Studio Diary #4: Picking The Patchbays

I’m currently getting my home studio more organised, and along the way I’m sharing my thought process, decisions, discoveries and regrets.

The studio rack is on its way. Now I need to choose a couple of patchbays to go in it.

Why A Patchbay?

I want all the gear wired up and ready to go … but I can’t use it all at once. A patchbay allows me to quickly pick and choose which gear I want in the signal path whenever I want to use it.

If you want to know more, take a look at this LedgerNote article on patchbays. It’s been the article that’s guided me on this.

Choosing A Patchbay

I actually need two patchbays: one for XLR cables, and one for TRS cables. Choosing them turned out to be easier than I expected.

I decided to buy new, instead of second hand. While I’m sure that patchbays are well-made and durable, they are a partially-mechanical device: they have ports where you plug and unplug things. Anything mechanical eventually fails. As patchbays aren’t that expensive, I’d rather pay a bit more and hopefully avoid any problems.

There aren’t a lot of patchbays to choose from in these parts – especially when you rule out patchbays that are advertised for sale, but which aren’t actually kept in stock. I don’t want to order something, and find that it gets caught up in the impending Brexit-related import chaos.

Which Patchbays Did I Go For?

For the XLR patchbay, I’ve ordered the Art P16 Patchbay. It’s a simple 1U rack unit with 16 ports on the front, and 16 ports on the back in a straight-forward passthru arrangement.

For the TRS patchbay, I’ve ordered the Neutrik NYS SPP L1. This was my second choice. I would have preferred the Samson S-Patch Plus, but I couldn’t find anywhere that had one in stock. The NYS SPP L1 has a great reputation, and provides 24 socket pairs to work with.

I’ve ordered both from Thomann, and they should be here not long after the rack itself arrives.

I’ve also ordered a total of 12 patchbay cables to use on the front of the Neutrik unit. These are short TRS cables that’ll allow me to pretend I’m an old-fashioned telephone operator 🙂

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