As a guitarist, having the right equipment is important for achieving the best sound possible. One important component that often goes overlooked is patch cables. These small cables connect your pedals together and can greatly affect the overall sound quality. Buying high-quality cables can be expensive, but making your own can save you money while still achieving great sound. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to make your own guitar patch cables.
Step 1: Gather materials.
- Coaxial cable (cut to desired length)
- 2 mono plugs
- Wire stripper
- Soldering iron and solder
- Heat shrink tubing
Step 2: Prepare the wire.
Cut the coaxial cable to your desired length. Using the wire stripper, remove about ¼ inch of the outer insulation from both ends of the coaxial cable, revealing the inner conductor wire.
Step 3: Prepare the plugs.
Attach each plug to the end of the coaxial cable. Loosen the screws on the connectors with a small screwdriver and thread the wire through the holes. Make sure to connect the inner conductor wire to the tip connector and the outer conductor wire to the sleeve connector. Then, tighten the screws to secure the wire in place.
Step 4: Solder the wires to the plugs.
Heat up your soldering iron and place it on the tip connector. Hold the wire in place until the metal begins to melt, then add a small amount of solder. Make sure not to add too much solder as this can cause the connection to be too bulky and difficult to fit in your pedals. Repeat this process for the sleeve connector. Once both connections are made, let the solder cool and harden.
Step 5: Add heat shrink tubing.
Slip a small piece of heat shrink tubing over each plug, covering the soldered connection. Heat the tubing with a heat gun or lighter to shrink the tubing to the desired size and shape. Be careful not to overheat the tubing, as this can cause it to melt or burn.
Step 6: Test your cables.
Plug in your newly made cables and test them out. If there are any issues with sound quality or connectivity, go back and check your soldering and connections.
Making your own guitar patch cables can seem daunting at first, but with a little practice and patience, it can be a simple and cost-effective solution to achieving the best sound quality for your guitar setup. Not only will you save money, but you will also have a greater understanding and appreciation for the components that make up your rig.