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Mogami Silver 1/4" Cable

Instrument Cable

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The Best Instrument Cables

Mogami Silver 1/4" Cable

  • Don Makoviney
  • Last Updated: February 16, 2015

When people ask me for the best, most reliable instrument cable recommendation, I always point them to the Mogami Silver line of 1/4" instrument cables. They have super sturdy connectors, and a reputation for reliability. They're also priced right in the sweet spot - around $20. Actually, if you buy any of the picks in our guide below you'll never have a bad cable.



Nothing derails live performances or recording sessions quicker than tracking down signal noise problems in your instrument cables. For this reason, spend a little extra on your electric guitar cables if you can.

Choose from our picks below and you’ll never have a bad cable.

Our Pick

The Mogami Silver line of instrument cables are known for low noise and extremely sturdy connectors. You won’t have any issues with these unless there was some sort of freak quality control accident at the factory. There are reviews on most musical instrument sites going back almost a decade which attest to the exceptional quality of Mogami 1/4″ cables.

How We Picked

A good instrument cable (We also have a Guide for the best microphone cables, in which Mogami is also our pick) should last a long time – even years – if you’re not terribly abusive to your gear.

My colleagues and I have used about every brand of 1/4″ instrument cable imaginable. Some budget brands have performed surprisingly well, while some expensive brands have really disappointed us.

Amazon’s cable guide page has a quote worth reading:

“Basic guitar instrument cables generally consist of a 0.25-inch jack at both ends with copper wire insulated by a covering in between. They’re pretty basic, and the design hasn’t changed for years. However, the coverings have, and these coverings can make the difference between a great gig and one that’s marred by the guitarist (possibly you) snapping his cable.”

You should look to spend at least $15-$20 on the low end for a budget guitar/instrument cable, and no more than, say, $50 on the higher end.

With this price range in mind, we started with a rather long list and then looked on Guitar Center and Amazon to see what kind of long term reviews we could find. This eliminated about 80% of our picks, and brought us down to this final set of contenders:

  1. Mogami Silver, Mogami Gold
  2. Fender Audio
  3. George L’s
  4. GLS Audio

Quite frankly, if you stick with any of these four brands, you won’t ever have a bad cable.

Should I Pay More and Get Cables With Gold Plugs?

No. Over on Ultimate Guitar, they summed it up best:

“While many people believe that gold-plated connectors are “better”, they don’t know why. Gold is an attractive anti-corrosion element, but signal-wise, there is no benefit of having one connector over the other at the frequency range for instruments.” (italics ours)

Other Notable Instrument Cables

George L’s are the most reliable, and also a little more pricey than others in the category. But they’re my personal favorite. I didn’t make them our main pick because, well, they feel a little weird and take some getting used to. The insulation on the cables are much thinner than any of our other picks, and their connectors also are a little different. Since we make recommendations that are designed to save you time and get you recording/playing/producing, we picked the Mogami Silvers as our favorite.

Over at Gearslutz, George L cables are unanimously lauded. The reviews on Amazon are generally positive, with most complaints centering around how the cables just feel different.

Premier Guitar performed some in-depth reviews on a variety of cables and had this to say about George L’s:

“These cables have a full midrange with just a bit of extra top and good detail. The brass plug added a bit more top to the sound. The boot is easily slid back to expose the set screw thus not providing much support for straight pull cable strain. Handling characteristic are pretty good with the thin cable diameter compensating for the heavy duty braid. There is some feeling of inherent stiffness.”

Another great feature of the George L cables is they are solder-less. Should you have problems with the connector you can fix them without even having to break out the soldering iron. Again, via Premier Guitar:

“George L’s solderless cables are like a lizard that loses its tail when caught and can live to see another day. It took less than a minute to cut the cable and reinstall the end.”

Fender instrument cables are generally perceived as “budget” or “inferior” cables. However, my circle of musicians noted they don’t remember ever having a bad Fender cable. Even the freebies they package with electric guitars from time to time seem to last forever. I’ve had a 10-foot 1/4″ cable from Fender since the 1990’s with no issues at all. I still use it for tracking guitar in my home recording studio.

GLS Audio makes some great instrument cables. While I’ve never used them, three guitar players I polled recommended them. The reviews on Amazon and Guitar Center, at time of writing, maintain near-five-star status across the board.

So… In Conclusion

Stick with these four brands and you’ll never have a bad cable:

 

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The Best Instrument Cables

Mogami Silver 1/4" Cable

The Best Instrument Cables

Important Specs

Wire Gauge .225
Cable Length 20 feet
Color Black
Connectors 1/4" Male to Male
more specs

Synopsis:

When people ask me for the best, most reliable instrument cable recommendation, I always point them to the Mogami Silver line of 1/4" instrument cables. They have super sturdy connectors, and a reputation for reliability. They're also priced right in the sweet spot - around $20. Actually, if you buy any of the picks in our guide below you'll never have a bad cable.

George L's Vintage Red Cable

Out of the Ordinary Pick

George L's Vintage Red Cable

These are my favorite cables. They feel slightly different than your run of the mill cables, which is why I didn't make them our overall pick. They're a tad more expensive too. However, you'll never have connectivity or signal noise problems, and George L stands behind each one they make.

- M

Sources

  1. Drew, SevenString.org, 20060308
    The allure of George L's cables...
  2. Dan Berkowitz and Bob Goffstein, Premier Guitar, 20080416
    Guitar Cable Roundup, Part One - Page 2
  3. Ernie, Guitar Center, 20090126
    Mogami Silver Instrument Cable User Review
  4. , Ultimate Guitar, 20090806
    The Truth Behind Instrument Cables
Originally published: January 13th, 2015

Important Specs

Wire Gauge .225
Cable Length 20 feet
Color Black
Connectors 1/4" Male to Male
more specs



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