5 Great Choices – Guitar Leads

Updated 10/11/16
best guitar leads

Leading the way: our choice of five quality guitar leads

Ask 10 guitarists what they believe is the biggest contributor to tonal nirvana and you’ll get 10 different answers. Some would say the guitar’s wood combinations, while others may point to variables like signal chain, pedal choices or even the player’s fingers.

What’s often forgotten, but no less vital, are the humble leads and cables we use to connect everything.

Leads come in all different shapes, sizes, materials, lengths and prices, and it’s important you are choosing the right one for the job at hand. All players, from bedroom guitarists to professionals, will have different needs. And while a quality cable isn’t going to necessarily improve or drastically change your tone, a poor quality cable can definitely have a negative effect.

As well as sound quality and performance, you’ll need to consider things like reliability, durability and the impact of the cable’s length.

Let’s have a look at a few, and weigh up the various options.

Planet Waves American Stage Kill Switch Cable

Planet-Waves-Kill-Switch-Cable

The one with a kill switch

This Planet Waves cable gives you everything you’d expect from a good guitar cable: it’s durable, made a good quality cable and doesn’t ruin your tone. On top of all of this standard fayre you get a built-in momentary kill switch which is great for swapping guitars on stage without any annoying crackle or buzz from your amp.

Fender Black Performance Series Guitar Cable – 25ft

Fender Black Performance Series Guitar Cable - 25ft

The lengthy one

So you’re keen to venture out of the practice room and onto the stage, and need a lead which can accommodate your stage dives without compromising on tone or durability. This 25 foot (over seven metres) lead from Fender will ensure you stay connected no matter the shapes you’re pulling on stage, while the anti-kink design and lifetime warranty provide that peace of mind for years to come.

Gibson Memory Cable

Gibson Memory CableThe futuristic one

The Gibson Memory Cable is made unique by the fact that it incorporates a Tascam recorder in to the cable itself, letting you record your ideas and performances on-the-fly. This is incredibly useful for band practice or jam sessions, ensuring you’ll always be able to recall any new riffs or ideas that you play during them.

Fender Custom Shop Performance Series 20 foot

Fender Custom Shop Performance Series Tweed Guitar Cable - 18.6ft

The tweed one

The Fender Custom Shop is rightly held as a benchmark for guitar quality. So, why not treat your axe to a cable built to those exacting standards. This attractive cable is designed with more than a nod towards classic, vintage guitar leads, wrapped with either a black or yellow tweed outer for that ‘toaster cord’ appearance.

The cable is engineered to resist twisting, kinks and all of the other movements, which can prematurely end the life of a cable, and is also backed with a lifetime guarantee. As this is Fender, it also delivers great sonic performance.

Monster Acoustic Cable – 21 Foot

Monster Acoustic Cable - 21 Foo

 

The professional one

For the purposes of comparison, we present to you the gold standard of our instrument lead range – Monster Cables. While this may be a price point (or two) above the others in this round-up, what it offers is professional grade reliability, build quality, consistency and durability. Put simply, the Monster lead will not let you down either in the studio or on stage. For the serious player and in this case acoustic player, this lead would pay for itself many times over.

Joe is a contributor for the Dawsons Music blog. Specialising in product reviews and crafting content to help and inspire musicians of all musical backgrounds.