DIY IEM/Headphone Cables
Jun 7, 2023 at 9:57 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 61


Headphoneus Supremus
Dec 9, 2016
This thread is created as to keep things more focused hopefully since there is a thread about DIYing cables in general. Anything about DIYing IEM/Headphone cables, including plugs, wires, sleeves, sheaths, solder, etc., and also different techniques and shortcuts may be discussed here. Here I have copied my post from the Mid price IEM cable thread as to initiate the thread. Happy DIYing!
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Jun 7, 2023 at 9:58 PM Post #2 of 61


Some DIY materials for this mid range cable because I think I can solder better. This is the Hakugei Gray Dragon (Wrong Translation I believe, it should have been called Green Dragon but well the cable is in gray anyway. The wire is 3.6mm dia. coaxial with cable centre core made of 6n copper and outer shielding made of gold silver palladium alloy. I am going cheap so I just bought some AEC connectors and I will use Mundorf Silvergold solder.

This cable is such a challenge for me to make...and it's finally here:
The plug's inner cavity is super tight for the thickness of the cable and I consider a miracle that I actually managed to squeez two 3.6mm dia. cable inside a 6.5mm dia. plug with all the solder and UV glue (I had to use UV glue coz it's just impossible to fit a heat shrink tube with just 0.35mm wall thickness.)

The sound - honestly I have never heard something like this before, not with my other 50 cables. The background is super black the bass is super punchy and there's a lot of reverb with no piercing but sparkle-ly treble. The sparkles are rounded rather than being dry and there's a lot of information to be heard. Yes the sound is coloured and mostly in the bass in the way of being more bouncy and higher in quantity but very controlled.
Just "upgraded" the Gray Dragon with more expensive connectors. I also used Mundorf Supreme instead of Silver/gold. The plug is Bispa bsp t445 061ng8 (Made in Japan) and the IEM side connector is of course the Tomy Audiophile system in black colour. Due to the thickness this is probably one of the most difficult cable to fit inside the plug enclosure, even with a plug with a 8mm opening. And the Mundorf Supreme might just be a bit too bright so the focus is shifted a bit from the mids to the treble and I kind of regret it, lol.

Edit: I regretted so much so I swapped the Bispa plug with the old AEC plug and it's the plug sounded not right not the solder.

I apologize for my boring updates but I have to say there is so much sound in the plug so my current experiment focus has shifted from wires to plugs. Tested a few plugs and settled with this, for now. This Eidolic Rhodium Plated TRRR plug has very poorly made insulation plastic but the Gray Dragon sounds the best with it. I am sure it's a very bad idea to test plugs with the Gray Dragon becoz it's just so darn difficult to fit inside the enclosure but anyway here it is. I probably will test my incoming plugs with the Golden Phoenix instead.
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Jun 7, 2023 at 9:59 PM Post #3 of 61
yo, my new wires, plugs and splitters have finally arrived. I bought a few plugs this time just to test out how they affect the sound and I will purchase a few more premium Bispa plugs soon. These splitters are all paracord charms made of titanium (except the one with a carbon fibre ring). Cables always sound better when they look better, right?
The wire is called Gaea manufactured by Hakugei (again) which I believe is their best pure copper wire (18awg 7N). They are surprisingly heavy in the hand so I assume there is a lot of copper inside.
Top row - Tomy Audiophile System, Hakugei generic gold plated plug, Furutech (MIJ) Rhodium Plated Plug, Red Copper Gold Plated Plug with a fake Furutech barrel (rmb, most of our plugs are made of brass with a rather low conductivity), Acrolink Gold Plated plug, Eidolic Gold Plated Plug
Bottom Row - Gaea wires, Hakugei splitter, Titanium splitter x 3 (I actually bought 2 more sets of splitters but they are not in the photo)

EDIT: the Red Copper plug is actually Plated with Gold and Palladium
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Jun 7, 2023 at 10:01 PM Post #4 of 61
I have the enclosure of my best XINHS cable opened up and I saw this common problem with factory made cables - they have nice molded insulation for the wires but the top ring (in this case the L+) is usually barely soldered to the corresponding wire so it's only being held in place by the mold and it will come off if abused. Swapped the plug with AEC and the stage definitely opened up and the lower end is less boomy. No obvious resolution improvement thou.
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Jun 7, 2023 at 10:02 PM Post #5 of 61

