I'm replacing some of the electronics inside my electric guitar. I have some wire I've used for electronics before, but it seems to be thinner than what's normally sold as 'Guitar hookup wire', so I'm wondering if it would suitable.

Could the sound possibly be affected by different wire, particularly given the very short distances involved?

up vote 5 down vote accepted

It's all fairly high impedance circuitry inside a guitar. Pickup to tone control to volume control to jack etc.. It's extremely unlikely thinner wire (or even the thinnest wire you could get hold of and be able to solder to) would have any effect. Given also that the amplifier/speaker is likely to tone shape things, it would be trivial to consider such things as skin effect increasing the resistance of a 0.2 ohm (dc) wire to maybe 2 ohms (20kHz).

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    Although I'm sure you'll find plenty of people who'll swear blind it does make a difference, just like their oxygen-free volume knobs and $1000 speaker cables. – John U Apr 15 '14 at 8:09
  • @johnu of course the pickup wire is fine at 0.2mm because the magnetic field corrects for its skin effect LOL – Andy aka Apr 15 '14 at 8:28
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    It will make a difference with regard to wiring ease. If you're trying to fit 14 gauge or 12 gauge wire inside a guitar, just the mechanical size will be an issue. This isn't realistically an issue for anything > 20 gauge, but it's one possible (if silly) issue. – Connor Wolf Apr 15 '14 at 8:34
  • Pretty sure the quality and age of the cable is more important. Crappily produced from dirty/impure copper, sharp bends, tarnish, etc. – Passerby Apr 15 '14 at 15:23
  • Remember, the inside of a guitar is full of vibrations. Stiff wire will crack. Don't use solid wire. In my experience, the most common failure is on the output jack, where solder wicks into the strands and makes the wire stiff. So pay attention to the jack when you're wiring the guitar, and leave a little loop of extra wire for the next guy that has to resolder the jack. – markrages Apr 15 '14 at 18:49

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