • Available Lengths: 6' | 10' | 18' | 25'

    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 report experiencing improvements in their overall tone, when comparing their sound with their previous cables. The way the plugs securely connect with instruments, amps and other gear is also highly commended.

    Cons

    As expected, there are 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.

    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 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 latest edition was published on November 22, 2020.

    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 37 options on our short-list for closer examination - 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 and written reviews, and forum comments and discussions - this tallied to more than 16,700 sources. We then processed this data with the Gearank Algorithm to produce a rating score out of 100 for each cable, in addition to using the reviews and comments to summarize the pros and cons of each one we recommended above.

    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

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

    Drawing from his experience in performing and recording, he teaches guitar and bass and mentors young artists to be better musicians. And when he is not busy playing or tinkering with musical gear, he puts on his entrepreneurial hat, which helps fund his passion for collecting guitars, mecha figures and Gunpla kits.

    Contributors

    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.

    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.