Review of: Free The Tone Solderless Cable Kit
Reviewed by: Gabriel TanakaRating:4.5On September 5, 2013Last modified:October 6, 2016
So you’ve bought a bunch of guitar pedals, then built your own pedalboard or picked up one pre-assembled. Now you’re ready to connect all your pedals. You can go with pre-cut cables of various lengths and often end up with excess cable or come up just a few inches short of reach. Trust me, there’s nothing worse than when that happens. Or you can try a solderless cable solution. A few solderless cable kits have been popping up in recent years, and Free the Tone have also released a promised “Easy To Make” solution. I’ll try them out in my Free the Tone Solderless Cable Kit review and see if they’re really the best guitar pedalboard patch cables out there.
10 End Plugs in S-Type (straight) and L-Type (angled) configurations.
3 Meters of high-quality cable for making many cables of various lengths.
Easy to Make.
Nickel End Plugs (Gold-plated also available).
Visit Free the Tone for more info about the Solderless Cable Kit.
Sound & Performance:
For years I have been using thick patch cables with huge gold-plated end plugs. I was sold on the hype of the promised quality of premium cables, and although generally satisfied with the quality of the cables, there have been a few glaring issues.
First off, with pre-made cables, you’ll always find yourself in a situation where there’s just a little too much or too little cable. This can be a horrendous inconvenience as you may have to arrange your entire pedalboard layout to compensate for this issue of length. The Free the Tone Solderless Cable Kit eliminates the issue of too much or too little cable by allowing you to cut and make patch cables of any desired length. This allows your guitar effects pedals to be connected with precisely the right length of cable. Whether you need a few inches or several feet of cable, these solderless cables can be made to any length you require.
Another glaring issue of many pre-made cables of supposed high-quality is the gigantic size of the end plugs. These huge end plugs can be terribly inconvenient when connecting pedals and trying to conserve space on a cramped pedalboard. Large end plugs may force you to space pedals farther apart, consuming more precious pedalboard real estate. They can even get in the way of power input jacks due to their cumbersome size. The small size of the end plugs in the Free the Tone Solderless Cable Kit are a welcome solution for conserving space on your pedalboard while ensuring easy access to power input jacks.
The cables are indeed “Easy To Make” as it says clearly on the box. While I’m often skeptical of such claims, it’s very true in this case. All you need is a small phillips and flat-head screw-driver. The L-type and S-type plugs use different screws. Also, wire cutters would be handy, but a straight cut with a decent pair of scissors will do.
Every cable I made worked perfectly and they assemble in mere minutes. I was pleasantly surprised by how reliable these cables are. For those who put in the effort to get everything on their pedalboard arranged just right, you’ll probably even enjoy making cables of precise length for a very clean-looking pedalboard layout.
Most importantly, the patch cables made with the Free the Tone Solderless Cable Kit sound great. Hooking up several solderless cables and a/b comparing them to thicker and more costly gold-plated pre-made cables revealed no glaring difference in tonal quality. The difference in cables is often so subtle anyway that only the most discerning ears can hear the variations. But still, these cables are of very solid quality and are a good candidate for your main cables for patching all of your effects pedals.
This is a very convenient product that is typical of the high-quality creations coming from Free the Tone. Let’s see the final result.
The Free the Tone Solderless Cable Kit offers a convenient way to wire up your pedalboard with patch cables of exactly the right length. They’re as “Easy To Make” as the box claims, also. The small end plugs are a welcome addition as they help conserve space on your pedalboard while freeing up access to power inputs. They’re great sounding, reliable, and have ultra small end plugs. If you’re looking for the best guitar pedalboard patch cables out there, the Free the Tone Solderless Cable Kit may be the best solution for your needs.
That concludes our Free the Tone Solderless Cable Kit review. Thanks for reading.
Want to buy the Free The Tone Solderless Cable Kit?
January 28, 2018 at 11:24 am
These look like the best patch cables for pedalboard. Great patch cable kit. Do you know how these compare to the Lava DIY patch cable kit?
March 9, 2014 at 3:49 pm
I’ve been using these patch cables for almost a year on two different pedal boards with excellent results. They went together without a problem, not one bad connection. One board traveled about 150k miles with me and the other around town every weekend, no issues ever. I’ve reconfigured both boards with a pedal change or two and still no problems. Extremely solid! They’re the best I’ve run across.
January 29, 2014 at 1:17 pm
I appreciate the review of the Free the Tone Solderless Cable Kit Review – Best Guitar Pedalboard Patch Cables?
By Gabriel Tanaka
I’ve been trying buy these and cannot find them anywhere including their own website. Does anyone know I can purchase this product in the US?
June 16, 2014 at 4:59 am
I just bought 3 sets of these here in the USA, with quick shipping and great service from Gearmandude.
Check out his video on you tube, with the link to his store. I done feel comfortable putting any store links etc on posts, but it will be easy to find.
I had been searching for a few months when I saw them there, ( same as you no one was stocking them).
I bought the 10 right angle sets, as I am setting up a pedalboard with true bypass switching.
October 17, 2013 at 7:11 pm
I’ve never tried any other kit before this one, but these are really nice and easy to use. I’ve tried to pull them quite hard, and they still keep working. I’ve also unscrewed them to change the angle of the plug, and still works perfectly without using a new cable. Brilliant! 🙂