1/4" Instrument Cable Recommendations

Tilter

Very well Known Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2015
Messages
1,352
Reaction score
79
Location
New Hampshire
I recently ordered a Korg Wavedrum Global along with a BOSS RC-3 Loop Station and I'm looking for recommendations on some nice quality 1/4" cables that won't break the bank. My budget is about $100 +/- to cover four cables. I'll be running through a Simmons DA200S, 200 watt stereo amp.

I briefly owned a Wavedrum X in 2009 and used a pair of Lava Magma cables which I was pleased with, but I thought it would be worth while asking for suggestions this time around.
 

Dan Radin

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2010
Messages
539
Reaction score
32
Location
Asheville, NC
They're all fine. Their job is to create a connection across which electrons flow. Don't overthink it and don't waste your money.
 

stickinthemud

DFO Master
Joined
Jan 13, 2012
Messages
5,830
Reaction score
400
Location
Grapevine, TX
I'm going to assume since your are ready to throw down as much as $25 for a simple 1/4" mono patch cable that you are interested in dependability and longevity. Although I don't know if Hosa cables are necessarily any better made than less expensive ones, but they come with a lifetime warranty, which I have taken advantage of by returning one to GC for direct exchange.

That being said, you might be just as well served by buying from one of the many suppliers on the internet and just getting plenty of extras. These cables are not typically subject to a lot of abuse, and I have had cheap ones that have lasted many, many years.
 

Tilter

Very well Known Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2015
Messages
1,352
Reaction score
79
Location
New Hampshire
Stickinthemud said:
I'm going to assume since your are ready to throw down as much as $25 for a simple 1/4" mono patch cable that you are interested in dependability and longevity. Although I don't know if Hosa cables are necessarily any better made than less expensive ones, but they come with a lifetime warranty, which I have taken advantage of by returning one to GC for direct exchange.

That being said, you might be just as well served by buying from one of the many suppliers on the internet and just getting plenty of extras. These cables are not typically subject to a lot of abuse, and I have had cheap ones that have lasted many, many years.
I'm frugal but I was also taught long ago to "Buy well, buy once". At times, it can be tricky to balance that.

Thanks for the input guys.
 

Tilter

Very well Known Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2015
Messages
1,352
Reaction score
79
Location
New Hampshire
dexplosion said:
I don't know a lot about cables, but quality connectors, flexibility while still being durable, and lower capacitance seem to be the main points to consider when looking at cables.

I've not used them, but these American Stage cables from Planet Waves/D'Addario appear to check a lot of boxes.
http://www.planetwaves.com/PWAmericanStageCables.Page
I was reading about those last night, actually. The soldering/connection method that D'Addario is using seems pretty robust and reliable.
 

bongomania

DFO Master
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
Messages
3,752
Reaction score
743
Location
Portland, OR
Yes, I like D'Addario for decent quality at a modest price. My favorites at a low price are actually DiMarzio. I've done some pretty intensive laboratory testing of cables, and really for an active device like the Wavedrum your only consideration should be construction quality. Capacitance will not be an issue (within reason), and claims about cable "tone" are outright lies (when claimed by the seller) or misunderstandings (when claimed by consumers).

So avoid the extremes. The cheapest of the cheap, like Monoprice and some Hosa, will have poor construction and will fail you. With the priciest ones you won't get any benefit for the extra money.
 

Tilter

Very well Known Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2015
Messages
1,352
Reaction score
79
Location
New Hampshire
bongomania said:
Yes, I like D'Addario for decent quality at a modest price. My favorites at a low price are actually DiMarzio. I've done some pretty intensive laboratory testing of cables, and really for an active device like the Wavedrum your only consideration should be construction quality. Capacitance will not be an issue (within reason), and claims about cable "tone" are outright lies (when claimed by the seller) or misunderstandings (when claimed by consumers).

So avoid the extremes. The cheapest of the cheap, like Monoprice and some Hosa, will have poor construction and will fail you. With the priciest ones you won't get any benefit for the extra money.
I appreciate your input bongo, thanks. I ended up going with some BOSS 1/4" cables for the Wavedrum and a Planet Waves 1/8" to run backing tracks from my phone.

