What to look for when buying a cable to go with your pedal board. Why do I need a new cable? Let me explain; so you’ve just spent a few hundred dollars of your hard earned money on a new pedal board, the next step is to ensure you get the most out of your new toy by pairing it with a quality cable? What makes a good cable? The durability, the size, the quality of sound traveling through the cable will all be factors to consider as well as the age old debate of making your own cable using kits or buying 6″ patch leads. The following are some of the best cabling kits and 6″ patch cables in the market, think about your own pedal board needs when reading as each board is different in size, style and usage requirements.
George L’s Pedal Board KitPro: Premium build quality
Con: No cable cutter included
George L’s pedal board cable kit comes with 8ft of cabling and 8 jacks as well as a unique feature of caps for the cabling to protect the cable ends before you install the jacks. This is a nice touch for someone who doesn’t require all four cables at the one time. As expected the build quality of the jacks and cable is reflected in the price of this kit however the simplicity in which the kit is assembled makes it a joy to use. The George L kit ensures a strong and durable connection each time. After spending money on a pedal board a secure and reliable connection is a must and the George L offering certainly offers that. The only negative is that the kit doesn’t include cable cutters or wire strippers which are a must when making your own cables for a pedal board.
Planet Waves Solderless Custom 10ft Cable KitPro: Simple and easy to use
Con: Unreliable connections at times
Following suit with the rest of the cable kits, the Planet Waves solderless custom 10ft cable kit comes complete with 10ft of cable and 10 right-angled input jacks. The design of the kit makes it one of the easiest to use on the market. Simply follow the clear instructions and cut the cable to the desired length and install the input jacks. The simplicity of the kit however is where the negative impact can be seen. The durability of the cable connections became a problem, the sound cuts in and out, with loud pops and bangs as the connection breaks. This happened with a number of the cables created using the kit. As the final (but arguably most important) addition to your pedalboard durability is key.
Lava Cable Tightrope Solder-free Pedal Board Cable KitPro: Strong, reliable connection
Con: Tricky to use
Coming complete with the full compliment of accessories you need to make 5 cables the Lava Cable Tightrope is a great tool for any musician seeking to tidy their pedal board from unsightly cabling. We particularly enjoyed the ability to cut the cabling to desired lengths avoiding the need for cable ties to hide cables under the board. Once we got our heads around the detailed directions (and with the help of youtube) the intuitive design became easier with practice. The key factor when choosing the Lava Cable Tightrope solder-free pedal board cable kit is the strong and durable connection given ensuring a tight and secure connection each time.
Pyle Audio Pedal Board Patch Cable KitPro: Color-Coded cables
Con: No right angle jacks
Pyle Audio provide a 10ft cable and 10 jacks to create 10 cables for your pedal board. As with other kits it comes complete with everything you’ll need, however with one addition. The ability to color-code your cables allowing you to see from above the signal chain of your pedal board, meaning you can easily alter the order of pedals on the board easily (this is something that could be easily added to any cable easily though). The Pyle audio kit is one of the more difficult to set up, but after the first cable we found the time taken ensured one of the most solid connections in a custom cable kit. The only downside to this kit is that there is no right angled input jack causing the cabling to take up slightly more space than if it were are right angled.
GLS Audio 6″ Patch Cable CordsPro: Heavy duty rubber jacket
Con: Input jack size
The GLS Audio 6″ Patch Cords are a touring musician’s dream. With a heavy duty rubber jacket covering the cable the durability of the GLS Audio patch cables are perfect for taking a beating as often happens on stage or in a practice room. The 6″ length is suitable for the majority of the pedals in your arsenal, however problems arise when you are using cables with multiple inputs. The Boss LS-2 has inputs closer together which we found the GLS Audio to be too tight to fit two cables into the pedal at the same time. This will only become an issue if you have a pedal similar to this, but certainly something to take into account. This aside, the cables fit securely into all other pedals and give confidence in a quality product. As a pack of six cables, the GLS Audio offering should be more that enough cables to get you started in creating your perfect pedal board.
Premium Quality Sound Guitar Instrument Effects CablePro: Pre-cut secure connections
Con: Only 6″ long
The Premium Quality Sound offering provides us with a 3 pack of cables each 6″ long. Perfect. For going between the vast majority of cables that’s the size you are looking for. A factory built cable will give you the reliability and piece-of-mind that the connection will be secure every time. The durable build quality ensures the pedal board will last throughout the years and provide a high quality of sound during its life. The only down side is that if you require a larger cable or are stretching the 6″ cable to the limit you may have to alter the position of your pedals to accommodate the cabling. As a Pack of three cables it is very reasonable and the quality of sound and durability punches above its price tag.