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From: Shootout Guitar Cables UKBest Guitar Cables Explained

See also: The Shootout Guitar Cables Range

The 'Red Plague' certainly sounds ominous enough but all joking aside, it does have connotations for the questionable use of silver plated copper in guitar cables.

Back in the 1960s NASA used to use silver plated copper because of the slightly improved conductance of silver over copper and the 'skin effect' of cables carrying radio frequencys (way above audible frequency range).

However, the engineers discovered a problem.

What they found was that unless the cables were manufcatured to ridiculously high tolerances in controlled environmental conditions, and protected thereafter in vapor proof storage, then 'red plague' galvanic corrosion could take place. NASA put a ten year storage shelf life on the cables too!

Silver Plated Cables, NASA Red Plague Control Plan PDF

Pure silver is of highly questionable use in guitar cables as they do not need to carry radio frequencies or anywhere near. Silver is also much more expensive than copper, less malleable than copper, and has a lower tensile strength than copper!

Guitar cables are bent and yanked around considerably and used in high humidity situations.

Combine these facts with the possibility of 'red plague' trashing the silver plating anyway depending upon how well the SPC wire is made, we are a totally baffled as to why any cable designed for an electric guitar signal would use silver plated copper signal conductors, except for the same reasons to have gold plating on jacks i.e. none that makes any electrical engineering or mechanical engineering sense!

Also in this guide:

Guitar Cable Capacitance and Resonant Frequency

Guitar Cable Capacitance Chart

Guitar Cable Myths Debunked

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

Copper vs Silver Signal Conductor Guitar Cables

Gold Plated Guitar Cable Jacks and Galvanic Corrosion

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


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