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Why are EBS patch cables so vastly superior in performance? Are they really worth $8 each?
|JUST ANOTHER MANIC PEDAL DAY AT HIGH ON TECHNOLOGY|
Here in the H.o.T. studio we’re constantly trying out different configurations of stompboxes and that means cables of all sorts are in use connecting things. I remember the day I first saw EBS cables on an internet sales site, I immediately spotted the utility these little flat cables provide and ordered 10 of them. Are they good?
|SINGLE 3.94-INCH EBS PATCH CABLE, CLICK TO ENLARGE|
The short answer is, these EBS patch cables are great and have become my Go-To for daisy chaining stomp boxes. The flat wire bends much more easily than round guitar cable. Zero problems or difficulties have made it easy to grab these when I’m plugging together new pedal configurations. The short length means less wire to hide on a pedalboard.
The EBS male plugs are shaped correctly, they fit stompbox jacks without forcing them and always engage the contacts to provide excellent signal throughput.
After six months of everyday use, plugging, unplugging and reconfiguring pedal layouts I’ve had zero defects. All 10 of the cables from my original order are still working great and without problems. I’m planning to order more for some upcoming projects where compact and high reliability are of great importance.
HOW DO THEY SOUND?
The EBS cables provide the highest quality of sound transmission, zero distortion, zero noise and zero coloration of your tone. The EBS cables have the best sound quality possible because they engage the connectors perfectly and the wire is premium, custom made specifically for this unique product.
|EBS ON LEFT, D ADDARIO ON RIGHT|
In the photo above the huge molded connectors and the inflexible wire on the D'Addario cable makes it difficult to place the pedal on the right and have it stay put.
We compared the EBS cables to models from D Addario, Gotham, Mogami, Canare, Ernie Ball, Proco and other molded import styles. No other patch cable compares to the EBS flat wire for flexibility. The compact molded connector size and flexible wire on the EBS patch cables lets you pack your pedals as close together as physically possible. The flat interconnecting cable is very flexible and soft. Where typical round guitar cable makes short cords difficult to bend into 180-degree connections, the custom flat wire used on the EBS cables is quite flexible and bends easily to service back to back connections.
|EBS ON LEFT, BOUTIQUE GOTHAM ON RIGHT|
In the photo above, the stiff Gotham guitar cable forces the pedals on the right apart from each other. Note the use of metal "pancake" style connectors on the Gotham custom cable.
I have some compact stompbox cables made from premium Gotham instrument wire and flat pancake connectors. These are boutique handmade cables and have connectors that are almost equally compact when compared to the EBS flat plugs. The big difference is the wire, the flat EBS wire bends easily and connects a pair (or several pairs) of pedal connections without struggling to keep the pedals close to each other. The cables made with Gotham wire don’t like to be bent in the sharp 180 degrees necessary to connect a pair of stompboxes with side mounted jacks.
My custom Gotham patch cables are 4” in length and it is a constant struggle using them to make tight bends between pedals. The flat EBS cable bends easily and allows pedals to sit closer to each other.
|EBS ON LEFT, GENERIC MOLDED PLUGS ON RIGHT|
In the photo above the generic cable is flexible enough to cooperate but the connectors are huge and push the pedals apart.
|EBS ON LEFT, GENERIC SOLDERED ON RIGHT|
The generic right angle plugs (very similar in size to premium Switchcraft) keep pedals farther apart and have more wire to deal with.
Some folks have commented that these are expensive. I consider them to be tools to help me make music. I can't make music if my cables are making noises and interfering with my performance. I like good tools so $8 each for premium patch cables which offer this level of performance is not a bad thing in my book. I like spending my time playing music instead of trouble shooting and switching-out noisy cables. There are always cheaper solutions but are they as good? You'll need to decide that.
Are they worth $8 each? For me, yes, definitely. If I make my own high quality patch cables using Mogami guitar cable and Switchcraft right-angle plugs I end up with $7 in materials cost per six-inch cable and I still need to provide my labor to solder, assemble and test the finished product .
EBS makes patch cables in a variety of lengths. So far I only have experience with the 3.94-inch models but when I need some more longer cables I will definitely consider some of the other EBS offerings.
I love when a manufacturer recognizes a problem and invents an innovative solution. These little EBS cables might not be the cheapest stompbox patch cables but they are among the BEST you can get for the job.
Good Music To You!
©2022 by Mark King for High on Technology. It’s not ok to copy or quote without written permission.
Thanks for reading High on Technology.
CABLE COMPARISON STUDY
Lets compare cables and see how they react? Do they inherently want to adapt to the situation or do they require you, the user to adapt to them?
|Upper cable is EBS, Lower is D'Addario|
|Upper cable is custom made with Gotham Cable and Pancake connectors|
|Upper is generic 6-inch cheap patch cable from Amazon, lower is EBS|
|Upper patch cable is generic molded, lower is EBS|
|Small cable is EBS, large cable is generic 12-inch soldered|