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Ernie Ball Instrument Cable Review & Blind Test

Hello there, in this brief article, I would like to review one of my recent purchases from Thomann. Based on user reviews, Ernie Ball instrument cables are one of the best choices around. These cables have managed to score 5/5 in this competitive market!

Ernie Ball instrument cables feature a high-quality design with excellent components that promise a high value/money ratio. These cables guarantee a long servicing time with excellent sound characteristics across guitars’ frequency ranges.

Ernie Ball Company

Here’s a quick introduction and a quick history for those who have never heard of this wonderful company.

Ernie Ball is a well-known and respected American manufacturer of guitars, basses, guitar strings, and other musical accessories. The company was established in the late 50s and has played a significant role in shaping the modern music industry, particularly in electric guitar and bass.

The Ernie Ball story begins in the late 1950s when Clarence Leonidas “Ernie” Ball, a talented musician and entrepreneur, founded the company in Tarzana, California, USA.

In the beginning, Ernie Ball focused on manufacturing custom-made steel guitar sets for country musicians and handling the demand that was started by the rise of the electrified instruments in rock’n roll music.

Thomann's 70th Anniversary Offers

Thomann's 70th Anniversary Offers

The company revolutionized the guitar industry by introducing Slinky guitar strings in the early 60s. These strings were made of high-quality materials and way ahead of their time and these attributes resulted in the company and the Slinky gaining a lot of popularity among guitar players who were seeking superior tones, durability, performance and playability.

The Slinky guitar strings became synonymous with Ernie Ball and remain one of the most iconic guitar string brands to this day!

Throughout the 70s and 80s, Ernie Ball committed to innovation and quality to achieve their ambitions. The company’s guitar string line became the choice of many legendary guitar players such as Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, and Jimi Hendrix, among others.

On top of this, Ernie Ball Instruments gained recognition for their exceptional craftsmanship and sound, further solidifying the company’s reputation within musician communities.

In the ’90s, the company started focusing on the expansion of its product lines and introducing bass guitar strings, accessories and other musical instrument-related products. Ernie Ball also acquired Music Man which became a legend and pioneer in guitar history.

Ernie Ball Instrument Cables Tech Specs

Dual shielding
Braided fabric sheath
Gold-plated connectors: 6.3 mm jack - 6.3 mm angled jack
99.95% Copper shielding
Length: 3 m
Colour: Black

I preferred the version with angled gold-plated jacks. Note that, there are many variations of this cable with different cable lengths, straight jacks or different colours.

Naturally, prices will vary so you need to choose one depending on your need. I prefer angled jacks usually as it’s tidier on your audio interface or preamps.

Click here to browse all Ernie Ball Instrument Cables!

Ernie Ball instrument cables feel very durable, I must say I love the sound of them in comparison to what I have had to use so far which was Shnoor Cables.

Check out the best guitar pickup company, Seymour Duncan here!

Check out the best guitar pickup company, Seymour Duncan here!

To make this article a bit more interesting, I have made a blind test video (or A/B audio test). Obviously, it’s just a simple test.

Most guitar nerds may probably say that I shouldn’t compare 2 cables with different lengths, and different jack plates…However, it’s just a simple comparison head to head at the end of the day.

I would also like to hear your guesses! You will find the correct answers at the bottom of this article. Let’s hear this simple guitar cable comparison first!

A/B Audio Test: Ernie Ball Instrument Cable EB6081 vs Shnoor IC124 JMEJME

In this video, I have used my Schecter Hellraiser Hybrid PT-7 Ultra Violet, ENGL E570 All Tube Preamp, ENGL Cabloader, RME Babyface PRO interface and Chicken Picks Shredder 3.5mm, Pyramid 7 String 10-56 Strings.

Do you hear any differences? Come up with your first guesses 🙂

Check out the best guitar pickup company, Seymour Duncan here!

Check out the best guitar pickup company, Seymour Duncan here!

I must say I hear slight differences between the two cables. But it’s almost impossible to define all audible differences immediately. I have also taken some screenshots from the Voxengo SPAN spectrum analyzer VST plugin to prove that there are some sonic differences.

Ernie Ball vs Shnoor Cable Spectrum
Ernie Ball vs Shnoor Cable Spectrum

Note that, these screenshots were taken at the exact moment in these 2 identical guitar tracks. Even with a rough inspection, one can clearly spot differences.

For instance, around 8-10KHz, Shnoor has a slightly louder response that can be translated into a more trebly-sounding cable. Or around 600Hz, Ernie Ball generates a louder peak, translating into a more mid-sounding cable.

Now you have heard both cables and also been able to see snippets of spectral analysis of the identical moment in the audio files. Post your second guesses and compare them to the correct answers below!

Do these help you to guess Cable 1 and Cable 2?

As a last remark before I reveal the correct answers; please do not take this as a scientific experiment or any kind of claim to look down on one cable. It’s just fun and I’m a guitar nerd just like you! 🙂

I just wanted to give my visitors an insight into a simple analysis. I don’t think either of these cables sounds bad. They both sound great to me!

Excellent people at the Shnoor booth back in 2018 (Musik Messe, Frankfurt) gave this cable to me as a gift! Since then I have been using their product. So I’m also using this opportunity to mention them again here on my blog. I hope Shnoor products will be available at Thomann! 🙂

At the end of the day, we, guitar nerds, always need to learn that differences between products we use may be very little in terms of sonic characteristics. So before you spend your hard-earned cash on boutique cables in this case, think again. You would be probably wasting your money. Always aim for long-servicing guitar cables first.

Martinic Plugins - Precisely Modeled Vintage Instruments and FX Plugins

Martinic Plugins - Precisely Modeled Vintage Instruments and FX Plugins

Correct Answer

[Drum Roll] Here is the correct match.

Cable 1: Ernie Ball instrument cable

Cable 2: Shnoor IC124 JMEJME

I hope you have enjoyed this brief article and found my simple experiment insightful. Thanks for visiting my blog and supporting me so far! I will hopefully see you in the next review here!

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