I also want to show the Golden Phoenix cable with Bispa Gold Plated Plug. ATM it is the best cable I own with the largest stage, best resolution and separation and most importantly stage height, with enough colouration for the vocal and a flat frequency response. It's the synergy between the wire and the plug so if you pay big money for your cable, do expect it to come with a good plug and do expect the cable is tuned with the plug. A large part of the rough edges and sibilance and also the colouration of the bottom end (slow coloured bass) in the sound are due to the plug and the synergy between the cable. It's a vital component of your cable and really don't go too cheap. I compared it to the Fifty Strings Hunting Hwak I posted a while ago which I thought it had a very large stage and with the right tracks the Golden Phoenix has a stage much larger than the Hwak that I can't even say how much larger the stage is as it is like no stage vs large stage. As always, YMMV.
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Jun 7, 2023 at 10:03 PM Post #6 of 61
Hello, i am Lothar , a new Member, long time lurker. I want to say i absolutly love your work, , a great clean precise job , wow. I am also a diy fan. i did build a lot of Recordingequipment , building ,repairing and modding, fitting pcb s etc.
Two years ago i started to build my first iem 4,4mm 2 pin cables. i have a good weller solder/ desolderstation, bought a welding pot for the litzwire and i have quiet some experience in soldering, helped building big studios , made hundreds if of not thousands of xlr and jack cables. But when i started to build my first iem cable i got in a kind of funny trouble. I destroyed a few 4,4mm Plugs, thought what the hell is going on here, felt like a absolutly beginner. Later it was getting better, it s a very diffrent work than Miccables and such. Concentration, a steady hand , good preparation, the right tools are essential. I agree with the importance of the plugs. At Aliexpress it is very difficult for me to judge the Quality of the plug. I ordered a few different Brands some were ok, sounded ok but there are all magnetic , not much copper inside, probably cheap brass. I also have some good cema electroacusti cables whitch i like , with so called good plugs, paladiumplated, but they are also magnetic. If you are interested i could post some finds and we could discuss about them. I personal like the aeco 4,4mm and 3,5 mm Plug very much. 99 % copper, very good to work with, but for me very difficult to get my hands on. The 3,5mm you can find at Partsconnexion in canada. The 4,4mm i only found at a japanese shop that doesn t ship to germany. The Pentagon ofc 4,4mm taxes 135 Euro for me , that doesn t make sense, pitty. The best low budged Plug so far are the angled ones, solid quality and most important very very good to work with. Besides the quality of the Plug and the solder most important is a flawless and tight fit of the cable to the connector, a perfect solderjoint over the whole contactarea.
Greetings and big respect again for your masterwork.
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Thanks for the kinds words! I am still an absolute beginner and the soldering works being clean or not depends largely on the wire, lol. So there is definitely no masterwork here. I DIY, mod and design a lot because I think that's the best way to learn.

I began with the Gray Dragon I showed earlier with the AEC plug and I feel lucky with the choice. The Gray Dragon is absolutely difficult to solder to the plug due to the thickness and it being coaxial and litz. It would be much easier if the plug was 4 pin type like Effect Audio's and AECO's plugs thou. But then the budget AEC (oh wait, AECO = AEC) was built like a tank, I abused it, resoldered it multiple times and it's still like new, absoultely best plug to practice with. However, the bottom end was still quite coloured and can be peaky but it has very good resolution.

I should be able to get probably most plugs I want to test with. AECO, Bispa, Furutech, Eidolic, Ranko, AEC, Pentaconn, etc.. Pentaconn plugs I read somewhere they are made in Taiwan and I wonder if they are OEM by AEC . I think brass plugs are fine it's probably the tolerance and the coating not being good enough. For example the QYFANG plugs I tested they didn't sound too bad but I think the Rhodium plating as well as the bottom gold plating were fake. XINHS' plugs are very coloured and muffed I can hear the same sound from all my XINHS cables. Hakugei cables I own a few and I find the plugs to be transparent enough so I bought one to try this time. Maybe they are some good low budget plugs. In contrast the more budget friendly Bispa plug (likely brass core) I showed above has a very nice coating I doubt it will ever get a scratch and the colour of the coating is quite different from some generic plugs and it has extremely good tolerance. It also has a non-magnetic brass (?) core and parts. Soundwise it's very transparent and smooth but very resolving.

I will purchase some Bispa plugs this week from Japan with Super Hard Copper non-magnetic cores and maybe some TOTL AECO plugs as they do have some AECO plugs in stock. They also have some interesting coatings such as nickle, and silver and they also have some pure copper or brass plugs without any coating. Hey, do share you findings!

