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Your extensive compact guitar pedal collection is all for naught if you can’t order and hook them up how you want them (preferably on a quality pedalboard).
To hook them up, of course, you’re going to need some patch cables.
Shorter cables are par for the course, and you’re also going to need at least two longer ones for connecting to your guitar and amp too.
I say at least, because, you may end up wanting to take advantage of a stereo setup, which can be extra cool for effects like ping-pong delay – then you would need another longer cable.
Anyway, here are the best patch cables for guitar pedals.
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Mogami Gold Instrument 0.5RR Guitar Pedal Effects Instrument Cable
Though they can cost a little more than some of the other cables on this list, the Mogami Gold instrument cables are highly rated and regularly employed on guitar pedalboards.
Per Mogami, their cables offer crystal-clear tone and drop-dead silent background and the highest level of transparency.
Loved and used by many professionals, they come with a conductive polymer sub-shield, Ultra High Density (UHD) spiral shield, oxygen-free copper (OFC) core, carbon impregnated PVC anti-static shield layer to prevent handling noise and a Mogami lifetime “No Excuses” warranty.
You will find that most reviews are positive because the cables offer high integrity for your signal and tone, which is especially important when you’re hooking up a lot of pedals.
Negative reviews are few and far between.
If you don’t mind spending a little more, the Mogami cables are right for you.
Fender Performance Series Instrument Cables (Patch Cable) For Guitar Pedals
Fender is a trustworthy name when it comes to guitar gear, and while they don’t do everything right, for the most part, you can count on them to deliver.
The Fender Performance Series patch cables are designed specifically for guitar pedals and pedals in general.
These babies come with extra thick 8mm diameter black PVC jacket to reduce handling noise, extreme pliability to alleviate kinking and commercial-grade connectors with 90% OFC copper coverage shield.
All this at a more than reasonable price.
And, if you’re looking for something else, Fender also offers Performance Series straight, microphone and right-angle cables.
Many buyers agree, this is the gold standard as far as patch cables for effects pedals are considered.
Less enthusiastic reviewers say these cables are a little overrated and some said they broke after a short amount of use – these people are in the minority though.
Either way, Fender is typically a good place to begin your search.
D’Addario Planet Waves Classic Series Instrument Cable With Right Angle Plug, 0.5 Feet (3-Pack)
The D’Addario owned Planet Waves is another go-to when it comes to a guitarist’s cabling needs.
These Planet Waves classic series cables come with exclusive In=Out technology with low capacitance for signal transparency and long life, ultra-pure oxygen-free copper construction, single-molded strain relief plug and 90% spiral shielding to eliminate handling noise.
The cables are designed specifically for pedalboards.
Buyers loved that these cables had zero signal noise and good tone.
Some found the cables to be a bit bulky and over-molded, however.
Either way, if you’re looking for something else along these lines, it’s good to know that D’Addario has other worthy options.
GLS Audio 6 Inch Patch Cable Cords (0.5 Feet) – Right Angle 1/4” TS To Right Angled 1/4“ TS Pedal Board Cables
These GLS Audio cables can be used for anything you desire, but their length makes them perfect for patching your compact guitar effects pedals.
They come with molded TS 1/4” plugs and are 6” in length.
There are plenty of great reviews for these cables and some say they’re even the best they’ve ever used.
Some buyers weren’t happy with the quality, mind you.
The GLS Audio cables are worth a look.
Audioblast Cables HQ-1 – Ultra Flexible – Dual Shielded (100%) – Instrument Effects Pedal Patch Cable
The Audioblast HQ-1 cables come with a conductive PVC sub-shield, served shield, ultra-pure oxygen free copper core for signal transparency, quality and minimal interference, staggered hand-assembled double boots for extra durability and a five-year replacement warranty.
Most buyers felt the cables were of high quality but noted that the connectors can be a little big for tighter fitting pedalboards.
It’s always a good idea to get a sense of how much space you have on your pedalboard before deciding on a set of cables, but these are a good choice, nonetheless.
The Audioblast Cables are another worthy contender on this list.
Hosa IRG-100.5 Low-Profile Right Angle Guitar Patch Cable, 6 Inch
The Hosa IRG-100.5 patch cables come with low-profile, right-angle all-metal (serviceable) cable plugs, Oxygen-Free Copper (OFC) conductor for enhanced signal clarity and OFC spiral shield for effective EMI and RFI rejection and flexibility.
Buyers liked that these were very usable, even for crowded pedalboards and the fact that they’re quiet.
Negative reviewers didn’t like the size of the connectors and some said they even felt kind of cheap.
The Hosa Technology cables are still worth a look, especially if you’re on a tight budget.
Donner 1/4inch Plug 6” Patch Black 3 Pack Guitar Effect Pedal Cables
Here’s another good budget option.
