Leading the way: our choice of quality guitar leads
Ask 10 guitarists what they believe is the biggest contributor to tonal nirvana and you’ll get 10 different answers. Some will 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. As such, it is important to choose the right one for the job at hand. All players, from bedroom guitarists to professionals, 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 couple of premium quality options.
1. 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 ensures that you stay connected no matter the shapes you’re pulling on stage. The anti-kink design and lifetime warranty also provide that peace of mind for years to come.
2. Fender Custom Shop Performance Series 20 foot
The tweed one
The Fender Custom Shop is rightly viewed as a benchmark for guitar quality. So, why not treat your axe to a cable built to those exacting standards. The design of this attractive cable has 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.
3. Planet Waves American Stage Instrument Cable
The Planet Waves American Stage Instrument Cable (10 ft) is built to D’Addario’s consistent high standard of quality and is perfect for everyone from amateur to professional. Boasting gold-tipped plugs, made by Neutrik, and featuring excellent shielding against unwanted interference, you can be certain that your tone is preserved and transmits with astonishing fidelity. For those who don’t want to compromise on quality, this is the one for you.
4. Fender Performance Series Patch Cable
The pedalboard essential
They’re not glamorous and they’re not pretty, but if you have pedals in your setup then you’re going to want to get them involved – the patch cable. If you’re chaining together a series of pedals, then the last thing you want is miles of cable cluttering up your floor space. The patch cable allows you to keep everything neat and tidy, so that you can easily navigate your setup unimpeded. The Fender Performance Series Patch Cable features a lifetime guarantee and gets the job done without any fuss.
5. Stagg Deluxe Instrument Cable
The affordable one
Stagg has a worthy reputation for building reliable and trustworthy instruments and accessories at affordable prices. The Stagg Deluxe Instrument Cable (6m) benefits from Stagg’s wealth of expertise, offering a high-quality instrument cable that is perfect for both stage and studio use. Whether you’re starting out or are a seasoned pro, having a few of these in your arsenal is always a good idea.
Journalist, PR and multimedia specialist. Write professionally on subjects ranging from musical instruments to industrial technology.