Chris Buckley, founder of Practical Patch, takes a look at the benefits of owning a good guitar cable.
Here at Practical Patch, our cable of choice for nearly all our products is Van Damme XKE Pro Grade and its thinner counterpart, Pro Patch. Why? Well, it's all about a quality tonal foundation.
Consider the following: Why are certain cable and connector manufacturers preferred? Well, it's simple: it's about longevity and reliability, speciﬁcally on the road. And in the UK, Van Damme cable is the industry standard for live music and studios up and down the country.
Not everyone uses Neutrik or Van Damme in their bedroom, but imagine you're preparing for a Wembley or Glastonbury gig in the pouring rain...you’ve got way over 1,000 Neutrik connectors soldered to thousands of metres of cable, and every single cable must function as it should first time and every time it is used. Need a fix? You can't always just pull out a soldering iron and start fuming up indoor venues. Reliability and efficiency are key in these arenas, so why not apply the same quality and peace of mind to your home setup?
You may already be aware of cable capacitance and how it can impact tone, but here's a recap: the longer the cable, the more treble roll-off you can expect and conversely, the shorter the cable, the less roll-off. Are there lower capacitance options than Van Damme XKE Pro Grade? Yes, there most certainly are. Are they always going to be the solution? Well, if what a lower capacitance cable offers is something you really need, then you are going to have to go down a long and expensive road to maintain that tonal quality.
Van Damme cable offers a good foundation for tone. It sits at under 90 pF/m and is good for cable lengths of up to 10m - however I would try to avoid a 10m cable if at all possible!
Here's a quick and simple way to ﬁgure out if your current cable is up to the task:
Plug your cable from your guitar straight into your amp. How does it sound? Good? Well thats good!
Now plug it into your pedalboard, does it sound the same? In all likelihood it doesn’t.
So now down to the nitty-gritty. There are many factors to consider when it comes to guitar tone. For example, do you have a large pedalboard running straight into an amp, or a more complex setup involving the four-cable method or other devices such as rack units or attenuators with built in effects loops?
Is your pedalboard currently connected with a variety of diﬀerent patch cables? Are both longer and shorter cables being used over the same distances? Do they differ in construction and materials? Do they all have equal capacitance and DC resistance? Has the conductive sheathing been removed by the manufacturer? Do they all work as they should?
These are all questions you need to ask yourself, and in the name of peace of mind then you should aim for an all-identical cable set wherever possible.
This leads us onto buffering, which is vital for more complex setups or those with long cable runs. Even if all your cable is all identical, low capacitance and well made, a buffer can make a difference. Whether it's a standalone buffer or a pedal with a fantastic buffer built in, consider using one in your setup.
Guitar Cable Tone Is A Thing!
The good news is, a better cable does make a difference - to reiterate, start with a good cable foundation and work your way forward from there.
If you are only at the beginning of your guitar and pedal journey then I would highly recommend picking up some quality instrument cables that are going to last a lifetime. We build ours using Van Damme cables and Neutrik jacks. And to add an additional layer of protection (and eye-candy), we wrap it in strong Techflex braid.
I would like to reiterate one last time that, in the endlessly absorbing world of instruments, amps and pedals, your cable foundation should not be the last thing you think about!
Live music is gradually returning to venues large and small following a hellish 2020 and 2021 for the music and events industries. Whether gigging is a hobby or a full-on career path, things have changed and musicians have had to adapt...
I spent an obsessive amount of time checking out univibe pedals. I'm so glad that I purchased this one from Boost. It is simply fantastic! If you don't believe me, then check out some video demos. Thanks Jim! + JG
This is a fantastic drive pedal. There’s plenty of Plexi style pedals out there and I’ve owned a few, this one stood out for the switchable A/B-B/A switch. The boost side is nice and simple, much like an LPB-1. Not overly clean but a perfect partner to the drive side. The Plexi side is again nothing revolutionary but very good all the same and sounds great, on a par with far more expensive pedals.
The build quality is also top end, very neat and tidy. Squeezed into the single enclosure and with a lifetime warrantee I couldn’t ask for more. I don’t think this’ll be leaving my pedal board any time soon!
Lots of great sounds in this relatively-compact delay / reverb
I’m only just starting to scratch the surface of the KMA MACHINES Cirrus, but absolutely loving it so far. Very responsive to pick attack which means can really control the “ambience” with playing style. Really looking forward to exploring further.
Had a few vibes, absolutely loving this one, check the YT demos, lovely satisfying vibe with all the swirly goodness you could hope for. Beautifully made and reasonably priced. Highly recommended - and Jim at Boost is a top guy
I came across the Formula B Fuzz Rangers via online demos on Youtube, and they all sounded so good that I had to get one. Looking online I found the Boost Guitar Pedals website via the Formula B website as a listed UK stockist. Jim was excellent and the pedal arrived when he said it would and it was perfectly packaged. I would have no hesitation in buying any other product from Boost.
As for the Fuzz Rangers, it is a great pedal. I had to work at it a touch to get the sounds I liked from it, but it seems to react really well to different guitars and different amps with adjustments to volume and tone on the guitar and different amp settings. I found it works best into a slightly cranked amp, and volume roll-off on the guitar offers a great variety of sounds from clean to classic fuzz. Thoroughly enjoying the pedal. Well done Jim, great website and a great selection of interesting brands and pedals..... Which one next????
Having used a number of univibe clones over the years this one truly nails the sound for me, it comes with some clever additions in a pedal board friendly size and is excellent value for money. If you want the true sound of the original this pedal delivers.Special thanks to boost Guitar Pedals for putting this deal together so quickly..
I'm still working my way through all the sounds, but so far I'm loving them all.
Each time I think I've got a fav sound I flip the diode switch and there's another one. Great value for a four-in-one fuzz pedal!!
Both modes really useable. The first can get a wooly or starved/wolly sound or more nasally raw sound depending on how you dial it in.
Mode two can be more mid focused and with both switches down it's just a real nice deep, warm wall of fuzz. Great stuff.
Awesome pedal. Does everything from short slaps, to long endless delays, or echo-verb. The infinite delay feature on the button hold is interesting, though if you need a certain sound out of it like that, you have to be okay with the sound that those settings create when the infinite hold feature is off. I’m sure it will be great for recording some interesting textures, but I don’t think I’d use it live, as the infinite hold sounds glitchy and cuts off very quickly at some of the shorter, more subtle delay settings that I use. The art on the pedal is nice, and the build quality is solid. Comes with a carry bag, for some reason, but I can’t complain. A great unit by any standard, but especially good quality and features for the ticket price.