The 6 Second Summary:
Replacement strings are like your guitar’s spare tire; they’re good to have around anytime your strings break or get old and dirty.
For most people, focus on just two points when buying guitar strings. First, are you buying strings for an electric or acoustic guitar? Second, what string gauge will you choose? By and large, the brand name of what you buy is much less important.
Once you’ve got those answered (and string gauges are talked about here), then you’re ready to get your spare strings! A few are suggested here to make it easier.
Your main two thoughts when it comes to guitar cables will be:
- What length of cable should you get? And,
- Can the cable be the cheaper kind, or will you need a cable that’s got lifetime warranty?
Consideration A: Cable Length
For simple, at-home practice, I’d lean towards a shorter cable (6ft probably being the shortest you’ll want to go). Trust me, it’s nice to use a short cable because cables inevitably tangle up and, every 5 days, you’ll find yourself untangling this rat’s nest of a cable. With a short cable, you won’t be able to move around as much, but it’s much better for housekeeping.
Though, if you’d really like to have more length — say, you plan to soon jam with friends, or you like to practice while standing up and moving around — then try something longer than 6ft, like 10ft or 15ft. As the one caveat, you’ll more likely end up having to untangle your cord every now and then, so I’d still try to lean on the shorter side, if possible.
Consideration B: Think You’ll Need a Cable With Lifetime Warranty?
First off, when it comes to the cheaper cables versus the fancier cables, I’m going to be a bit radical here and suggest that you don’t fall for suggestions out there which say you need to spend more than $50 and get a fancy guitar cable.
For the most part, all the cable needs to do is take your voltage from the pickups to your amplifier; getting a more expensive cable hardly makes any difference (if any at all), apart from the fact that expensive cables will last longer (hopefully).
But, if you want cables that last a long time, you still don’t need to get a fancy, $50+ cable; lots of cable-makers these days offer lifetime warranty on their cheaper cables. You’ll get that lifetime warranty, but just have to pay a more “in-between” cost of, say, $20-$30, which is still half the price (or more) of those “boutique” cables.
So, if you’re moving around a lot with your guitar, bringing it back and forth to your friend’s place, travelling by road or plan, or taking it to shows you’re playing, then investing in a cable with lifetime warranty is probably worthwhile.
Two Suggestions for Guitar Cables
With that being said, you’ll find two suggestions here; one for the simplest, bare-bones cable which will work for you (assuming you’ll be hanging around the house); next, you’ll find a model, which also offers lifetime warranty, but it’s just a touch pricier in return.
Economical Option: Sovvid 10ft Guitar Cable
Here’s one of a thousand options you’ve got for a simple, bare-bones guitar cable which will get it done for you, so long as you’re not too rough with it.
Know that this one’s for 10ft, but you’ve almost always got options to get a shorter or longer version; though, 10ft of cable tends to be a happy medium of wiggle room, plus being short enough that it doesn’t tangle too badly.
For cables like these, you’ll want to try and scope them out for $10 — anymore than that probaly isn’t necessary. Here’s the cheapest one I found online at the time of writing this,
Now, if you were to buy the single use cable (above) and you accidentally snagged the cord, so that its inner wiring ripped, then you’d just have to buy a new cord for under $10.
These days, cables with lifetime warranty are becoming more and more popular. Without a doubt, at some point the cable you use is going to stop providing signal to your amp, so it’s worth thinking about if having lifetime warranty is worth it.
As long as you cash-in on the lifetime warranty at least 2-3 times (don’t forget you’ve got the warranty!), then you’ll save money by getting something like this Monster guitar cable below. All you’ll have to do (I believe) is bring the cable into any audio shop that’s an official provider of Monster cables, and they’ll easily redeem the warranty for you.
I chose this Monster cable suggestion, because, being a big company, chances are they’ll be around for years to come, so that you can keep cashing-in on your lifetime cable warranty. If you think it’s right for you, go ahead and slot it into your gear family.
All in all, guitar cables are one of the easier purchases, in terms of decision-making. Mainly, you’ve only got to think about how much cable length you need, and perhaps if you’d like to get a cable with lifetime warranty.
Once you’ve got your cord to connect your guitar with your amp, you’ll be set to go to translate your thoughts into sounds around you!