How to Make a Guitar Lead




About: I like electricity I like electronics I like.... SO MANY THINGS music, subwoofers, computers, woodwork and metalwork, Just look at my interests! I love music of most sorts and I am learning to be a sound guy...

This fairly simple instructable will show you how to make a simple guitar lead.

P.S im only 13 so no bad comments please :)

So lets get started

Step 1: Things You Will Need

The equipment you need are general. Everybody should have them.

1. Soldering iron or soldering station. 
2.Solder. I prefer 60/40 tin/lead resin cored solder.
3. helping hands. not required but highly recommended
4. soldering tip cleaner. Again, not required but it's recommended.
5. Wire stripper. (not pictured) required unless you have great skill with a pocket knife.I used the one in pic 2
6. Pliers or crimp tool (not pictured) 

I think I've covered all the equipment

Step 2: Stuff You'll Need

The stuff you'll need for the actual lead are
1. 2 audio connectors. I chose the highest quality I could get
2. Your desired length of cable. For mono applications, you must use single core screened cable. Again, I chose the best I could get
3. Use heatshrink or the covers that came with the connector to insulate the inside of the connector.

Lets get started making it!

Step 3: Strip the Cable

Strip the cable now. Use the wire stripping tool and take care not to damage the shielding by not overdoing it. Strip the outer insulation about 1.5cm (just over 1/2 an inch) from the top. Then move and twist the shielding (picture 2) and then strip halfway to expose the core (Like in picture 3)

Now thats done. On to the next step

Step 4: Prepare for Soldering

Now it's almost time for soldering 
first, put the connector cover and the insulation over the cable.
second, setup the stripped ends on the connector like in pic 2.

Step 5: Solder Time!

This step is is pretty much self explanatory. 
solder the wires to the connector that we prepared in step 4.

Remember to cut the excess wire

Step 6: The Connector Cover

Thread the connector cover over the connector WITH the plastic sleeve on to insulate the solder joints. 

Step 7: All Done... Well Sort Of

To finish the guitar lead, repeat all the steps on the opposite end of the lead. 

Step 8: All Done

Your all done. Happy playing!

don't forget the rate and comment!

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    16 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Awesome instructable! I'm proud of you. When I was your age I tinkered with home-made projects and stuff, but never anything at This technical level!

    Monster Cable guitar leads are expensive to stock up on in the long run, but this will save me money by making my own guitar leads. Thank you! :-D


    5 years ago on Introduction

    If this was a normal adult doing this instructable id be quite impressed, you being 13 makes me all the more impressed! very nice instructable! love it

    Quercus austrina

    8 years ago on Step 8

    Very well done! Way above most of the 'ibles done by those of your age.

    Along with what zenguitar said, creation and repair/maintenance of your own gear is one of the most important things a musician can learn. Not only does it save you/your band/the day, it stretches your mind to see the infinite possibility that is music. I look forward to seeing more of your work.


    3 replies
    dog diggerQuercus austrina

    Reply 6 years ago on Step 8

    I'll tell ya what... I've made that many leads since this instructables
    Pretty much every lead in my set-up is made by me now and I had to think of a complete modular system for using my X-array/Deltamax set up (8 pole speakon) and my Yorkville 508/sub setup (4 pole) with a single amp rack. I got it done and it has seen countless gigs now since october last year :)


    6 years ago on Introduction

    where'd you get the supplies for this? I'm wanting to make some.


    6 years ago on Step 8

    hey im only 14
    so dont fell bad=)


    8 years ago on Introduction

    One extra tip that might one day be a life saver.

    Whether you are making mono leads, stereo TRS, or XLR's, make the ground wire about 1cm longer than all the rest. In the rare even that the lead gets pulled hard, the hot connections will break first, but you will still maintain protection to ground for extra safety.


    1 reply
    dog diggernfk11

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Um... no
    what has that got to do with you?
    I checked you instructables and no connection

    please explain


    8 years ago on Step 8

    very nicely done.

    And this is a skill every guitarist should learn. It will save a lot of money over the years and will come in very useful when you are gigging and have problems.

    A drum of good cable and an assortment of good quality connectors will last a long time. You will always have a suitable guitar lead, and as your pedal and rack FX collection grows you can make patch cables to the exact length you need to keep everything neat and tidy.


    1 reply