There's certainly some hype surrounding a few particular brands but the BOSS cables seem to be quietly lurking in the shadows of all the others. Hoping they're solid.
 

Woody85

Very well Known Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2013
Messages
797
Reaction score
74
Location
Ontario, Canada
If you're handy with a soldering iron you could always make your own. I personally like using Evidence Audio cables with neutrik connectors.

My guitar rig uses Evidence Audio the forte cables with straight neutrik connectors from the guitar to pedalboard and from pedalboard to amp and I've been using Evidence Audio monorail cables with pancake jacks on my oversized pedalboard. Going on 5 years with zero issues.
 

dboomer

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2011
Messages
709
Reaction score
77
Location
Visalia CA
I'd go for something with excellent mechanical reliability. Cables won't hardly affect the tone of most active electronic instruments like your wave drum. They have very low output impedance compared to electric guitars. OTOH, cables do greatly affect the tonal qualities of passive electric guitars. Hard to generalize. But they probably affect guitar tone 100-1000 times more than they will your Wavedrum.
 

drumrman2002

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Messages
249
Reaction score
10
Location
Indiana
Woody85 said:
If you're handy with a soldering iron you could always make your own. I personally like using Evidence Audio cables with neutrik connectors.

My guitar rig uses Evidence Audio the forte cables with straight neutrik connectors from the guitar to pedalboard and from pedalboard to amp and I've been using Evidence Audio monorail cables with pancake jacks on my oversized pedalboard. Going on 5 years with zero issues.
I agree with Woody85 about making up your own cables if you can solder. That way you control the quality of the cable. Buying hi quality cable and connectors can save you some money over factory made cables.

Years ago, I had bandmates and friends who would give me their bad cables. Sometimes they could be easily fixed by re-flowing the existing solder joint on the connectors. I don't think I bought brand new cables for years..I just repaired them.
 

green glass drum

Very well Known Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2011
Messages
863
Reaction score
28
Location
Southern California
See if your units will accept TRS cables. 2 conductor wires and shield.
They have an extra ground and are quieter for line level instruments.
Sometimes that is.

Nice to have both.
Standard guitar cable is 1 conductor and a shield.
Just do not run a TRS from guitar to an amp.
 

Lazmo

Be excellent to each other...
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
2,192
Reaction score
187
Location
Australia
TRS (Tip-Ring-Sleeve) plugs/cables are really only usually used for --

an unbalanced stereo signal which may apply to the input/outputs of a multifx unit, but rarely apply to the guitar or the amp which are mostly unbalanced mono which only require Tip-Sleeve plugs.

or usually for a balanced mono signal, like a long physical run on a microphone cable. TRS can be used in conjunction with XLR connectors (on the mic), to provide long noise free cable runs.

or they are also used for insert cables in mixing consoles to place an effect, such as delay/compressor/EQ, in-line with a mixer channel so one "inserts" the effect into the mixers channel.

As far as instrument cables go... I am an electronics tech, and can solder very competently, so I have made many homemade cables with quality cable/plugs and/or fixed commercial ones that have died.
 

Alan_

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2013
Messages
494
Reaction score
21
Location
Austin
Unless it's a grounded or stereo output, TRS won't do anything but have an extra contact out of use.

I like Mogami and Monster cables. Have had good luck with both of those brands standing up to abuse. also Whirlwind cables are also durable. I have a Whirlwind cable from the 90's that still works perfectly well.
 

microkit

New Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2016
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
I've looked into this a little, and never actually end up making many of my own cables. For guitar/instrument I ended up with Kirlin when they were $9ish each (20ft I guess? 12ft? Who can remember) and for mic cables I'll go with anyone reputable, Proco, Horizon, anything but the cheap house brands and Hosa, and honestly, that's mostly because I don't like the connectors. If a cable breaks or I have to hardwire a microphone or something, I use the Neutrik no tool XLRs. For 1/4" I'd probably choose whatever is cheapest from a known brand, and buy from Redco.com if I'm making my own. GLS also looks fine.
 

Latest posts



Top