I am constantly on the lookout for things to improve my tone, so I jumped at the chance to give some Intex cables a try. These cables are made with Belden 8412 microphone cable, proprietary shell and military spec M642/1-1 brass jacks. It is a beautiful design and the quality of the construction is quite noticeable. Intex owner and builder, Jean-Marc du Mouchel, assures me that his cables are designed and built to last a lifetime. That’s quite a claim! Each Intex cable is serialized to each user and custom monogramming is also available.
Intex cables are offered in a variety of cable colors and shell colors, from black, red, yellow and blue for cables and white, black, red, blue, orange and natural brass for the shells. I typically like to use a red cable for my guitar and a black cable from my pedal board to the amp. This helps me set up faster and I always pick up the right cable when plugging in my guitar.
So Intex cables are built well and look amazing, but how do they sound? In a word, excellent. I put the Intex cables up against my DiMarzios that I normally use, some comparable Monster cables and a Mogami. The Intex blew them all away. I could immediately hear a tighter, cleaner bass response and crystal clear highs as compared to the other cables. The Intex cables definitely removed muddiness in the tone and provided more punch. With such a tough build quality and improved sound through my rig, these cables are a winner for me. I’ll be buying some, for sure.
I was so impressed with this product I decided to call Jean-Marc and ask him a few questions:
Ryan: How did you get started building guitar cables?
Jean-Marc: I’ve been building guitar cables for over 30 years. As an engineering student at the University of Colorado I apprenticed under two gentleman that built satellites for Ball Brothers, a NASA subcontractor, in the late ’70s. I learned to solder from those guys. One day one of them was working on a guitar cable and I asked him to show me how to build them and it just took off from there. Soon I was doing all the guitar cables in the shop, and then we started building audio snakes and doing live venue and recording studio installs. It was an invaluable learning experience.
Ryan: What makes a good cable, and why does a high quality cable matter?
Jean-Marc: That’s a tough one! In my opinion there is a difference between silver and copper, oxygen-free, etc…I truly believe there is. But there are certain environments where those quality levels in a cable are more realistic and valuable than others, such as in a recording studio. But once you set a band up in a live situation, which is typically a bar in their local town, the nuances of that really expensive studio cable are all but lost in the ambient noise of that room. I’m told my cables sound as good or better than any premium cable out there but they’ll also last a lot longer than any of my competitors. It’s great sound and reliability that sets Intex apart from the others. I have a friend of mine that is still playing one of my cables I made for him in the late ’70s. He’s used it as his main cable for the past 30 years!
Ryan: What can you tell me about the Belden cable you use to make your cords?
Jean-Marc: Love Belden cable. Thirty years later they still feel the same when I cut into them and solder to them. Their manufacturing process has been the same for all these years and I love that consistency. They are one of the largest cable makers in the world, they have fantastic customer support and they are great to deal with.
Ryan: I’ve never seen jacks like the ones you use. These are military spec, right?
Jean-Marc: Most people haven’t seen a jack like this in the music business. These are military spec and they’re built to last forever. Also, there was a time when I did not have the brass shell that covers the jack. I decided to beef that up and so I designed the hex-shaped brass shell, which is engraveable, and added the steel spring reinforcement that is actually welded to the jack assembly.
Ryan: What other products, if any, does Intex have planned for the future?
Jean-Marc: We have some other products planned that I am not at liberty to discuss at the moment, but I will say there are some other cable types out there that we think we can improve on.
Ryan: Thank you for your time, Jean-Marc.
Jean-Marc: You’re more than welcome. It was a pleasure speaking with you.