All amplifiers hum a little to a certain extent.
However, cables can acquire fairly large amounts of white noise - that depends on external influences. Guitar cables are especially susceptible to acquiring white noise because they are an unbalanced cable.
What is an unbalanced cable?
An unbalanced cable sends one copy of the initial audio signal down the cable. Sending one copy of the audio signal allows external signals to easily warp, shape or join the initial audio signal and is a very well known reason behind creating white noise.
What is a balanced cable?
A balanced cable has 3 wires within the cable; ground (GND) and 2 audio (AUD1 & AUD2). A balanced cable splits the audio signal and sends one intial copy down AUD1 and then sends another copy with a reversed polarity down AUD2. This makes the signals be out of phase from eachother. Once the signal reaches the other end of the cable, AUD2 gets reversed/inversed again to be the same signal as AUD1.
So why flip polarities?
When the signals with opposite polarities are sent down a cable, external signals warp, shape and join into the signals - just like a balanced cable. However, the noise is inphase to each signal but the signals are out of phase. Therefore, if the signal is flipped again to have the same polarity and substracted from eachother, the noise gets cancelled out from the signal completely and you're left with a clear crisp signal.
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