Guitar cables are by no means just an accessory. Cables are an integral part of your guitar’s signal path and can affect the quality of the signal. While the guitar cable isn’t among the most dissected, discussed and often criticized components of guitar rigs, it is an essential part. In this review, we look at some options for the best guitar cable in 2016.
We’ve tested an extensive list of models to come up with the cables below. We’ve also taken expert reviews and reviews from other “every day” users into consideration to get a well rounded picture of the best patch cables around today. Below, we present the results of our research and we’re hopeful that these reviews will guide you towards the perfect guitar cable for you.
Sometimes, you’ll get lucky with a product that isn’t expensive but ends up being extremely useful and reliable. The GLS Audio TS-TS cable is a cable that falls into this category. It delivers a classy look and provides a high-quality sound at an undeniably affordable price. As far as sound quality is concerned, this cable is pretty solid for a cheaper cable, but not as good as some of the other ones below.
However, it should be mentioned that it is quite silent when compared to similar models at the same price point. The tone comes through the cable without any degradation. It’s a good option for clean guitar tones, jazz, and rock and roll.
GLS Audio employs three strategies to strengthen the build and add stress relief. These include rubber tuning, metal clamping, and heat shrinking. The conductive PVC and insulator shield protect the signal from any external electrical interference.
The only downside this model has is that you get only one length option: 20 feet. But, this length is more than enough to help cover the stage in almost all live situations. The jacks are straight tipped and GLS Audio makes up for it by availing several different colors. This cable simply offers extraordinary value at an incredibly affordable price.
Weight (Pounds): 0.75
Dimensions (Inches): 9 x 8 x 2.2
Brand: GLS Audio
Although KIRLIN isn’t a major name brand, the California-based company has been attracting lots of attention. We’d attribute that to the top-quality cables they’re currently manufacturing. The IWS-201BSG-10 is one of the cables that have made this brand widely popular.
Their emphasis here is on the cable’s technical side. While KIRLIN is somewhat secretive when it comes to the proprietary technologies, these guys surely know what they’re doing. This cable sounds pretty fantastic. A combination of state-of-the-art design and production results in a beautiful and crisp sounding cable. There isn’t any imbalance in the attenuated frequencies. You can thus rely on this cable to provide a flat response all across the frequency spectrum.
You can make use of this cable for all music genres, as it doesn’t color the sound. Jazz and acoustic players will certainly enjoy the sound clarity offered by this cable. This premium cable comes in a rugged, tweed jacket with heavy-duty connectors. It utilizes a 20-AWG-gauge wire that lends to the cable’s durability.
KIRLIN offers this cable in different length options which are 10, 20, and 30 feet. Despite the high-performance level, this cable is reasonably priced and extremely affordable. Such features place this KIRLIN cable at the top of the heap. A limited lifetime warranty guarantees you of long-term service and top notch performance.
Weight (Pounds): 11.2
Dimensions (Inches): 9 x 1.3 x 7.8
Brand: KIRLIN, KIRLIN CABLE
You’re assured of less noise when unplugging from an amp, thanks to this oval cable’s silent connectors. You’ll be able to switch instruments without turning down the volume and running to the amp. The silent plug is a special 2-pole plug version that boasts an integrated switch. This switch will automatically mute the guitar cable. You’ll easily avoid annoying squeals and pops when swapping guitars. The cable itself, connectors, packaging, and design are all done in the USA so you know the build quality will be there.
The spring-loaded ground sleeve is part of a unique design, which makes a more reliable switching plug. This cable has been verified to be ROHS-compliant. It sounds as superb as it feels. This oval cable comprises 20 gauge conductors. A conductor sheath is included to eliminate microphonics. We consider this cable as among the best flex-and-feel instrument cables available on the market today.
Weight (Pounds): 1.8
Gauge Conductors: 20
Brand: Analysis Plus
Monster designs this cable to deliver the warmth and harmonics. It’ll help sustain an acoustic with clarity and precision. Magnetic fields found in ordinary cables tend to cause phase and frequency distortions. But, the Monster Acoustic Instrument Cable features 3-way Time Correct windings. These windings will reject interference, thus protecting your transient attack, critical overtones, and full output.
The multiple gauges (low- and high-frequency wire networks) are included to allow for accurate and natural sound reproduction. The 95% coverage copper-braided shield will reject EMI and RFI for increased resolution and a lower noise floor. The Microfiber dielectric will provide for greater clarity and even faster transients. Monster incorporates the IsoTec vibration technology that further reduces any handling noise.
Another fantastic feature is the extra-flexible Duraflex outer jacket that allows for superior cut resistance and reliability. The striking natural wood-grain connector design helps compliment the natural look of acoustic guitars. Simply put, the Monster Acoustic Cable is exceptional.
Weight (Pounds): 5
Dimensions (Inches): 1 x 1 x1
All guitar cables by Orange Amplifiers are made using extremely excellent components, including high-grade copper. This 1/4 Inch Cable is constructed out of oxygen-free copper. That ensures for optimal clarity and articulation. The dense braided shield acts to reduce noise and electromagnetic interference.
Orange Amplifiers keep this cables’ onstage tangling to the minimum. They achieve that by using a specially designed nylon woven sleeve, that’s also armor-plated. The Neutrik connectors ensure high quality, reliability, and durability. You’ll love the fact that this cable comes backed by a lifetime warranty. That alone assures you that this cable is durable and reliable.
