Expensive vs cheap guitar cables: does spending more make a significant difference?

Close up of electric guitar jack with a cable plugged in
(Image credit: Future)

You’ve just spent thousands of dollars on a guitar, amplifier and pedalboard, then you go and buy the cheapest possible cable to plug it all in and get wailing… that doesn’t seem right, does it? For many, this is the reality of playing guitar, with the cables you use typically being the area given least attention.

However, this throws up an important question: does buying a cheap guitar cable actually matter? Or is it always worth spending as much as you can and buying an expensive cable? Here, we break down the differences between expensive and cheap cables and the impact that choosing one over the other has on your set-up, from tone to how long it might last. It’s time to plug in!

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Connor Godfrey

Connor is a contributor to Guitar World and MusicRadar. Having been a guitarist since the age of 10, he's played bass and guitar in bands across the South West of England. He has a background in audio engineering, having worked in some of the UK’s best studios including Rockfield and Invada, and has a passion for recording guitar. He is always keen to discover the greatest gear for capturing tone, be that microphones, audio interfaces or cab simulators.