When you’re trying to build out a neat and functional pedalboard, it’s the details that truly matter. Cables are definitely the least interesting part of the board, but choosing the right ones can make connecting everything — in an orderly and fail-proof way — that much easier.
Why You Should Use Quality Patch Cables for Your Pedalboard
There’s a pro audio motif about your signal only being as good as the weakest link. The concept is that you could have all top-notch, high-quality cabling throughout a setup, and a single cheap one could stop your signal flow. When people build out studios and the like, they generally use the best quality they can afford and try to keep it consistent throughout. The same idea applies to pedalboards.
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Fortunately, like most equipment these days, “good” doesn’t have to be “expensive.” Here at Produce Like A Pro, we firmly believe that affordable equipment can lead to amazing results, so don’t be fooled into thinking the best patch cables have to be the most costly!
The Best Patch Cables for Your Guitar Pedalboard
Before we get into the list, there are a couple of other things to keep in mind when shopping around. First is choosing the ideal length for your board. In order to keep the pedalboard organized, you want to choose a length that doesn’t leave too much slack hanging out all over the place. Usually three to six inches is adequate for tightly packed boards.
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The next consideration is jack type. Patch cables are 1/4″ by default, but you need to decide between straight jacks, right-angle jacks, or pancake jacks. For the most part, you’re probably going to use right angles and pancakes so you can position pedals right next to each other. Alright, let’s get into the list!
These low-profile patches by Ernie Ball are some of the best and arguably most innovative you’ll find. An innovative cable, how the heck is that even possible? You’ll notice that these are round but are instead a flat, ribbon shape. It makes squeezing pedals together super easy. There are also multiple layers of shielding inside to protect your signal from interference.
Hosa is one of the biggest names in high-quality and affordable cabling. These use right-angle pancake jacks that sit flush to the side of the pedal jack when connected. Again, this is a space-saving technique to help you organize your pedals and fit a bunch next to each other without wasted space. Internally, these use oxygen-free conductors (OFCs) for signal clarity and spiral shielding to minimize interference.
Donner is going to be one of the best value patch cables you’ll find. This 6-pack is under 20 bucks, so you could wire a whole board very inexpensively. These have standard right-angle jacks, slightly bulkier than some, but still perfectly adequate to save some room. Inside are OFCs and shielding for interference protection.
D’Addario Planet Waves cables have been around forever. The Classic Series patches include nickel-plated plugs and OFCs for high conductivity, low handling noise, and plenty of rejection for interference. They utilize a standard right-angle jack on both ends.
MXR pedals are popular, so you expect their patch cables to be a good pedalboard match. These have right-angle pancake connectors for ample space-saving, and they keep your tone pure and intact thanks to OFCs and spiral shielding. You can pick up a 3-pack for a steal.
Remember when we said patch cables don’t have to be expensive? Well, let’s just say you have at least five other choices here that reflect that sentiment. Mogami cables are the best in the biz, carry a lifetime warranty, have gold-plated plugs, are covered in carbon-injected PVC to eliminate handling noise, use ultra high-quality oxygen-free copper cores, and have two layers of shielding. If you’re a steady gigging musician, it might be worth it to wire your board with some of the best and most reliable patch cables money can buy.