I’ve recently did a few PodCasts for Rattlesnake Cable Company – and typically, the questioning starts with – Why did I start Rattlesnake Cable Company. I think most interviewers are expecting the classic answer to this – I love gear or I was handy with electronics, etc. But lately I began to reflect and came to the realization, it started from this site – Effects Bay.
By profession, I’m a computer guy. I work on web development and enjoy programming. But long before and during, I’ve enjoyed being in bands and playing guitar. Working on computers for so long and “creating” in the virtual space started to put a toll on me. The virtual part of it. I build things, but those things can go away with a push of a button. Will my great, great grandkids even know what I did… even see what I did?
At this interesting crossroads Effects Bay was started. I initially talked about effects, but something started to happen. I started to talk with builders. Lots of small time builders and lots of big time builders. I saw the struggle that some of these builders were going through when they reached out to me early on. I’ve talked to a lot of builders that are no longer in business today. Something fascinated me about these discussions. The passion I could sense. The passion to simply build something and stand behind it. To build something that others can enjoy and get that a satisfaction of seeing something you built, being used, cherished and abused (in that good way).
I would look at my keyboard and think about – what am I building? Yeah, it’s ‘cool’ and would be enjoyed, used, etc. but I missed the ‘real’ aspect of it. Real means it’s here, you can touch it, that it stays, that it can be passed down, put in a box and saved. To me, that really was important.
I naturally started with pedals – working on DIY kits, understanding schematics, etching circuit boards. Everything was incredibly fun and challenging. Repair was a big step for me too, working people’s broken pedals and bringing them back to life. I love problem solving and that really scratched my itch. But it was the cables that blew my mind.
For whatever reason, cables really got my attention. The ability to hear the difference with something you take for granted every day. Early on in my playing days – a cable just meant passing signal. A cable is a cable, right? Well, as the years went by I started to experience what it meant to have a good cable. First I thought it was all about the connectors, since those typically fail. But later I learned about capacitance and what that means for your tone. By the time I wanted to make some cables for myself, I knew style of plugs I wanted, and the target capacitance per foot I wanted to hit.
Working on some early prototypes, I was extremely excited about the options, but didn’t think about a business yet. I remember taking my cables to a practice with a project that had a couple of guitar players and bass players, and they immediately asked what’s the story with the cables and wanted a set for themselves. Hmmm. Next, I wanted Jimmy (he did a ton of demos on this site) to compare with his cables. He always has top-of-the-line stuff and knew he’d be brutally honest with me, and he loved ’em. At this point, I thought, maybe I could sell these?
A business is born
The following years I spent time working out the details for manufacturing of the cable, sourcing parts and figuring out some sort of plan for the future. I felt like, things could really happen, and there is a sense of pride thinking about the early days of Effects Bay, interviewing a brand new pedal business, but now it’s me talking about the passion of building something I’m proud of. Of course, in the back of my mind, things can get dark. I know many of those businesses fail in the saturated market. But, all I can control is focusing on doing my best and offering the best service and product that I’m capable of.
Over the years, the business has grown and the future looks incredibly bright, so I’m feeling incredibly positive. I know a good portion of you Effects Bay readers have participated in our cable give aways and have even become Rattlesnake Cable Company customers – so I thank you!
For those of you not familiar with the brand and are interested, right now I’m running a sale – The Frozen Tundra Sale, which ends tomorrow night 1/9 (Monday) at 11:59 PM MST. You can save up to 25% on your order
15% off on orders from $50 – $99
20% off on orders from $100 – $199
25% off on orders from $200+
To get in on the action and save, simply use code EBCOLD17 on the build form.