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How long should a decent cable last?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Rush-2112, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. Rush-2112


    Dec 14, 2008
    New York City
    I've had the same Whirlwind Leader instrument cable ever since I first started playing, so something like 8 years. It still looks and sounds just like the first day I bought it. And trust me, it's served me through many a band practice and gig.

    Love my cable and hope it never dies on me. How long should a cable last if taken proper care of? ImageUploadedByTalkBass.com1357675035.317311.
  2. I havent had the same luck, of course ive never spent more than $25 on a cable either.
  3. I've had many a cable go on me. Amps being rolled over them many times, having them stepped on breaking the jacks... I finally got a Planet Waves with a lifetime guaranty. I had on go on me, took it back and they gave me a new one, no questions asked. I think Monster has the same deal.
  4. ahc


    Jul 31, 2009
    No. Virginia
    A cable shouldn't deteriorate. Damage would be the only concern. I used a cable I made up from Belden cable and switchcraft jacks for 10 or 15 years. Maybe more.
  5. I still have the first one I ever bought, 10+ years on. Take good care of them and they should last forever.

  6. That's like asking how long should my car last. Depends on how well you take care of it.
  7. I think cables will always deteriorate over time. I have very expensive jacks, and I buy very expensive cable - I make new ones up when required. I've seen many musicians use expensive instruments and amplifiers with crappy old cables, and they wonder why they can't get a good tone.
  8. ^^^ It's far cheaper to build your own, that's what i do and if something breaks its easy to fix.
  9. Jerry Ziarko

    Jerry Ziarko Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    Whirlwind cables are pretty amazing, especially considering the price. I still have some that are more than 20 yrs old that still work fine. I put new ones in service every few years, but probably not really necessary.
  10. I may be the only one, but I have cables that only get used for live playing. And a box of misc cables that get used at practices and for loaners. Never had a cable problem aside from stepping on it and pulling it out of my Bass once
  11. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Exactly 12 1/2 years. Sometime in June of the 13th year it will surely break in two.
  12. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    I've had the same Monster cable since 2001. I used to use it for rehearsals and gigs but over the lats 8 years I use a wireless at gigs and the cable at home practice and band rehearsals.
  13. pnchad

    pnchad Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2005
    the 'lifetime' guarantee makes a lot of sense if you think it through

    the biggest cost of a cable is copper itself

    so you make a good quality cable with slave labor & robots somewhere and sell it for say $60 and it costs you $5 (and that's being generous)

    it gets returned in 3, 4, 5 yrs and you swap it out - bingo you got the raw material for another one = recycling & cost savings

    another sale, another 1000% profit- nice
  14. JoeWPgh


    Dec 21, 2012
    Even when they do fail, it's usually in or near one of the plugs. It's easy enough to cut them back and resolder the plugs.
  15. Josh Thatguy

    Josh Thatguy Registered abUser Supporting Member

    Depends on whether or not there are rodents at your practice space, as there was with mine recently. There's something about the jacket rubber that a mouse must have been getting high on, because he ate about 4 feet of it in a 48hour period.

    It was a Monster Bass 21' given to me by a Monster-endorsed musician friend from my past a couple of years ago. Just got it replaced at GC under the lifetime warranty that Monster offers. I didn't ask if rodent teethmarks were covered, I just presented it to the GC rep as a "bad cable", and swapped out. $49.95 GC retail price!

    I love the marketing aspect from the package details: "Multi-Gauge Time Correct Windings with Special Dielectrics and Ultra-Dense Shielding." In other words, mouse cocaine.
  16. LOL
  17. JTE


    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    I still have, and use the first George L (actually mine is the original Bill Lawrence brand) cable I made when my store started selling them. That was at least a year before I got my VS '62 P Bass, so I've had it since at least 1982, possibly longer.

    So, 31+ years.

  18. Febs

    Febs Supporting Member

    May 7, 2007
    Philadelphia, PA
    I had a cable go bad on me at a gig Saturday night for the first time in literally as long as I can remember. I'm pretty sure that particular cable was one I bought for a specific theater gig in September 2005, so it lasted 7.5 years. I know that there are others in my gig bag that I've had for much longer than that.
  19. lfmn16


    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv

    I rarely have cables go bad. I can't remember the last cable that I had to replace.
  20. Winfred


    Oct 21, 2011
    I had a monster cable for over 20 years. It died. Walked into Guitar Center, handed it to them, they gave me another one exactly like it. No charge.

    Cables should last a lifetime. Buy a good one (or two), and never pay for another one.