Studio Diary #13: The Planet Waves / D’addario Cable Station Cables … Aren’t Very Reusable

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

For the past few years, I’ve been using the D’Addario (formerly Planet Waves) Cable Station system to make my own solderless patch cables. I like it because it gives me the convenience of making custom-length cables, and I rarely make a dud cable.

I used to have a huge pedal board with 20 pedals on it. I tore that down earlier in the year, giving me a lot of Cable Station connectors and cable to try and reuse – along with some new connectors that I ordered in for the studio revamp.

The results have been mixed.

The Planet Waves-Branded Cable Is Too Fat

I’ve got a mix of connectors. Some are the older, larger Planet Waves connectors. The rest are the slimmer, low-profile D’Addario connectors. Most of the cable I’ve got is the older Planet Waves-branded cable. And that older cable is a bit of a problem.

It turns out that the Planet Waves cable is a bit fatter than the D’Addario branded cable. It barely fits into the Planet Waves connectors, and doesn’t fit at all into the D’Addario connectors.

That means that I can’t use my spare Planet Waves cable at all for this build.

I tried, but the cables I made up just didn’t work. The rubber outer sleeve just wouldn’t fit into either connector, and that prevented the inner core getting far enough into the connector to make a good connection. It’s almost as it the old cable has expanded since I got it?

Fortunately, I’ve got a completely unopened spool of the newer D’Addario-branded cable to use instead.

The D’Addario Cable Is A Joy To Work With

The D’Addario-branded cable is noticeably thinner. It fits easily into both brands of connectors, without feeling loose or insecure at all. I found that made it very quick to make up cables, and I had no reliability problems at all.

I had to get this cable from eBay. Although D’Addario still advertise and sell the Cable Station connectors, they don’t make it easy to get additional cable atm. That’s a bit of a worry for the long term.

Perfect For Home Use

These single pin-type cable kits are perfectly reliable when the cables are just sat at home and not getting moved about much. That’s going to be doubly true because these cables are going to be permanently fixed inside my studio rack.

If I was building a pedal board or rack for gigging, I would spend the extra money on something more robust and rugged. But that’s a huge step-up in cost, and it’s simply not needed for home use.

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