So let’s start by explaining: It’s not often I’ll write a gear review, but it’s been this way to maintain my integrity as a gear snob! As I’ve explained on various websites 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 in 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 $10000 amp; your pedal board is full of the finest boutique pedals your strings are made of gold and your picks are hand carved by Tibetan monks with no hands (or should that be foot carved?).... 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 – though 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 its 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 (http://intexcables.com/) come in. These will set you back a little more (starting at $79) but I can assure you, you’re lead will probably out live 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, you could use this thing as a weapon it’s so solid.
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 bands 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 down to you. Its a price, and weight issue – these things are definitely not cheap, and the weight of them means they aren’t cheap to post and you may end up with a nasty customs charge when the lead arrives; but if you’re already considering it, I can’t see that putting you off. The only 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, I didn’t want to review it right way, I can assure you it has been through some serious road testing before I could vouch for its quality in good faith. I’m now officially playing these cables exclusively and my entire rig is kitted out with Intex cables.
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. I’m proud to use them every day of my working life – here’s to many more years!
So the best piece of news is that we have secured a cable direct from Intex for you, our readers. It will be available in the next Live4Guitar contest – so spread the word and keep your eyes and ears open.