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I have 4 instruments with dual 1/4in TS output that I want to patch in stereo: digital piano, e-drums, and 2 guitars effects pedals. 25ft would be a good length.

However, I'm having a devil of a time finding dual 1/4in male TS to dual 1/4in male TS stereo patch cables. Do people just not patch instruments in stereo? Do they use pairs of mono instrument patch cables? Do they use L/R RCA cables with RCA-to-1/4in TS adapters?

Ideally, I'd like to buy a 100ft reel of raw cable and solder on the ends myself. But I can't even seem to find the raw cable.

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dvdhawk Mon, 09/03/2012 - 10:13

I have several things that I prefer to keep stereo, but I would use a stereo pre-amp or stereo DI to get it balanced as early in the chain as possible. I rarely run an unbalanced instrument cable any farther than absolutely necessary, whether it be guitar, bass, keys, whatever. I have a couple 18ft. instrument cables I would use for guitar, so I have some room to move. Everything else is balanced asap.

You might try someone like Redco for their [=""]2-channel snake cable[/]="…"]2-channel snake cable[/], or their [[url=http://="…"]Mogami 2-channel snake cable[/]="…"]Mogami 2-channel snake cable[/]. They're from nearby CT, so shipping should be very reasonable. Both are 2 conductor plus a shield cable, so they're capable of being balanced, or for your unbalanced lines you have several choices - A) snip the unused pair and solder the rest as usual, B) solder both wires to the tip and the shield to the sleeve as usual, or C) solder the first pair to the tip, the second pair to the sleeve, and attach the shield wire to the sleeve only on one end - cutting the shield at the other end in a way that it cannot possibly touch either the tip or sleeve. A little heat-shrink tubing would also be a nice touch where the outer jacket is cut away - but since the inner pairs are individually jacketed you wouldn't necessarily need any heat shrink.

Barring any of the previous suggestions - get 2 matched cables and tape them together with high-quality electrical tape to pair them up. A few wraps every couple feet will do the trick and still leave the cables flexible enough to coil up neatly at the end of the job. Heat shrink is another good option, and cheap tape isn't worth the time or effort.

Best of luck.