I guess you are probably talking about this AECO plug:
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Jun 7, 2023 at 10:04 PM Post #7 of 61
Hello saldsald
Wow, you are really good in finding and getting interesting diy toys.
Yes, i mean this aeco plug.
One thought. I learned that two contacs have best conductivity if they are the same material. if most female plugs in our players, dacs, amps are gold plaited i don t know if paladium plaited ( witch has less conductivity than gold ) is really the best. it s probably the most sturdy and longlasting coating, but soundwise i don t know ?
Ok, i try to show you some stuff, that may be interesting. But take it with a grain of salt, because i still did not test most of it.
unfortunately my funds are very limited at the moment , i would like to order more high end plugs and wire , that s why i only was looking for budged Plugs, hoping for a good find, probably not very realistic.
Thanks for the reply. I don't get my cable parts on AliExpress that's why I am able to get more interesting stuffs. I also read somewhere that it's best to have the to contact points made of the same coating/material but I am a bit skeptical about that TBH as even with the same material if can be coated differently and the coating layers are usally alloys not pure elements you can never be sure if they are the same alloy. I think the best way to find the answer is to solder the wire directly to the amp and to the IEM coz I find solder to have a much smaller effect in sound than these connectors.
Terrilium 2 pin 10 pairs , only the plugs, no housing.
or this, the same material but better soldering, i think
the same plug, with housing, much more expensive
1Pair Tellurium Copper 0.78mm 2 Pin Male Jack Gold / Rhodium Plated
4,4mm Furutech knockoffs
Quenfang 4,4mm , they claim beeing trustfull, i don t know, looks interesting.
4.4mm High end Audio Headphone Plug 5 Poles Pure Copper Gold-Plated, proably a bad joke, but good for soldering beginners to practise. You don t want to start your journey with a 60 Euro Futurech Plug.
10Pcs HiFi Copper Non Magnetic Rhodium Plated , look good but not sure if real.
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I now use the Tomy Audiophile system and I may move to Effect Audio's ConX system as I do have a few of their cables all with ConX connectors but they are all only gold plated.

Hifi 99.9% Pure Copper 2.5mm / 3.5mm / 4.4mm High end Fidelity Lossless Audio Headphone Balanced Plug Gold-Plated Earphone Jack € 57,80​

F....king expensive for a china plug, but at least they show as the only one shop pictures of pure copper plugs before the plaiting, not shure, it could end as a costy joke.
You can save your money on this one I bet. This is the exact same plug I bought and I just talked about it, that Red copper plug. It's terible to work with as the coating didn't like my mundorf solder and it sounded good but not good enough. It's the so called Hufi sound meaning warm and not packed with sparkles and details.
ZEROZONE 1pcs FP-4457(G)4.4mm NW-WM1Z/A Gold Plated Balanced Headphone Plug L9-35 , they look good , viablue knockoffs, not sure.
This is the same Acrolink I tested too, lol. Again it's good for the price, but nothing magical about it.
xangsane XS-6001Au 2pcs 4pcs copper gold-plated , i like these, could be interesting, going to order 2 or 4.
Xangsane they make good cheap splitter barreals.
4.4 Jack 5 Poles Headphone Plug Connector Blue For Aurora Rhodium Plated Beryllium Copper, the so called high end china plug , all the same from different brands
Carbon Fiber Jacks 4.4mm Connector Rhodium Plated Earphone Plug 4.4 , look good.
This one I believe is the QYFANG I talked about earlier, too, lol. Again, it's ok for the price but it's only for cheap wires.
And last but not least the angled 4,4mm plugs i have in the works at the moment.
So how is this one?

AECO Connector AT3-1331G Gold-Plated Tellurium Copper 3.5mm (1/8") Stereo TRS Plug USD $32.00​

Happy watching
Greetings from Berlin
I just tried to click my own links, didn t work. If you copy the link and open it with a new page in the brouser it seem to work , sorry.
I don t know why or what i did wrong , i am new to head fi , forgive me.

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Don't worry, all the links work.

I think you should ask Hakugei to sell you this plug. It's not listed on AE so you will have to ask.

It's a genuine Furutech plug I showed in my post but likely the budget friendly version of the Furutech plug with Alpha copper core. Extremely well made and cheap enough and most importantly it sounds very decent.
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Jun 7, 2023 at 10:05 PM Post #8 of 61
Hello saldsald.
Thank you so much for you comments about my Links. It s extremly helpfull for me . I really can t afford expensive failed Experiments at the Moment. "It's the so called Hufi sound " very funny and sad. I think you are right that its best to solder the wire directly to the Amp ( direct to IEM is probable difficult and dangerous ). I mean if i buy a 135 Euro Pentagon Plug and use a Ibasso modular Amp system, ( i like the dx 200 with Amp 8 modded) it s only a little bit more expensive to buy a whole Amp for every Cable that you solder directly to the amp. My Mentor always said " The best Plug is no Plug ", or at least Cables direct soldered to Amps for your most loved iEMs . Than you could mod the amp only for this special iem, that would be great, i think about this.
Do share it if you have your favourite wire /IEM soldered to an amp. Gotta be very interesting.The wires inside an IEM are super thin so it should make a huge difference it some thick wires are soldered to it instead.
For the sound of the angled 4,4mm Plug, the Jury is still out. I made some 8 wire with Neotech nece 3001 mk2 iem wire. i bought at but i didn t had time to burn in and give it a proper listening, i will report in the next days, next week. But they are extremly good to work with and i think that s important because you really can get a perfect solderjob done. You can wriggle the cable around the connector, that make a very good connection. Solder, even the best, i use Mundorf 10 % Silver ,has a very bad conductivity so a badly soldered connection, like the one you showed a few post back with the x... cable is a bad thing.
All solders have bad conductivity?I am also using Mundorf Supreme.
I dismantled a few chinese cables and i found a sandwitch connection like this- wire , solder, connector. wire had not a direct connection to the plug all music went thru the solder before i reaches the connector, no good. I also hate the Plugs full of Glue . Air is the best isolator and dielektrikum ( Key difference: insulator is a material that cannot conduct electricity. On the other hand, dielectrics are insulators that become polarized when an electric field is applied. Insulators are the exact opposite of conductors)
I think wires never really have a direct contact to the plug as that will actually decrease the contact surface. The solder is there (especially after tinning) to fill all thr gaps between the wires and also between the wires and the plug surface, as well as acting as a glue for the wire to keep it in place. If the wire has direct contact with the plug surface it will have to be held in place by having the solder on top and around. Maybe it's most beneficial with a single hard core wire. (Not sure if I have misunderstood what you said). Anyway these Chinese factories usually just add too little solder so I don't buy finished cables from them anymore.

