Why Do My Guitar Cables Keep Breaking?

Undoubtedly, guitar cables have a lifespan. You find your amp buzzing or not producing any sound, and it only takes a few seconds of frantically turning knobs on the guitar and amp before you discover that the problem is a broken cable. So, how and why do guitar cables keep breaking?

Guitar cables can break and fracture because of reasons such as 

  1. Having an unsoldered jack
  2. Excessively stomping on the cable
  3. Incorrectly storing cables
  4. Rotting cable material
  5. And cable oxidation

Broken cables eventually cease the signal flow from your guitar to your amp through the cable. 

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Guitar cable problems either result from misuse or the environment’s natural impacts on the cable itself. So, if your guitar cable is malfunctioning, you can quickly figure out the potential problems and decide if you need to replace the cable. This article mentions an extensive list of potential issues with a guitar cable. Let’s tune in!

Top 5 Reasons Why Your Guitar Cables Keep Breaking [And Tips to Fix Them]

Most guitarists put considerable time and effort into selecting an amplifier and customizing their guitar. Then, they compromise on cables that are supposed to link the guitar’s voice.

For a beginner, cables seem ordinary and uninteresting, and even some professionals have a huge stash of them in deteriorated condition. Nevertheless, cables are a crucial part of the instrument. 

Here are the leading causes of damaged cables, in more depth.

1. Shorted or Unsoldered Jack

This is perhaps the most frequent cause of guitar cable failure or poor performance. 

Two copper wires are connected to various plug components within the jack. They are positioned in that style to link the plug’s two sleeves and tips directly.

Of course, these soldered spots are not as strong as you think, given the confined space inside the jack. In reality, they may be easily broken.

Remember that a little metal clip primarily connects the jack and the cable. You’ll soon understand that mistreating the jacks will inevitably reduce their longevity. 

These three things you might think harmless may have the most significant potential to damage jacks:

IssueDetail
Incorrect UnpluggingThe solder connections will be under excessive strain if, for instance, you unplug a guitar by tugging the cord rather than the jack.
Looping The CableLooping the cable around the guitar damages it. More premium guitar cables include detachable jacks. This makes it simple to repair the cable (if damaged) by soldering the wires back into place.
Twisting The CableTrying to twist a cable is another mechanical strain that may be applied to it. Although it might not be sufficient to rupture a soldered point, this could move the wires within the jack and cause a minor spark.

2. Faulty Soldering Point on Your Guitar Cable

A soldering point doesn’t need to be damaged for your cable to have problems. Identifying the issue here requires a lot more effort. 

Particularly if you purchase cables of poor quality or have carelessly fixed wires, you’ll probably produce what is generally considered a “cold solder junction.” This is typically quite visible as it appears somewhat sloppy compared to a nice soldered joint.

Mechanically inclined to breaking, cold solder junctions introduce even more air into the connection. 

In addition to not being top-notch from the start, the effectiveness of the electric joint will decline with time since air doesn’t produce energy very well and transports oxygen that oxidizes the solder junction from the inside.

So, how do you stay safe from a faulty soldering point on your guitar cable? You invest in a good quality cable. Fender and D’Addario guitar cables have good reviews. 

3. Stomping the Cable Frequently

It might be quite challenging to avoid sometimes walking on your guitar cord. Mainly if you perform live on stage regularly. 

Stages frequently have too much equipment and cable clutter. Be conscious of your guitar cables and where they are placed so you can avoid stepping and walking over them over and over again. 

You can always try the classic ‘cable through the strap’ trick. If nothing helps, you can invest in a wireless guitar receiver, and say goodbye to cables.

4. Storing Cable Inadequately

It’s simple to store a guitar cord properly. It takes less than a few minutes for anyone to untangle the cables. 

However, a lot of people still don’t know how to do it, so they just wind up buying new cables instead several times.

Being aware of the proper technique to wrap a cord may save you quite a bit of money if you’re one of those who just throw their cords into a sack, no matter how knotted.

5. Oxidation of the Cables

Manufacturers charge more for gold-plated jacks because they perform much better than rusted jacks.

Frankly, a corroded jack is extremely simple to identify. You can’t expect anything other than loudly terrible notes if you use such an obviously defective cable. However, if we’re talking about routinely used guitar wires, this is a relatively minor problem.

Still, cables kept in a humid atmosphere for a long time may contain some rust traces. Don’t be concerned if it occurs. You should be able to use the cable once again after removing the rust with some fine sandpaper.

FAQs

Q. Can Rotten Rubber Result In Breakage of A Guitar’s Cable?

Yes, because rubber’s mechanical characteristics evolve over time. Mainly if it is kept in warm, dry conditions. Old rubber will stiffen up and become more brittle. In general, newer rubber compositions are more durable over time. Replace a cable immediately if you find one with rubber that has broken.

Q. How Can Cable Quality Be Verified?

The look of a cable, first and foremost, may reveal a lot about its condition. Worn-out rubber, rust, and obvious signs of prior repair do not suggest that the cable is adequate. Secondly, a more straightforward method is to try your cable to see if it works properly. Your instrument or amplifier can’t possibly be harmed by a faulty cable.

Final Thoughts

If you’re a professional guitar player or even a hobbyist, taking care of your expensive instrument is essential. Brittle and worn cables can often be a problem and cost you dollars. If you take care of the cables and avoid whatever causes breakage, the cables will go a long way. This article has all the important details on why your cables break and how you can take care of them. Happy shredding!

Sources

https://guitarunit.com/do-guitar-cables-go-bad/
https://www.guitarworld.com/features/shut-your-hole-truth-and-only-truth-about-guitar-cables
https://www.guitarworld.com/blogs/guitar-bar-make-your-cables-last-jack
https://www.thegearpage.net/board/index.php?threads/which-guitar-cables-dont-break.851304/

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