How to Repair a Guitar Cable

Written by robert russell
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In theory, a good guitar cable should last a couple of years. The truth is that guitar cables take lots of abuse--they are constantly stepped on and twisted in strange ways, which frays the connections, seriously effecting the quality of the signal that your guitar sends to your amp. Instead of throwing it away, however, fix the connections between the cable wire and cable jack. It's a simple repair that'll save you time and money.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Soldering iron
  • Wire cutters
  • Wire strippers

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  1. 1

    Know the symptoms of a bad cable. When a cable goes bad, sometimes, it simply stops working; other times, it works intermittently. This indicates a short somewhere in the cable. A bad cable may also make annoying humming and buzzing noises.

  2. 2

    Make sure the cable is the problem. If the amplifier is turned on the guitar is not producing sound, the problem could be a bad cable. However, it could be a simpler problem as well. Make sure the volume is turned up on both the guitar and the amplifier; some amps require that the tone controls be turned up to at least 1 before they generate any sound. Plug the cable firmly into the guitar input jack and the amplifier input jack. If the guitar or amp input is loose, this may prevent the cable from making a connection.

  3. 3

    Unscrew the metal caps on both ends of the guitar cable. Inspect the connections for loose and frayed wires. If the guitar cable has a short, locate the short by strumming your guitar with one hand and manipulating the cable until it produces sound.

  4. 4

    Cut off the piece of the cable that has the short in it. Trim frayed wires with a wire cutter. Use a wire stripper to remove enough insulation to reattach the ends of the cable to the jack.

  5. 5

    Heat up a soldering iron and solder the wires to the input jack. Connect the metal cable strand to the short prong or inner jack, and connect the braided wire to the outer jack or claw. Once you have done one side, do the other end of the guitar cable.

  6. 6

    Screw the metal caps back on, and you're all done.

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