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DIY Cables -- Anyone Here Use Them? - Page 3

post #31 of 48

Finally ..

got a quote from Anixter. For 100 feet it is $1.02 per foot and for 1000 feet it is $0.92 per foot. I'm willing to coordinate it if people want to participate. Let me know.
post #32 of 48

Anyone else interested ...

I've heard from videoshielded already. Anyone else interested? Please let me know by Wednesday so I can get this wrapped up. Thanks.
post #33 of 48
What kind of connectors do you plan on using with the wires, and how much would those cost (and from where)?

I might be interested, but not sure.
post #34 of 48
CONNECTORS: Many people over at AA use the Parts Express Dayton Audio RCA's, typically the locking, but sometimes the nonlocking. They're about $10 for 4 (locking), $8 for 4 (nonlocking). I've used both and like them. The nonlocking ones are easier to solder.

Canare F-10s are another good choice, available from Markertek for about $11-12 for four. I like them, too. They work great and have a very unusual look.

Moving up the price chain a little, Joh Risch's favorite is the Cardas RCA's, available from the audiophile parts suppliers. Never tried them myself.
post #35 of 48

I made my interconnects out of 22 Gauge Teflon Insulated Cables. I braided so it looks a lot like KimberKable. There are some imperfection in the first sets of interconnects, but the capacitance is all time low and that makes them sound very transparent.

I made the second one to accomodate 3 conductors for my pocket amp. This requires braiding 4 pieces of wire and that needs a little thinking. But this one sound a bit better than my previous interconnects which was 4 conductor twisted. Also, the cables are more solidly together and does not require tapes to hold together. This makes it have only teflon insulation and thus good low dielectric constant.

You can get Mil-Spec Teflon Cables for very very low price if you know where to look for. ( Pssst ... Mil surplus stores! ) I think this is most economical yet high performance solution to your long lasting cable problems. I got 2500 feet of this stuff for 40 somthing. Belden is simply too much for my pocket money.

Also, Connectors must be gold plated and have teflon insulation (if you care that much ) These again can be obtained afforably. It is in my experience that Brand Name Connectors cost whole a lot more for very little more. I like generic brand. Hey, it ain't 20th Century anymore, shabby sweat shop can produce pretty good quality parts. Again surplus stores are best bet.

Surplus stores are on internet and can be easily searched. Or you can try bidding at Ebay.

post #36 of 48

Cables for Specific Applications


This is what I think when I building cables.

1. If we were to use this for analog audio. I would use Braided Wires like I just told you. They have low capacitance. You can get this type of capacitance with Coax cables but they tend to get much more expensive.

2. Speaker wires handle analog audio, but this thing has to handle higher current. Do consider using fatter wires. Note doubling up smaller wires are fine too. Just need a little thinking ...

Personally I do not believe we need heavy shielding for the above applications. I have operated audio devices in Tokyo ... Radio Busy City ... and had no problem with shielding. Radio signals cannot cause enough current in the wire to be significant. All the RF problems comes from the amplifiers picking up RFs. Thus, you should concentrate shielding on your amplifer modules.

You must have heard some crazies using a ceramic pylons to hold up the speaker wires above ground. They probably does very little. Electrons will jump to "earth" if they are in high potential state. However, I assume speakers don't run at 15000V. Effectively, the result of pylons are very minimum.

3. Coax cables are not really cables. They are what we call waveguides. They are designed to handle very specific frequencies. You will get efficient propegation at harmonic frequencies of the cable. (Note there are multiple harmonics.) So I believe they are less suited for differential signals/audio analog signals.

4. Coax cables can handle wonderfully for certain specific frequencies. So this is good for DAC digital signals which have somewhat singular signals. Since it attenuates non-harmonic freqs, it will lower RF pickup more effecitively. On top of that they are shielded. RF on digital signal can be significant. Note digital signal has already lost some integrities during the recording stage. Any audio crazies know that no analog audio can be completely converted to digital "exactly". Getting RF there can degrade the signal on top of that.

Please note the loss of integrities in analog -> digital conversion is NOT major problem. If you are worrying about this, you are not audio enthusiast; you are audio-crazy / audiophiles. (Believe be this is not supposed to mean pleasantment.

5. Nothing is better insulator than a vacuum. ... We cannot have portable vacuums like in StarTrek. So go for Teflon.

6. Signal travel at the surface of conductors. Electrons likes to repell each other, so they try to stay far away as possible according to the Laws of Physics. Only place to go is not to spead out in the conductor but to go to the surface of the conductor. So I choose cables with bigger surface area. In other words, I choose stranded conductor wires. Solid conductors will have smaller surface area.

Personally, I did not hear much difference. But I did it anyways for good measure. Only the actual good thing from doing this was the bendability But then bendability is very important for cables. Hopefully someone hear the difference. ...

