Looking for advice on connectors and cables
This is the latest iteration of my board. Nothing fancy about it, just stuff that works for me. I've owned a few boutique pedals and found them all to be great products, but I just couldn't "identify" with them. This board is probably the one that speaks for me best so far and I use them all in my current band: 2 pedals each from my favorite makers (Tech21 and MXR), 2 Boss utility pedals and one each from Zoom and those wonderfully wacky dudes at EHX.
Here's my problem: in the past, I've mostly used Planet Waves patch cables but this set-up proves problematic for such cables. I still can use a few of them, but real estate issues impose using 2 metal connectors (between the BEF, SS and MS60B) and 1 pancake cable (between the VT and BCD). IMO, the connectors and pancake thing make for a bit of tone loss.
The easy solution would be to take one pedal out (the TU-2 would be the most likely candidate), but I'd really like to keep'em all. So I now have to consider custom-made stuff, which I find a bit intimidating, since I usually suck at most manual labor that goes beyond shovelling snow and mowing the lawn.
Considering this board, what would be the best cable/connector options ?
I use DiMarzio cables for the reasons you stated. They are the smallest I could find, and they sound fantastic. Pancake connectors are a little thinner, but they are so WIDE that I couldn't use them. The only negative I can say about the DiMarzio's is that they are stiff and hard to twist and turn them if you need to. Other than that, you can't beat them.
Damn, those are expensive - but life's too short for bad tone, eh? I use the Planet Waves and they work fine - they are kinda bulky, but maybe I can't tell that I'm losing ... something??
Maybe look into EBS interconnection plugs? PL-10 and PL-20
Get a cable kit that lets you make the cables to length and get a pedal board that lets you route the cables underneath. I don't think you'll find a lot of improvement from different connectors but it might let you squeeze a little more room on there. I was happy with a cheap kit off-brand cable kit off amazon.
I've never been a fan of the design of the pancake-type connectors and they are mostly found on less expensive gear but there's nothing inherently flawed about them if they're assembled correctly.
If you are constantly swapping out pedals, then you might want to stick with standard length cables - it's less work everytime you swap pedals because you won't have to remake the cables but you'll end up with extra cable snaking around the board. You can keep things neat if you get a board that routes the cables underneath. Use cable ties or some velcro tape to keep the loose cables secure underneath the board.
Changing the board isn't an option. Thx.
I'm curious about the connectors and not all that knowledgeable about this stuff... what would make the EBS connectors better than the ones I'm using now ? Does the gold plating have that much an impact ?
First thing to do: Get rid of those connectors between Envelope Filter, Chorus and the Multistomp. Whenever you stomp on either of those pedals you put strain on the jack and it's solder joints. You will def. shorten the life span of those pedals.
I recently made some patch cables using "Hicon HI-J63MA05" jacks. They are easy to work with and are not as "high" as the normal Neutrik ones.
So, if you can solder or know someone to show you how to do it I recommend making your own cables.
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