Weight (Pounds): 2.2
Dimensions: .4 x .4 x .4
Brand: Orange Amplifiers
Since there are so many options are at your disposal you can quickly get overwhelmed when looking for a 0.25-inch instrument cable. Whether you like them uncolored and flat, or with large accumulated capacitance, keep your ears open. You’re bound to find one that fits your playing style, sound, and budget.
We don’t think you will go wrong with the cables we’ve featured in this guide. They’ll open up more tonal range from your amp and give you more depth to work with. They’ll help you sustain your notes better. A nice cable will make a difference.
Also, you may be interested in checking out the following guitar pedal reviews:
The Flash X4 Delay Pedal is TC Electronic's flagship delay and looper pedal. It’s a culmination of TC Electronic’s many years of experience crafting amazing delay tones. But the question is, is this model worth purchasing? We’ll find out whether this delay pedal is worth your time and money in this review. The TC Electronic
Flashback X4 offers a broad range of features which we will assess in this review. But before getting into the features, let’s look at the pros and cons.
The TC Electronics Flash X4 offers twelve different delay types and four preset positions. This includes the typical delay modes which are found on any digital delay pedal, in addition to several modes which will prove handy in certain situations.
One feature that is fairly handy would be the the four preset slots. The slots are Tone-Print positions that allow for the creation of any preset from the Tone-Print Editor. With the editor you’ll be able to create and save delay tones on any of the provided three instant preset slots accessed by the foot switches.
I really like the preset features because of the ease of use they provide when playing live. Instead of having to turn the top-left knob to access your Tone-Prints or to change between different delays types, you are able to easily access your favorite settings directly from the footswitches.
The Flashback X4 boasts an inbuilt looper as well as a delay. You can enable and disable the looper using a small toggle switch that you’ll find on the pedal’s face (its in between two knobs). Once enabled, four foot switches will control different looper functions. This looper has a maximum recording time of 40 seconds, which isn’t as long as some of the pedals in our best loop pedal article, but for a delay/loop combo its pretty alright.
A dedicated knob will help you control the loop’s volume level. There is a separate level knob makes it quite a breeze to mix your levels correctly. Which can be helpful if you accidently record something too loud and need to adjust it.
One of the top features is that you can use the looper while using the different delay types, something that’s uncommon with other pedals. The X4 Looper is hugely flexible and is among the best loopers we’ve seen integrated onto a delay pedal.
On the back, you’ll find the input/output expression pedal input as well as the USB and MIDI options. The Expression Pedal feature might not be a big deal, but it’s nice to see that it’s present.
The Flashback X4 features both MIDI In and Thru. Some artists will find that extra capability useful. You can read the Flashback X4 manual for more information on features like the Expression Pedal or the MIDI.
One thing I have started to gravitate away from are pedals that lack a dedicated tap tempo footswitch. The ability to quickly tap the tempo using your foot rather than turning a knob or pushing a button is a handy feature to say the least, and one that comes stock on the X4. Features like this are what make the X4 superior to the other smaller Flashback pedals TC Electronics offers.
TC Electronic Tone-Print is an app and editor that allows you to customize presets and upload them onto your pedal. The X4 comes standard with presets from some famous guitarists. The smartphone app enables you to customize presets and load them wirelessly onto your pedal through your guitar pickups… pretty insane if you ask me!
While there is an option to connect your X4 to your Mac or PS via USB, you can just use your smartphone to ‘beam’ your Tone-Prints onto your pedal. Considering that the app is entirely free, that is an impressive feature!
The days where both digital and analog delay pedals sounded awful are far behind us. While there are some bad-sounding pedals out there, most delay pedals sound true to the signal. The X4, however, sounds fantastic.
The analog-style delays sound authentic, giving a nice, warm feel. The Space delay creates a beautiful, rich atmospheric floor that you’ll build on. With the surprisingly useful Reverse delay, you’ll have a nice smooth sound. Such a broad range of delay types ensure that you never feel like the Flashback X4 is missing something.
As more features get incorporated on pedals, they typically become more complicated. The more presets, effects, and footswitches available on some pedals make it quite fiddly. Fortunately, the X4 is pretty straightforward. Just turn the far-left knob to choose the delay type or to select a Tone-Print. Take advantage of the three middle knobs to control the parameters: delay time, delay level, and feedback. So far so simple, but it gets even better. Hold down one of the 3 main footswitches to keep a delay setting for future use.
The looper works superb, thanks to the four footswitches. Each footswitch’s function is well labeled and easy to see. The large chunky knobs feel pretty secure. The large size ensures that it won’t flip over or roll around by accidentally tugging a cable, not the craziest benefit but still something to mention.. The pedal is conveniently rugged and will last a long time.
The Flashback X4 benefits a lot from firmware updates. Upon purchasing this pedal, it’ll be worth keeping an eye on firmware updates for bug fixes and improvements. The quickest way of checking for updates is searching for ‘Flashback X4 firmware update.'
The Flashback X4 Delay Pedal has been around for quite a while. It has already built up an excellent reputation for being an incredible delay pedal. We confirm that it’s a good model and a favorite choice if you’re seeking a pedal which will offer you an extensive range of useful features. Those who play for fun might not need this large and diverse pedal. Hands-down, the X4 is worth considering as it is a quality product from a reputable manufacturer.