The Donner guitar effect pedal cables are 6” 21 AWG high quality audio cables with shielding for noise rejection, ultra-low capacitance for signal transparency, in=out technology, molded TS 1/4” plugs, standard Moukey audio connector, solid outside casing and ultra-pure oxygen-free copper conductors for low capacitance and pure tone.
Buyers say these are good cables for the money with minimal noise.
Some have noted they are best utilized with a pedalboard, so if you don’t have one, you might consider another patching option.
Others say they’re a little thin, so you might want to be careful when using them, to avoid breakage.
For the price, the Donner is a good deal, and that’s what they’re most known for – affordably priced gear and reasonably good quality.
Newwer 3 Pack 1 Feet Guitar Patch Cable With 1/4” Right Angle Plugs, Black And White Tweed Woven Jacket
The Newwer guitar patch cables are 1 ft. in length and come with right angle plugs, ultra-low capacitance for pure signal transparency, durable black and white tweed woven jacket and solid metal connectors with strain relief.
Many buyers are satisfied with the quality of these cables and their clear signal and tone transparency.
Some buyers found the cables didn’t fit properly, so make sure you know what you need for your pedal setup before buying.
Newwer is another quality brand offering good products, so their inclusion on this list is a given.
Hosa CPE-106 Right Angle To Right Angle Guitar Patch Cable, 6 Inch
The 6” Hosa CPE-106 right angle to right angle guitar patch cables come with serviceable, all-metal plugs for live-sound applications, oxygen-free copper (OFC) conductor for enhanced signal clarity and OFC spiral shield for effective EMI and RFI rejection and flexibility.
Many buyers love the connection these cables offer, in addition to their overall quality and lack of noise.
Others had issues with the cables slipping out but we’re not sure how reliable that information is.
This is another Hosa Technology offering that might be worth a look.
M MAKA Flat Low Profile Guitar Patch Cable 6 Inch For Guitar Pedals
The M MAKA guitar patch cables come with a flat outer PVC jacket, moduled plugs for flexibility and durability, pure OFC copper conductors as well as PVC and PE coats for insulation.
Overall, buyers loved these cables because of their affordability and space-saving design.
Some buyers say these are not 6” but rather 5” cables, which is something to keep in mind if you need more cable to connect your pedals.
Another solid offer from M MAKA.
Miracle Sound Guitar Patch Cable For Pedalboard Effects With Right Angle Plug 3-Pack
The Miracle Sound guitar patch cables come with quality shielding for zero interference, In-Out technology to ensure minimal signal loss, low capacitance and a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Most buyers love these cables and have even noted they are great for connecting audio gear.
Some said they are “only okay” and even sucked up some of their tone.
While they may not be the best on this list, the MIRACLE CABLES are still worth checking out.
Devinal Guitar Patch Cable 12 Inch 3 Pack
The Italian-designed, professional-grade Devinal guitar patch cables come with a conductive PVC sub-shield, served shield, ultra-pure Oxygen Free Copper core for signal transparency and quality, staggered hand-assembled double boots for extra durability, Copper spiral shielding with 128 x 0.10 mm and Polyethylene insulation for high frequency response.
Some buyers noted this is as good as patch cables get.
Of course, there are less enthusiastic buyers who apparently got a defective product.
Our best tip is always to send back defective gear and get it replaced with something that works.
The Devinal cables could work great for you.
What Should I Look For In Patch Cables For Guitar Pedals?
You should look for cables that work.
I’m somewhat facetious in saying that, but when shopping for cables, this basic sentiment holds true.
The first and most important criteria to pay attention to is workability.
Assuming the cables work for you, you’ve off to a running start.
Certain cables may not work for you for a variety of reasons.
For starters, some cables work well for pedalboards, while others don’t.
And, depending on your array of effects pedals and their size, you may need cables of varying length.
Of course, the overall signal quality of the cable can be a significant factor, though I’ll be talking more about that in a second.
With these exceptions in mind, the rest comes down to your specific needs and preferences – how many pedals you have, the shape and size of the pedals, how you want to connect them and so on.
Here are the main factors to consider when buying patch cables for guitar effects pedals and pedalboards.
Strong Signal – Quality, Clarity & Tone Integrity
In this discussion about signal quality and integrity, it’s easy to get caught up in the features advertised by companies.
By that I mean things like Oxygen Free Copper core, copper spiral shielding and the like.
Of course, this is important.
To get the best quality cables, you’ll likely need to buy the cables made of the best quality materials (though if there isn’t a real-world application for the materials used, you’re throwing away some money).
But ultimately you won’t know how well a cable works for your setup until you plug it in.
The truth is that cables aren’t the only factor when it comes to signal quality.
