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Best Pedal Board Patch Cables (2019 Reviews)

by | Accessories | 0 comments

Pedal patch cables aren’t the sexiest items to buy, but they’re a significant part of a noise-free, hassle-free pedal board.  I’ve put together these reviews of the best pedal board patch cables to help narrow down your choices so you can spend your time playing, recording, and gigging, not debating the merits of one patch cable vs. another.

I’ve divided the reviews into two sections: regular pedal patch cables and solderless patch cable kits for anyone who leans towards DIY.

Let’s hit it!

If you’re new to pedal cables, please check out my Patch Cable Buyers Guide at the end of the reviews.

Best Pedal Board Patch Cables

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Best Solderless Pedal Board Patch Cable Kits

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Best Pedal Board Patch Cables Reviews

Donner 6 Inch Patch Guitar Effect Pedal Cables (6-Pack) Review

Donner 6 Inch Patch Black 6-Pack Guitar Effect Pedal Cables

Donner cables have always been very popular for their high quality and low price.

These right-angled 6” patch cables are made with 21 AWG audio cable, one of the best wire gauges (sizes) used for short audio cable lengths.

The plugs are a molded plastic all-in-one design that’s designed to hold up to years of use.

They are properly shielded for noise rejection and have very low capacitance that results in no loss of tone in your rig.

They are available in 3-packs or 6-packs.

PROS

  • Excellent very inexpensive cables
  • Molded plastic plugs
  • Oxygen-free copper conductors provide low capacitance
S

CONS

  • Cables can be a little stiff and hard to bend when connecting pedals

Donner 6 Inch Patch Guitar Effect Pedal Cables (6-Pack)

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Audioblast HQ-1 – Ultra Flexible – Dual Shielded Cables 6-Pack Review

6 Units - 6 Inch - Audioblast HQ-1 - Ultra Flexible - Dual Shielded (100%) - Instrument Effects Pedal Patch Cable w/ ¼ inch (6.35mm) Low-Profile, R/A Pancake Type TS Connectors & Dual Staggered Boots

Audioblast cables are a step up from Donner cables.  They are a little more expensive, but you’re getting higher quality cables.

The HQ-1s are professional-grade 6” cables with flat head connectors.   They’re made with a conductive polymer sub-shield, an ultra-high density OFC spiral shield, and an ultra-pure OFC core to achieve the highest level of quality and the lowest capacitance that prevents high-frequency loss. 

The connector plug and assembly are all metal and hand-assembled for best quality.

A nice feature is that they can easily be twisted when “S” shaped patch connections are needed. 

Their only potential drawback is their flathead “pancake” connectors are large and may not fit pedals that have their input and output jacks close together.

The cables come in a 6-pack and are available in nickel-plated or gold-plated connector plugs and come with a 5-year replacement warranty.

PROS

  • Pro-quality cables
  • Rugged construction
  • Soft, flexible cable
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CONS

  • Flat head “pancake” plug is larger than other styles and may not fit pedals that have their input and output jacks close together

Audioblast HQ-1 – Ultra Flexible – Dual Shielded Cables 6-Pack

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World’s Best Cables Custom Made Patch Cables (Nickel-Plated 6-Pack) Review

6 Units - 6 Inch - Pedal, Effects, Patch, instrument cable CUSTOM MADE By WORLDS BEST CABLES - made using Mogami 2319 wire and Eminence Nickel Plated ¼ inch (6.35mm) R/A Pancake type Connectors

If you’re looking for premium hand-assembled patch cables, then World’s Best Cables will be your choice.  They offer custom-built cables using top-notch materials, all at a very affordable price per cable.

Unlike other manufacturers who use their own cable or a generic one, Word’s Best Cables chooses top-quality parts to assemble their products.

These 6” patch cables are made with Mogami 2319 cable, considered one of the best patch cables available, and certainly the most popular.  It also features Eminence Premium Nickel Plated 1/4 Inch right-angled, low profile pancake type connectors.

All cables are hand-soldered using a proprietary soldering process that exceeds industry standards.

These patch cables, of course, provide top-notch shielding and ultra-low capacitance as required by professional use.

Word’s Best Cables come in a 6-pack.

PROS

  • Very high-quality cables
  • Made with premium Mogami 2319 cable and nickel-plated pancake connectors
  • Hand-soldered
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CONS

  • Pancake style plugs are larger than other styles and may not fit pedals that have their input and output jacks close together
  • More expensive than regular cables

World’s Best Cables Custom Made Patch Cables (Nickel-Plated 6-Pack)

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World’s Best Cables Custom Made Patch Cables (Gold-Plated 6-Pack) Review

6 Units - 6 Inch - S-Shaped Pedal, Effects, Patch, instrument cable CUSTOM MADE By WORLDS BEST CABLES - made using Mogami 2524 wire and Eminence Gold Plated (6.35mm) R/A Pancake type Connectors

The gold-plated version of World’s Best Cables 6” patch cables provides an even more premium cable.

