Over the years the argument has come up time and time again – does the coiled guitar cable make any difference?

The first guitar I ever had was a Squier Bullet for $99.  The first amp I had I bought from the neighbor.  It had a homemade 4×12 bottom that was giant, and a cheap (maybe 50 watt) solid state head.  A fuzz pedal and a coiled guitar cable came with it.  That was my first guitar amp.  The few times I played with that rig, people said “you’ve got the Hendrix guitar cable”.  One of the pieces of gear that Jimi Hendrix was known for  was the curly coiled guitar cable (in addition to the fuzz and the wah).

When it comes to the coiled guitar cable – there are really only 2 main things to talk about.

1. Does it affect the tone?

I’ve heard the argument a lot.  My initial reaction was usually “how can the mere shape of a cable affect the tone”?  I does seem odd, doesn’t it?  Many claim that part of Hendrix’s actual tone was that cable.  If you talk to someone that knows what they’re talking about they’ll say that the curly coiled cable has added capacitance.

What this really means is that generally speaking, a well-made coiled cable of the same length as a straight one usually has more copper wire in it.  Capacitance occurs when something has the ability to store a charge.  A wire with an insulator (guitar cable) carries the electrical guitar signal and can store a charge.  The higher the capacitance (the more charge it stores) the more the “highs” in your guitar tone get rolled off.  So the Hendrix guitar cable did affect his tone, because the coiled cable had the affect of rolling of some highs.  If you use a low capacitance cable (which many are), your tone may seem “brighter”.  D’addario has a little article about cable capacitance here.

2.  Are there other benefits (easier to use)?

A lot of coiled cables seem to have at least one, and sometimes two right angle plugs (which is convenient).  The coil seems to keep the cable out of your way (a bit), and is also a little less prone to getting tangled up.  There’s also that factor that “people think it looks cool”!

Now that you’re a little bit more “in the know” – are you going to try a curly coiled guitar cable?  Every guitar player should have one in his gig bag – in only to give it a try!  You can usually buy them anywhere from $15 – $35.  The only advice I would give is if you’re going to get one, get one that is of good quality that will last for years (like Lava, GLS, or Vox).  Check the auctions on ebay for coiled guitar cables.

If you don’t find what you are looking for there Amazon is always a safe bet.  I guy a lot of guitar accessories there because it’s easy, quick, and I can use PRIME for free shipping.  Picks, cords, strings – usually get them all on Amazon.

If you want the highest quality, then this Lava cable will run you about $60+.

Lava coiled cable

This vox runs about $35 (but it is a 30 foot cord).

vox coiled cable

Finally this GLS curly coiled cable is only $15.

gls coiled cable

Ebay always has guitar gear both new and used.  You might be able to find either (maybe even a vintage cable) by checking the latest auctions:

Jimi Hendrix Voodoo Child 30 Foot Black Coiled Instrument Jack Guitar Cable

End Date: Thursday Nov-29-2018 9:55:16 PST
Buy It Now for only: $49.99
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NEW Lava Retro Coil 20' Guitar Cable - Straight Plugs - Yellow

End Date: Monday Nov-26-2018 19:24:25 PST
Buy It Now for only: $64.95
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End Date: Friday Nov-2-2018 22:31:48 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $9.95
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Stagg SGCC6DL 20 Foot Heavy Duty Deluxe Coiled Guitar Amp or Other Instruments

End Date: Saturday Nov-24-2018 12:35:04 PST
Buy It Now for only: $16.95
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6ft Curly Coiled Guitar Cable Extender 1/4 Jack to Female Socket

End Date: Wednesday Nov-21-2018 8:00:20 PST
Buy It Now for only: $7.95
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