Let's briefly touch on the business aspect and your recent expansion into your new facility.
In the beginning, I naturally built every single cable myself. My mom actually helped for a while. She was very good, too. My wife fielded the phone calls and sweated the shipping details. But darn it, the time came when people started ordering too much stuff. (Cracks up.) At that point, I began to train people. As we've established, our cables don't use off-the-shelf parts. This means I continue to design specific tools to put them together, to create step-by-step protocols to assemble them for exacting repeatability and consistency. For example, how to build a power cable that delivers high current, requires a certain geometry, remains perfectly centered surrounded by our proprietary granular compound and stays flexible? How to physically pull that off?

On an aside, I consider ease of use a very important performance parameter. If you can't plug the cord into the outlet without a jackhammer to bend it and you need 50lbs of sand bags to keep your components on the rack - what's the use? You shouldn't have to apologize with "but it sounds good", as though such apparent focus on performance above all else absolved the designer from incorporating common sense practicality. Real-world usage considerations are part of the complete performance package. A successful passenger car needs to combine speed with superior handling, safety, comfort and practicality. Our products prove that you don't need to suffer wrestling your power cords or signal cable to the ground to obtain peak performance. Flexibility and reasonable weight simply are part of a balanced design approach. I am deeply concerned over how my product will actually be put to use.

For that reason, no matter how good it may sound, I won't build an interconnect where you can break off critical parts by touching them, where you have to recharge battery packs to resume interrupted listening sessions. State-of-the-art performance is possible without becoming a tweak.

Back to your question. We have about 8 to 10 contractors who braid our cables out of their homes. Then we have two contractors whom I trained to solder up our interconnects. Two final assemblers work under my direct supervision here at the plant. One is a master cable builder who's been with me for three years. He can do everything I can do - except by now better. (Chuckles.) The second guy came to us about a year ago and is undergoing an apprenticeship with our master builder. He can now make Black Mambas and is starting to work on certain sub-assemblies of the Anacondas. Add two administrative people and then me and my wife - that's it.

Chris - master cable builder - working on the new Andromeda speaker cables
Tifany shipping an order order of Aries interconnects
Sondra taking orders and talking to customers
Having worked for three different manufacturers myself, I must say that this kind of growth, in such a relatively brief period and fighting a challenging business climate, is indeed very impressive. I would also assume that the introduction of so many new recent products, considering the minimum order requirements for the associated parts, places quite the long-term burden on the tied-up cash flow.
Guardian Buss-Array
Very true. Like the Guardian buss-array [left], you need to buy high-volume parts inventories that may take two years to use up before you recoup the monies they represent. Each time you add a new product, this arithmetic compounds. More products equals more assembly and shipping personnel. Now add all the collateral materials -- packaging, brochures, hand-outs, ads, website creation and maintenance -- and the marketing arm that creates, maintains, educates and services the dealer and distributor network. The travel. The trade shows. The phones. Boy, the phone bills alone are nuts.

When I look around the industry, I see many people eking out a marginal existence doing something they enjoy. Perhaps some should be doing something else? There are precious few companies that make a lot of money. The vast majority are people like me. We pretty much live a middle-class life. (Laughs.) I wouldn't trade it though. I wouldn't go back to what I did before. I enjoy this far too much.
Amen, señor. Same here, albeit still more eking & squeaking than modest styling yet. However, the personal satisfaction clearly is the far more important motivator. Now, am I right assuming that your new Hydra is just around the bend?
Indeed it is. We estimate another 30-60 days until the first production run becomes available. It will be called the Hydra 8 for its total of eight 20-amp outlets. It will have integral 80,000-amp surge protection based on a far more extensive and advanced iteration over what we use in our new $349 Guardian [right], with the superior and expensive Carling electromagnetic switch. Of course it will use our established massive buss-bar power distribution array embedded in the FeSi- 1000 compounds. The case will be all-aluminum for its electro-magnetic shielding properties, with a beautifully finished appearance. Priced at $1,995, it will be even more affordable than the first Hydra, with two additional outlets, integral surge suppression, custom-made noise filters of our own design, four independent circuits and better performance than the original.
More for less? The customers will love it, some dealers may wish you'd charge more. It's the old balancing act of satisfying two masters. Let's close out on a proper audiophile chord, a C-minor with elevated 7th and diminished 9th. What are you using for your personal reference system?
A pair of Quad 57 serve as the median reference, a standard that's weathered intermediate trends to remain, for what it does right, a true watershed product. My pair of full-range Talon Khorus X will shortly be upgraded to Talon's new Firebird. I also have a pair of Ayon Falcons on order, admittedly primarily for my pleasure-listening system fronted by analog. I use an Art Audio Jota SET and BAT's VK-300x, with Tenor Audio's new 150-watt hybrid on order. My current CD player is an Audio Research CD-3 and an Electrocompaniet EMC-1 for diversity. Musical Fidelity's promised to send over their newest player as well. My personal Grand Prix Audio Monaco rack's enroute. Grant, my sales manager, already received his. He can't get over the dramatic effects.

My review could have warned him - but in the end, only personal experience makes true believers. Especially in the so-called accessory domain where all of us are seriously inured to boisterous claims. Seems you're in truly excellent shape all around, Caelin. All fabulous stuff. What you need now is some ultra-expensive statement cables. Then you'd be really legit. Don't dare using any of that cheap Shunyata crap - it couldn't possible perform at those prices!

But seriously again, thank you so much for taking three hours out of your undoubtedly busy schedule to share some of your know-how with our readership.

My pleasure, Srajan. Thanks for the opportunity and best of luck with 6moons. It's good to see people being passionate and enthusiastic about what they do. It's what makes our world go 'round, isn't it?

You bet. Making a living and paying bills is important. Waking up every morning eager to go to work -- excited, inspired, full of ideas and energy -- is far more so. Cheers to that! (Now where did I leave my shoes?)

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