When guitar players think about tone they think about the obvious things: guitars, amplifiers, stomp boxes, etc. The one part that is often left out of the tone equation is the humble instrument cable. These play a much bigger role than many may realise. Cheap no-name cables are made with thin cabling, badly made plugs, poor shielding, etc, often provide dull lifeless tone, especially when you add to the mix long lengths of this wire. It’s not really that noticeable until you try a good quality cable for the first time. Everything sounds bigger, more dynamic, with more clarity. Add to that a more durable build, and you’ll wonder why you didn’t get a better cable sooner.
There’s one thing to be wary of though. There are many overpriced cables out on the market too. The goal is to find a good quality cable at a reasonable price. Hank from Effects Bay is someone who is offering this, with his recently launched new cable company, Rattlesnake Cable Company. His goal is to make high quality, durable cables that look and sound fantastic without the huge cost. I contacted Hank to see if I could get my hands on one, and he obliged, providing me with a nice 15 ft red Snake Head model.
All Rattlesnake cables are made using heavy duty (20AWG inner connector) cable, aiming for low capacitance, and ensuring that the cable is noise free. The cables use 95% braided copper shielding and use a strong outer PVC jacket (.29″ outside diameter). Hank chose to use Amphenol plugs with all cables and also used a heat and abrasion resistant outer sleeving to protect the cable from heavy use. The Snake Head is a cable with the heat and abrasion resistant sleeving stopping short on one end. This leaves a portion of raw cable perfect for wrapping around guitar straps.
When the package arrived I opened the box to find a really impressive branded Rattlesnake cable tin, and inside a neat drawstring bag with the cable inside. Another really nice touch is a velcro strap to keep the cable neatly bundled when not in use.
The cable itself is beautifully made piece. The protective sleeving is extremely tough, and looks great in red, and the Rattlesnake branded heat shrink tubing is another really nice touch. Having a portion of one end of the cable without the protective sleeving is a really nice design as well. The sleeving could possibly damage more fragile guitar finishes, so leaving part of the cable bare shows some real thought has been put into all aspects of the cable design.
Plugging into my amplifier and guitar I was pleased to hear that the Rattlesnake cable sounded as good as it looked. I find that some low capacitance cables are actually a bit too bright and lacking in the low end. The Rattlesnake cable provided a full dynamic tone, with plenty of clarity. The signal is nice and clear with no noise or hum present.
Overall the Rattlesnake Snake Head cable is a brilliantly designed cable at a very reasonable price. The quality and durability of the build, the consideration of the design, and the great tone make this cable a must have for guitar players, especially if they play live. If you are looking to upgrade your cheap no-name cables definitely check out Rattlesnake Cable Company. Check out the Rattlesnake Facebook page for news and sale items too.
If you are interested in a Rattlesnake cable Hank has provided a discount code for readers of my blog. To save $10USD off all standard and Snake Head cables longer than 10 ft enter the discount code PHANTOM813 into the build request form to redeem this deal. This code is valid until August 31 2013.