Instrument / Microphone Cables

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Instrument Cable 101

If you're a musician or music enthusiast, you know that instrument cables are a crucial part of your gear setup. Without a reliable instrument cable, your guitar or bass won't be able to produce the sound you want. But not all instrument cables are created equal. In this blog, we'll dive into the world of instrument cables, exploring what makes a good cable, different types of cables, and how to care for them.

What Makes a Good Instrument Cable?

A good instrument cable should have low capacitance and low resistance. Capacitance is the measure of how much an electrical charge can be stored in a cable, and high capacitance can cause high-frequency loss and a duller sound. Resistance measures how easily an electrical current can flow through the cable, and high resistance can cause a loss of volume and a weaker sound. A good cable will also have good shielding to reduce noise and interference.

Different Types of Instrument Cables

There are a few different types of instrument cables to choose from, each with its own pros and cons.

  1. Coiled Cable - Coiled cables are a popular choice for guitarists, as they're lightweight, easy to store, and have a vintage look. However, they can be prone to tangling and can have higher capacitance.

  2. Straight Cable - Straight cables are a straightforward option, with a simple design that allows for easy movement on stage. They're typically more durable than coiled cables and have lower capacitance.

  3. Braided Cable - Braided cables are known for their flexibility and durability, as they're less likely to tangle or get twisted. They can have lower capacitance than coiled cables but may be more expensive.

  4. Patch Cable - Patch cables are used to connect effects pedals on a pedalboard. They're short, typically around 6 inches to 1 foot long, and have low capacitance and low resistance.

Caring for Your Instrument Cable

To get the most out of your instrument cable, it's important to take care of it properly. Here are some tips to keep your cable in top condition:

  1. Wrap your cable properly - When wrapping your cable, avoid twisting or kinking it, as this can damage the internal wiring. Instead, use the over-under method, which involves alternating the direction of each loop.

  2. Store your cable properly - Avoid storing your cable in a tight coil or knot, as this can cause the cable to develop memory, which means it won't lie flat when you uncoil it. Instead, hang your cable on a hook or wrap it around a cable reel.

  3. Keep your cable clean - Dirt and dust can accumulate on your cable, which can cause interference and affect the sound quality. Use a soft cloth to wipe down your cable after each use.

  4. Avoid pulling on your cable - Pulling on your cable can damage the internal wiring or cause the connectors to become loose. Instead, grasp the connector when unplugging it.


Instrument cables may seem like a small part of your gear setup, but they're essential for producing the sound you want. By choosing a cable with low capacitance and low resistance and taking care of it properly, you can ensure that your sound is clear and consistent. Whether you prefer a coiled cable, a straight cable, or a braided cable, there's a cable out there that's perfect for you.