Guitar cables are generally a pretty hot commodity. This seemingly insignificant part of every guitar rig has the power to make or break the entire setup. Ever since things went digital, pedal boards have become a necessity for a large number of guitar players. They’ve made using several or more guitar effects pedals so simple that you just can’t go without one. However, with pedalboards came another issue. You had to daisy chain the pedals somehow, without putting stress on the cables. Since guitar cables are too long, a dedicated solution had to be invented.
Enter pedalboard cables. These extremely short versions of standard guitar cables need to meet several requirements in order to perform their function. They have to be made using quality components, have to feature a design that allows them to work without getting damaged by tension, and they need to be put together with a lot of attention to detail.
The best pedalboard cables are always going to be custom made ones, but since not everyone has the money for that, let’s check out 4 pre-made solutions.
GLS Audio Pedal Board Kit DIY
They say that if you want something done right, you need to do it yourself. This age old adage stands true even when we talk about pedal board cables. GLS Audio offers an awesome DIY kit that includes everything you could possibly need to create your own custom made patch cables. You get 12 1/4 inch TS plugs which feature a right angle design and an extremely low profile. Up next, we have 15 feet of quality 6mm rubber jacket, and 15 feet of high-quality wire (see full specs).
What you will need for this project is a soldering iron, with some soldering wire and you’re good to go. While it takes some effort to put these cables together, you get the benefit of knowing exactly how well your contacts are made, and the ability to easily fix them should something fail down the road. Combine that with the fact that you can customize the length of cables to your own needs and you get a pretty good deal. If you’re serious about your pedal board, this is the kit we’d suggest you check out before moving on.
GLS Audio Pedal Board 6 Inch Patch Cable Cords
Next set of patch cables also comes from GLS Audio, but these don’t require any assembly. Instead, you get 6 cables, each 6 inches long that feature the very same right angle plugs. The wire they have used for this set is a 21g copper high-quality grade spool with shielding. The whole thing is protected by heavy duty rubber jacket that is honestly more flexible than we have anticipated. The benefit of this set, aside from the fact that you can just pull them out of their packaging and use them, is their price.
These patch cables (see full specs) are even cheaper than the DIY kit, even though they are pretty well made for a commercial grade set. Now, the only issue here is that you only get 6 of them so if you need to connect more than 7 pedals, you will have to get an additional set. For the money, these are more than great, so if you don’t want to get down and dirty with a DIY build, we strongly suggest this set as an alternative. These are among the best pedalboard cables for the money.
Hosa IRG-600.5 Low-Profile Right-Angle Guitar Patch Cable
The next set comes from Hosa. This brand has been around for a while and has delivered some pretty great cables so far. The set we are looking at today features 6 patch cables, each 6 inches long. One glance at any one of these will tell you that they have used solid components. You have an all metal right angle plug that is fully serviceable. That’s one feature you definitely want to have with pre-made sets. No cable is indestructible, and there will come a time when you will have to deal with some contact failures. It’s better to be able to fix the problem than having to chase a new set.
Moving on, we see high-quality oxygen-free copper conductor wrapped inside a heavy duty jacket. The benefit of OFC compared to other copper wires is the fact that it offers much better signal clarity. At this price, Hosa IRG-600.5 Low-Profile Right-Angle Guitar Patch Cable is a great bang for the buck champion. If you’re on a budget, these are among the best pedalboard cables around.
Planet Waves Classic Series
Last but not least, we have a fairly decent Planet Waves Classic Series pedal board cable set. Unlike the ones we have mentioned earlier, these cables feature traditional right angle plugs, which will require you to leave some extra space between pedals. They are molded, meaning that an average plug is going to be one part composite and one part metal. The conductor wire is great, and the protective jacket feels like it can take a beating.
However, this is definitely not a high-performance set. Instead, it’s meant for those who are working with a very limited budget, but still need a way to connect all of their pedals. The price you see is for a set of three patch cables and is catered for those who have smaller setups. The absolute best thing about this set is the limited lifetime guarantee by the manufacturer, which keeps you covered for the most part should one or more cables fail on you.
Conclusion – What Makes the Best Pedalboard Cables?
Pedal board cables, just like any other cables in your average guitar setup, are crucial. If they are not up to the task, your rig simply won’t be able to express its fullest potential. For that reason, and many others, it’s important to get a solid set. Ones we’ve shown you today meet these requirements and exceed them in some cases. No matter which one you go for, you will get the performance you need. Good luck!