Ernie Ball 3″ Flat Ribbon Patch Cable Review

98
GEARANK
98 out of 100. Incorporating 1450+ ratings and reviews.
$22.99
Ernie Ball

Ernie Ball 3″ Flat Ribbon Patch Cable

Recently I’ve been noise hunting and optimizing my pedal setup, will these patch cables help me reduce noise and maximize space?

Let’s put them through their paces!

Feel and Build

These feel great in the hands. They have a good weight to them – not heavy but substantial enough to exude reassuring quality, premium-feeling patch cables indeed.

The flexibility is quite alright for flat cables. They are not the softest feeling wires I’ve tried but since these are fresh from the mail I expect these to soften up after some use. Also, being 3 inch cables, they’ll most probably be relegated to simple right to left setups that aren’t too reliant on extreme flexibility.

Sample setup with Ernie Ball 3 inch Flat Ribbon Patch Cables
Here are the cables in action. Without the pedals secured to some kind of board, the patch cables displayed some resistance pushing the pedals away from each other.

Being flat cables, they quite prefer being flexed up and down than side to side. Twisting okay too but not as natural feeling as your regular rounded cables so this will definitely work better with some layouts over others.

Based on my experience with patch cables, no one type is best for all layouts but flat cables are a space-saving good bet for many of your typical configurations.

The cable texture reminds me somewhat of a stick of gum. The slightly textured matte white has a tinge of cream – I feel like due to the color, these could get dirty quite quickly and easily.

The all-metal plugs are slightly brushed on the top part and feature a cute etched ball logo – cool little details that just add to that premium feel.

Detailing on the plug of an Ernie Ball Flat Ribbon Patch Cable
Check out that cool brushing and embossed iconic beach ball graphic

Sound

These sound good enough. They’re not introducing any more noise than my pedals are producing already and seem to be better shielded from interference than my old patch cables. Also, my signal feels a bit more present – I don’t know how much of this is due to the shorter cables having less capacitance thereby reproducing the highs better just ever so slightly or how much of this is just a placebo.

Length

The actual measured length of Ernie Ball 3 inch Flat Ribbon Patch Cable
Not exactly 3 inches (a bit over 5) but being a bit longer is surely better than a bit shorter than advertised.
The measured length of the wire part of Ernie Ball 3 inch Flat Ribbon Patch Cable
3 inches seems to be referring to the wire excluding the plugs. But it’s still not exactly 3 inches.

Overall

I’m very pleased with these short, little flat ribbon patch cables. Approximately 3 inches might be enough for most simple setups, but if you’re serious about building complex boards I suggest buying an assortment of lengths, optimally of different colors to signify the lengths at a glance. These Ernie Ball 3″ Flat Ribbon Patch Cables don’t take up a lot of space, sound transparent enough, and feel robust and high quality. I give these a 96 out of 100.

Specifications

  • Plug: Low-Profile Right Angle
  • Conductor: 99.95% OFC
  • Cover: PVC Jacket
  • Shield: Dual Shielding
  • Length: 3″
  • Variants: 3″, 6″, 12″, 24″

Cons

  • 3 inches is not long enough for complex setups

Pros

  • Solidly built – premium feel and detailing
  • Low profile plugs and short, flat cable works with well with most simple pedal configurations and saves space
  • Relatively transparent sounding and noise-free operation
Ernie Ball 3
This certainly is a fine piece of cable – I can’t wait to try this out on the stage!

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The Ernie Ball Flat Ribbon Patch Cable first appeared on our recommended list for Guitar Patch Cables in November 2020 and they’ve remained there ever since.