It certainly plays a part, but you can’t forget that your effects pedals are also a factor.
Some pedals, when connected, can kill your tone, regardless of how good the cables are.
These pedals can be modified, such that they don’t adversely affect your tone, but that can cost extra.
So, that’s something to be mindful of when buying cables.
If you don’t get the result you’re looking for, your cables may not be the only pertinent factor.
With that in mind, it’s good to look for cables that give you what you need.
I’m not sure whether a guitar or instrument store will let you try out their cables (it’s always worth checking with the rental department), so the most reliable way to know is to check online reviews and see what others have had to say about the product you’re thinking about purchasing.
Read articles and customer reviews and check out video demos and reviews as well.
These sources can be helpful when you’re trying to decide which cables to buy.
Note that there isn’t necessarily a “perfect” fit, or rather, a one-size-fits-all solution.
You could end up buying professional grade cables that you don’t even like.
You could also end up with cheap cables that do the job.
If you don’t mind experimenting a bit, however, cables are relatively inexpensive, and you can easily see the difference for yourself by testing them out.
Another important factor in this category, of course, is noise.
We always advise buying cables that are quiet and feature minimal handling noise.
In general, we trust that manufacturers are doing their job in this regard, but if you buy a low-quality cable, you’re probably going to have issues with this.
Again, you’ll want to check reviews for exact specifics.
Rugged Construction – Cables That Don’t Easily Break
Let’s be honest.
It isn’t much fun when a product you’ve bought doesn’t work how you expected it to.
Generally, cables are rugged enough that they’ll hold up to some abuse but that’s not always the case.
With careful handling, it’s unlikely that you’ll break many cables.
But some are certainly more breakable than others.
One factor, of course, is the design of the cable.
If it was built to be sturdy and hold up over time, it should serve you fine.
If it wasn’t, then rough handling could cause the cable to break.
The other factor is the user – that means you!
How you handle and care for your gear is going to have an impact on how well your gear holds up over time.
Still, it’s worth looking for cables that don’t easily break, and to that extent, it’s worth scanning the reviews.
Brand claims are only reliable to a point, and of course they’re going to talk up their products.
Do some additional research for best results.
The Right Size & Length – Do They Work For Your Pedal Setup?
As you may have gathered from the above, sometimes cables don’t work with your exact setup.
The first question you need to ask yourself is whether you’re going to be using a pedalboard.
If “yes”, then it’s good to remember that pedals can fit tightly on a pedalboard, depending on how many pedals you’re using and how you’ve set them up.
If “no”, then you may have more room for maneuverability, but you may also need some slightly longer cables.
So, try to get a sense of what you require before jumping into a purchase – you’ll thank me for it.
Length is also a consideration, at least to the extent that the more cabling you use, the weaker your guitar’s signal will become.
As you can imagine, this isn’t ideal.
It’s the reason patch cables exist to begin with – because they are short, they don’t add to your cabling to a large extent.
But if you can get away with 5-inch cables rather than 6-inch cables, or pedal couplers rather than 5-inch cables, that’s going to help you better maintain the integrity of your signal.
At least, this would be the case in theory, but some users haven’t had a great experience with couplers.
We can’t confirm or deny their usability, but this is the reason we haven’t put any on this list.
So, it can be a bit of a challenge finding the perfect balance, but at least now you’re equipped with all the information you need to make an informed decision.
But we still have a couple more criteria to cover, so keep reading.
Cables With The Right Plug Type
Right angle cables are a popular choice for connecting pedals because they can help save space on your pedalboard.
Thin-profile right angle plugs can work well even in tighter setups, so if your pedals are especially close together on your board, this is what to look for.
Not all cables are right angle cables, and in some instances, that may be more desirable, especially if you have many pedals that vary in size and shape.
As for gold-plated cables, they are more resistant to corrosion than nickel or chrome plugs.
Gold-plating is a nice feature, but of course you will pay more for it.
Nickel and chrome tend to corrode when exposed to humidity, which can result in unwanted noise.
So, climate can play a part in this too.
This doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with nickel and chrome cables but it’s good to be aware of the pros and cons.
Affordability – Cables At The Right Price
We can’t imagine you’ll break the bank with a purchase like this, but just in case – we always caution against spending money you don’t have and going into debt to buy musical gear.
Patch cables will generally cost you somewhere in the $5 to $25 range, and in many cases, you can get a two, three or even five pack for that price.
Shopping for bundles is a good cost saving tactic, as you can get several cables for one low price.
For best results, shop around for what you need based on your available budget.
Does It Really Matter Which Brand Of Patch Cables You Buy?
This is a hotly debated topic and I doubt I will be able to put it to rest today.