All features from the nickel-plated version remain the same, but the gold-plated version is made with Mogami’s top of the line 2524 cable, considered by many as the best instrument cable ever made.

It also features Eminence Premium Gold-Plated 1/4 Inch right-angled, low profile pancake type connectors.

They come in a 6-pack.

PROS

  • Among the best quality cables available
  • Made with Mogami’s top of the line 2524 cable and gold-plated pancake connectors
  • Hand-soldered
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CONS

  • Pancake style plugs are larger than other styles and may not fit pedals that have their input and output jacks close together
  • More expensive than regular cables

World’s Best Cables Custom Made Patch Cables (Gold-Plated 6-Pack)

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D’Addario PW-CGTP-305 Classic Series Patch Cables (3-Pack) Review

D'Addario PW-CGTP-305 Classic Series Patch Cable - Right Angle 1/4

The PW-CGTP-305 Classic Series patch cables are another very inexpensive yet highly rated option for your effect pedals.

These right-angled 6” cables are constructed with D’Addario’s exclusive In=Out technology that ensures pure signal transparency.  This means that these cables won’t affect your rig’s tone due to capacitance or noise interference.

The cables are designed with a molded plastic base for the jack that results in a very durable and long-lasting patch cable. 

The PW-CGTP-305 has many 5-star ratings, but some users complain that the connector molding is too thick and the plugs don’t completely fit inside some pedals. Some users trimmed the plastic a little to correct the problem.

The PW-CGTP-305 is recommended for anyone needing good quality cables on a tight budget. 

A pack contains 3 patch cables.

PROS

  • Low price works great for very tight budgets
  • Single molded plug and strain relief create durable long-life cables
  • No added noise or loss of tone
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CONS

  • Some users have stated that the plugs don’t fit properly inside pedals due to case thickness. Trimming the molding a bit does fix the issue

D’Addario PW-CGTP-305 Classic Series Patch Cables (3-Pack)

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Hosa IRG600.5 Guitar Patch Cables (6-Pack) Review

Hosa IRG600.5 Guitar Patch Cable Low Profile Right Angle 6 Pack - (6 Inches) (Black) (Angled)

Back when I started out playing in bands in the 1980s, Hosa cables used to get a bad rap.   You bought them because they were cheap and easy to find at any music store.  They did the job.  As a starving musician back then, most of my cables were Hosa. 

Hosa today still produces cables, and their quality has improved.  A great example is the Hosa IRG600.5 patch cable. 

The Hosa IRG600.5 is a 6” right-angled cable with a low-profile “pancake” metal plug.  It features standard oxygen-free copper conductor and spiral shielding for solid noise rejection and clear signal transparency.

I wouldn’t call these top-quality, but they’re inexpensive and they’ll get the job done without adding noise, hum, or other issues.

These Hosa cables come in a 6-pack with a lifetime warranty.

PROS

  • Good quality at a very low price per cable
  • Proper shielding for excellent noise rejection
  • Easily bendable if needed
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CONS

  • Pancake type connector is thick and may not work with pedals with jacks placed close together

Hosa IRG600.5 Guitar Patch Cables (6-Pack)

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GLS Audio 6 Inch Patch Cables (3-Pack) Review

GLS Audio 6 Inch Patch Cable Cords (0.5 feet) - Right Angle 1/4

GLS Audio 6 Inch Patch Cables provide high-quality cables at an affordable price.  They come in a 3-pack.

They are 6” angled cables made with one-piece molded plastic and 21 AWG high-quality GLS audio cable.  They are a low-profile design that fits tightly packed pedalboards better than pancake-type connectors.

The one-piece design can eliminate issues with soldered connections in two-piece cables

They are built with quality cable and connectors to reduce hum, noise, and tone issues associated with cheaper cables.

PROS

  • One-piece molded plastic guard makes them durable and long-lasting
  • Great for tightly packed pedalboards without lots of room for cables
  • Small connector ends allow for use in pedals with jacks placed close together
  • Easily bendable if needed
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CONS

  • None

GLS Audio 6 Inch Patch Cables (3-Pack)

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Fender Performance Series Instrument Cables (2-Pack) Review

Fender Performance Series Instrument Cables (Patch Cable) for guitar pedals, and pedals

Fender Performance Patch Cables are designed for cost-conscious guitarists and bassists who want quality cables at an affordable price, so they don’t have to spend time worrying about them.

Fender is, of course, a trusted name in anything to do with guitars, and they always produce a quality product.  They designed these cables to be extra thick (8mm) to reduce handling noise, yet very pliable so you can bend or twist them if needed.

