5. Instrument Level Leads

This term denotes the strength of an audio signal used to transmit analogue sound information between components such as electric guitars, effects pedals and guitar amplifiers. It is much lower than line level at just -20dBu. Instrument leads are typically mono, flexible, terminated in1/4-inch jacks and will have at least a braided screen. However, in some situations, this screen alone will not be enough to prevent handling noise created by the lead moving around in the previously mentioned airborne EMI. A second line of defense is required, especially if you like to play your electric guitar at high volume and gain. To this end, many quality guitar leads use conducting plastic as well as braided screens to fully mop up the remaining EMI. Belt and braces? Not when you turn up to 11! With this enhanced fortification, care must be taken to limit the cable length, to avoid treble loss due to the capacitance problem we discussed earlier.

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