These are one breed of item in the entire gear world that doesn’t do the price/quality correlation quite like other stuff.
Funny story. I applied for a job at sweet water hoping to work there for 3 weeks, buy $100k in gear (with my insurance money after my studio burned down) on an employee discount, get a bunch of vendor free-bees then quit. I was told in the interview process that cables are the biggest retailer markup in the entire sales catalog. Plugins are vaporware, so you’d think that would be bigger…right? Nope. The margin of commission is bigger for a cable. So if you’re in sales, you want to sell 10 cables. Not 10 plugins.
I also found out how gear retailers take horrible advantage of customer ignorance on cables. Monster sells digital light pipe cables for $60. Dave Hill at CraneSong is one of the worlds leading engineers on DA conversion circuity. I asked him what he uses at the design labs in Wisconsin to test the $7000-$10000 converter systems he sells around the world. He said cheap little $2 cables.
Long story short, here’s what I would do Emma. Borrow the fanciest and most expensive cable you can find. Buy one from Guitar Center then return it. A/B it with a Proco, Whirlwind, Hosa, or MonoPrice cable, or that ‘overkill’ cable Brandon sent you with a copy of Killer Home Recording. Then decide if you can hear a difference at all. I’m pretty sure I have about 1000 cables sitting around. (haha I’ll post a picture sometime for our collective amusement). Most either work properly or they don’t. It’s a pass-fail for me.
Unless your house burns down (like my studio did), that cable should last longer than you or I.
I like the whirlwind EC2 cable. Its my all time favorite. For no other reason than the matte finish feels pleasant when touch it. I bought box loads off a nightclub that went out of business. Best $80 I ever spent.