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DIY Cable Questions and Comments Thread

Discussion in 'DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Discussions' started by wje, Aug 10, 2013.
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  1. Matthew420
    I would guess that unless the copper quality differs a lot, the heavier gauge wire will be better. The thin plating of silver isn't going to be able to overcome the fact that the cross-sectional area of 18 AWG is more than twice that of 22.
  2. xtr4

    Quick question; how are the terminations on the TRS plug at the headphone side for the Hifiman 3.5mm plugs? Thanks in advance.

    *credit to WJE for the diagram
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019
  3. jmpsmash
    I have just built 3 different IEM cables:

    - 28AWG copper UPOCC Litz from electro acousti
    - 28AWG silver UPOCC Litz from electro acousti
    - 28AWG silver/gold UPOCC Litz hookup wire bought from soniccraft.

    here are my notes after an hour or so of A/B/C comparison. equipment used is : computer -> Plenue M -> THX AAA 789 -> cable -> Andromeda.

    copper UPOCC: great sound stage. deep. good imaging, warmer, bass is good, but missing deep rumbling bass when compared to the silver
    silver UPOCC: great clarity, forward/bright, sound stage so so, imaging so so, deep rumbling bass
    silver/gold : good upper mid/mid, poor bass definition, a bit muddy in sound, sound stage is so so.

    my favorite right now is actually the copper, silver come second and then the silver/gold.

    i prefer the copper mostly due to being an more realistic listening, the more well formed sound stage and imaging, plus slightly warmer, plus no sacrifice in clarity.

    silver is more direct and forward, but slightly less realistic sound stage and a bit too aggressive make it more fatiguing.

    and I don't know what the heck is wrong with the silver/gold. sounds muddy and didn't do anything well when compared to the other two.

    also for some physical comparison, the silver/gold from sonic craft has a thicker and stiffer jacket. probably due to it being made for hookup wire instead of headphone wire. while the UPOCC from electro acousti has a much softer feel. the 28AWG hookup wire also has a thinner core, which makes me doubt whether it is true 28AWG or not.

    copper, silver, silver/gold. You can see the silver/gold end up more bulky/stiff than the other two.

    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
    hakuzen and legopart like this.
  4. jmpsmash
    Just some facts and thoughts on the authentic or not discussion.

    Whatever electro acousti is selling, they are not Neotech HOOKUP wires, as the physical is not the same as the Neotech hookup wire I got from soniccraft. the soniccraft one has much thicker and stiffer insulation, makes it ergnomically poor when used as IEM cable. probably OK for headphone, but not IEMs.

    The electro acousti ones, they may still be authentic Neotech, they could have contracted specially made headphone/IEM cables as they are very soft and feel like they are designed to be hung from our heads instead of between components. Afterall Neotech is supposed to be very large company that supplies to many high end cable manufacturers. Some use their branded cable as is (look up Art Audio Cables), but other do not and have custom specs. Also, there are UPOCC from Norne, etc. So we cannot outright reject that OEM explanation idea either.

    Regardless, to my ears the electro acousti ones sounds better despite being less exotic composition. I will see if I can stomach the cost to buy some of their Silver/Gold and see if they at least sound the same as the soniccraft ones, but at this point, I am not too keen on it at $15+/meter
    hakuzen likes this.
  5. teknorob23
    Really interesting impressions, was the silver gold the neotech wire? if so i liked this too, but found at this light gauge the extension wasnt great a the bottom end and it was a bit sterile sounding. What stood out listening with Stellias, via FA euphoria, h2 Dac streamer was how holographic the soundstage became, almost unnaturally so at first.

    Your reports on the silver are pretty consistent with what i can hear 28awg wire. i find you need a heavier gauge, minimum 24awg, 22awg being the sweetspot to get the potential out of silver. It sounds way smoother and fuller in heavier weights with amazing control/ dynamism as well as the expected clarity. I suspect the same would be true of the silver/gold, but the 24awg is £65 per metre so i wont be confirming this anytime soon :wink: Copper seems to retain a lot of its characteristics even in lighter gauges, but it might be worth trying the 22awg if you like the copper, as i've found its a real step up in clarity air and controlled low end extension.

    also for some physical comparison, the silver/gold from sonic craft has a thicker and stiffer jacket. probably due to it being made for hookup wire instead of headphone wire. while the UPOCC from electro acousti has a much softer feel. the 28AWG hookup wire also has a thinner core, which makes me doubt whether it is true 28AWG or not.

