Wiring up a pedalboard can be a frustrating experience. You never seem to have the right length cables to neatly interconnect each stompbox, and a visit to the music store to solve the problem can result in serious sticker shock if you want high-quality, ready-made cables. A solution is the Cable Station Solderless Pedal Board Cable Kit ($99 retail/$59 street), which is designed to accommodate up to six pedals. It comes with ten 24K gold-plated right angle plugs, a mini cable cutter, and ten feet of quality oxygen-free shielded wire. The plugs themselves are quite unique with their stout and stylish cast-zinc housings. These sturdy little jewels are surprisingly heavy, and the gold-plated shaft of each plug even features a separate sleeve with patent-pending compression springs that add extra security by ensuring a tight, positive connection. They may also help to keep out the crud that inevitably accumulates on the plugs and jacks of any rig that resides on the floor.
To make a custom cable, you simply snip off the desired length with the cutter (which works like a miniature cigar trimmer, and leaves a clean, squared-off end), push and twist the cable into the plug, tighten a small screw, and you’re done. Even if you suffer from acute ADHD, it couldn’t take more than ten minutes to wire up your pedals, and the sonic performance of the finished product is excellent. There were no audible crackles when I yanked on the connections, and the straight-through sound of the six pedals I used (which included a mix of true- and non-true bypass types) was crisp and strong. A friend of mine, who still proudly wears a mullet and fumbles with a rat’s nest of loose cables and pedals at every gig, quickly brought his rig into the 21st century with this handy kit. Alas, his hair remains a throwback to the Bicentennial.