Instrument cables play a bigger part in a guitar player’s tone than many would think. Many use cheap no-name cables that are available for a few dollars at the local music store. These cables quite often have flimsy jacks and cheap, thin nasty cable that doesn’t hold up well to a bit of abuse. Not only that, but they provide a dull and lifeless tone. Spend a bit more money on a good quality cable and you get a good quality cable that will stand up to the rigors of playing on stage, quite often have a life-time warranty if they were to break, and give you a much better tone.
Armor Gold are one company that make high quality cables, not only when it comes to tone, but in terms of ruggedness. Their instrument and speaker cable lines have an industrial polymer mesh outer layer to protect the cable. Heavy duty Amphenol plugs for high quality connections inside and out, and double layer heat shrink to ensure that these cables can stand up to anything you may throw at it. The input and ground connections are resin injected after soldering to ensure that they never come in contact with each other and short out.
High end cable manufacturers often talk about cable capacitance. The lower the capacitance of the cable used, the brighter and more lively the tone. Armor Gold choose to use 20 gauge, 41 strand oxygen-free copper cabling, a medium to low capacitance cable. The oxygen-free copper gives a purer signal too.
On opening up the Armor Gold instrument cable package I was really impressed with the construction. This cable really feels like it would stand up to years of abuse. It’s not quite as flexible as some other cables, but its rugged construction more than makes up for it.
The plugs and strain relief feel like they could withstand the worst of abuse and still keep on working. The connections they made with my guitar and amplifier were nice and solid too.
So the cable is definitely going to stand up to anything I can throw at it, but the next step is equally important to me: tone.
Turning on my amplifier I was greeted a full, dynamic tone with plenty of clarity. Personally I think Armor Gold’s choice of medium to low capacitance cable was the correct choice to make. I’ve tested some lower capacitance premium cables in the past and found them to be lacking in low end, and sounding a little too bright for my style of playing, especially if using single coils. The tone from the Armor Gold cable was bang on the money for me, and I think it would be just right for many other guitar players out there.
There is no additional noise introduced by the cable either, even with some fairly violent shaking. The shielding used in Armor Gold cables is doing a very good job of holding everything together, and ensuring that no external noise is getting into the signal.
Overall the Armor Gold instrument cable is an amazing high quality cable that will not only stand up to the rigors of stage work, and more, but also provide you with great tone for years. Armor Gold have a lifetime warranty on their cables, and when you combine that with the price you’ll be wondering why you haven’t already tried one!