About the dielectric, I think it is still essential to insulate the wires from each other for better longevity. I have heard about that air is the best insulator but the wires are all sleeved anyway with usually a PVC skin so I don't worry too much about that.
Thank you very much for the Info with the Hakugei Furutech Plug .unfortunately the Hakugeishop at Aliexpress doesn t ship to Germany, i really wanted to order some Grey Dragon wire but they don t ship to me. I even wrote them in chinese but no. Maybee, hopefully , i can find a Mailingagent.

quote" I now use the Tomy Audiophile system and I may move to Effect Audio's ConX system as I do have a few of their cables all with ConX connectors but they are all only gold plated." quote end

this link also doesnt work for me like a lot of shop s at Aliexpress that doesn t ship to Germany any more .
Oppos sorry, it's a link I pasted by mistake, you can't get Tomy and ConX on AE.
The shops at Aliexpress have to collect the Taxes and need to send the Money to the german Financeagency., new Law since last year or the year before to avoid Taxsaving when ordering in china, sick. The shops need a german or european tax number and a Licence from Aliexpress . A lot of shops with interesting stuff doen t have this permission or still doesn t have it.

Have a great day, night, grettings
That is too bad. I bet AE will find a way to fix that problem.

Have a great day too!
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Jun 7, 2023 at 10:07 PM Post #9 of 61
After futher experimenting with my plugs and wires, I can confirm that the sounds or characters of a cable are at least 50% the contribution of the plug so I ordered 6 more plugs to test them out. I will also swap out the stock plugs of the cables that I think might have a good upgrade potential after finish making the Gaea cable. Hope things can be done sooner.

Hello ,
To make it clear , I do hear a Impact of a IEM Cable and i believe in all formally discussed aspects . The Problem with all the Theory is that it s mathematecally not profable, nor messureable with our given Labor instruments.
To make the technical discussion about a cable in a ac enviroment a bit more funny i will take the position of the Naysayer and Cablesound Critics for a Second.
Don t get angry, i am just joking.

simplyfyed Equivalent circuit diagram

Equivalent circuit diagram for a line element of a two-wire line of length d

The Arrangement Amp , Cable ; IEM is also a Bandpassfilter

What do i want to say with all this ?
If you calculate you will see that the Cornerfrequencies are multiple Times below and multipletimes bigger than our lovly Music (15 Hz- 22 kHz )
At a short example of calculation of a Lowpassfilter

Lowpassfilter: order simplyfied

f_G=\frac{1}{2\pi RC}

fG= CutFrequency fallen -3 dB
R-= Outputimpedance of Headphoneamp plus Resistance of Cable in Ohm, for the example i take the unlikely case of 10 Ohm.
C = Cablecapitance in Farrad. For the example i take the unusual high case of 200 pF.

1/ 3,141592.......... *2 *10*0,000000002 = 1587301.5873015873015873 Hz= 1,587301 MHz !!!
We are no Bats no, so no Problem ?

Calculate the Highpass for yourself , but it s Magnitudes less than 1 Hz

So far from any Phaseshift or Frequencyresponse.

So here no impact to Soundquality.



The classical solution of this example with the help of differential equations would have come to the same result, but would have required several times more complicated computational effort. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Cause of skin effect. A current I flowing through a conductor induces a magnetic field H. If the current increases, as in this figure, the resulting increase in H induces circulating eddy currents IW which partially cancel the current flow in the center and reinforce it near the skin.


