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Most musicians take the magic of cables for granted; German innovators KLOTZ, however, do not.

The company, founded in 1979, is rather young in comparison to many MI suppliers, but it has covered an overwhelming amount of territory in just under 40 years; 130 countries’ worth of territory, to be exact. Initially named KLOTZ Electric and started by two brothers in the late 1970s, KLOTZ has adapted with the times to become synonymous with quality cables. Peep into Wembley Stadium in London, for instance, and you might just see their moniker on the venue’s cables.

Frederic Kromberg, who has been with the company since 1999, now works as the director of international sales, and René Greil has been with the company for four years and works on product management and artist relations at the company. Both gentlemen represent the company in numerous ways, from working with artists to overseeing affairs all over the globe. And for a company like KLOTZ, those responsibilities stack up quickly. Luckily, the two employees (along with the rest of the company) are always up for a little bit of growth and a challenge.

“We really concentrate on this business, which means we live cables, we smell it, we eat it, we taste it, we do everything,” Kromberg says. “This is our daily thing we do.”

40 Years of Growth

KLOTZ may have seemed like a very different company when Kromberg joined in 1999; the company mainly worked within Europe and was only starting to go abroad. Now, KLOTZ cables are an international standard for quality. Kromberg, for instance, oversees sales in Europe, South America, the United States, and the Middle East.

“In the course of 40 years, the whole company has grown steadily and regularly from a very small activity – which was basically only the assembly of microphone cables and instrument cables for musicians for the local market – and it grew to a multinational company, indeed,” Kromberg says.

While things have expanded significantly for the company, it remains family-owned and run with about 100 staff members in total. The two KLOTZ locations in Germany include both the headquarters on Munich and the company’s factory.

“We have an important footprint worldwide – KLOTZ is present in nearly 130 countries worldwide,” Kromberg says. “Everything grew out of Germany, and then Europe, then spreading the business to other areas of the world. The business grows naturally.”

“It has grown simply over the fact that KLOTZ has a very clear and strong philosophy in terms of delivering the best product at a reasonable price,” Greil adds. “The quality-price relationship with our company are highly appreciated and accepted in the market.”

Tested to Last

Being made in Germany comes with a bit of a reputation, but KLOTZ is always ready to surpass the expectations. Because of their ISO certification, the company is required to test each and every cable before they leave to be distributed, but KLOTZ takes the chore on as a point of pride. In fact, it’s entirely more likely that you’ll lose the cable before it breaks.

“We are a ISO-certified company. We have a quality management system in the company which assures that every single cable, and not just one out of ten in random checks, but every single cable, 100% are being tested, and every cable that is leaving our company works. That’s why we have almost a zero return rate,” says Kromberg.

KLOTZ has a department of three of four people doing quality checks constantly, and the payoff is large – Kromberg says that often customers can rely on their cables for well over a decade. The companies that KLOTZ rents to can go 15 years without a single snafu, and end up choosing to upgrade their cables instead of having to replace broken ones.

“We have people all the time telling us, ‘Yeah, I have a KLOTZ kick instrument cable from you 10-15 years ago, and I’m still using it – it never breaks, it has an excellent sound and its perfect quality,’” Kromberg notes.

“It’s always strict and the best quality for the best price you can get – sound-wise, quality-wise, build-wise - everything. We’re not promising anything we can’t guarantee,” Greil adds.

The duo say that a large factor in the quality of the cables is the fact that KLOTZ runs its own factory, instead of outsourcing the work. By doing this, the company remains in complete control of the quality of parts and production.

“We are a manufacturer, and we control our manufacturing processes and our assembly processes,” says Kromberg. “Above all, it’s the consistent quality, the consistency in delivering quality products which match with all the features we are telling our customer. You’re going to buy a cable for almost your lifetime – whether it’s the instrument or the musician itself, that’s another thing!”

A KLOTZ Family Affair

As a part of KLOTZ’s process for delivering cables of the utmost quality, the cable company has partnered with various bands and artists to create a system of feedback and support that ensures KLOTZ cables serve musicians as well as possible. The program started in the late 1990s when KLOTZ was looking to manufacturing a signature series, and took T.M. Stevens on board to develop a cable with KLOTZ. The cable was introduced at Musikmesse in 1999 and was an immediate success.

“(He) developed with us a cable that responded best to his needs as a bass player,” says Kromberg.

Since then, acts like Andy Vargas (of Santana), Three Doors Down, the Jessica Lynn Band, and the Nashville Cats have all joined the KLOTZ family – a name that KLOTZ has chosen for a very specific reason. KLOTZ sees the partnerships as a give and take relationship where the artists get quality cables, but also offer useful feedback in return.

“We need brand ambassadors out there to build our brand, and on the other hand, small musicians who are spreading the word and getting us feedback,” Greil says.

KLOTZ Manifest Destiny

The most recent aim of KLOTZ’s impending world domination has been spreading more into the United States. In comparison to Germany, the biggest MI market in Germany, the US market is four to five times bigger. It’s a leap for KLOTZ, one that they are taking in small steps.

“Rather than doing big steps at once and staying where we are for a while, we keep on doing small steps but constantly and regularly, all the time. This is at all levels – whether it is developing of new products due to changing technology, this is a constant process in the company to be innovative and to come out with the newest cable solutions to all the new gear,” Kromberg states. “This is one very dominant part of our company.”

Music Link Corporation now works as KLOTZ’s U.S. distributor, boasting locations in San Francisco Bay and Knoxville. In the quick year that KLOTZ has been working with the company, there are already 60 to 70 KLOTZ dealers and stockists in the country.

“They have taken KLOTZ on board to really develop the KLOTZ cable business in the MI market US. I have to say, within a year’s time, this has been done very successfully,” Kromberg adds.

While cables don’t advance much as far as trends go, KLOTZ makes an effort to keep up with modern instrument technology. Their dedication to quality however – cables with high copper content, good shielding – remains the same.

“We are not ones to set trends, I think, the trends come out of the gear,” says Kromberg. “The basic idea of being a copper cable between your guitar and amp is always the same and stays the same.”

Access KLOTZ from your home at www.themusiclink.net or www.klotz-ais.com

 



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