 Fender makes these cables using hand-soldered metal connectors for durability, and professional-grade shielding that makes them impervious to hums and noise.

The right-angled connectors are low-profile and work well when space is at a premium.

Fender Performance Patch Cables come in a 2-pack with a lifetime warranty.

PROS

  • Excellent cables for a low price
  • Low-profile connectors are great for small or crowded pedalboards
  • Lifetime warranty
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CONS

  • None

Fender Performance Series Instrument Cables (2-Pack)

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Mogami Gold Instrument-0.5RR Guitar Pedal Effects Cable Review

Mogami Gold Instrument-0.5RR Guitar Pedal Effects Instrument Cable, 1/4

If you absolutely want the best cables, then Mogami cables are the way to go.

But… they’re expensive.  All the other reviews here are for 3-packs or 6-packs.  Mogami cables come in a 1-pack, so you’ll need to buy quite a few.

Each 6” cable is constructed with the finest materials and workmanship – Mogami 2524 cable, a polymer sub-shield, a UHD spiral shield, an oxygen-free copper core, and an anti-static shield layer.

The result is pure transparent tone passing through your cable, without noise.

All Mogami cables come with a lifetime “No Excuses” return policy.

PROS

  • Considered by many to be the best cables on the market
  • Top-quality construction and materials
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CONS

  • Very expensive as they are sold individually

Mogami Gold Instrument-0.5RR Guitar Pedal Effects Cable

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Best Solderless Pedal Board Patch Cable Kits Reviews

Solderless pedal cables are excellent for anyone who wants their pedalboard to look as good as it sounds.

Though more expensive, and you have to make the cables yourself, these kits allow you to make cables the exact length needed.   Your pedalboard will not only look neat and tidy but avoid too long cable lengths that can be the source of noise, buzz, or hums.

They are quite easy to make and don’t require any skills.  The main thing you need to do for best results is to cut the wire straight, not at an angle.

The kits include everything you need except wire cutters.

BOSS Solderless Pedalboard Cable Kit (BCK-12) Review

BOSS Solderless Pedalboard Cable Kit, 12 feet (BCK-12)

The BOSS Solderless Pedalboard Cable Kit lets you create your own custom length cables.  It comes with 12 feet of cable and 12 connectors that’s enough to make six 6” patch cables.

It’s actually very easy!  To make a cable, a small screw is tightened into the cable to make the connection.

The following video shows you how to make a cable with the kit:

Boss Solderless Pedalboard Cables – How To Assemble A Cable

 

The cable itself is high-quality – low capacitance, and made with oxygen-free copper and braided shielding – and is very pliable for bending between pedals if needed.

The plugs have 24k gold-plated contacts that can be used to make cables with both right angle and straight cable connections.  The result is very low-profile once inserted into a pedal, and this allows your pedals to be very close together if needed.

All in all, the Boss BCK-12 kit is an excellent value if you want a pro looking pedal board.  You’ve customized your sound with hand-picked pedals; you might as well go all the way with custom wiring!

PROS

  • Create your own custom length cables
  • Comes with 12 feet of cable and 12 connectors to make six 6” patch cables
  • Creates neat and tidy pedal boards
  • You’re not limited to making short patch cables; you can make any length cable for your pedalboard/ guitar rig
  • High-quality cable and connectors
S

CONS

  • More expensive than regular patch cables

BOSS Solderless Pedalboard Cable Kits

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D’Addario DIY Solderless Pedalboard Kit Review

D'Addario DIY Solderless Pedalboard Kit, 10 feet, 10 plugs

The D’Addario DIY Solderless Pedalboard Kit is a slightly smaller kit than they Boss (BCK-12).  This kit gives you 10 feet of cables and 10 right angle connector plugs, enough to make five 6” patch cables.

The cable itself is from their American Stage line of cables and is designed with D’Addario’s proprietary In=Out technology that delivers a low capacitance cable without robbing your rig of any tone.

Like the Boss kit, the cable plugs are 24k gold-plated and combine excellent signal quality with durability.

The DIY kit comes a mini cable cutter, a screwdriver, and a limited lifetime warranty.

PROS

  • Finished cables are durable and can withstand lots of years of use and abuse
  • Kit comes with a mini cable cutter and screwdriver
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CONS

  • Can only make right-angled cables

D’Addario DIY Solderless Pedalboard Kit

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George L’s Effects Kit (Black Cable, Nickle Right Angle Plugs) Review

George L's Effects Kit (Black Cable, Nickle Right Angle Plugs)

George L calls itself the “home of the original high-end cable.”  George L solderless cable kits are expensive, but users love them despite the price.  The kit comes with 10 feet of George L’s cable and 10 connectors and caps, enough to make 5 cables.

