History of the Death Valley Cable Company
From humble beginnings to the world's best guitar cable
Death Valley Cable Company is one of those businesses that is best described as being under the radar. In fact, it was so under the radar, the owner didn't even know that it existed until recently.
For years, Trent Gabor (name changed to protect his true identity) made cables for his own quite-extensive recording needs, refusing to pay highway-robbery prices for commercial cables that were absolute junk. Other cables were so noisy that they were nearly unusable even new and would only last for a few months before shorting out and ending up in a wastebasket.
When Trent saw friends having the same problems, he would make them up a cable or two, never charging for them. As news of his cable-making prowess spread, friends of friends contacted him for cables. Then friends of friends of friends.
Solder fumes and an unheated garage
Not wanting to spend his life breathing solder fumes in the corner of an unheated garage making cables, Trent decided to discourage the well-meaning cable seekers by charging for the cables, not outrageous amounts, but in keeping with the handmade nature of the cables, which was often fourfold the price of a horrible bargain-rack guitar cable.
Much to his chagrin and surprise, he found that not only did they willingly pay for the cables, they wanted more, calling them the "world's best guitar cables." Word continued to spread, and more wanted more. His customers considered his cords to be the best guitar cables on the planet, possibly even the best guitar cables in the known universe.
Trent did his cable business on the side. It never had a name. Customers would order from him in person when they saw him at local watering holes ... Since a lot of Trent's time was spent in Death Valley country, these watering holes weren't necessarily bars but real watering holes.
Then there were the phone calls at all times of the day and night: "Hey we're going on tour to Europe and we need 36 instrument cables by tomorrow noon." Trent developed not only a reputation for cables that never broke but also for getting them to the customer in record time.
Field trips to local music stores
Meanwhile, Trent continued to hone his craft, researching and reading everything he could about cable construction, which was a tough task in itself because information was hard to come by. He supplemented his library and internet research with scholastic field trips to the local gigan-normous music stores.
Sales clerk: "Can I help you."
Trent: "No, I'm just looking."
SC: "You want to buy that Super Expensive XYZ Cable?"
TG: "No, I'm just looking."
SC: "It looks like you have the whole thing apart there. Usually we ..." (Sound of lots of little metal pieces being dropped.) "Looks like you dropped some pieces of the cable."
TG: (Now on his hands and knees) "Yeah, that's why these cables don't last long. They screw the things together. They ..."
SC: "Sir that may well be, but you really can't come in here and take apart cables. Did you take apart this whole pile of cables here?"
TG: "Well, I was going to put them back together. I wanted to buy the ones that had the best construction."
SC: "I'm going to have to ask you either pay for all these cables or leave the store."
So Trent left the store, but he did learn a lot about cable construction, until he was banned from large chain music stores within a 50-mile radius.
When Trent started to add up receipts at the end of various years, he saw that the cable business was becoming more than just a hobby. And then it happened. The day that would change his life forever.
The appearance of the guitar cable madonna
On Sept. 22, 1998, Trent was hiking in the Inyo Mountains in the California Desert. Eating a bagle with cream cheese and lox and not paying attention. Trent slipped, fell down and hit his head. When he went to get up, he was dazzled by the most beautiful woman he had ever seen, floating about three feet off the ground, in flowing white robes, standing on a giant cotton-ball that looked like a cloud if you squinted your eyes, which Trent was doing because his head hurt something awful from the tumble.
"Do I know you," he asked, lurching to his feet, wearing the bagle like a miniature tam-o-shanter. (It had becoime stuck to the side of his head during the fall.)
The visage didn't answer. Trent saw that she was holding some type of electrified medieval lute, trying to play it, but at the same time, fiddling with what appeared to be an instrument cable. Suddenly, her ministrations became violently frustrated, and she broke the lute over her knee, whacking it like there was no tomorrow with a closed fist, dancing a spirited jig on top of her cotton puff.
Then suddenly without warning she looked at Trent, as if she had just noticed that he was there for the first time.
You know what you must do, so do it
"If I had one of your guitar cables, I would have been playing a musical accompaniment to your epiphany," she said, pointing the remains of the instrument at him. "You know what you must do, so do it."
Everything went black for an unnerving second. When Trent came to, he was sitting in a darkened theater watching the credits for Jack Black's "Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny." It seemed too real to have been a dream, yet how could he have been hiking in the mountains if he was here watching one of the worst movies ever filmed, although it did have a few cheap laughs, especially the cameos with Tim Robbins.
The strange part came later when he went home.
"What's for dinner?" he asked his wife.
"Why do you have a half-eaten bagle with cream cheese stuck on the side of your head, jauntily tilted to one side like a little hat?" she asked.
He rushed into the bathroom and looked in the mirror. There WAS a bagle stuck on his head like a little hat! So was it really a dream, or had he really seen the beautiful woman floating on the giant cotton ball?
The dream — or vision or whatever it was — stuck with Trent for days. He couldn't shake it. Finally it became obvious. He must devote his life to making the perfect guitar cable. And so Death Valley Cable Company was born, although it had been in existence for about 20 years but just never had a name.
Also contributing to his decision was that he had few local customers left. His guitar cables really are the world's best guitar cables and last forever, so once he sold a customer a couple cables, that was the last he saw of the customer until the customer birthed new guitar players. He had sold other items on ebay, so he decided to try selling his incredible cables on ebay.
And he finally realized his true calling: To make the world's best guitar cables from the finest parts available.
Where is it?
Death Valley Cable Company headquarters is in Darwin, California, a few miles outside the boundary of Death Valley National Park, in Inyo County, California. Tours of the spacious Darwin world headquarters are not offered at this time, nor are visitors allowed in the DVCC production facility because of top-secret design projects being developed there.
Special thanks to luthier extraordinaire Danny Ott — the world-famous
Guitar Doctor West — for making all the guitars pictured on this site sound better than they look. Danny has been working magic with guitars for 30 years in Southern California, transforming barely playable guitars — with half-inch action — into instruments with such effortless playability that they almost play themselves.
Trademarks and boring (but necessary) legal mumbo-jumbo
Death Valley Cable Company, DVCC, Death Valley Cables, Death Valley Cable, DeathValleyCableCompany.com, DvCableCo.com, DeathValleyCables.com and DeathValleyCable.com are the intellectual property of Death Valley Cable Company and are trademarks. They cannot be used without explicit written permission. Death Valley Cable Company is a division of digmyguitar.com, also a trademark and property of Death Valley Cable Company and the digmyguitar company and digmyguitar.com group of companies. All rights reserved.
All verbiage and ideas, implied or actual, on this web site are copyright 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 by the Death Valley Cable Company. You cannot take photos from this site and use them on Cousin Ernie's best poodle joke web site or any other web site. Under U.S. and international copyight laws, you also cannot take a recognizable snippet of this web site and use it to promote some idea of yours that you think very important. We will find these copyright infractions and prosecute.
The guitars on this web site were heavily customized by digmyguitar.com.