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SPC vs. solid silver

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hey guys, I'm thinking of making my first DIY ipod line out dock. The thing is, I'm not sure what kind of cable would be best for it. SPC can be had for super cheap on ebay through navships, but solid silver is much much more expensive. Is SPC a lot easier to work with, in terms of flexibility? Would solid silver not be a good idea for use in portable applications because of its frailty? I know that the ALO bling bling dock uses solid silver, so they must be somewhat durable enough for portable use, correct? Either way, would you guys say that the premium that solid silver wire has over SPC is worth the sound difference? Note that I may also want to use some left over cable for a future recabling of my HD580's, so would solid silver be too stiff for practical use, therefore pointing to SPC instead? Thanks guys.
post #2 of 23
For a first-time DIY project, you should go with the cheaper SPC wires. You can afford to 'waste' more of them with numerous attempts. Pure silver is more expensive to waste this way and you have to insulate the metal (Ebay SPC wires already come with teflon insulation). For flexibility, get wires no thicker than 24AWG - this is what determines flexibility, not the material type.

Cheers!
post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorander View Post
For a first-time DIY project, you should go with the cheaper SPC wires. You can afford to 'waste' more of them with numerous attempts. Pure silver is more expensive to waste this way and you have to insulate the metal (Ebay SPC wires already come with teflon insulation). For flexibility, get wires no thicker than 24AWG - this is what determines flexibility, not the material type.

Cheers!
Thanks for the advice. Interesting though, about the insulation. For the pure silver wire, how would one go about insulating it?
post #4 of 23
Teflon tubing is what most people typically use for insulation, though cotton can be used as well.
post #5 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by skyline889 View Post
Teflon tubing is what most people typically use for insulation, though cotton can be used as well.
A question re. using teflon tubing for silver wires: how do you determine the correct tubing size to use? For example, what tubing size would you use to insulate 24AWG wires? I've always been interested in getting some silver wires for experimentation purposes but this whole insulation/tubing issue is discouraging me away from it.

Cheers!
post #6 of 23
well often places that sell solid silver wire will help you with this, but all wire will have a gague (AWG) or at least an outside diameter. (OD) if you get say 24AWG wire then get 24AWG tubing, or if you want an easier time to put it on get 22AWG. Or, you just want a tubing with a slightly (emphasis on slightly) larger ID then you're wire's OD.


There are also many places that sell solid silver already in teflon or cotton insulation. Take a look at homegrown's selection.



I also suggest SPC for your first project
post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
Looks like SPC will be the way to go then. Just curious though, if I wanted to use copper wiring, from let's say some Canare Starquad cable, could i take off all the shielding, tubing, and just get the wires themselves for use in a really portable setup like a ipod line out? Also, for the SPC, will I need to use silver bearing solder, or will any standard solder that I get at radioshack be fine?
post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by joefosho315 View Post
Looks like SPC will be the way to go then. Just curious though, if I wanted to use copper wiring, from let's say some Canare Starquad cable, could i take off all the shielding, tubing, and just get the wires themselves for use in a really portable setup like a ipod line out?
Sure you can.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joefosho315 View Post
Also, for the SPC, will I need to use silver bearing solder, or will any standard solder that I get at radioshack be fine?
Standard solder will work just fine, sure silver bearing might work a little better, but since it's harder to work with, you'll have more trouble using it on those tiny IPOD connector pins.
post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 
Great, thanks for the reply. For future reference however, when I do get my hands on some solid silver wire, should I expect that the wire is much more stiff and easy to break? Would they be unsuitable for ipod line out or headphone recabling purposes?
post #10 of 23
All solid wire will be stiffer and easier to break by flexing the cable (during normal use). I think silver is slightly more tempermental than copper in this respect.
Usually, when recabling portable items or if you are making cables where flexibility is a must, then you should use stranded copper. The smaller strands will be more flexible and less prone to breaking.
If you are making an interconnect (such as for the Ipod), you probably won't be flexing the interconnect too much. Headphone cables, however, are a different story since they are subjected to much more flexing. That being said there are many head-fiers that use silver cable in their headphones, so the choice is really up to you!
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by joefosho315 View Post
Looks like SPC will be the way to go then. Just curious though, if I wanted to use copper wiring, from let's say some Canare Starquad cable, could i take off all the shielding, tubing, and just get the wires themselves for use in a really portable setup like a ipod line out? Also, for the SPC, will I need to use silver bearing solder, or will any standard solder that I get at radioshack be fine?
If all you want are some copper wires, CAT5 (ethernet) cables will provide you with good-quality 24AWG copper wires. I've used them a few times and really like them.

Cheers!
post #12 of 23
I do what soloz2 does for teflon tubing, usually go 2 gauge smaller (larger diameter).
post #13 of 23
I didn't like the sound of anything made with SPC stranded. I made a headphone cable for my K271S with 24 awg from navships and broke it in for well over 100 hours. The cable I made with Starquad sounded better. The wire in Starquad is 24 awg stranded copper and not silver plated or tinned.

I also made a pair of interconnects with SPC stranded from the same lot and they sounded alright, but when I changed the wire to 20 awg stranded copper not silver plated or tinned the sound came alive.

I would start with canare L-4E6S from markertek @ $0.42 a foot. That gives you 4 very flexable 24 awg stranded copper wires and a shield.

But that's just my opinion, some people love the sound of spc
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorander View Post


Quote:



Originally Posted by joefosho315 View Post

Looks like SPC will be the way to go then. Just curious though, if I wanted to use copper wiring, from let's say some Canare Starquad cable, could i take off all the shielding, tubing, and just get the wires themselves for use in a really portable setup like a ipod line out? Also, for the SPC, will I need to use silver bearing solder, or will any standard solder that I get at radioshack be fine?


If all you want are some copper wires, CAT5 (ethernet) cables will provide you with good-quality 24AWG copper wires. I've used them a few times and really like them.


Cheers!

Wow, so you are using UTP Network cable for the head phone recabling ?
I never knew that it is possible :-)
post #15 of 23

Another option that works well for headphones recabling, because it's light and flexible while robust, is a wire cut from an old computer mouse. In a portable setup, those details matter.

 

Disclaimer: I don't believe anymore that cables sound any different, if properly built.

 

BTW: nice thread revival...

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