How To Wrap Audio Cables & Increase Their Lifespan

 

Audio cables are finicky. Studios and stages have long been battlefields for guitarists trying to keep them organized and working. 

The question of how to store cables has many answers. There are as many methods as there are musicians, but everyone agrees on one thing: keeping guitar cables working over the long haul is tough. 

Fortunately, there are a few surefire ways to increase the lifespan of your cables. Read on for our quick and easy tutorial, plus, see the product that can do all the work for you

Rule #1: Don't Pinch Your Cables 

When you're in a rush trying to get to a gig, or trying to get your gear off stage for the next act, the temptation is strong to simply grab a fistful of cable and throw it in a bag. 

The problem is, not only will your cables get tangled, they're also likely to get pinched. A pinched cable is arguably the quickest way to ruin its connection. That's because pinching it actually thins out the cable itself, thus increasing its resistance and preventing the proper electrical flow to your instrument or amp

This is why you'll see musicians take great care to wrap cables in a smooth circular motion. 

So however you wrap your guitar cables, make sure you don't see a crease or pinch anywhere. Then you'll be off to a good start. 

Rule #2: Don't Tie Your Cables 

Again, this is probably something you already know. However, when push comes to shove, we often have to make compromises to save time, and this is one way musicians quicken the rate at which they wrap and unwrap their audio cables. 

Someone tying an extension chord onto itself

Plus, if you don't know the proper way to wrap cables, tying it would seem like a reasonable thing to do. No one actively tries to harm their cables. One time I tried to ask a sound tech how to wrap my XLR, and he, seeing that I had tied my 1/4" just before, told me that I should never play a show again. 

Don't listen to something like that. Keeping your cables healthy is about helping you play music for a long time, and for less money. Just like learning to play guitar, taking care of your gear is a process of practice and experimentation.

Rule #3: Don't Do The Over-Over Method Forever

You've undoubtedly seen the common cable wrapping method known as the "Over-Over." In fact, you've probably seen it used by professional musicians and roadies. And, after all, it's not the worst way to go about it, since it will initially prevent your cable from pinching. 

[OVER-OVER CABLE GIF]

However, while it might not do much harm to new cables, it will deteriorate the cable and flow over time. It can cause breaks in its shielding, and when you're dealing with noise-heavy XLR cables and instrument cables, you're going to notice it when you play. 

Instead, do the "Over-Under" method, seen below. 

A diagram explaining the "over-under" method of wrapping electrical cables

 

A four-panel image of someone showing the different steps of wrapping an electrical cable using the "over-under" method

The name can be sort of confusing, but the primary difference between "Over-Over" and "Over-Under" is that when you do the latter, each twist effectively "cancels out" the last, such that once you're done wrapping it, you could throw the cable and it would unravel seamlessly. 

But hey, we still haven't gotten to the best option of all, so stick with us. 

Rule #4: Skip All the Rules and Get a Cabli

In the end, cables are just a tool to help us do what we really want: write and perform our music. Finding ways to ensure the longevity of your gear while maximizing the amount of time you get to spend on music is what it's all about. 

There aren't a lot of products on the market made to wrap up cords, let alone ones designed especially for guitar and microphone cables. Not too long ago we rolled out the Cabli, and it goes beyond just protecting your cords for the long-haul. 

 

  • The Cabli wraps both ends of your cable at once, so you'll be done in a matter of seconds
  • The Cabli leaves your wrapped cable in a sturdy casing, specifically designed to keep them safe while maximizing efficiency. 
  • Tired of tripping on a 1/4" while you're performing? With the Cabli, you can pull out just the right amount of slack, and keep the rest inside, leaving your practice or performance space tidy.
  • Keep your cables organized. The Cabli is compact, coming in at 7x1.68 inches
  • It may be small, but the Cabli can fit as much as 30 feet of cable inside of it. 
  • Buy four or more, we'll throw in a Cabli gear bag to store them. It can fit up to 5 Cablis, and you can hang it up in your practice or studio space. 
  • On top of all that, it's affordable. You can purchase a Cabli for just $19.97. Or, for $39.97, we'll pre-install a deluxe, 24" braided 1/4" cable with gold plated connectors

A picture of the Cabli from Singular Sound, with a guitar cable installed in it.

A picture of an amplifier and guitar with a Cabli in the middle

 

Claim yours here, and check out our full line of products. Singular Sound makes innovative gear for passionate musicians. 

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And most of all, 

Keep rockin'  

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