Pros: The magnetic ends snap off with ease and the cables are excellent quality.
Cons: Why didn't they think of this sooner?
Snap Jack has made the most innovative update to guitar cables!
Guitar cables, you need them to get sound from your guitar to your amplifier. Most improvements made involve the quality of the material, the plating, and the connections. What else could you do to improve a guitar cable?
Have you ever bent a guitar jack by tripping over the cable?
I have, and I'm just an amateur, so I imagine that musicians who actually go out on gigs have run into this problem. This was the problem that I had that made me ask about a cable end that wouldn't bend. My local music store owner had the perfect solution. (don't wait for me to tell you his answer, it was OBVIOUSLY these cables, that's why I'm writing this review)
Have you ever forgotten to turn your amp off when you unplugged the cable?
WeauAAAHHHHHHHHHH! POP! Yeah, thats the sound your amp makes at this sudden disconnect (or connect) when you forget to put it into standby.
The Snap Jack Secret!
Snap Jack Guitar Cables have a very innovative feature. The guitar jack SNAPS off! Not in a bad way, like breaking off when you get caught in your guitar cord, but in a simple detachable way. The jacks that are at each end of the cable are each actually two separate pieces, the end on the cable and the end that plugs in.
An ASCII illustration of the Snap Jack. The -- line is the guitar cable, and the ===> are the jack ends. The " / "s represents the magnetic connection where the snap jack snaps apart!
The jack ends connect via magnet, and disconnect when you want them to, or when your roadie trips over it! (or in my amateur status, when I trip over it). It simply disconnects, and NO DAMAGE IS DONE to the plug end of the cable or your expensive guitar or amplifier. I know I have seen amplifiers at CrossRoads with the broken end of a guitar jack stuck inside it. The Snap Jack eliminates this problem.
Moreover, when you disconnect the cable, even if your amp has the gain turned up full and you are in heavy metal heaven, there is NO POP, the music simply stops or at least drops very suddenly to the quite sound of your power chords strummed on an unplugged electric guitar. Snap it back on, and the only sound you hear are the ones you've made by playing the guitar. There is no snap crackle pop in the snap on or the snap off.
Thus, the Snap Jack solves two basic guitar player problems. One; no more worries about tripping over the chords and damaging equipment, the magnetic field is broken, not your equipment. Two; no more loud unintentional noises when you switch out your guitar without putting your amp in standby.
However, the Snap Jack doesn't need to be purchased in a single cable! Buy two or buy the extra plug in ends. Now you leave a plug in your guitar and swapping from your Fender Telecaster to your Gibson SG is a snap! (well those are my guitars, your guitars may vary) No hiss and pop from the amp, and making the magnetic connection is much simpler than yanking out one plug and jamming back in another. I don't have two yet, but after playing with the first one, I will buy a second one the next time we are at the music store to do just this. My son and I plan to leave a cable end in each of our guitars and each of our amps. (a small Fender Frontman 25R and a Line 6 Spider III amp). Heck, my son wants three, so he can leave some ends plugged into his Dunlap Cry Baby Wah Wah pedal.
But How Does it Sound?
I actually found the sound a bit cleaner than my regular cheap guitar cables! The magnetic seal between the cable end of the plug and the equipment end of the plug form a perfect seal, just as if you'd plugged in with a high end cable. Nick and I played with this cable the minute we got it home, and were delighted with how clean and crisp it sounded. Nick snapped it off, no sound, snapped it back on, guitar sound, snapped it back off no sound, back on, guitar sound. There was NO sound from the connection being made and unmade. Try that with your amp on and a regular guitar cable. Nick and I were sold on Snap Jack Cables.
From the package I got this. It's a gold plated contact with 2 ounces of solid metal nickel plated shell. The magnets are neodymium. There is an 0.08/60s OFC conductor, a PE conductor insulator, conductive PVE (4.5), a .12/144s helical braided shield (100%) and a 7.0 PVC jacket. What that means in English? It's a well made guitar cable and it sounds really good!
Price / Value
The Snap Jack 15 Foot guitar cable with snap off magnetic ends retails for $40.00. Regular guitar cables typically cost me $20.00 and I have had to purchase new ones on more than one occasion because one of us tripped over it and bent the end, resulting in inferior sound. Someone could conceivably knock over one of your thousand dollar Custom Once, I even had to have my amp repaired because the end broke off and got stuck inside my Line 6. No more. A pair of extra plug in ends costs $18.00. You could plug those into the in/out plugs on an effects pedal (like our Wah Wah) or into two other guitars. Not only is the snap jack incredibly convenient, and protected against the most common mishap, but they sound excellent.
Only Possible Complaint
The only problem that we noted is that it is a bit harder to actually take the plug end of the cable out when you want the guitar actually unplugged. You have to grip the end at its very base, which is a bit harder than just grabbing the end of a cable and pulling it out from your guitar or amplifier. However, once you start using these, you may never want to unplug the magnetic end again.
The best thing to happen to guitars since the capo. Five stars!