Shopping for guitar pedal cables may seem like a menial task, but if you care about your tone than it’s as important as every other piece of gear that you own. Having shoddy patch cables can suck all of the life out of your tone. When guitar cables are poorly constructed they demolish the signal and all you’re left with is processed noise rather than your guitar’s natural tone.
When you daisy chain pedals together you’re adding interference every step of the way. Your pedals contour your tone, but they also add noise and other artifacts into your tone. Using high quality guitar pedal cables can’t prevent this, but is will help preserve everything that’s left!
The most common patch cables are 2″-3″ with right angle jacks on both ends. These should be made from the same company and manufacturing process that your guitar cable is. When you have apples to apples from the guitar to the amp you’ll protect the signal better.
Pedal boards do a fantastic job of keeping everything neat and tidy, but when all of your plugs are connected into their built in AC adapter all sorts of interference is introduced. The electric signals that are around that built in power strip will penetrate into your guitar cables and hamper their tone.
So what should you do? If you already have a pedal board, try upgrading your patch cables before scrapping the board. It can make a large enough improvement that you may stick with the board. If you’re running pedals on the floor, bring the 9 volts! Stick to batteries to keep the noise down.
In the end, your tone is totally up to you. If you like the way the interference makes you sound, stick with it. Your tone is your voice, and you’re free to shape it however you want. Using high quality guitar pedal cables to preserve your tone every step of the way can help you sound as good as your equipment can.
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