Skin depth vs. frequency for some materials at room temperature, red vertical line denotes 50 Hz frequency:
Skin depth in copper
FrequencySkin depth (μm)
50 Hz9220
60 Hz8420
10 kHz652
100 kHz206
1 MHz65.2
10 MHz20.6
100 MHz6.52
1 GHz2.06

Four stages of skin effect in a coax showing the effect on inductance. Diagrams show a cross-section of the coaxial cable. Color code: black=overall insulating sheath, tan=conductor, white=dielectric, green=current into the diagram, blue=current coming out of the diagram, dashed black lines with arrowheads=magnetic flux (B). The width of the dashed black lines is intended to show relative strength of the magnetic field integrated over the circumference at that radius. The four stages, A, B, C, and D are: non-energized, low frequency, middle frequency and high frequency respectively. There are three regions that may contain induced magnetic fields: the center conductor, the dielectric and the outer conductor. In stage B, current covers the conductors uniformly and there is a significant magnetic field in all three regions. As the frequency is increased and the skin effect takes hold (C and D) the magnetic field in the dielectric region is unchanged as it is proportional to the total current flowing in the center conductor. In C, however, there is a reduced magnetic field in the deeper sections of the inner conductor and the outer sections of the shield (outer conductor). Thus there is less energy stored in the magnetic field given the same total current, corresponding to a reduced inductance. At an even higher frequency, D, the skin depth is tiny: all current is confined to the surface of the conductors. The only magnetic field is in the regions between the conductors; only the "external inductance" remains.

So at 100kHz the skindeep is 226 u m = 0,226mm , --no Skineffekt in a solid 0,226mm Wire , we are no Bats , are we ?
So at 10 kHz the skindeep is 652 u m = 0,652 mm

Diode effect between 2 close wires of exactly the same electrical potential ? Na, not really.

Sorry, I am only Joking . You can t calculate , nor messure a Cablesound. Only your Ears and your Heart can tell !!!!!!!!!!!!

Greetings from the funny Lothar
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I prefer to see everything analogue as "micro analogue computers" and these computers work together to form a more complex computer. Basically if you feed a signal into an object and it outputs a signal not identical to the input, it is a computer. Analogue computers are not perfect so all these equations are just approximations describing a small part of our observations, or at least those we can easily write on a piece of paper. I think the sound of a cable is in theory "predictable" but it is just too complex and becomes not worth our efforts to solve and instead it is much easier to do it in a trial and error way.
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Jun 7, 2023 at 10:08 PM Post #10 of 61
Thanks for your research (and the money you're spending on connectors). Do you have a favorite connector? I had noticed how expensive some of them are (eg the original OFC Pentacon) but I didn't know they affected the sound that much.
It depends on the wire. You probably can't have a plug that works perfect with every wire like the Bispa totally kills the sound of the Grey Dragon. So far I like plugs made by Eidolic, Bispa and Furutech. (I only have the cheap version of the Furutech plug now and it's on the smoother side and can get slightly unexciting, so I bought the Alpha Copper to find out how much better it is)

Edit: the plug affects the sound more in the speed (colouration, as I mentioned multiple times, especially in the bass and mid-bass), quantity of the bass (not extension), treble extension, stage size and height, the smoothness of the transition between each note, which partially causes sibilance and harshness in the sound.

The wires on the other hand determine the resolution, separation, extensions, quantity of the frequency at different amplitudes by having varying speeds and resonances, which we preceive as the cable being an EQ, etc.. Just IMO.
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Jun 7, 2023 at 10:09 PM Post #11 of 61
I've really enjoyed reading your impressions and wouldn't have guessed plugs would have such a large impact on cable performance.

I recently ordered some Gray Dragon wire from Hakugei with the intention of building an IEM cable from it. By any chance would you happen to know where I can purchase appropriately sized earhooks for it, or perhaps if there's a simple way to create earhooks out of heatshrink?

I'm sure cable builders have some sort of solution they typically use for earhooks but this is very new to me.

The earhooks are made out of heat shrink tubes. I recommend getting some 4.5-5mm tubes with different wall thickness and probably shrink ratio. I prefer thinner tubes as they are more comfortable on the ears but they are softer and they crease at the turning points. I am a bit lazy usually so I use a gas stove butane lighter (don't use cigarette lighter or a blow torch! You should use a hot air gun if you have one) to shrink the tubes and when they are still hot and soft you can bend them into your desired shapes. And remember to heat from one end to the other.
Many thanks! Any chance you'd happen to have say an Aliexpress link (or similar) to the size and type of heatshrink you would normally use for this purpose so I have a frame of reference please?
Unfortunately I don't purchase these on AE but here are the parameters:
DPre-shrunk inner DWall ThicknessPost-shrunk inner DWall Thickness
4.5mm5.0+/- 0.3 mm0.15 +/-0.05 mm<2.25 mm0.30 +/- 0.10

