Why Do Guitar Cables Go Bad?

Guitar cables are an integral part of a guitar. Let me tell you these cables come with their own longevity deadline. That is, the guitar cables will not last for a long time. You might need to take action as soon as they go bad. But, Why Do Guitar Cables Go Bad?

The most common reason for guitar cables going bad is the cables staying twisted or getting pressurized. Moreover, unsoldered jack, bad solder, or oxidation can also be problematic reasons behind the bad guitar cables. Without proper care things can go in vain, guitar cables are no different

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In this article, I will find the roots of these claims and present the truth behind them while explaining the reasons behind the bad guitar cables. 

So, without any further ado, read the whole article. 

Can Guitar Cables Go Bad?

Undoubtedly, with time and without proper care, guitar cables might go bad. People tend to avoid taking care of the guitar cable as a result, they end up getting damaged. The cable’s rubber layer might get rotten. 

Yes, Guitar Cables come with a fixed longevity period. Guitar cables will last for years. Then again, the cable might lose its life if kept unattended. 

You will also find some bad quality guitar cables in the market which will do nothing but get damaged easily. Not to forget, such cables will not deliver the desired tone. 

The transmitted signal from the guitar through the cable needs to reach the amp smoothly. When you find the problem in this flow, you need to find a replacement for the cables. 

You do not have to panic when this occurs. Your guitar will be found, you just need to make sure the cables are replaced. After replacing the cables, you need to ensure the signal is transmitted effortlessly. 

7 Reasons Behind the Bad Guitar Cables:

To be honest, guitar cables can get damaged for numerous reasons. The reasons can be influenced by you or they can naturally go bad. Yes, Guitar Cables have their own durability depending on their quality. 

However, the way you take care of the guitar cables might make them last longer. But you have got to be careful while using it. You cannot devote all your care towards the cables but what you need to do is take care of the cables so that they do not get all damaged due to a little carelessness. 

Some of the top reasons behind the bad guitar cables are:

1. Twisting

Cables are meant to get twisted but remember you are meant to untangle the twists. Twisting cables can cause mechanical stress which can break the soldering point. 

Once your guitar cables get twisted, remember to get them untangled as soon as possible. A little bit of delay can cause your guitar cables lifetime damage.

2. Bad Solder

Soldering helps the cables to hold but small mistakes might cause huge damage. And when you buy low-quality cables the chances of such damage are high. 

That does not mean you need to spend a lot in order to buy the perfect cables. But you need to avoid the bad ones only. 

Usually, the solder is prone to any kind of damage or cracking. But over time, longevity surely gets compromised. 

3. Oxidation

Rusted jacks have resulted from less oxidation which further causes tones to be horrible. You need to treat the rust immediately so that you can resist the extended damage. 

The oxidation problems mainly occur when cables are kept in a humid environment. 

4. Unsoldered Jack

Unsoldered Jack might not only damage the cable but also the tone will be misplaced. The two copper wires which need to be soldered might get cramped and eventually break. Moreover, this can cause more problems in the future.

When you keep the cables folded while playing it so that it does not get tangled, you find the solder to be broken and get damaged. It is due to the portion where the blend occurs can be sharp.  

5. Improper Plugging

Just like any other electric instrument, you need to carefully plug or unplug the jack carefully. Sometimes, if you pull the cable instead of detaching it by the jack. 

Be gentle while plugging or unplugging the cable. Remember pulling the cable is never the best idea. So, avoid being a lazy brad and detach it by the jack itself. 

7. Improper Storing

When it comes to cables, you need to remember the storing needs to be done in a proper manner. Avoid over-twisting them as it can make them go bad. 

Detach the cables from the jack. Then, start twisting one side of the cable and move to the other side of the string, then keep it in a safe place. Do let it get pressurized. Wrap in a sequential manner. 

How To Detect A Bad Guitar Cable?

The condition of any cable can be determined by looking at its appearance. Anyways, some of the defects can be visualized with bare eyes, whereas some need a closer look.

Things that will give you a warning about damaged guitar cables:

  1. Cables rubber layer being worn out, or the small signs of the cables being torn.
  2. Take a multimeter to check the electricity continuity; if it is damaged, you might find discontinuity in the flow.
  3. The tone delivered from the guitar is compromised. 

How Long Do Guitar Cables Last?

The longevity of guitar cables depends on the quality of the guitar cables. The good quality cables are expected to last for a lifetime and they are sold with such warranties. 

On the other hand, cheap and low-quality guitar cables will last only for a few years. Yes, good quality cables will not produce heavenly sound but the low quality will surely disrupt the regular tone of the guitar.

So, spending a bit extra for the best quality, longevity, and better tuning you might need to buy good quality guitar cable. 

How to choose the best Guitar Cable?

Well, good quality cables are needed for your guitar. But that does not mean you need to get a huge budget. High-quality guitar cables will last for a longer period, so you need to buy a good quality one. 

You need to make sure the cable is long enough to give full coverage so that you do not have to keep it in a tight situation. The cable needs to deliver a strong signal from the guitar to the amp. 

Related Question

How Do I Know If My Guitar Chords Are Bad?

The first and foremost signal from the guitar cord is the bad sound. The bad sound will indicate when and how to turn a bad chord into a good one. 

Remember to work on the chords regularly. Make sure to follow the bad cord so that you can customize it accordingly while avoiding the bad one. 

Why Do My Guitar Cables Stop Working?

There can be various reasons behind the hampered guitar cables which include insufficient care or uninvited torture to the cable. A tangled or broken portion of the cables might make the guitar cable stop working. 

If you accidentally walk over the cable and the rubber layer gets damaged, the guitar cables might stop working. Then again, the guitar cable might reach its lifetime and stop working as per your expectations. 

Can Guitar Cables Be Repaired?

When you take a step to repair the guitar cables, you need to determine what the problem is. Some damages caused to the cables can be minimized, whereas some care is untreatable. 

To state an example, when the cable is unsoldered, repairing might not help you, but then again, if you find the cable to be broken, you can cover it up and use it for many months. 

What Do You Do With Old Guitar Cables?

You can surely recycle the cables just like any other e-waste. You can also make some DIY crafts using the cables.

You can also sell the cables to the people who use such old cables for different purposes. 

Final Thoughts:

There you have it! Now, you know the reasons why your guitar cables go bad. If your guitar has bad cables, change it asap as bad cables might fabricate the tone and it can also affect the guitar.

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