By: Levi Clay
As I’ve explained in the past, when it comes to gear, I’m very much of the “No Expenses Spared” camp. This is what we do; it’s our passion and our life – you wouldn’t see Monet working with Crayola or Gordan Ramsay serving up KFC in one of his dishes would you? I’m not going to waste your time telling you about every little piece of gear I get sent unless it’s something that REALLY catches my ears and I’m happy to use night after night.
So you’ve gone out and got the guitar of your dreams, and you’re playing through a $10,000 amp. Your pedal board is full of the finest boutique pedals. Your strings are made of gold and your picks are hand carved by blind virgin women of the Amazon…. what next? Well our rig is only as strong as its weakest link, so spare a thought for cables!
There are three types of cable in my book- you have your entry level $10 pawn shop variety, they suck all the treble out of your tone and invariably die mid practice session (or heaven forbid – mid gig!). Then you have your pro level cables – they are made by a variety of companies including Elixir, Planet Waves and Bullet. These are all great on the tone spectrum, giving you a far truer representation of the signal you put into it. These will set you back a minimum of $40 and have a much longer life to them – although it’s definitely a finite period. In three years I have gone through two studio quality cables that came with a lifetime warranty – a lifetime warranty is great as I know my cable will get fixed, but while it’s being fixed I need something else.
Your next market is the luxury line of cables. Here you want all the bells and whistles (as much as you can expect in a cable) and you want it to be of high quality. This is where the good people at Intex Cables come in. These will set you back a little more (starting at $79) but I can assure you, you’re lead will probably outlive you!
Now it must be said, this price point isn’t for everyone, you need to be a SERIOUS player to be cool with that price. You won’t plug this lead in and say “WOW! My tone has never been better” (unless you’ve only used cheap leads), but when the parcel arrives you may just say “Is there a brick in here?!”
Allow me to explain. Jean-Marc (the man behind your new lead) uses only the best components, and then puts your leads together by hand. They are made from Belden 8412, an industry standard microphone cable then this is welded together (forget soldering – welding is for life) and covered in heaviest military spec brass casing you will ever find. This is also further protected by a plated spring steel stress relief (forget heat shrinking). I assure you, if things got messy, it’s so solid you could use this thing as a weapon.
Intex offer a variety of colour casings and cables so you can get something that is uniquely you, but now for the thing that will get the real flash readers excited – you can have your leads engraved!!! Perfect for those of you who want your band’s name or your name on your gear so you can tell it apart from others and prevent your precious gear from being pinched!
There are, of course, criticisms, but how much they affect the product is really up to you. The shortest cable you can get is 3m, I would love a 1m cable to keep in my practice amp! And you can’t get any half metres either – though I’m certain this is an option that will be offered in time. The other thing is that they don’t make patch leads, though this is probably for the best or I’d most probably be bankrupt!
I can’t sing the praises of this cable enough, but I didn’t want to review it right away. I can assure you it has been through some serious road testing before I could vouch for its quality in good faith.
It’s best to quote Jean-Marc here: “These are serious instrument cables. If you’re a musician who doesn’t believe cables are worth more than $25 and replace them every year or two, you’re better off going to another site, there’s nothing for you here. If you believe in the value of purchasing a high end product as an investment, welcome.”
Intex Cables are just that – a great investment as it will certainly be the last lead you ever need to buy. In fact, I plan to upgrade my entire rig as soon as possible!
Learn more at www.intexcables.com.