Any company that shares its name with a 1974 Bob Dylan album that topped the US billboard is clearly doing something right. Planet Waves is a guitar accessories company that makes a myriad of products including capos, picks, tuners, guitar straps, slides, and instrument cleaning products. Instrument cables are also included in this assortment. They have a number of different series ranging from cheap tp expensive. I have chosen to review the Classic Series, which is at the low end of the range. I chose this cable because I think it represents excellent value. In short, it’s nothing special to look at, but it does the job and is extremely affordable.
Much like many higher end guitar cables, the Planet Waves Classic Series consists of an oxygen free copper core which results in low capacitance and a pure and unaltered tone. They have molded plugs, which most certainly don’t look as fancy as the gold plated plugs found on some higher end cables but they provide exceptional strain relief (remember: typically the highest strains occur right at the connectors, making this area one of the most frequent failure points on guitar cables) and resist damage to the cable very well. They are also inexpensive and keep costs down. Also of note is that the cables come with a lifetime guarantee.
As you’d expect from a budget guitar cable, options are relatively limited. The Classics come with dual straight connectors only; no right angles to be found here. They come in varying lengths ranging from 5 to 20 feet. Your color choice is black. As far as cosmetics are concerned, they aren’t much to look at. They don’t stand out like a tweed patterned cable would, but for some people this is actually a plus.
This is one area where I think these cables excel. Their relatively simple construction coupled with the fact that materials of reasonable quality were chosen make these cables pretty resistant to damage and shorting. There is nothing more annoying than having cables that develop humming, buzzing, or crackling over time. So long as you store your cables correctly and treat them well, they will likely last you quite a while.
From a sound standpoint, they are passable. They aren’t quite as crisp as some upper end guitar cables I have played, but they certainly work fine. In practice if you are playing out loud through an amplifier, all but the most finely tuned ears probably won’t hear a major difference between these and mid to high end cables. If you are recording, the difference may shine through a little more noticeably. All in all, if you are a hobbyist player, these cables are more than good enough.
Overall these are a great, inexpensive guitar cable. They make awesome cheap backups if you are gigging, or they are perfect for the normal musician who is jamming with friends or rocking out in their living room. Again, they don’t necessarily compete with some of the high end cables, but they weren’t designed to and you can buy 5 of the Classic Series for the price of one high end cable. In the end, it’s hard to argue with the value as it is one of the highest on our guitar cable comparison chart.