All the Rock Stars Need Divine Noise’s Cables

Every cable is made and cut to order; there’s nothing just “in stock.”

Yo La Tengo bassist James McNew performing with Marshall Allen's Ghost Horizons at Solar Myth in Philadelphia, Pa., Jan. 28, 2024. (Jason Cohen)

Anyone who has seen Wilco, Yo La Tengo, Spoon or Portugal. The Man in concert has also seen the instrument cables made by Portland’s Divine Noise. And anyone who has bought them—either online or at a favorite music store—got the exact same product as the rock stars, made by the exact same person.

“There’s not a Divine Noise cable out there that I haven’t built,” company founder Gil Divine says. “Every single one. If it says ‘Divine Noise’ on it, I made it.”

A longtime guitar tech for Yo La Tengo as well as The National, The White Stripes and Lucinda Williams, Divine started out doing instrument and amp repair on the side when he wasn’t on the road. But he also wanted to get off the road, and when he met his future wife, Nicole, the time felt right. The couple now owns and runs Divine Noise together in Southeast Portland, with local indie-rock great Joanna Bolme as their sole (part-time) employee. Every cable is made and cut to order; there’s nothing just “in stock.”

Divine Noise cables sound good—with “a distinct warmth,” Divine says—but even more than that, they are reliable.

“As rural Alaskan kids, we are not easy on gear to begin with,” says Portugal. The Man frontman John Gourley. “Divine Noise can take the abuse of the road. Special bonus that they are a massive part of our little community in Portland. How fucking cool is it to be able to drive over to DN headquarters and sit down together?”

The company sometimes matches the colors and shapes of the cables to its clients: PTM’s pink cable was inspired by the band’s “Tank Dog” logo character, and Divine Noise made a purple cable for Prince. Yo La Tengo still uses the exact same bright orange cables after nearly 10 years and hundreds of shows.

“I know that when [a cable] leaves me, it’s gonna last forever,” Divine says. “And that’s probably why so many bands trust us.”

See the rest of 2024′s Reasons to Love Portland here!

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