Would you happen to have any advice on how to achieve a precise earhook shape using heatshrink so that both sides match up fairly closely?
You can get those wooden earhook mold to form the earhooks but I don't think it is necessary. You can try to bend the hook at the same lenght from the IEM side plug and then slowly adjust the shape with the aid of a lighter. I have very small ears so my hooks are smaller than standard and everyone have different ear sizes so just do it by hand should be fine.
Sorry just one further question please on the subject of cables - how much difference have you found shielding makes? PW Audio sell both shielded & unshielded versions of the the same cables (eg. First Times) and I've often wondered what level of improvement shielding offers. It seems much of the magic of Brise's cables for instance lies in the high number of shielding layers they use.
I am not sure TBH but I think the benefit of a sheilded cable is that you can achieve better results such as better separations and a dark background with less/thinner wires.
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Jun 7, 2023 at 10:10 PM Post #12 of 61
When i read shieding in the discription of a IEM Cable it can mean 2 different concepts.
In a balanced connection you have the posive and the negative part of the Wave connected to the IEM. There is no third pin for a Shield. DD Hifi has a new cable where they use the housing of the 0,78mm 2 Pin connector as a ground connection , connected to the ( normaly unused )5 th. pin of the 4,4mm Plug. This works only if your source 4,4 mm is connected to Ground and only for 2 pin plugs because mmcx use the housing as the audio negative . With 3,5,mm or 2,5mm Plugs it doesn t work from my point of view. If you connect a shield to the negativ audio, the sleeve of the 3,5mm plug ( this is NOT imperatively audio ground !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) you build yourself a nice antenna for Hf frequencies , most sensitive at 1/4 of the (electromagnetic ) Wavelengh.( with a 1,2 m cable --1/4 y -900 MHz unfortunately. Dualband Mobil Telephone
GSM-900 and GSM-1800 are used in most parts of the world (ITU-Regions 1 and 3): Africa, Europe, Middle East, Asia (apart from Japan and South Korea where GSM has never been introduced) and Oceania. In common GSM-900 is most widely used )
, and the opposite effect ( Hf entreaties ) of what you wanted to archieve may be the result.
You can also connect a shielding to the 5 th Pin of the 4,4,mm and leave the other side , the iem side open, not connected.
Up to the Splitter they call it half shielded , up to the top , to the IEM connection, they call it full shield. This may have a shielding effect, but you may also create new problems. A open shield acts as a inductor ( ? ) and also as a (small ) capitance together with your wires. (ultra ) High frequencies may get shorted to Ground. ( Probably not a Problem )
So exept the 4,4mm -2 pin cable from dd hifi there is no real shielded iem, headphone cable. ( Maybee other factorys do the same, as a secret sauce, to connect the shield to the housing of the 2 pin, )
Click to expand...
Correct me if I am wrong.
The ground of a 4.4 plug is only useful when it is part of an interconnect cable. If you terminite the shielding wires (of a double shielded cable) at the outer shell of the 0.78 plug, it doesn't do anything apart from making the conductor longer (it will not even extend to the shell of the IEM, provided it is made of metal), which is just identical to not connectinng the shielding wires to the outer shell of the mmcx plug but just having the wires there.

And there are two types of "shielding" for cables I think, one is giving it a non-conducting outer sleeve, sometimes omitting the PVC skin, and the other is coaxial shielding, which can be dobule shielded or single shielded.

I think the only useful application of the ground sleeve of a balanced plug is this:

By the way, there is no fixed positive or negative conjugated to your connectors. Music is AC ( Alternating Current ) so posive and negative change all the Time.
Yea, and I am not even sure if it is correct to call balanced headphone/IEM cables "balanced" or more correctly "isolated".
A PVC, Pe , Teflon whatsoever Isolator , isolates the Wires from getting shortet, I wouldn t call this a Shield but a Isolator.
Yea, but it's very common to call the extra outer insulator a shielding, of which the effect is unknown, lol.
For me a so called coaxial IEM Cable is not a Coaxialcable by any means. You use the so called Shield as a Conductor, so no shielding whatsoever. If you have 4 coaxial Cables, 2 for Left and two for Right, you could connect only the inner connector for audio and leave the other, outer part of the wire open. But again, it s not a real Shield but a pseudo Shield with unknown impact. A Shield in a coaxial Cable , used for Hf Signals between two Devices is indeed a strong Shield because it s connected on both Sides to Ground, again not to audio negative. Maybee audio negative is connected somewhere in the circuit to Ground but probably at a differnt place than at the connector,
Yes, that's exactly what I wanted to say but somehow I find coaxial cables maybe better sounding or mayber they actually are more noise resistant than twisted pairs. But nothing is proven here.
Here You only Ground Your Chasis of the 2,5mm Plug to Ground.
I only see 4 wires going to the IEM , where is the Shield ? If you need a Adapter from 2,5mm balanced to 3,5mm unbalanced you need something like this for Astell, Kern DAP because you connect only positiv to the Adapter, you don t want to create a short if you connect negative to Ground. ,but You need to find 0V somewhere else , for example at the 3,5mm output of the Dap.
I hope i didn t confuse too much. Please excuse me if my explanation is not very clear but english is not my native Language, it s difficult for me. I hope someone with more Knowledge will chime in .
A Shield to Ground is not a Isolator nor is it used for audio in a balanced connection. Its easy to mix up Shield, Ground , 0 V .
Don t know why they call it outer Shield in a wire if its just used for the audioconnection.??
. Greetings
What the cable does is providing an extra ground loop, it may provide a clean signal or it may do nothing, depending on the design of the source I guess. I am too lazy to try that out myself because I bought too many stuffs already but it maybe a cheap easy way for a cleaner sound.
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Jun 7, 2023 at 10:12 PM Post #13 of 61
A trrs 2,5 mm Plug

