The story of the original flat patch cable

They were destined for success because they solved many issues that musicians have been scratching their heads over when building their pedalboards. Still, when EBS released the original flat patch cables in 2013, it wasn’t a given until they got into the hands of the users. Here’s the untold story of how it started. 

How the EBS flat patch cable changed everything

If you are a musician and ever needed to put together a pedalboard, you have probably experienced cables that craved a lot of space, and once you got everything in place, something always made a crackling noise. Not to mention how hard it was to find cables of decent quality without spending a fortune.

Then EBS introduced the PCF flat patch cables in 2013 that changed the game forever and solved these problems at once! As in the example above (image courtesy of the Swedish Ultimate Guitar Gear Podcast). 

The thing that sparked the idea

One day at the EBS headquarters in Stockholm, someone brought these headphones with a red flat cable.

The Red headphones sparked the idea. 

EBS CEO Bo Engberg was developing some pedalboard accessories and had his mind set on that. So, when he saw these headphones, he thought, what if we created a compact patch cable like this and made the contact house flat too? That would minimize the space needed between pedals on a board in a completely new way. 

EBS CEO Bo Engberg in 2013. Photo by Lasse Eklöf.

“It’s impossible” was the answer from manufacturers when Bo explained the idea of soldering and sealing a cable in a flat, compact contact housing to provide the quality and reliability needed for a patch cable to use in a pedalboard. 

But eventually, he found a promising candidate. Bo saw this manufacturing company that had developed some clever design solutions before, and even if their answer was “it’s impossible” too, Bo insisted they should try. A lot of thought and testing resulted in a prototype. With some adjustments, the first flat patch cable (EBS PCF, as in Patch Cable, Flat) finally hit the market in 2013.

An early prototype of the PCF cable.

The bumpy road to success

Although the obvious benefits with the flat patch cables, the success wasn’t immediate. Dealers and shop owners were very reluctant. “Why should we sell great cheap cables when we can sell expensive cables and make more money?” was the standard reply.

But when some cables slipped through to the end users, the rumor started to spread. Soon, the requests for the new sensational flat patch cables by EBS created enough pressure to convince even the most skeptical dealers, and there was no turning back.

How EBS has stayed ahead of the game

When a successful product is released, it is easy to sit back and enjoy the benefits. However, when something revolutionizes the market, it is bound to be copied by others wanting a piece of the cake. EBS understood early on that this was a revolution and that we had to keep developing and refining the concept to stay ahead of imposters. 

That is why the Original PCF cable is in its third generation of improvements. And another two series of flat patch cables have been added and developed. The EBS Premium Gold (PG) series is the World’s most compact patch cable, and the EBS High Performance series features a braided copper shield for maximum performance and enhanced durability. 

Left to right: PCF Deluxe (2021 edition), Premium Gold, and High Performance.

EBS has also gone beyond patch cables and implemented a whole range of DC power cables based on the same idea – to save money and create space for every musician building a pedalboard! 

DC distribution cables are some of the latest additions to EBS accessories for pedals.

Check out all EBS pedalboard accessories here:

Buy EBS accessories at most major online dealers, as well as many local musical equipment stores.

Fun facts about EBS flat patch cables:

  • As of November 2022, EBS has sold over 2 million flat patch cables in total.
  • The World’s largest pedalboard, according to the Guinness World Records, built by Sweetwater music and Youtube influencer Rob Scallon, used EBS PCF-Deluxe flat patch cables to connect 319 pedals. The total length of cables equaled the long side of 2 football fields. Not one cable failed and the signal level at the end of the board exceeded the calculations for a best-case scenario.
  • The latest edition, with the reduction of the size of the contact housing, makes the flat patch cables fit even for switchers and other devices with outputs in two rows. As in the example below (photo courtesy of Temple Audio pedalboards).
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