But let's start here:
Any guitarist who’s experimented with a variety of pedals knows they aren’t all created equal, whether it comes down to tone, quality, functionality, build or otherwise.
You’ve probably discovered that some pedals suck up all the tone, leaving you with a thin, colored sound that’s less usable than your amp’s natural tone.
We can certainly say the same for patch cables, but with a smaller margin of difference.
Cables are all the same, at least to the extent that they serve the same function of connecting one piece of gear to the other.
But where you might notice a bit of a difference is with the signal quality and integrity of your tone (and, to a lesser extent, durability and functionality).
Again, we don’t want to exaggerate how much of a difference it will make, but it’s okay to expect some differences, especially based on how the cable was made and the materials it was built with.
In this case, the quality of tone would refer to exactly how your guitar sounds through the unique combination of effects and amp(s) your guitar is going through.
There could be some slight differences between cables.
Integrity, on the other hand, refers to something I’ve already commented on.
Do the cables maintain the tone of your guitar and amp, or do they cause your tone to sound thinner and less lively?
Obviously, most guitarists want an unapologetic, strong, beefy tone, regardless of what genre they might play.
That gives them the flexibility of dialing back whatever frequencies they don’t need and accentuate the ones they do.
If all the tone is gone, there’s less you can do in the shaping of it.
With regards to durability, we know that some cables are built to last, while others are made with the most cost-effective materials possible, making them more vulnerable to wear and tear.
That’s to be expected, since companies need to make a profit on their products, even ones that don’t cost them much to make.
Generally, the less something costs, the cheaper the materials it was made with.
And, in terms of functionality, some cables come with on/off switches (this feature is typically reserved for longer cables), but rarely do you ever see cables with other standout functions.
It doesn’t matter that much, but some people like the on/off for their guitar.
So, it’s worth paying attention to your cable selection.
It’s worth experimenting with different cables.
You might get different results, and those results are worth documenting and paying attention to.
If you’re a tone freak, know that you can get infinitely closer to your perfect tone by investing in the right gear.
But don’t expect a huge difference from one cable to another.
When I say the “right gear”, I generally mean the guitar, pickups and the amp, as these are the biggest factors.
Is It Possible To Overspend On Patch Cables?
Yes, though it should be noted that we wouldn’t consider any on the above list to be overpriced.
While it is true that the components and materials make a difference, it’s okay to be skeptical of cables that are made entirely of solid gold (not cables with gold plugs), diamond (not sure this exists) or otherwise.
A good quality cable is important.
But it is possible to get carried away.
If there isn’t a specific reason for each of the components, then you’re probably paying more than you need to.
While cheaper cables aren’t always as durable as more expensive ones, they should still last you for one to two years of regular use.
All things considered (especially the price), that’s not a bad deal.
More expensive cables, of course, can last longer.
Either way, it costs you about the same.
So, if you’re happy with the quality of the signal, all is well with the world.
Do I Really Lose Tone If I Connect Too Many Pedals?
It’s not a matter of having too many pedals.
It’s more a matter of how much cabling is required.
So, think of it this way:
With each cable, your signal gets weaker – this is just a fact of life.
Thus, it’s recommended that you use shorter cables between your pedals, as this will reduce the amount of signal you lose through extra cabling.
You’ll know when there’s too much cabling going on because you’ll end up sacrificing a lot of your guitar’s high-end clarity.
As the signal gets weaker, your tone will get muddier.
So, patch cables can be a life saver.
With shorter cables, and less cabling overall, you can preserve more of your raw tone.
How Do I Order My Pedals For Best Results?
Once you’ve got your patch cables, the next step is to order your pedals.
There are basically two schools of thoughts on this, but because I’ve covered this subject in detail in another guide, and our main topic here is patch cables, I’ll only offer some quick pointers here.
The basic recommended setup is as follows:
- Echo & Delay (Reverb)
You are not required to get every type of effect for your board, however, so only use what you need.
If you don’t have a wah or compression pedal, for instance, skip over those and move right over to the next one in the signal chain – in this case, overdrive.
This basic setup should cause minimal issues overall.
But you are free to experiment as you please, as different guitarists like different setups.
Use your best judgment.
Best Patch Cables For Pedalboard, Final Thoughts
As I’ve shared throughout this guide, cables basically serve one purpose, and for the most part, they are all the same.
But there are some differences, of course, and these differences are worth paying attention to.
After all, at the end of the day, we’re talking about your guitar’s tone.
And, your guitar’s tone is subject to many factors, whether it’s the way you play, the exact guitar or amp you’re using, your amp’s settings, your pedals and their settings and so on.
As much as possible, it’s worth reducing the number of factors negatively influencing your tone, as that will give you more control over your tone.
Sometimes, getting better quality cables can make the difference.
With that, I wish you happy shopping.