When spending a tiny bit extra is worth it: Coluber Cable

There’s something happening and I like it. More pro sound companies are making consumer and even high end products. When it comes to cables it’s easy to see the appeal. The pro stuff is lots cheaper. But what if it turns out the pro cables are better, too?

Buy this…

I can see the word Mogami forming on your lips, but no. No matter how many people talk about it, Mogami is simply not all that. But, there’s a new cable on the block and their stuff is excellent. The company is Coluber Cable.

Coluber came to my attention while I was evaluating the superb new EL DAC II+ from JDS Labs. As you can see, JDS does their DAC’s balanced-out via 1/4 inch TRS plugs. My guess is they do this because it takes up less real estate on the relatively small rear panel of the DAC.

So, I needed a pair of very short cables with a TRS connector on one end and a male XLR on the other. No problem, says Coluber! They made the cables for me, custom, for a price that was little more than the cost of the rather dreary WJSTN cables from Amazon. Hey WJSTN, might be time to head back to the marketing squad and come up with a better name! The simple fact is Coluber offers a cable (and connectors) of fantastic quality yet with customization options that extend all the way to color (yes, I like to being able to identify my cables easily).

How does each cable sound? The WJSTN, while arguably passable in a pinch, was possessed of a slightly threadbare midrange and a tizzy top end that spoiled things. Worst of all, the XLRs on the WJSTN are poorly dimensioned and fit overly tight. Unlike many connectors there are actual dimensional specifications for XLRs. Sadly, WJSTN isn’t following the spec. By comparison, the Coluber sounds silky smooth and is very quiet, just like a balanced cable should be, and they fit perfectly on both the TRS and XLR end.

I’m already preparing my next order with Coluber. My only wish is that Coluber would make a speaker cable of similar quality. But, even if they never do, I’ll keep coming back. Coluber’s products are simply too good to ignore.

…not this.
When spending a tiny bit extra is worth it: Coluber Cable

February 2: Turntables, continued & concluded

Anyway, the days of Kuzma and Dynavector lasted as long as my days of a reviewer. Great tables, arms and cartridges (not to mention superb phono preamps) can give a careful listener a look within that little else can. Eventually, though I bought my first REGA Planar 3 and used it as a kind of everyman’s table reference. That second REGA served me well. Somehow, it ended up on the other side of the table when I got divorced. Also, I lost a good number of LPs (well over a thousand) and my beloved Magnepan MGIIIa to a flood of hot water caused by a plumbing leak, when there was no one around to simply turn off the damn water.

That was then and the is now and I have another REGA Planar 3. It was set up for me by none other than the legendary Brooks Berdan. If you’re interested you can read about it here. If you’re not, just know it’s a been a great table and I’m happy to be giving it some exercise during the transfer of my remaining LPs.

I am sentimental about this particular table but not about analog generally or LPs specifically. They are the technology I grew up with and while I find their miniature renaissance amusing, I am under no illusions that they create a corner on the market of musicality.

In the early 90s, it seemed like they might. Early CDs were abysmal for a number of reasons, most notably lousy DACs and misunderstandings about how digital recording changed and didn’t change the requirements of microphone placement. The truth is that things got better fast when it came to CDs. That said, a CD is not an LP and there is no reason to expect one to sound like the other. It’s rather like tubes which is, if I decide to go down that particular rabbit hole, a question with a longer answer for another blog post. I am not immune to nostalgia but I am when it comes to the mechanisms that deliver my music, I simply don’t care what device or technology brings me decent sound, I just want it. Thanks for reading. Tomorrow, no more turntables…I promise.

February 2: Turntables, continued & concluded