Perfect Length for stage performance cord?

what is the best length for a live stage cable?

so many lengths... thanks


Guitar cable length

That's a good question! There are a number of factors that are related to the length of the guitar cable / cord. Resistance, capacitance, electromagnetic interference, risk of damage, cost and freedom of movement. All these things will increase as you increase the length of the cable.

  • Resistance will weaken the strength of the signal from your guitar, but as you are typically plugging the cable into a high resistance amplifier input this will have negligible effect.
  • Capacitance is the more important factor - longer cables mean more capacitance which will increasingly filter out the higher frequencies in the signal from your guitar and eventually have an audible effect with longer cables.Albert "The Iceman" Collins reportedly used a 100 foot cable to get up close to the audience, while the added cable capacitance helped defrost his icy highs! What I don't know is exactly how long do you have to increase the length before you can hear the difference? Some one has done some relevant calculations on - link: guitar cord length and I am sure the subject has been debated on the music electronics forum: Link: music electronics forum. Surely whatever difference this makes to the tone can be offset with the guitar or amplifier tone controls?
  • With increased length surely there is more risk of picking up electrical interference and also of accidentally damaging the cable or tripping up one of the other band members, there is also greater strain on the jack-plugs due to weight.
  • All the above factors must be weighed against the freedom of movement offered by a long cable. What's your favourite cable?