Though Kirlin is by no means a major name brand, the California based company has managed to attract a lot of attention with their extremely high quality cables. Kirlin’s emphasis is on the technical side of cable manufacturing, and while they are somewhat secretive about their proprietary technologies, one thing is for sure: these guys know what they’re doing. In addition, Kirlin also strives to provide an extremely high level of customer service. For these two reasons, the company has taken to branding itself as a customer’s “final destination for high quality audio/visual cables.” That’s quite a bold statement to make, and despite Kirlin’s phenomenal sales record, many consumers want to know if their instrument cables really live up to the excitement. This guide attempts to look at all facets of the performance of Kirlin’s signature 1/4” instrument cable to determine whether or not this really will be the last cable company you ever buy from.
To put it simply, the Kirlin cables sound fantastic. Through a combination of state-of-the-art production and design techniques, Kirlin has managed to produce a crisp, accurate sounding cable. The cable doesn’t display any imbalance in attenuated frequencies, meaning users can rely on the cable providing a flat response across the frequency spectrum. This makes the cable suitable for use in a studio, as well as between a guitar or amplifier. Because these cables do not color the sound, they are of use in all genres, though jazz and acoustic players might particularly enjoy the sound clarity this cable offers.
As we’ve previously mentioned, Kirlin places a lot of emphasis on their production techniques. These days, hand-made cables actually tend to perform slightly less reliably than assembly lines cables, though they are often made with less care through a machine. Kirlin appears to have found a happy medium between these two, giving the cables both strength and reliability. The Kirlin cable consists of four protective layers, which each serve to either defend the cable for wear and to keep the sound quality pure.
The Premium 1/4” Series cable comes in a rugged tweed jacket with heavy duty connectors produced in house. Interestingly, these cables utilize a 20 AWG gauge wire, which is actually one size larger than what most of Kirlin’s competitors use. While this does seem to lend to the cable’s durability, it does not appear to offer any significant improvements to sound quality or handling noise.
Note that the tweed jacketing is what most distinguishes Kirlin’s Premium series from its Stage series. Internally, these two cables function almost identically.
Like many other braided cables, the Kirlin Premium Series comes with a variety of different options. According to Kirlin’s website, nine different colors of jackets are available, though most retailers will only stock two or three colors. Additionally, cables lengths of 10, 20, and 30 feet are available. Because Kirlin sells internationally, they also make cables using the metric system, with lengths of 3, 6, and 10 meters. Finally, the Kirlin Premium Series cable also offers both right angled and straight connectors. Typically, the dual straight tipped and mixed options are available for consumers, though Kirlin would likely have no trouble filling a custom request for a cable with two right-angled tips.
Unfortunately, Kirlin is still a growing brand, meaning only a handful of music stores sell their products. While some big box music retailers sell Kirlin Premium Series cables, many locally owned music retailers do not stock the product. Fortunately, the Kirlin Premium Series cable is available through numerous sources online. As such, general online marketplaces like Amazon regularly sell Kirlin Premium series cables for a decent deal.
Despite their high level of performance, the Kirlin Premium series cable is quite reasonably priced. Depending on the length of the cable, expect price to vary for the product. Compared to other cables at this price point, the Kirlin Premium series cable performs much better. For this reason, it’s very easy to see why Kirlin may be the “final destination” for cable buyers. While this isn’t the absolute best cable in existence, it’s high quality and low price point definitely places the Kirlin cable near the top of the heap.