How to make a guitar cable

Written by nichole liandi
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How to make a guitar cable
(illustration by NL)

A guitar cable consists of a length of two-conductor wires, with each end terminating in a 1/4-inch male phono plug. The cable connects the output of your electric guitar to the input of your guitar amplifier. If your guitar cable isn't working, you can make your own with basic materials. You'll need to know how to wire the connectors and use a couple of simple tools, but it'll be a rewarding exercise in making something for yourself.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Insulated 2-conductor wire
  • (2) male 1/4-inch phono plugs
  • Wire cutters/strippers
  • Soldering iron
  • Rosin core solder

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  1. 1

    Cut a length of wire for your cable. Make the cable long enough to suit your needs. If you'll be sitting next to your amp, you won't need a long one. But if you're planning on roaming the stage with your guitar, make it long.

  2. 2

    Strip the insulation off the ends of the wire so that you have 3/8- to 1/2-inch of bare wire exposed on each lead of the wire.

    How to make a guitar cable
    (illustration by NL)
  3. 3

    Unscrew the shell (jacket) of a 1/4-inch male phono plug and slip the jacket over the wire. Solder the positive lead of the wire to the centre pin of the plug and the negative to outer pin of the plug. Slide the shell over the joints and screw it back onto the plug.

    How to make a guitar cable
    Wiring your plugs (illustration by NL)
  4. 4

    Repeat Step 3 on the other end of the wire. Your guitar cable is complete.

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