One reason they are so popular is that the cable plug profile is pretty small, which is a plus with small pedalboard or lots of pedals crammed on a board.

The cable itself is thinner than many competitor’s cables, so it’s straightforward to twist or bend.  Some users say the smaller size of the cable allowed them to fit an extra pedal or two on their pedal board.

The vast majority of users find that the kit makes cables very easy to assemble and provides excellent results.

PROS

  • Very popular solderless cable option with lots of happy users
  • Easy to assemble
  • Thinner diameter cable frees up space for more pedals
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CONS

  • Expensive compared to similar products (but users love ‘em)

George L’s Effects Kit (Black Cable, Nickle Right Angle Plugs)

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Patch Cable Buyers Guide

Pedal cables seem pretty basic, but there is actually quite a lot of tech involved in creating high-quality cables that last.  This short Buyers Guide will teach you the essential things you need to know about patch cables.

Rule #1: Get The Best Pedal Board Cables You Can Afford

First off, don’t skimp on getting quality cables – they do make a big difference in your sound!  

Cheap cables contribute to noise problems due to poor shielding.  Plus, they don’t last very long due to inferior quality materials and construction.

I know from my band days that I cut corners on cables, just using whatever happened to be on hand or buying the cheapest cables I could find. 

Back then, I didn’t know anything about cables or why some were so expensive compared to others.  So I went for the cheapest route possible.

I even had 2-foot long cables connecting two pedals a few inches apart, simply because I already owned the cables!  No wonder I used to have hum and noise issues!

Understanding Cables

Let’s go over some of the main topics to understand about cables.

Cable Wire AWG Ratings

The size of wire used in a cable is designated by an AWG (American Wire Gauge) number.  The thicker the wire, the lower the number. 

Most high-quality patch cables use 21-gauge cable.  It’s best to avoid cheaper cables with gauges lower than 21.

Cable Shielding

Another important ingredient is cable’s shielding.  Shielding is simply the construction of the cable to minimize unwanted noise from entering the cable and ending up in your guitar’s sound. 

There are a few types of shielding that have proven to be very effective in removing noise and especially RF interference from lights, wall warts, dimmers, etc.  The most effective are:

  • Braided shielding
  • A foil shield
  • A serve shield

Look for one of these types of shielding in any cables you buy.

As shielding can get quite techy, check out this article if you wish to learn more about shielding. 

Capacitance

Capacitance is also a key element with cables.  An in-depth understanding of capacitance is beyond this article, so I’ll keep it simple.

When it comes to cables, more capacitance = a loss of highs and detail in the sound.

So, the longer a cable is, the more capacitance it has, and the greater chance of a loss of high frequencies in your guitar’s sound.

Patch cables should be as short as possible because you’ll be using lots of them in your pedal board.  The less overall cable, the less you will start to change your rig’s tone.

And finally, cheap cables usually add a lot of capacitance, so your sound will likely suffer if you use them.

Cable Connectors/ Plugs

Patch cables almost always are ¼” TS (tip/sleeve) connectors.  Most of the quality ones will state they use oxygen-free conductors which provide low capacitance.

Patch cables come in a few “flavors”:

  • Right-angled
  • Straight
  • Pancake

Right-angled connector plugs are usually preferred as they take up less room and you can fit pedals closer together.

Straight connectors can work but must be bent to connect pedals, and this can put a strain on the cable over time, causing it to fail.  Straight connectors are not commonly used in pedal patch cables

Pancake really refers to the type of head on the connector.  Pancakes are common, but sometimes if they are too wide they can block access to pedal jacks that are close to each other.

One final thing about connectors: connector sleeves that run from the metal connector over the cable itself are desirable as they help reduce cable strain.  Not all cables have this feature.

Cable Sizes

The ideal size for pedal patch cable is a 6” cable with a right-angle connector.

Just about every manufacturer makes patch cables in this length.

Cable Coupler Jacks

One alternative to patch cables is to use cable coupler jacks:

cable coupler jack

Cable jacks are convenient for cramming as many pedals as you can into a pedalboard, but some users don’t like the end result of having the pedals almost touching; they prefer more space between pedals.

Solderless Cable Kits

If you are handy and want to go the extra mile, solderless cable kits allow you to create custom cable lengths. They are easy to use, and all you need is a screwdriver and wire cutters.

The upside is your pedalboard will look great while at the same time minimize issues with long cable length. 

The downside is that the better kits are more expensive – a typical kit such as the George Ls kit costs about 2-3 times the cost of regular patch cables.

Summary: Always Buy Quality Cables AND the Right Length Cables

For connecting your pedals, go with the golden rule: Buy the highest quality cables you can afford, and use the shortest length possible.  Remember, less length = less potential issues with noise and hum. 

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