Hello people,

I just got my first pedalboard a couple weeks ago, but I've yet to purchase patch cables. I've read some threads on other forums, but to be honest, I have no idea what to get. If it matters, here is what my chain will be in the near future:

Polytune > Dunlop Crybaby > Suhr Riot > Tubescreamer > Boss Super-Overdrive > Dunlop Univibe > Analogman Chorus > Deluxe Memory Boy > MXR Micro Amp

My price range is somewhere in the vicinity of $10-12 dollars. Because I've heard of other people having problems with solder-less patch cables like George L's, I'd prefer either solder-able cables or pre-assembled ones. I'm a total novice when it comes to cables, so if anyone could help, that would be awesome. Also, if you have suggestions for my pedal chain, please feel free to tell me.
I make my own patch cables so sorry, can't tell you from experience which patch cables are best for you.
But, myself, I might put the MXR Micro Amp somewhere with your dirt pedals.
But thats not written in stone.

I don't really like the concept of solderless cables, but I have never tried any myself.
Last edited by CodeMonk at Jan 7, 2012,
It makes little difference, if any. Either way you will not hear notable difference in the sound depending upon the patch cables you use, it's all snobbery. They are just cables, use whatever you can get hold of easily.
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Quote by Any7423
It makes little difference, if any. Either way you will not hear notable difference in the sound depending upon the patch cables you use, it's all snobbery. They are just cables, use whatever you can get hold of easily.

I can't agree with this 100%.
A while back, I bought a 30 foot Hosa Cable.
I cut it up to make patch cables.
They were CRAP.
I hooked and powered everything up.
I then took my guitar pick and tapped on the patch cables.
And I heard that tapping come through on my amp.
And I'm not exactly a n00b when it comes to electronics.
Thanks for the feedback.

In the event I were to purchase cables that I could solder myself, where would be a good place to get the cables/jacks? Does the kind of jack you use affect the tone, or the cable, or both?
I bought 100 feet of this (it was 70 cents/foot when I bought it):

You probably won't need that much.
But I made ALL my patch cables plus several guitar > pedalboard and pedalboard > amp cables.

And I bought a bunch of "pancake" jacks from Radioshack : http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2104077

Radioshack is VERY expensive though. So shop around.
Maybe someone will suggest a place for those jacks.

And Youtube has a bunch of soldering tutorials.

Jacks are not going to affect tone, unless you really suck at soldering.
Cables affect tone. Look for the capacitance rating (pF per Foot).
But for the most part, the better quality cables aren't going to be a whole lot different from each other.

If you are desperate though, those little $1 patch cables will do in a pinch.

If you do decide to get that Mogami cable, come back here BEFORE you start soldering those.
Last edited by CodeMonk at Jan 7, 2012,
thats a nice board you have coming along! congrats

anyway, i picked up a ton of patch cables on black friday for $6 for 3. the brand is called strukture and theyre probably the sh*ttiest cables around but for short ones like those it doesnt really matter.

i would worry about quality when going for longer cables carrying your guitar signal to the first in the pedal train and the one leaving the train to the amp. i run DiMarzio and Monster cables. yet to have problems.

most companies these days have those lifetime warranties anyway. btw i find sweetwater and musicians friend to have like a $10 less markup on cables compared to GC and Samash.

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i bought 10 neutrik jacks (apparently the best around) for the price of 1 or 2 patch cables, so i made them myself out of an old long cable with damaged jacks, im pretty happy with them, and never had any problems, so if you know something about soldering, you're better off making your own cables
I use Death Valley Cable Company patch cables, insanely pricey for what they are, but they are incredibly good. There was most certainly a difference in sound between them and the old GFS cables I used. They're really solidly built too.
I use Canare GS-6 or GS-4 depending on how flexible I need the cable to be, and Switchcraft 226 and 280 jacks. It get's pricy though. I now understand why good patch cables cost so much.
Last edited by poppameth at Jan 8, 2012,
When I had a pedalboard, I just used the $4 ones from Guitar Center. They worked well for me. There were no blatant noise or shielding issues, and that's good enough for a lot of people.

Whether you decide to go cheap, or to splurge, remember that your entire signal chain is only as strong as the weakest cable. If you get expensive cable, make sure that every cable in your chain is expensive, otherwise it'll be pointless.
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I never seem to stop making patch cables. I just buy cable off Ebay. The last lot I bought was a 250ft roll of Planet Waves for some stupidly cheap price like $20. It seems pretty good. Decent braid over some plasticised foil. The inner insulator seems to be able to handle a decent amount of heat which makes it easier to solder braid to things like pancake plugs (there's a knack to soldering braid to those.)
I just grab whichever plugs I want for the job and make them up as I need them. You can get away with a lot with patch cables because they aren't getting stomped on. That's the main difference between good and bad cables - mechanical durability. That's why I use mains extension cables as speaker leads on anything to be taken to a gig. Resilience - that's the name of the game.
The same with plugs. You won't hear a difference between cheap plugs and expensive plugs when they are new. It's 10 years down the track when you start noticing pops and farts that it makes a difference.
Patch cables are rarely moved except on the front of a studio patch bay so it doesn't really matter, you can get away with just about anything. However ........ and listen to this......
If buying cheap plugs off Ebay do this. Grab hold of the tip of the plug with your fingers (make sure they are dry) and give it a good pull. If the tip comes off send them all back. You can use pliers if your fingers aren't that strong but don't go crazy with pliers, if you try hard enough you can pull the tip off any plug with a pair of pliers.
It may not make any difference to sound but the last thing you want is the tip of a plug to fall inside an enclosed socket. Other than that get plugs that are nice to solder of the right shape for the job. There's nothing like patch leads cut to the exact right length. Want to look professional? Have custom cabling.
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Last edited by Cathbard at Jan 8, 2012,