I started playing guitar at around the age of 13, Iíve had just about
every type of cable imaginable, and Iíve paid everything from five
dollars for my first ten-foot instrument cable to twenty dollars for a
tiny six-inch patch cable for my boutique effects pedals. When I
was 17, I went through more than ten Monster Cables in one year - thank
god they had a lifetime warranty! It wasnít until around six
months back that I finally settled on one high-end brand, which I then
used exclusively on my rigÖ that is, until I discovered Spectraflex
cables a few weeks ago.
One look at the list of artists who use Spectraflex cables is enough to tell you that there must be something to them. Here are some of the more notable players Iíve seen mentioned: Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater, Billy Idol, Alice Cooper), Bjorn Englen (Yngwie Malmsteenís Rising Force), Deryck Whibley (Sum 41), Jake E Lee, John Jorgenson, Prashant Aswani, Johnny Winter, and even the Blue Man Group! Not to mention, Dimebag Darrell (R.I.P.), and tone-fanatic Richie Kotzen.
Spectraflex has an impressive product line, including the Ron Thal (a.k.a. ďBumblefoot,Ē now of Guns Ní Roses) and George Lynch signature instrument cables, as well as others that arenít a part of their artist series. But today Iíll discuss the one I was most excited to hear: The Bumblefoot Limited Edition Guitar Cable.
This cable looks and feels rock solid. Itís just the type of sleek-yet-heavy-duty guitar cable I suspect one would need if they were out touring with GNR. Itís patterned in a zig-zag combination of metallic silver-white and jet black, with dual ľĒ straight plugsÖ and itís twenty-five frigginí feet long! Here are some of the more technical design details, straight from Spectraflex:
- Rugged, engineered Nylon covering a tough PVC outer jacket.
- 20 AWG Ultra-Pure Copper Center Conductor.
- 95% Overall Copper Shield.
- 100% Coverage Inner Conductive PVC Shield.
- G&H Industries Connectors featuring "Copper Core"ô Technology.
- Plus a state of the art construction designed for extended frequency response and extremely low handling noise.
I mentioned briefly before, this is a limited edition run. These
cables are even serialized to ensure authenticity, and they feature the
Bumblefoot logo on one end and the Abnormal logo (Ronís latest solo
album) on the other. Itís also worth mentioning that a portion of
the sales last year went to ďRock Against Diabetes.Ē The $70
price tag may be a bit more than youíre used to seeing for a guitar
cable, but this isnít your typical, run-of-the-mill, mass-produced
cable, and the price is actually quite reasonable when compared to
other high-end cables in its class (especially ones of this
After all, this is a professional-level cable, designed in conjunction with Ron himself. But thatís not to say that it isnít suitable for the usual bedroom woodshedding, as I use it for just that. In fact, before receiving this cable, I had been using a 10-footer, but now that I have an extra 15ft to play with, Iíve been able to bring my guitar with me to the computer in the next room over to look up tabs online, and Iíve taken it with me to bed and anywhere else Iíve cared to play (with extra cable length to spare). I wish I had invested in a longer cable much sooner, as it really freed me up to move around my practice space.
Of course, the most important element of a cable is simply how it sounds, and these cables definitely deliver there. The change in sound from brand to brand is actually more dramatic than you might think, and you donít need to be an audiophile in order to hear the difference when you plug one of these Spectraflex cables into your amp. The signal integrity is fantastic; I noticed an immediate jump up in fullness of tone and a slight increase in volume when I went from my previous cable to the Spectraflex.
It usually takes guitarists a long time to realize that a nice cable is just as important of an investment as a good guitar or amp. A cheap instrument cable can truly rob you of some of the presence and liveliness of your tone. Thereís no point in owning a killer axe and an expensive amp if the equipment connecting the two is of poor quality and craftsmanship. Not to mention, the price of a cable isnít always reflective of its level of quality. One would think that a regular $20-$40 cable would live up to the price, but they often donít, as the jacks fall apart or the cables short out. Saving up an extra few dollars for a boutique cable can be very worthwhile. Otherwise, you might experience what I did, and find yourself returning to the guitar store time and time again to exchange or purchase cables!
Bottom line: when it comes to high-end guitar accessories, Spectraflexís Bumblefoot cable rocks almost as much as Ron Thal himself!