So, after a recent (and long overdue) gear upgrade I've decided to do away with multi-effects and venture into the realm of single stompboxes. However, being relatively new to this club, I'm not entirely sure what is the best way/correct way to setup my pedals and cables.

I've also upgraded to higher end cables (well, just one at the moment) to ensure the best quality sound I can get (for a semi-affordable price of course ). Right now I have a few other cables for the time being, but not enough for all the pedals that I'm going to be running. So I'll need to buy more. And since you're only as strong as your weakest link, I want to make sure that all my cables are of the same brand and model. Unfortunately, the choice of cable that I upgraded to is available in town at limited lengths (21 ft., 12 ft., and 8 in. only). Poor planning on my part, but it's too late to change it up now since I've already invested. Anyway, I'll need to order the other sizes that I need off the company website. The sizes are as follows:

  • 8 in. - angled 1/4” plugs (patch cable)
  • 18 in. - straight 1/4" plugs
  • 3 ft. - straight 1/4" plugs
  • 6 ft. - straight 1/4" plugs
  • 12 ft. - straight 1/4" plugs
  • 21 ft. - straight 1/4" plugs
  • 12 ft. - angled to straight 1/4" plugs
  • 21 ft. - angled to straight 1/4" plugs

Essentially what I'm asking for is some recommendations or suggestions on which which size of cables I should probably get and where I should be putting everything.

I will be running the following gear (for now):

  • ISP Decimator G-String
  • Dunlop DB-01 Dimebag Crybaby From Hell
  • MXR Carbon Copy
  • Digitech JamMan
  • Korg pitchblack Chromatic Pedal Tuner

This is how I imagine the setup.

To amp:

Guitar>(21 ft. straight) cable>Tuner>(x) cable>Decimator>(x) cable>Wah>(x) cable>Amp

Effects Loop:

Effects Send>(6 ft. straight) cable>Decimator>(x) cable>Delay>(x) cable>Looper>(6 ft. straight) cable>Effects Return

Is this the optimal setup as far as pedal locations go (not certain about where to place the Decimator)? Also, please fill in the blanks (x) and recommend me cable lengths (or replace the already given lengths with a better choice). I don't want to have and endless mess of cables, but I also don't want to be hindered because my cables are too short. Like I said, first-timer here and I'm not entirely sure what is actually needed and what would probably be overkill.

Thanks in advance for the help.
Last edited by Erkekjetter at Oct 10, 2008,
I'd just get 6-12" patch cables for pedals, and just get a 21' cable for the guitar.

And maybe two more 21' cables for the send/return of the FX loop so you can move your pedals around.
Patch cables should work good, no problem. You don't have to have your pedals 5 feet away from each other.

And really, it's prefference.

I'm buying as i go.
I started off with one 5ft. cable, then i got my Bad Monkey, then i fixed up an old 5 footer and plugged it in.
Then, the other day when i bought my ISP Decimator, i just bought a 20' cable when i bought it. I also bought a 1/4" plug and with an older 1/4" plug i found, made a patch cable out of that old 5' cable. So now i've just got it like this:

Amp -(5' cable)-> ISP Decimator -(4" patch cable)-> Bad Monkey -(20' cable)-> guitar.

then a 4 foot cable in my FX loop (mod for VK... just plug it straight from the send to the return).

So basically, just buy as you go... it's up to you, really.

Last edited by TheBax at Oct 10, 2008,
Quote by asfastasdark

Yeah, I considered getting some couplers for pedal to pedal connections. It would certainly keep things neat. But it would really limit the placement of pedals. I think even just using 8" patch cables would provide at least a little bit of versatility. But that might not even be enough either. It's kinda hard to tell until you actually settle on something and then find yourself needing more (or less).

Oh well, guess all you can really do is best guess it. I'd feel a little better about experimenting if the cables weren't so damn expensive though.
Yeah, 12" would probably work somewhere except I'm pretty locked into the Monster Performer 500 Instrument Cables now. I'm not really looking for different brand options, just wanted some advice on what sizes I should get and where I should put them in my chain.

I just picked up two 12 footers. Probably gonna order a couple each of 6' and 3' lengths at some point too. Then I'll just move 'em around and experiment to see what I prefer and then probably fill any gaps with some patch cables. Still open to suggestions though.
I'm just curious, are you linking pedals together with 6' cables? Or planning to?
No, I likely won't be using the 6' cables for pedal to pedal connections. At most I'll use the 3' cables for the longer, harder to reach connections. The 6' cables I'll probably use for the connections to my Wah pedal only so I have more versatility in where I can place it. I figure it's pretty essential for a Wah to be in a convenient and easily accessible spot.
Just remember that the more cables you have, or the longer cables you have, the more signal loss you're going to have as well.
Quote by TheThinMan
Just remember that the more cables you have, or the longer cables you have, the more signal loss you're going to have as well.

Yeah, that's what I'm afraid of. Right now I have a 21' cable for my Guitar and two 12' cables for the FX Send and Return.

Would you recommend that I ditch the 6 footers all together and just use 8" patch cables for all the effects and then just one 3' cable for the Wah>Amp connection? Or something else perhaps? Should I ditch the 12' cables for the FX Loop and go shorter for these too?
I say just buy a big *** roll of cable, and buy a bulk order of ends on eBay, and just make it as you go, however long you need.

I kind of do that. I used to have an old cable, and now i just cut it off and buy ends when i get a new cable.

And with this method, you'll know they're soldered good... not by some 4 year old Mexicans in a sweatshop.

I considered getting the Planet Waves Pedal Board Cable Kit. It comes with a bulk length of cable, cable cutters, and multiple cable plugs. Seemed really convenient since you could just make your own cables at whatever length you need. Also, no soldering. But I read some pretty bad reviews of the Planet Waves DIY cables (which is strange since Planet Waves cables usually get pretty rave reviews), so I decided aganist it and went with the pre-made Monster cables instead.
A lot of people on here actuall don't like Planet Wave cables.

I hope you have good luck with the cables.