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Custom Cable DIY Supplier List

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hey everyone.  Im new to head-fi.org and I am really keen to get into some DIY projects making custom cables.  I'd like to get some opinions on things like Paracord vs Teflon covers and where to purchase them, ideal diameters or any other general measurements that people have discovered.  

 

Am I understanding correctly that people are sleeving their cables in some type of hollow paracord instead of teflon 'snakeskin'?

 

Also any macgyver-esque tips or tricks people have discovered always interest me :)

post #2 of 13

Look through the DIY Cable Gallery.  Most people who make their own cables lurk there and everything you are asking has been covered. 

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks Fraggler, I appreciate it.  I took an extensive look through there before actually creating an account.  I did see some people mention Paracord and even go as far as to link 1, maybe 2 suppliers for it.  

 

However I did not see things like why use paracord over teflon, or what diameters to use or the who's hows and whys that I am really after.  Therefore instead of considering this thread redundant I would rather consider it a more detailed look at the DIY specifics.  

 

Not to mention the fact that the DIY thread is about the size of a National Library and far less organized.  Its pretty counterproductive looking through 76 pages of responses and having to skip 5 out of 6 posts that say things like "I HAS A HEADPHONES, A FRIEND MADE MY CABLES THEY ROCK".

 

Know what I mean?

post #4 of 13

Completely agree. I´ve a fair amount of searching myself, I´ve found things like navships, but I´m having trouble finding any specifics for wire gauge, strand over core, who has what, what plugs are easy for beginners to work with, where one can get diy connectors for westone cables. I´ve have found ALL kinds of info and different ways to braid or weave the cable, I´ve seen names thrown around very often, but googles on the name don´t always turn up what I´m looking for.

Having a sticky or two for all the suppliers of DIY parts and and guides would make this sort of thing that much easier.

post #5 of 13
Fair enough. I'm working on a DIY cable guide. I will include a vendor list as well.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

Yeah cool.  I've read a lot about weaving and braiding as well but that can actually create resonance.  I think the best bet for a 4 or 5 wire custom cable for IEMs is to leave your wires loose and sleeve them in something like paracord or teflon snakeskin.  covers functionality and looks all at once.  the braiding can look cool but ultimately i think a nice robust flexible sleeve is the best bet.  

 

 

There is an extensive guide in the DIY section that is pretty helpful.  The guy links all kinds of connectors and stuff but his link to wire and cable seemed to be broken yesterday.

 

The main challenges I need to tackle to kick off my DIY project and expand my knowledge are:

 

  • Sleeving
  • Flexible Heatshrink solutions
  • and a way to keep the little bit stiff but pliable over the ear.
  • where is everyone getting these cool Y splitters!!?!?!?!?

 

Aside from opening my own fabrication warehouse...

 

Sourcing connectors and cable is just a matter of getting some specs and looking around.  Personally, I just bought some of the DIY stuff from Toxic*Cables ebay store along with a few generic parts from local retailers (pro's to being in the asia/pac region are that stuffs pretty easy to find.  con's to being in the asia/pac region are the quality of said parts is usually sub-par).

 

I'm far more curious about the ergonomics and efficient assembly methods.  I believe if you're into DIY already you don't need an entire thread teaching you how to use a soldering iron and whether or not to use rosin-core solder or not.  And things like where to buy the best solder sucker... lol.


Edited by Crews - 5/6/13 at 4:38pm
post #7 of 13

I don't know much about sleeving, I've never used it, but I see most people using 550 paracord 1/8" for the smaller wires going to the headphone, 1/4" paracord for the larger section, bought in bulk either from amazon or ebay.

 

I also get my heatshrink from ebay it's much cheaper, I got some from radioshack, but you can get it cheap on ebay, the clear sizes and black are my fav.  There's also the nylon mesh like here: http://www.homegrownaudio.com/nylon-mesh-1-8/, I don't like it as well, it's stiffer and rougher not soft feeling like the paracord.

 

I've never used any kind of ear guide around the ear so I can't help you, if you look at some brands like Toxic Cables they don't use it either..