7. Lastly, Connector contacts must be gold or tin plated. Gold does not tarnish and stay very conductive. Tin plating can go very little on oxydation. You can get gold plated parts for almost the same price as non-gold plated parts, maybe thanks to Russian Gold.


post #37 of 48
That was a very nice post Tomo. I agree with all technical statements.
post #38 of 48
daniel: It did such a switchbox myself a few years ago, too, but I built it right into a small tv-set. I used the kind of components you mentioned, and it worked fine - to no surprise. Maybe you know the cheap switch boxes for switching mouse, keyboard and monitor between to computers? They use rather cheap rotary switches, but the quality doesn't really degrade earlier than between 800x600/75Hz to 1024x768/75Hz. That's already way above 35 MHz pixel clock - composite video needs ~ 5 MHz. So just try to break up the individual shieldings as late as possible, and you'll be quite happy with your diy-switchbox, I'm sure.

Greetings from Munich!

Manfred / lini

P.S.: And, yes, I use diy-cables, too. You can search it all in the archives - as soon as Cmoy has reopened Headwize.
post #39 of 48
I bought a 100' roll of the Beldon 89259 and have made a few pairs of cables from it using a variety of good quality teflon insulated connectors and silver solder. I'm not sure how much I have left, probably quite a bit, so I could probably sell some if people want to try it out. My impression is that they are pretty decent, much better than the stuff that comes with equipment and better than some commercial cables but not quite as refined as some others. They are pretty detailed without being harsh. I've also tried Chris VH silver cables using 28 gauge high purity teflon coated silver wire. These were made with the wires wrapped around a 1/4" teflon tubing which makes them not very flexible. They sound very transparent but bright, even after considerable break-in with a 10v squarewave. They don't really match my systems but might be right for someone.
post #40 of 48

been there done that, silver is good

I made my own speaker cables, and IC's out of silver. The design was "lifted" from XLO cables, i made some variations on the core, and then changed the spacing. Very similar to a cable at tnt-audio. I use 4N silver. Sounds excellent. Recently i got some alpha core at half price, $75 for pure silver foil cables (1m pair) was hard to beat. They sound exccellent also. They are sharper, but dont go as deep in the bass as my homebuilt ones. I would say the differnce between the two is like the differnce between the telfunken 12ax7 and the tungsram 12ax7.
post #41 of 48
These cables kick ass: http://www.geocities.com/venhaus1/di...rconnects.html

I've made many of them and just can't live without the detail of silver ICs anymore. Compared to commercial mass marketted products, I think you have to spend around $300/0.5m to match them. To make these, I estimate that I was spending around $50 per cable (usually 1m cables or longer), but that cost is highly dependent on your choice of connectors.

I also have purchased Cat Cables off their site, which are almost identical to the venhaus cables, but have teflon around each internal silver wire and have three wires as opposed to two in the venhaus recipe. I'm still trying to decide if I can hear a difference, though. I suspect my equipment isn't good enough to reveal any differences if some do in fact exist.


post #42 of 48
Thread Starter 

I love it when....

....old threads like this are brought back from the depths of the archives. I'm going to scan some of the old, interesting threads and maybe pull some up from the cellar.
post #43 of 48
I use 30 gauge 99.9999% (yah, six 9s) solid silver for signal-carrying wire and 99.99% 30 gauge coated copper wire for return wire. Air-dielecticed w/ about 1 inch in distance in wide clear Scoth packing tapes. Ends threaded w/ ferrite and solder is 4% silver. Jacks are Cardas. This way, you don't have to thread uncoated silver into Teflon tube, a process that is pain! I got the idea from reading Soundstage and brochure for Kimber Kable. Very easy and inexpensive to make.

The result? I'm yet to find better cables from my local dealer for my all tube system. Caution: this cable is high resolving towards bright end. If you have edgy SS gears, be careful! I used to use it on Creek OBH-11SE and became fatigue in just about half hour (I'm a very intensive listener).
post #44 of 48
Tomo: Great report However A Coax cable is more related to a transmissionline than to a wave Guide. High frequencies tend to travle on the surface, while low frequencies tend to be in the Center. On the Other hand high Voltage tends to also like the serface regardless of frequency. Regarding the Kimber Like Braid. i use DIY interconects made from Kimber AG and no cover or Shield. For the Interconect between the Portable CD player and amp i usse the Kimber 3TC teflon Copper as maby the Portable will not Benifit from silver but i havent tried it yet so it could very well benifit from silver. Gold is nice But if the Conector is removed and replaced alot like a Headphone Plug the Gold tends to wear off.
post #45 of 48
If by coax you mean the type used for cable TV, your local AT&T cable company sells it for $.05 a foot.
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