For almost every guitarist, it’s about tone. And there’s no mountain too high one will navigate to obtain it. It is those musicians Fishman had in mine when they decided to distribute the fabled Asterope premium guitar cables.
It would (or, perhaps, will) be hard to miss the Asterope in action as it is a deep purple color instead of the usual black usually seen on stage.
The cable is directional, so each jack has a different color molded end: Black to be plugged into the guitar, and blue to be plugged into the amp or the first link in your pedalboard chain. They are offered in various lengths as short as 6’ and as long as 30’ with either straight to straight or straight to 90º plugs and lengths, and 1’ or 3’ with 90º ends for pedalboard use.
The ends are gold plated. Gold, while expensive, has excellent (if not price-inhibitive) conductive properties and doesn’t corrode as other, cheaper conductive material does.
Other than that, it would be hard to describe the construction of the cable other than it is of propriety design. There’s no description on the packaging and a quick search on the internet did not readily provide any results. The ends are sealed, so there was no quick n’ easy way to get a peak at the cable’s core or shielding, or the plugs solder joints.
One assumes at this price point, that only components of high or the highest quality are used in the Asterope. Of course, while being spun from the finest material is impressive, nothing impresses like results…so I sought to hear the difference.
Using a ’59 Gretsch Anniversary guitar and an Ampeg SuperJet amplifier, the Asterope was used in a comparison with a standard name brand cable as guitarists would typically use.
I was expecting the 10’ Asterope to be brighter since it was being compared to 18’ foot cable from another manufacturer; however, this wasn’t the case. The Asterope provided a fuller sound throughout the tonal spectrum. In comparison, the more typical cable sounded thinner and brighter…even though the longer cable length should have been diminishing that cable’s top end.
Out of curiosity, I switched the direction of the cable (plugging the blue end into the guitar and the black end into the amp) to hear if there would be a noticeable difference…hey, call me skeptical.
Turns out that there is actually a difference in the sound, the full-fidelity sound of the correct direction was choked: signal did go through, but the sound was thin and noticeably brighter…not unlike the standard cable it was being compared to.
Some guitarists like the sound of standard cables to tame some of the top end of brighter amps, such as early Fender Tweed amplifiers or the Vox AC-30. But the Asterope is more of a full-range enhancement, so it may not function for these guitarists might expect.
So, perhaps, it comes down to philosophy. One could goose the controls on the amp to make up what is lost on using a standard cable, or…one could use the Asterope which delivers a truer representation of the guitar’s signal to the front end of the amp. My thoughts are a great guitar and a great amp should have a great cable between them.
Asterope also makes XLR equipped mic cables as well.