I’ve been designing cables for, well – a very long time. I started in 1992 with my first company, Illuminati, introducing a very precise digital cable to the world. That company’s intellectual property was ultimately sold in 1997 to a colleague, and then I went on to cofound Stereovox. I designed many interesting (and some award winning) products at Stereovox, and then again at Stereolab – but all of these products were dependent upon my being able to subcontract the raw-cable manufacturing work to an industrial partner.
Black Cat Cable was going to be different.
Black Cat Cable was based on a handful of innovations that were developed over the course of about four or five years. Most importantly, the ability for me to insulate my own conductors with materials that were at least equal, and possibly superior to insulating materials ordinarily found in high performance audiophile cables was critical to the mission of bringing the means of production into my own workshop. The development of my insulation process made this possible, and that development led to the design of the original Morpheus (which later evolved to NeoMorpheus).
More cable prototypes emerged, more products introduced. LectraLine, Master Reference, etc. It has been a continuous history of incremental improvements and product development since that time.
Black Cat Cable is, in some ways, the story of my emancipation from the industrial approach and my discovery and exploration of the artisanal approach. Because of these unique capabilities, I’ve been able to do things that others - locked into the industrial model - aren’t able to do. I love being directly involved with the manufacture of my products, beginning at the point that they are just a collection of raw materials, to the point that I have packaged them to be sent. It is personal gratifying to me, and this is an unexpectedly delightful benefit of having developed my own processes. When you receive your Black Cat Cable, you’ve gotten an authentic, original product that was created, manufactured, and assembled by me in my moderate workshop.
- I’m not dependent upon industrial subcontractors squeezing out tens of miles of thermoplastic-covered cables … I can make 50 feet of a custom design any time I care to, even at midnight on a Sunday if the mood strikes me.
- I don’t have to sustain a commercial building, either. No employees at this moment, so our overhead is very low.
More importantly, staying artisanal means that I can do something that the big brands cannot do – I can personally build every cable that leaves my workshop. You just can’t get that kind of personal involvement from the creators and founders of the big brands.
I may have a modest business, but I’ve worked hard to achieve this level … it’s an artisanal level of involvement with my products instead of an industrial one. That’s what I think the real high-end of audio is truly about: connecting end users with creative designers who make nice things for people who appreciate nice things.
These are products that are made slowly, intentionally, with a focus on delivering a high quality product that is also a superior technology.
It may have taken me 23+ years to arrive at this moment, through various struggles and mistakes, challenges and successes - but I’m here and I’m happy … and I hope that all of this translates into the kind of lasting and meaningful value that is as important to you as it is to me.
~ Chris Sommovigo Yugawara, Japan January 1, 2016
Black Cat Cable is a wholly-owned brand of High-Fidelity Partners Co. Ltd, located in beautiful Yugawara, JAPAN.