so you want to connect L- to Ground ?

normaly you want to avoid ground loops .

In an electrical system, a ground loop or earth loop occurs when two points of a circuit are intended to have the same ground reference potential but instead have a different potential between them.[1] This is typically caused when enough current is flowing in the connection between the two ground points to produce a voltage drop and cause two points to be at different potentials. Current may be produced in a circular ground connection (ground loop) by electromagnetic induction.

Ground loops are a major cause of noise, hum, and interference in audio, video, and computer systems. Wiring practices that protect against ground loops include ensuring that all vulnerable signal circuits are referenced to one point as ground. The use of differential signaling can provide rejection of ground-induced interference. Removal of safety ground connections to equipment in an effort to eliminate ground loops also eliminates the protection the safety ground connection is intended to provide.
have a nice Day , Night
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Oh wait I just checked the page again and I think that 3.5mm plug is for connecting the outer shielding to the ground, (edit: I asked it's only for Sony devices) and I think that is a TRRRS 2.5 plug. Again, how that really works is unknown and maybe it has no effect at all.
Also I just bought this btw:
A 2,5mm trrrs is something new for me, i never saw something like this..
It is probably a custom made plug by the factory.
Great i thought also about this wire . .
It is this one ,no ?!EUR!€ 42,76!€ 40,63!!!!!@21038ed816847940957543042e0cb9!12000029046649770!sh!DE!2599325251
I m looking forward for your Thoughts about it.
Did you already finish the thick Hakugai Copper cable ? How does it sound ?
Yes this is the one.
The Hakugei Gaea is too difficult to tin without a tin bath so I bought some flux and paint remover which should arrive today. I wonder if you use Mundorf Supreme for your tin bath?
I thought it is significantly cheaper to get Mundorf solder in Germany, lol.
Edit :
i did misread your post. I thought you want to use or buy a solderpot. I use this cheap one but with 5cm diameter. sorry for the confusion.|tkp:Bk9SR_yls4eJYg
if anybody is interested in how i use my solderpot.
I do it like this.
1) strip the wire
2 )put shrinktube over the isolation of the wire to prevent melting. ( Pe melts like butter and you end up with a much too long unisolated piece of wire if you don t fix it with shrinktube )
3 ) Put a lot of Solderflux to the wire, Tin the wire with your solderbath. Make a few tests to calibrate your temperatur. Too hot and you may melt, burn your wire, too cold, you don t remove the isolation. maybee different wires requiere a different Temperature. ( i had fun with a 11x 0,08 mm silverwire , the pe melted like butter and the wires got burned or it didn t remove the laquer, pure Silver is also very brittle)
4) After dipping your wire into the solder you may find some burned plastic at the End of the cable, try to remove as much as possible from this black burned dirt.
5) Dip the wire in solderflux again and Remove the tin with a desolderiron , a pump or best with solderwick from the wire. . I do this to remove most of the cheap soldertin.
6) Tin your prepared wire with a little bit of Mundorf supreme. again , use solderflux. If you do it like this you can be sure to have prepared your wire correctly and no isolated tiny wires are left.
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Thanks, I am also thinking using heat shrink tubes to protect the wires before dipping into the paint remover (which is just as dangerous to use as a tin pot, lol, and I will wear all the protections). I will share the result if this actually works.
7 ) Controll with a Multimeter for good conductivity. All wires should have the same resistance. If not some of your tiny wires are still isolated, reapeat the process.
8) Remove the old shrinktube, put new one in the exactly lenght you need for your connection. If you trim your prepared wire make shure not to cut the deisolated part to short ,to not beeing left behind with a unisolated wire.
I am sure you are doing a much better job here than all cable factories as they only test the connectivity so you have my salute.
I also experimented to remove the isolation of the wires with a heated ovenplate. Put Flux , press it against the ovenplate, remove, repeat several times ( your wife will thank you for this ) You can remove the isolation without solder. Can work , with very thin wires it s likely you burn , destroy the strands.
you can also try to get rid of the isolation with a lot of solderflux and a big, flat irontip alone, with or without solder. If with solder use your Mundorf supreme. But in this case i would also remove this solder with solderwick and tin new.
For me the key element was to put shrinktube to the isolation of the wire before dipping into the solderbath.
The problem with the Gaea wire is there are like 500+ litz wires inside so I ended up melting the PVC skin instead but I will try with some proper flux this time.
Oh wait I just checked the page again and I think that 3.5mm plug is for connecting the outer shielding to the ground, (edit: I asked it's only for Sony devices) and I think that is a TRRRS 2.5 plug. Again, how that really works is unknown and maybe it has no effect at all.
Also I just bought this btw:

