instrumental cables

How a Faulty Instrument Cable Almost Ruined a Birthday Party

The one thing I really love about friendships, beside the obvious perks that come with having such a profound relationship with a person, is the fact that you get to know these people so well that you can do certain small things to make them a bit happier. Or a lot. One of the biggest causes for celebration of any kind? A birthday. My absolutely favourite day of the year. There is basically no reason not to be happy and all glowy on this day; you have your loved ones around, eat cake, get free coffee and hopefully a free lunch at your fav restaurant, get showered with birthday presents aaaand…you get to have a birthday party.

It was Eliza’s birthday a couple of weeks ago and me being the birthday party freak I am, and her being the “not going out in a club” type of person, I decided to bring the club to her. Literally. Me and her hubby teamed up to make it a thrilling party to remember, one that involves her close friends, a couple of colleagues, a guitar…and oh well, a mic. You’ve guessed it, an acoustic karaoke party. Being the calm type of person she is, we introduced the idea to her and she loved the concept of it as everything was quite simple.

So we did a little research on all the equipment pieces we’d need. It turned out, all we really needed was a good laptop, a guitar and some instrument cables. Quite simple you‘d say. I have a quality laptop so I was willing to borrow it for the purpose. Michael, a very good friend of mine, has a guitar, so we decided that he should be the back vocal and the guitar player. So we made a trial run of the equipment a day before the party and guess what? We almost caused a fire. Yup, after connecting everything, the old instrument cables we used all of a sudden started making sparks. Certainly not the kind of fireworks we had in mind.

Luckily, we still had time to find and buy new instrument cables. This time, we decided we were not settling for just about any cable. So I did a little research on the matter and googled what a quality instrument cable should feature. So, for all of you who got interested in this kind of a party and need one, here’s what to be on the lookout for.

  • The guitar cable needs to have good shielding as this is intended to block out any interference from the outside world, such as fluorescent lights, radio station signals, etc., in order not to reach the center copper conductor where the signal is passing through. Therefore, if the cable is not properly shielded, there are high chances that a buzz, a hum or a radio signal will interfere with your sound.
  • The connecting ends, or the jack connectors, are among the most important components. The part where they attach to the cable is a weak point as every time that you plug it in or out, strain will be put on this part. Pay attention to how your guitar cable’s connecting end is connected to the cable and make sure you look for quality components on the ends.
  • Whatever guitar cable you may end up choosing, it is very likely that it will be available in different lengths. Choose a length which will be appropriate for the occasion and the place where you plan on playing the guitar. For a domestic purpose like I needed it for you will need a shorter cable, while if performing on stage, you will most certainly need a longer one. Normally, the longer the cable, the higher its price. Nevertheless, do not let this limit you – picking a too short cable for the sake of saving a few bucks is a nuisance because chances are it will annoy you if you always need to stretch it to the limit. Plus, tugging at it can put undue strain on your amp jacks, your guitar and the cable itself.
  • And last but not least, it certainly is worth checking if the cable you want to purchase comes with a decent warranty. Most premium instrument cables have lifetime warranties, meaning, the manufacturer will provide a replacement anytime that you need it. All you’ll need to do is send them your damaged cable, and they will send you back an entirely new one. Having a good warranty is a reason enough to spend a bit more money and purchase a guitar cable that will last.

Hope these couple of tips will help you out choose an instrument cable that will make the music sound much better and bring your party to a higher level. Plan everything ahead in detail and just have fun. And yes, feel free to share your experience with us. Positive vibes only!