There’s a lot of emphasis on cables today and for good reason. They’re a major player in your sound. I seem to remember reading a story where Dimebag Darrell had a friend who played guitar and had quite a bit of money. He had assembled quite the rig with expensive guitars, amps and pedals yet he was unsatisfied with his sound. He called up Dimebag who came over and looked over the rig and found the culprit right away. The cables.
It was silly, he said, to spend all this money on this great gear and then connect it with lousy cables. They went out, bought some new ones – high quality ones –and hooked everything back up and Dimebag’s friend was suddenly satisfied with his tone.
That’s how the legend goes, anyway.
And there’s debate over whether really expensive cables provide a quality of sound that is worth the increase in price, but one undeniable truth is that cables DO sound different. It’s been proven on Six String Bliss when host PT took as many variables out of the equation possible using the same guitar, amp, pickup position, licks, microphone, microphone placement, etc and only changing out the cord. The difference was remarkable. Between some cables there was a subtle difference that you would have to REALLY focus on to hear and in others the difference was staggering. You probably couldn’t pick it up in the room with all the volume and your attention dedicated to the instrument but on the recording, the difference is there and ranging from subtle to obvious.
Armor Gold sent me two cords to try out, a ten foot instrument cable with one straight and one right angle jack and a pedal patch cable and I was impressed by them.
For one thing, they’re thick. The cords that I normally use are the bargain basement ones with a guitar store’s name printed on the side of it. They’re wicked thin and my cats make short work of them. But Armor Gold cables are thick and feel durable. Perhaps it’s the outer mesh layer that they emphasize is NOT cloth and say “prevents damage from stretching, pinching, bending, slicing, kinking and other common hazards of stage use.” Holding it in my hands, I believe the claims. The cables are flexible and easy to move around but not flimsy in the least.
Armor Gold also seems to have struck a good balance between durability (I saw zero issues with the cables) and weight. I’ve seen cables wrapped in METAL and it boggles my mind. If you were to just plug in to your guitar the weight of the cable on the jack would be ridiculous and you would be forced to plug in and then put the cord between your guitar and your strap so the weight is handled there and not by your jack. But REQUIRING someone to do that with a simple instrument cable seems a bit much to me. Not to mention you would still be lugging around all that weight in cases or bags and across stages. But AG cables are a nice light weight while still letting you know they’re there.
The name of the game with AG is durability. You only need to look at their website to see that they’re dedicated to it not only by listing everything that they do the cables to make them last (as well as what they use to make them sound good) but the last bullet they provide is that the cables have a lifetime warranty against defective materials and/or workmanship.
That’s pretty sweet too.
They say the best way to test out a cable is to plug it in and turn on your amp and then try to make the cord crackle by moving the cable around or fiddling with the area just beyond the jack. If it crackles, put it back. My AG cable was dead silent.
So let’s talk money. We’re all practical folks, right? We’re looking for the best bang for our buck and don’t want to get ripped off by shyster pillow talk or fancy buzz words. We know how much money we have and we want that money’s worth of quality. You’re in luck. The instrument cable I was sent costs $49.99 direct from the website and the pedal patch cable costs $19.95. That’s not a bad price at all when you consider the quality.
In the end, I was so impressed with these cables that I took money out of the Les Paul Refurbish fund and bought them. I’m done with cheaply made cables.
You can learn more about them HERE.
Thank you to Armor Gold for sending cables to demo (and eventually buy).