An Interview with Colossal Cable

Posted by The Fretwire on

A first ever exclusive interview on TheFretWire! You may have wondered, are high-end, fancy-pants cables really worth it?  Are they THAT much better?  We decided to reach out to one of these cable makers to get the skinny.  Brian Mendes of Colossal Cable was kind enough to answer a few questions for us:
What is Colossal Cable? Colossal Cable is a company dedicated to making hand made high end instrument & speaker cables at an affordable price. How did you get started making cables? I use to work at Bogner Amplification soldering their speaker and combo enclosures, I also made our speaker cables for testing and loaning out with our cabinets. One day while making some my boss  suggested to me that I should start my own company making high end speaker and instrument cable and went from there. Are premium cables worth it?   Do they make a difference? Premium cables are worth it, you should think about it in these terms: You have an incredible sounding guitar that you spend anywhere from $500-$4500, an incredible sounding amp that you spend anywhere from $1000-$6000 only to turn around and buy a $50, or cheaper instrument and speaker cable, that connects and sends these 2 important pieces of equipment signal of great tone. Think about high end car or home stereos, they never use chinsey cheap cable for those, why use that for your rig? Premium cables make a difference, any cable makes a difference. Different cables have different properties such as one cable might emphasize mid-range where as another cable can be bass heavy, or it could have to much treble and sound harsh. Compression is also a factor. What makes a premium cable different? (in terms of construction, components, etc) There are a number of things that make a premium or high end cable different. The way the copper is processed is one, there are several ways in which copper can be processed and the most common and cheapest way is Tough Pitch Copper or TPC which is used in mainly in power leads (alarm clock plug, lamp plug and mass produced instrument cable) This process allows 300-500 PPM of oxygen and other impurities that decay and corrode the copper. When being used in audio applications these impurities translate to a loss of highs as well as effecting the other frequencies or bandwiths as well but mainly it can be best translated into a "muffeled" sound compared to higher end cables. Higher end cables usually use, for starters, Oxygen Free Copper or OFC which can have only 30-50 PPM. In audio applications this translates to a more clearer sound. The gauge of the copper wires, the insulation, solid core conductor VS stranded copper conductor, silver conductors, silver plated copper conductors to the solder being used all play a role in the end result of the sound you hear coming from said speaker. What makes Colossal Cable different from other premium cables? Colossal Cable's uses some of the best materials available on the market, within reason of course. (There are some REALLY expensive options out there but who can afford a $3000 instrument or speaker cable?) The SweetFats, which is the best selling cable for clean to medium gain settings, uses a silver plated copper conductor which is very articulate, clean & crisp with tight low end. The solder used on all cables is a 4 eutectic as opposed to 3 eutectic which is what most cable companies uses. This 4th element makes the solder less porous, more conductive and stronger solder joint. On each cable a protective film containing pure gold & silver to improve conductivity and reduce oxidation is applied. The connectors used are hands down the best and toughest connectors available. Amphenol Pro Series with "Jaws" clamp or strain relief is simply put tough as nails. Amphenols biggest customer is the US military so everything they make is military grade....tough! A cut & abrasion resistant outer shield is added for extra durabilty and less tangling experience musicians seem to have when packing and unpacking. And last but not least, the price, most high end cables sell for $120-$300, I wanted to make something that sounded great, was tough as nails and was with in reason for EVERY musician to buy. Colossal Cables are much lower in price. Any high profile players using Colossal Cable? Justin Derrico-Pink, The Voice, The Calling Rafael Moreira-Pink, Rockstar, Paul Stanley, Christina Aguilera Patrick Matera-Katy Perry Steve Stevens-Billy Idol Tim Mahoney-311   Check out Colossal Cable today to see what your rig is missing.