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Got the wire, it looks nice but has a cheap feel, oops.
The skin thickness as well as the gloss treatment are not too uniform. Also it is a bit thin to my liking. Not sure how it is going to sound of course.20230529_104837.jpg

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Jun 7, 2023 at 10:14 PM Post #14 of 61
And here are my new plugs:

1st row: Furutech Alpha Copper, gold plated with a non-magnetic copper core, pure brass (non-magnetic) with no plating (this is interesting, even the barrel enclosure is pure brass), silver plated with a non-magnetic copper core,
2nd row: Super thick silver plating on top of another super thick gold plating with a 99% copper core (not brass), Gold plating with a 99% copper core.
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Jun 7, 2023 at 10:15 PM Post #15 of 61


Unfortunately, no, . At 2 M (13gr ) muldorf supreme cost 13,50 euro, 100gr 89 Euro. At the hakugai shop at aliexpress it s less.
International pricepolitics i guess.
So it's about the same price everywhere on earth.
That would be great and also what paint remover you used. I hope it works well.
It's made from concentrated sulphuric acid (lol) as far as I know. I am happy I actually don't think I have to use it. The flux (it's called soldering paste actually) works very well.
Thank s , i only try my best to get most out of my limited Potentialities. Its somehow senseless to have a thick wire with only half of the wirestrings connected.
If you produce iem cables as a Business i don t know why they shouldn t care, it s very easy for them. A bought a 24 AWG wire with 500 m ohm resistance. After resoldering it was a little bit over 100 m Ohm. only every 5 th tiny wire was connected ?
I think it is more likely due to cold solder joint and one big reason I started DIYing cables is that I just cannot be sure all these litz wires are properly tinned. (Cough cough... Hakugei...)
Try with double or tripple headshrink and wrap aluminum foil around the shrink. Proper flux is very important for good soldering. Remove as much as possible after soldering, this material is quiet agressive and can corrode your cable, solderjoint.
Have a great Day
Edit: My post is a little bit late ............., you are already done .
Yea, I wrapped the wires with 2.5mm tubes, but as to protect the skin of the wires. Heat transfer is way too efficient with the paste and I ended up melting the skin while testing.
Wow, impressive.What Brands of Plugs are these. ?
Where did you buy all these plugs, ? if i may ask ?
Happy soldering
These are Bispa plugs, I bought them all from their factory store but the whole site is in Japanese. I also bought some other plugs from the Oyaide online store (again in Japanese) and Amazon JP.

The new smelly flux works surprisingly very well and here is my half finished Gaea cable with a silver plated plug:

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And it's done! I like the look of the green Titanium splitter, it's greener seeing it in person but hope it's not looking too much like the Hakugei Healer.
And...the wires, even with minimal solder are a bit too thick for this type of plug.
Swapped with this SHC silver plated plug.
Absolutly amaising, how does it sound ?
Next time when you have a too thick cable you could use a small hammer do flatten the ends of the tinned wire, to make them more wide instead of round.

For everybody who isn t into cable diy you can buy this wire as a ready to use cable.( hopefully as perfect done like saldsald does. The plug may be worse )!EUR!€ 211,54!€ 200,97!!!!!@211b88f116850106260985519e260c!20000000204080564!sh!CA!2599325251

Greetings, have a great Day, Night.
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Since I am using a similar plug as the Phoenix I hear some similarities between them but it's even more resolving, has a similar stage width and height. I think the most distinctive differences are that it has better bass response and being more elastic and that there is a very smooth transition from basically bottom end to the treble end likely due to the single kind of litz 7N OCC used. It's so smooth and dense that I cannot hear any grain at all yet the treble is very extended (probably due to the silver plug). But since the sound is denser and more resolving, the sense of space is smaller and vocal is a bit closer depending of the genre of music but the reverb is clearer so you get some sense of space back. But then the Phoenix has more realistic 3D imaging.

Oh yes, I actually tried to flatten the head with a Bevel (No.2) iron head. I am sure my next DIY cable will also be very thick, lol so thanks for the tip.

Ar, right, that is the cable I just made, Gaea = God of Earth.
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