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From: Shootout Guitar Cables UKBest Guitar Cables Explained

See also: The Shootout Guitar Cables Range

Gold plating has been offered on many 1/4 inch guitar jacks for some time now to cater to the precious metal bling and hifi audiophile sensibilities that have swept the guitar cable market over the past few decades.

The myth is that because gold is a very inert metal that doesn't corrode under normal conditions, that it can be used on guitar jacks just like it is used for hi-fi and digital connectors. The problem is that engineers usually only specify such plating for gold on gold contacts!

Guitar, amplifier and pedal contacts are not gold plated they are nickel plated.

Gold may look nice and be highly corrosion resistant but it should not be mated with nickel except under controlled environmental conditions with the connection kept clean and free from electrolytes and humidity due to the possibility of galvanic corrosion which can corrode the nickel that the gold is in contact with.

Salts from handling food and sweat can easily get onto jack contacts when handling them, homes and gigs can be humid or near the sea. Salts and water make for excellent electrolytes which enable the corrosion.

There is no recommended advantage to the gold plating but there is galvanic corrosion risk.

This is why we at SHOOTOUT! do not use gold plated barrel jack or pancake jack contacts for our cables.

Should you already have gold plated guitar cable jacks make sure (ironically) to keep them clean with isopropyl alcohol and make sure they are dry to protect your guitar, amp and pedal connectors.

Black Powder Guitar Cable Nickel Plated Jack Plug
Gun Smoke Guitar Cable Nickel Plated Jack Plug

Also in this guide:

Guitar Cable Capacitance and Resonant Frequency

Guitar Cable Capacitance Chart

Guitar Cable Length and Signal Loss

Guitar Cable Myths and The Cable Fairy

Guitar Cable Shielding and AC Hum

Braided vs Spiral vs Foil Guitar Cable Shielding

Guitar Cable Microphonics and the Triboelectric Effect

True Bypass Pedals vs Buffered Pedals

Silver Plated Copper Cables and 'Red Plague' Galvanic Corrosion

Copper vs Silver Signal Conductor Guitar Cables

Guitar Cables vs Guitar Pedal Board Patch Cables

Analogue Guitar Cables vs WIFI

Low Capacitance vs High Capacitance Guitar Cables

Buffer Pedal Placement

Oxygen Free Copper Guitar Cables

Cheap vs Midrange vs Expensive Guitar Cables

Glued Heat Shrink vs Unglued Heat Shrink Guitar Cables


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