Some Basic Suggestions for Guitar Wire Selection

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Some basic suggestions for guitar wire selection

In the past, when we bought guitar lines, it seemed that there were not so many requests. As long as it is not connected or shorted, it is a good line. However, there are more and more choices now, and there are also many expensive wires that claim to enhance the sound in all directions. But can they really bring about change, or is it just a propaganda? First of all, if your guitar/bass pickup is active, the difference in the output of the active line is very low, and the difference between the different wires is relatively small; If you use a passive pickup, the difference is really big.

The resistance of the guitar line is very small compared to the pickup & control line, so its resistance will not affect your tone, but the capacitance of the wire will be different. Capacitance is created when the two electrical conductors are insulated from each other and close to each other. At a given distance, the larger the surface area of the conductor, the greater the capacitance. The core and shield of an ordinary guitar wire produce a capacitance of about 30pF per foot (or 100 pF per meter), which means that the longer the wire, the larger the capacitance.

In audio circuits, the capacitance of this value is also commonly used for low-pass filtering, so if you use a line with a long root or a large capacitance, it will weaken the high frequency of the guitar signal. This is also a problem that some high-end wire manufacturers want to solve and explain to consumers. But buying a line with a low capacitance value is only a small part of getting a good tone.

Some basic suggestions for guitar wire selection

Don’t rush to evaluate any wire. After all, the history of the entire guitar sound is based on imperfect technology. The former guitarists also recorded great albums with ordinary guitar lines, so if you want to completely copy their guitar sounds, there may be no need to pursue the ultra-low-value wires. Now we can make full-range guitar pickups, make speakers without signal distortion, and speaker systems that cover the entire audio spectrum, but guitarists won’t buy it because it doesn’t rock. Another important point is that the capacitance of the guitar wire does not only function as a low-pass filter. The pickup of an electric guitar is an inductive coil, and connecting the capacitor and the inductor coil will form a resonant circuit.

In the traditional electric guitar, the volume & tone line and the resistance of the pickup itself will have a certain damping effect on the resonant circuit, but there will still be a resonance peak of 1-2dB in the frequency response curve. Under other conditions, if a wire with a low capacitance value is selected, the resonance frequency will be higher, that is, the overall tone is brighter; Conversely, a high capacitance wire will reduce the resonant frequency of the pickup, ie the overall tone will be darker and warmer. In any case, there will be some changes to the pickup sound.

Some basic suggestions for guitar wire selection

It is helpful to know this knowledge. If your instrument has a darker sound, you can use a good low-value wire to make some compensation. If the tone is thin and thin, an ordinary high-capacity wire will make it sound fuller. You can test it yourself, compare the short line with the normal length line, and see if the guitar sounds are different after connecting them separately, and then consider whether you want to change the line. It is not possible to connect devices with wireless guitars. They basically have no problem with wire capacitance and do not affect the resonance frequency of the pickup.

To sum up, the wire does have an effect on the guitar of the passive coil pickup, but there is no single answer to the question of which wire is best for your instrument.
Because it’s like a speaker and a speaker, it’s also part of your tone.

Some basic suggestions for guitar wire selection PDF