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Quality cables are also important. “You’d be shocked at the difference in sound quality if you sat down and A/B’d different cables,” says guitar-tech Scott Appleton. “If you use great cables, noise really shouldn’t be an issue—provided you have everything wired correctly.” Many companies offer low-capacitance pedalboard cable kits that seek to minimize signal loss. George L’s Effects Pedal Cable Kit (Street $73.47, georgels.com) includes 10' of cable and 10 solderless, right-angle plugs for tool-free creation of patch cables in custom lengths. Planet Waves Cable Station Pedalboard Cable Kit (Street $47.46, planetwaves.com) includes 10' of cable and 10 gold-plated right-angle plugs, and a cable cutter. The Core X2 Pedalboard Cable Connector Kit (Street $49.95, coreoneproduct.com) includes 20' of shielded cable, two straight and eight right-angle gold-plated plugs, a cable cutter, and a hex wrench for assembly. Another option is the Lava Mini Pedalboard Cable Kit (Street $79.95, lavacable.com), which includes 10' of cable, 10 straight solderless plugs that have a 360-degree ground connection, and a wire stripper.
- George L’s Effects Pedal Cable Kit includes 10' of cable and 10 right-angle plugs for creating patch cables at any length you wish—without any tools.
- The Planet Waves Cable Station Pedalboard Cable Kit includes 10' of cable, 10 gold-plated right-angle plugs, and a cable cutter.
- The Lava Mini Pedalboard Cable Kit includes 10' of cable, 10 straight solderless plugs, and a wire stripper.
- The Core X2 Pedalboard Cable Connector Kit includes 20' of cable, gold-plated plugs (two straight and eight right-angle), a cable cutter, and a hex wrench.
At the end of the day, no matter how deckedout your pedalboard is, the most important part of your tonal equation is your fingers and how they interact with what’s in your rig. “A common thing I see is that a lot of players are always trying to chase someone else’s sound,” says hired-gun Joe Augello (Jennifer Hudson, Robin Thicke, Backstreet Boys). “Getting a Univibe and a Fuzz Face because Jimi Hendrix used them isn’t going to make you sound like him. Guys like Jimi and Eddie Van Halen were innovators and always experimented with their gear. They weren’t using what everyone else was using at that time. It’s important to develop your own voice and set yourself apart from everyone else.”