Cables From Hell

Dear Dude,

I have a gear question for you about guitar pedals and pedal boards. I use an SKB powered pedal board, much like the Furman one you mention in another review. The problem is all my different cables that lead from the pedal board back to my head. I have the direct line, amp footswitch, two for the pedals I have in the effects loop, and an extra in case one busts on me while playing. All of the cables are 30 ft long. Currently I have all the cables tied using small Velcro patch cord ties. What do you do to keep all your cables together? Is there some sort of sleeve or snake skin you are using to keep them “as one”? Any help would be appreciated!

Thanks,
Cables from Hell!

Dear Cables from Hell,

It’s funny this question is so specific and it’s something I myself have been struggling with ever since I started running pedals live. When I play I always like to face the audience so it means the cables have to be long (just like you mention, about 30 feet). I have 10 cables that I run (in order to run two heads and two separate stereo effects loops) as well as one power cable I use to power my voodoo labs pedal power. What’s the best way to deal with this problem live? I’ve tried everything from duct tape to Velcro and never had luck. That is until the first day I showed up for our tour with this band called Thrice.

Tepe and Dustin from Thrice turned me onto a thing called Flexo Tubing, or “Snakeskin” which is made by a company called Tech Flex. So what is this mythical alien creation? It’s a long section of plastic tubing sold by the foot in different diameters. I use the 1 1/2 inch size because it fits all of my cables nicely. Basically, you buy about 30 feet of “Snakeskin” to feed all your cables through (I also suggest running back up cables so you can switch fast live but, you already thought of that!), then melt both tips with a lighter so it wont fray, tape the ends, and ta-da all your cables are secure in this nice little snake. Dude, I have taken my “Snakeskin” cable all over the world and it has never let me down. It is the definitive professional solution for this problem.

So where do you get this product? Best place to look is somewhere that sells quality products to touring bands, like Tour Supply. If you’re in a touring band you can find anything you need here. I mean they have everything, cables, sharpies, tape, lanyards, and even “Snakeskin.” It’s not pictured or mentioned on the website so you have to email or call them. Its sold by the foot and here are the regular prices:

1/4″ Diameter @ $0.39 per Foot

1/2″ Diameter @ $0.59 per Foot

3/4″ Diameter @ $0.69 per Foot

1″ Diameter @ $0.89 per Foot

1 1/2″ Diameter @ $1.19 per Foot

There you have it my man, we can all thank the good dudes in Thrice. They found the secret to keeping those pedal cables organized and out of the way. Take it from a man who has found himself looking up at the ceiling of a club wondering why his guitar doesn’t work, trying to figure out why he has cables all tangled up in his feet! You need to get those cables in order!

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