DIY Interchangable Cable.
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headchange4u

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Tonight I was going to sit down and make a 12' cable to go from my headphone amp to my source components (cd player,dvd player,etc...) so I could sit on the couch and listen to my cans. I had originally planned on making a cable with a mini plug on one end and then a 1/4" plug on the other end. One end goes to the source via headphone jack, the other to my amp.

Then I thought that if I replaced my mini plug with a mini jack on the cable, then I could also use the cable as a headphone extension cable. Then I would need a mini plug to mini plug to go from my new extension cable to my amp.

THEN I thought that using a source's RCA jacks might give me better sound than plugging a cable into a 1/4" headphone jack. Now we are talking about a really long Y cable.


So I thought to myself, “Wouldn’t it be neat if you could change a cable to suit my needs?"

I think that would be pretty easy to do. All you would need is some sort of male/female plug with three pins. It would have to be a really nice plug than made the best possible connection and performs well in an audio application like this. I'm sure that Mouser Or Digi-Key sells something like that.

That means that you could have a mini-to-mini cable that you could change into a mini to RCA cable simply by unplugging a connector and plugging in the cable end of your choice. The possibilities are endless. You could change to a right angle plug in a snap. You could have an extension with resistors added for an Ety conversion cable. Go from a 12" cable to a 12' cable in a snap. You need a 1/4" cable jack one end and.... well whatever you wanted on the other end.

You also incorporate the plug on headphone cables so you could change the length or type of cable used to suit you needs. It would also be good in testing different brands/types of cable.

I hope this makes some sort of sense. I am an insomniac and my wife often asks me what I lay awake thinking about at night. It's usually stupid crap like this......... and some times it's Jessica Alba.
 
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nikongod

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im nto a fan.

the possibility of mis-plugging something is too great, imho.

you are also adding a minimum of 3 connections to every cable(solder to adapter, adapter to adapter, and solder...) i would be suprised if a cable with cheap wire, and fiew connections did not sound better than one with SUPER-DUPER wire, and many connections.
 
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headchange4u

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Quote:

Originally Posted by nikongod
im nto a fan.

the possibility of mis-plugging something is too great, imho.

you are also adding a minimum of 3 connections to every cable(solder to adapter, adapter to adapter, and solder...) i would be suprised if a cable with cheap wire, and fiew connections did not sound better than one with SUPER-DUPER wire, and many connections.



I had thought of this.

I don't think that it would be much worse than adding a 1/4' adapter or stringing cables together to get the connection on both ends that you need. I guess the real key to all of this would be the plugs used in conneting the cables. It would have to be something that could only plug up in one direction, so that it would eliminate the possibility of plugging something up wrong. It would also have to have a really solid connection and have some sort of locking mechinism.

I would not use anything more expensive than Star Quad or Mogami in creating something like this.

I have been looking at mini XLR connectors, but they are pretty expensive (6.00 to 8.00 from Mouser).

Like I said, you get some crazy ideas when you only sleep 4-5 hours a night.
 
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Garbz

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I'd rather use cheap din connectors then RCA jacks. I sincerely doubt they would give you better quality then the 3.5mm or larger headphone jacks.
 
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skyskraper

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ur soldering way more connections then if u just built all the different cables, and the cost of cable is so cheap at like $1/meter for canare starquad, i just don't see the point in doing what you're planning.
 
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headchange4u

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Garbz
I'd rather use cheap din connectors then RCA jacks. I sincerely doubt they would give you better quality then the 3.5mm or larger headphone jacks.



So you are saying that using a sources RCA outputs to hook into my amp would probably not give me any better sound quality than using the headphone output?
 
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Garbz

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Indeed. RCA jacks are actually nutoriously bad for audio. IIRC It's inherent in their design. Not sure about the details though. But as far as I remember they really became a standard not by technical merrit but by some nasty coincidence. That makes it the same as everything in audio really
 
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