Whirlwind Leader Standard Series Guitar Cable Review

by: Alan Schmitt of associatedcontent.com

 

As any guitarist knows, one of the biggest frustrations in playing guitar is the fact that guitar cables come and go. You don't even realize over time, but cables end up going bad, and then you go out and buy a new one, and before you know it, you probably could've bought an expensive guitar for all the amount of money you've spent on cables. There always seems to be a shortage at shows, and there's bound to be a band member walking around asking to borrow an instrument cable. This has been a fact of life for guitarists: instrument cables are disposable. Now, this may seem ridiculous the more you think about it, because why should you have to buy new cables all the time? They should last as long as a guitar lasts, shouldn't they? You figure a little guitar cable shouldn't cost that much, and you can get some 10 foot long cables for under $10, but those will definitely break quickly. Then there's people that go out and pour money into more expensive cables with the hope that they last. There are cables on sale that cost over $200, claiming superior tone and connectivity. Now, I haven't used any $200 cables, but I have used cables such as Monster cables, which cost typically around $40, and I have gone through Monster cables; yes a $40 cable has gone bad. So, do you have to spend $200 and get an insane guitar cable? Enter Whirlwind USA.

Whirlwind is a company based in Rochester, NY, that has been making instrument cables since 1975. This doesn't necessarily mean anything, because other companies have been making them even longer with no success for longevity. The difference is in the quality, and Whirlwind delivers the highest-quality cables you can find for rates that are not just fair, but inexpensive. The difference is in their Accusonic +1 connector, which is patented and they designed it themselves. As far as how it works, it's simply a durable plastic shell for where the wire is soldered onto the connector. This is, as studies showed Whirlwind, where pressure strains the cable and eventually breaks the wire's connection. Whirlwind designed their own wire as well, and added shielding to prevent interference. They also were the first to design the diamond-shaped connector tip that is used by everyone today. Whirlwind is one of those companies where they don't just produce products and ignore the customer. In fact, the reason they invented the diamond-shaped connector tip was as a request from a customer back in the 1970's. Whirlwind wants to put out the best product they can, and they succeed. They also make other wiring products such as wire snakes and mixers, and they even sell the cable that they use in their own instrument cables.

A Whirlwind Leader Standard Series cable that is 18 feet long costs around $20, which is a steal for such a quality cable. I have used strictly Whirlwind cables for over three years now, and I have never had a problem. If you do have a problem, send your cable back to them and they'll replace it for free. They've even replaced cables from the 70's. There are customer testimonials on the web site showing cables from the 70's that still work to this day, as well. There's also a video from a guy who had a broken cable, sent it into Whirlwind, and within a week got a box back. Whirlwind informed him that the cable was, in fact, a Planet Waves cable, which is a company that has no affiliation to Whirlwind, but as they understand the guy's frustration, they sent him one of their cables for free. Talk about devotion and caring about their customers, and you're talking about Whirlwind. They also have other series cables that are similar, but vary somewhat. Skip having to buy a new guitar cable every month, and get in touch with Whirlwind to find the closest dealer for their products right now. If you have any questions, they have a good history and explanation about their philosophy and products at www.whirlwindusa.com/index.html