Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Slicker than Snot: Taylor V-Cable

Hi there!

It was an “ah-hah!” moment for me when I saw this product – the Taylor V-Cable. In the past I have owned acoustic guitars that had pickups but no electronics or volume controls, which meant relying on a sound guy or having to go over to the amplifier to change volume levels. Or having to carry a volume pedal everywhere I went.

The Taylor V-Cable takes care of this situation handily. The Rapco/Horizon company makes these in the US for Taylor, and they combine a quarter-inch cable with a master volume control and a mute. These can be used on pretty much any instrument that needs to be plugged in, and come in 250k and 500k versions, depending on what you will be using it on.

Choosing the 250k or 500k version might be a confusing decision for folks that are considering the V-Cable. Then again, these are the same specs you would have for the pots in your guitar, so it is not quite a voodoo science. In most cases I would go for the 250k version, unless I was going to be using it exclusively on a guitar equipped with humbucking pickups.

Looking at the cable construction, it is apparent that this is a quality accessory. It has a 20-gauge all copper center conductor, and top drawer connectors. The knob feels solid, works smoothly when turned, and has a satisfying click when the mute function is engaged.

I tested a 10-foot 20k cable on an older acoustic guitar, and found that it did not add any extra noise to the signal chain, and the volume control was easy to use while it was plugged into the end pin. The cable seemed a little stiff, but it was new. I think this product is a winner, and if you don’t want to upgrade the electronics on your guitar, it will add a lot of functionality.

The Taylor V-Cable comes in seven different lengths between 3 feet and 25 feet, and all lengths are available with 250k or 500k pots. The cables have a limited lifetime warranty for the original purchaser, if they register it through Rapco/Horizon.

Of course, the good things in life are not cheap. The Taylor V-Cables run from $61.99 to $73.99 ($49.19 to $59.19 street price), depending on how long of a cable you need. Of course, it is still cheaper than buying a volume pedal, and it makes for less gear to haul. Think about it.



  1. Which would you choose for an acoustic bass with a passive piezo? 250K or 500K?

  2. I would go with a 250k.