Cable Assembly – Your How-To Guide

Cable Assembly – Your How-To Guide

Some people will say a cable is just a cable, that varying prices and shiny features don’t really matter or make a difference. Today we’ll be filling you in on how to assemble your very own guitar cable and will hopefully explain why the makeup of a cable is of more importance than anything else. Like a chef, no matter your experience, it is the ingredients that determine the quality of the meal. And for cables, it is the types of materials used to build them that determine the quality.

What is Cable Assembly?

Cable assembly, simply put, is putting together your very own cable – from scratch. We’re going to let you know all of the materials you’ll need and how they work together to ensure signal flows from one end to the other.

What You’ll Need

– wire stripper
– wire cutter
– a thin spudger
– soldering iron
– crocodile holding clips (or something to hold the cables still)
– scissors
– tape
– pliers
– rag/washcloth

Cable Assembly Step-by-Step Process

Step 1: Mark off 5-10 inches from either end of the cable
Step 2: Using the pliers, cut off any exposed copper at the end to create a new tip
Step 3: Using the wire cutters, gently round the cable to expose the copper — careful not to cut too deep and gently pull the sheeting away
Step 4: Carefully separate the strands and gather them to one side of the cable. When done, twist them into a bundle
Step 5: Place a ¼” cable nearby to reference length. Using the wire cutters, cut the outer and inner conductors down to about an inch. Use the ¼” for reference, and if done correctly the inner and outer conductors should align with the outer and inner parts of the plug
Step 6: Using the crocodile holding clips, stabilize your cable & solder
Step 7: Using the soldering iron, apply it to the conductors. If done correctly, the conductors should be shiny and spread evenly
Step 8: Cover the tip of the plug with tape to protect any plating
Step 9: You then apply solder to create the joint between the tinned wire and the contact point. Repeat for inner conductor

When to Buy a Cable vs. Assembling Your Own Cable

For more in depth information on the makeup of cables, head over to our video titled “Do Cables Matter?”

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