We all need instrument cables when it comes time to plug in our electric guitars. Instrument cables are an essential part of the guitar setup and something most electric guitar players are familiar with. It’s a lot more fun playing an electric guitar when it’s amplified, and you can hear it.
We know the cables are necessary, but which kind should you buy? Why use a right-angle guitar cable?
Right-angled guitar cables are helpful for guitars with input jacks that are flush with the guitar’s body, such as front-mounted or side-mounted input jacks. Right-angled cables help prevent any damage that may occur to the cord itself or the guitar, or other equipment if something bumped the cable.
A couple of examples of flush-mounted input jacks on a guitar would be a Fender Telecaster or a Gibson Les Paul.
Angled guitar cables have more uses than the ones I just mentioned. Some guitarists refuse to use any other type of cable besides right. Let’s take a closer look at the purpose of a right-angled plug.
What Is The Purpose Of A Right Angle Plug For Guitar Players?
There are two primary choices of cable types in terms of the jack type—cables with right-angled jacks and straight-jack cables.
The purpose of a guitar cable with right-angled jacks is to reduce the strain placed on the cord and the plug and help keep the cable closer to the guitar’s body, making it less likely to be hit and cause damage to the cable or the instrument.
That said, not all guitars accept a right-angled jack. The type of input jack your guitar has is another reason why guitar players may use a right-angled cable. Guitars with a face-mounted cup-like input require a straight-jack cable. Think of a guitar like the Fender Stratocaster. It isn’t easy to fit a right-angled jack into that kind of plug.
Almost all other guitar inputs are flush with the guitar body, making them ideal candidates for using a right-angled plug.
We know the cables are necessary, but which kind should you buy? Why use a right-angle guitar cable
Like the Gibson Les Paul, there are guitar models that have input jacks mounted right on the front. A standard straight-jack cable ould stick straight out and would likely get bumped. Not to mention what could happen if you stepped on the cable. Pulling at the wrong angle on the cable while inserted into the guitar’s jack could cause a lot of damage to the guitar, possibly even damaging the wood body.
It’s not uncommon for Stright-jack cables to be bumped into things as you’re moving around the stage. Straight jacks are often more dangerous to use than right-angled cables.
Safety is one of the main reasons for using right-angled cables, but there are many reasons why these cables are so popular.
Using Right-Angled Guitar Cables With Amplifiers And Pedals – Does The right angle go into guitar or amp?
I focused solely on plugging right-angled guitar cables into the guitar, but what about the other end of the cable that plugs into some part of your signal chain? Whether you use a pedal or an amplifier, right-angled guitar cables may be a good idea to use on both ends.
What if the guitar cable has a straight plug and a right-angle plug on the other end? Does the right angle go into the guitar or the amp?
Plug the cable so that the least amount of stress is placed on the cable, the guitar, and the amplifier. If the plug on the guitar will only accept one type of jack, then use that type. It does not matter what direction the signal flows through the cable.
You can find cables with any combination of jack types. There are cables with with straight jacks at both ends. And there are some cables with one right-angle jack that have a straight jack at the other end. There are also cables that have right-angle jacks at both ends.
Find and buy the cable that best suits your setup. I have multiple cables for when I’m playing in a different situation or changing guitars or amps.
Amplifiers with top-mounted input jacks are an excellent example of when to use a right-angled plug. Top-mounted inputs mean that straight-jack cables will stick straight up from the amp, making them more cause damage to the input on the amp if bumped too hard.
There are also times where the tip of the jack breaks of into the plug. This can be tricky to fix while on stage if you don’t have pliers on hand.
Also, you can’t stack a pre-amp on top if the cable is in the way. A right-angled jack would fix that problem. Using a right-angled cable means that the cable will run flat against the amp’s top and out the side, allowing you to route it as needed.
A point of stress that I see sometimes is when someone has an amp stack or some large speaker cabinet. A straight angled plug will place more pressure on the plug and jack due to the weight of the cable and the result of it having more torque from sticking out.
Lastly, right-angled cables are great for connecting all your pedals when using a pedalboard. Often pedals are placed closely together, and there is no room for a straight jack to be sticking out. Right-angled jacks will allow you to fit your pedals next to each other, allowing for maximum space efficiency and more pedals!
These cables are often referred to as patch cables and will have a right-angle jack on both ends. These low–profile cable ends mean they can have a tight fit in between your various pedals.
In general, right-angled guitar cables are safer for your guitar and rig than straight cables. Use a right-angled cable unless the guitar or equipment in your rig is not designed for or will not accept a right-angled jack.
I would argue that most guitar players use right-angled guitar cables.
Right-angled cables are often more suitable and safer to use than straight cables. However, it depends on what you are playing and the rest of your rig. A right-angled jack is great for face-mounted or side-mounted input jacks, whereas guitars with Strat-style input jacks must use straight plugs. Right-angled plugs are also a good choice for amplifiers with top-mounted or front-facing inputs, as long as there are no knobs or buttons that would get in the way or be damaged.
Right-angled cables are also often a better choice for cable management. They look neater and have a lower profile when plugged into guitars. That said, cable management is sometimes easier when using straight-jacks. It depends on your setup and what you are plugging into.
In the end, both types of cables will work with your setup, as long as the cable can be inserted into the plug. After determining the best cable to prevent damage to your equipment, it boils down to personal preference. Just keep in mind that right-angled cables are usually the safer choice for almost every type of guitar on the market and should at least be considered for use by every electric guitarist!