 

http://www.avoutlet.com/index.php?dispatch=products.view&product_id=4514  Here's a link to a viablue Y splitter..I usually just use clear heatshrink and a wood ball that I've drilled a hole through..

 

Toxic Cables Wire is my favorite, though there's also DHC, I'm going to look into using mogami or canare on a future project just because I never have before..

post #8 of 13
The paracord I'm planning on using for my sleeving project isn't 550, it's called Type 1 or Accessory or Vest Cord.

I've gotten several 50' hanks from SupplyCaptain.com and it works really well for 22-26AWG wires.

The wire I'm using is coming out of Canare Star Quad with the rubber outer sleeve stripped off. Others have also used Mogami W2893 or similar (I can't remember the other model number off the top of my head).

I'm getting a custom Y split for my Grados from YewAudio.com as well. Clint does great work and is really helpful when I've had questions.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks for that KimChee,

 

Very helpful.  I like that Viablue splitter.  I like almost all Viablue stuff to be honest.  I live in Australia and i contacted their local rep but he doesnt carry anything im after :(  Guess ill have to order it from the EU.

 

Good shout on the sleeving though.  I noticed Toxic Cables wasnt using stiffeners either.

 

 I thought maybe for those who were interested, a short piece of thin solder or a solid piece of scrap copper trapped under a short piece of heatshrink near the drivers would work well to hold shape around the ear....  

 

 ...Although I am beginning to wonder if they're necessary at all.

 

 I like your idea of the wooden ball, Frank seems to do that too.  I ended up ordering my wire from Frank as well.  It was just easier... although I did end up opting for the copper over the silver after reading that impurities were very common in silver and could cause them to perform worse than copper overall.  Plus at a difference of .50c per foot, im too poor! hahaha.

post #10 of 13

Actually, to be honest I got the drill a hole through those wooden pieces idea from Frank.  From the wires around the earguide I've seen it seems they use a thing wire going in the heatshrink, almost like a paperclip wire, to help keep the wire shape. I've found at least from my personal experience when you wrap the wire around your ear it takes shape and isn't necessary.  I'm a big fan of Toxic wire..all my stuff has toxic wire, most of it DIY cables I made..I have emailed Peter (DHC) with questions before and he is very quick and helpful when I've had questions.  His nucleotide wire is also really good.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crews View Post

Thanks for that KimChee,

 

Very helpful.  I like that Viablue splitter.  I like almost all Viablue stuff to be honest.  I live in Australia and i contacted their local rep but he doesnt carry anything im after :(  Guess ill have to order it from the EU.

 

Good shout on the sleeving though.  I noticed Toxic Cables wasnt using stiffeners either.

 

 I thought maybe for those who were interested, a short piece of thin solder or a solid piece of scrap copper trapped under a short piece of heatshrink near the drivers would work well to hold shape around the ear....  

 

 ...Although I am beginning to wonder if they're necessary at all.

 

 I like your idea of the wooden ball, Frank seems to do that too.  I ended up ordering my wire from Frank as well.  It was just easier... although I did end up opting for the copper over the silver after reading that impurities were very common in silver and could cause them to perform worse than copper overall.  Plus at a difference of .50c per foot, im too poor! hahaha.

post #11 of 13
My first diy for sale
Edited by boyssboyssg - 7/18/13 at 2:53am
post #12 of 13

So a few things:

 

Good/cheap silver wire is a guy on ebay user name is navships. I also buy Neutrik plugs on ebay. As well as paracord. If you want to be fabulous there are lots of colors. I just bought 50ft of black paracord and use that. 

 

As far as heatshrink is concerned I bought the tube kit from HF for a couple bucks. Works well. 


Edited by mvrk10256 - 7/18/13 at 9:41am
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by mvrk10256 View Post

So a few things:

 

Good/cheap silver wire is a guy on ebay user name is navships. I also buy Neutrik plugs on ebay. As well as paracord. If you want to be fabulous there are lots of colors. I just bought 50ft of black paracord and use that. 

 

As far as heatshrink is concerned I bought the tube kit from HF for a couple bucks. Works well. 

Navships sells silver plated wire, not pure silver.  Important distinction for people to keep in mind.

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