    Lovely looking builds btw :)
  6. jmpsmash
    @teknorob23 , glad we are in agreement on our assessment. my goal is to establish the baseline, trying to understand the sound signature of each of the 28AWG wires standalone, and see how doubling or blending will improve (or screws up) the sound. unfortunately these experiments are very costly!

    also these are done with IEMs as the experiments and availability and costs only make sense for IEM thickness. So I won't go much more than 8 core. maybe a 10-12 but the costs will start to add up really fast.

    given that copper sounded good, I plan to make a 8 core copper and a 8 core copper/silver next. and maybe experiment with that copper/silver blend one.
  7. jmpsmash
    yes, they are the ones from soniccraft. Neotech silver/gold UPOCC Litz (they didn't say litz in the description, but I was able to tell when soldering)

    Thanks! My first attempt with IEM cables and started to get a grip of it now.
  8. teknorob23
    Good call and yes it does become expensive not mention addictive. I've settled back at 22awg 4 core UPOCC silver as the best for my set up, but i did get up to 12 cores with 8 x 24 awg silver and 4 x 24awg copper, which had one of the most hard hitting signatures of any combination, but it was ridiculously unwieldy. I also tried a 12 with 4 x copper, 4 x silver and 4x silver gold and that was one of the few cables i've made with UPOCC that wasnt a success sonically. I've reused a lot of the same wire in different short length build which does keep the cost down a bit and sold off any surplice cables. Working with headphones makes life a lot easier. I dont envy you having to work with tiny IEM connectors, mind you will be soldering ninja by the time you finish!
  9. jmpsmash
    lol. I have been soldering stuff since I was 10. the only issue now is that the eyes are starting to age and I need reading glasses to see stuff now.
  10. teknorob23
    snap, in fact i'm even on to using a magnifying lamp. Just love getting older!
    jmpsmash and Matthew420 like this.
  11. IgeNeLL
    From the appearance, it is likely that the silvergold is Neotech and it is not Liszt.
    The signature of silvergold is somehow quick and short. But the speed bass, as well as bass decay, is the special signature.
    For neotech cable :) cryo option will make a clear difference in the dynamic and details.
    However, 28AWG is too small for me.
    I have some Gold Plated Copper, 26 AWG, Cryo available. PM me if you have interested in buying. :)
    jmpsmash likes this.
  12. ElixBerd
    Really interesting, thank you for the report! By the way, what is your take on:
    1) Thinner AWG vs. thicker AWG overall?
    2) More strands of thinner diameter wire vs. less strangs of thicker diameter wire?
    3) 4 cores vs. 8 cores vs. more cores?
    4) Mixing wires of different diameter in the cable?
    5) Litz vs. non-litz?
    6) Braiding vs. twisting?

    That's a lot of questions, I know :D You may not answer to all of them (if any at all). Thanks!
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2019
  13. jmpsmash
    Those are some really good questions that I also want to answer.

    Unfortunately, to get to the answers costs a lot of money. Or what some ppl call, tuition fee :ksc75smile: . I plan to slowly get there, a N-way comparison between various wire configurations. Just cannot justify throwing down so much dough at one go. Right now I have:

    4-core 28AWG UPOCC copper Litz
    4-core 28AWG UPOCC silver Litz
    4-core 28AWG UPOCC Au/Ag Litz

    I have material for:

    8-core 28AWG UPOCC copper litz
    4+4-core 28AWG UPOCC copper+silver Litz
    2x 4-core 28AWG UPOCC copper non-litz

    so that should answer:

    3) 4 cores vs. 8 cores vs. more cores?
    5) Litz vs. non-litz?
    6) Braiding vs. twisting?

    as well as answering:

    a) hybrid 4+4core silver+copper vs. 8-core copper

    Meanwhile, @hakuzen 's list is wonderful resource. https://www.head-fi.org/threads/resistance-of-cables-pics-comments-and-links.907998/
  14. NiTROAUDiO
    Hey guys I'm new here and I can't afford a high end cable as I take care of my disabled mother and want to build my own cables for my m1060 and hifiman sundara. Can anyone tell me what I will need to do this. Thanks you.
  15. imas69
    What is your budget, m1060 are 2.5mm jacks but the sundara are 3.5mm jacks, are you building for both.
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