Good cable for DIY balanced HP cables?
Jul 9, 2015 at 1:23 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 13

vanhiel

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Hey all,
 
I'm in need of a balanced cable for my LCD-2 with the Cavalli amp I have on order.
 
Now I could buy the cable from Audeze, but I'm pretty handy with a soldering iron and make the rest of my cables.
 
Now I know that HP cable is normally a really high strand count, is this for durability and flexibility or are there other reasons?
 
 
Would "Hook Up Wire" work as long as I'm fine with a less flexible cable?  And if so what awg?
 
Or is there something better that I should be looking at?
 
Thanks!
 
Jul 17, 2015 at 8:33 AM Post #2 of 13

derbigpr

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For example: http://shop.sommercable.com/en/Cables/Bulk-Cables-Audio/Patch-Mikrofonkabel-SC-Peacock-MKII-200-0552.html
 
That's the stock Beyer T1 cable.
 
Jul 17, 2015 at 8:44 AM Post #3 of 13

CanadianMaestro

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  Hey all,
 
I'm in need of a balanced cable for my LCD-2 with the Cavalli amp I have on order.
 
Now I could buy the cable from Audeze, but I'm pretty handy with a soldering iron and make the rest of my cables.
 
Now I know that HP cable is normally a really high strand count, is this for durability and flexibility or are there other reasons?
 
 
Would "Hook Up Wire" work as long as I'm fine with a less flexible cable?  And if so what awg?
 
Or is there something better that I should be looking at?
 
Thanks!

 
Mogami 2549 is good.
 
Jul 17, 2015 at 12:19 PM Post #4 of 13

vanhiel

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I hadn't even thought about using microphone cable, since we don't need the shield.  Being a former pro audio guy, Mogami used to be my go to cable for making mic cable runs.  I'd have to deal with two cables at that point but nothing a bit of shrink tubing and some cable sleeve can't fix!
 
Thanks guys!
 
::EDIT::
 
Thinking about it, wouldn't Mogami 2791 be better with it's greater flexibility and higher rated flex life?  Or would going from 22awg to 24awg wires be more of an issue since we're running a lot more current through the cable than a microphone would?
 
Jul 17, 2015 at 12:27 PM Post #5 of 13

CanadianMaestro

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Haven't heard the Mog 2791. Wouldn't think 24awg would choke off performance (sound qual). It's lighter, so it would be a better ergonomic cable, I would imagine. LCD-2 is heavy enough.....imo.
 
Jul 17, 2015 at 1:28 PM Post #6 of 13

vanhiel

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I'm more thinking of flexibility and long term durability.  While not light, the LCD-2 has a big cushy headband which distributes the weight well, but I suppose less weight is less weight.
 
Perhaps I'll make one of each and compare, mogami and neutrik connectors are fairly inexpensive and I'd still spend less than getting the cable from Audeze directly at $80.
 
Jul 18, 2015 at 7:17 PM Post #8 of 13

barbadread

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I've tried out a few different variations and combinations of factors for my builds and have come to a few conclusions. I won't be able to give you any cable ID numbers here and now but just some thoughts on mechanical stability and durability, which has been my primary concern and problem so far.
 
In general, something other than the actual lead should be load bearing if there should be a tensioning of the cable. You also want a coating that will take a bit of the flex load.
I tried silicone coated, high flex cable in a few of my experiments. Multiple strand core and twisted shield (unnecessary but it functioned as my ground). The silicone was too stretchy and transferred the stretch load to the leads, eventually causing them to snap. I then used a rather robust, woven shield, PVC coated, multistrand center cable. I paired it in two and split them up at the Y in the cable, same as with the silicone covered variety. This has worked great. The only drawback is that the cable is pretty thick and weighs a bit.
 
My final version is in these pictures. It's six strands, round braid, multi strand silver coated copper coated with PTFE. I've found this construction to be very resistant to most mechanical abuse. There is a built in springiness due to the stiffness of the PTFE and its coiled structure in the braid. Also, as the cable consists of hundreds of small bends, bending the cable is just a question of increasing or decreasing these slightly without any one strand becoming too stressed, the surrounding strands act as support as well. The six strands are connected as two leads and four grounds. The two extra grounds are for mechanical support and to make a three strand braid for each earpiece possible after the split. It also makes the crimp at the connectors symmetrical and more robust.
Not shown is the heat shrink I use at the plug and at the split for strain relief.
 
I've been considering whether the increased surface area of the ground in relation to the signal would cause any ill effect. I have not noticed any reduction in audio quality with the double grounds braid but then again, I'm not building cables for Audezes so I might be missing something quality wise through lesser headphones.
 
Best
 
Karl
 

 

 

 
Jul 20, 2015 at 6:19 AM Post #9 of 13

Zaubertuba

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That's a pretty build, Karl!
 
Thinking about taking tension...I built a headphone cable out of Mogami 3106.  It has a core reinforcement and according to Mogami is electrically similar to the 2549.  It's a stereo cable so was really easy to build into a headphone cable.  It also had a rubber jacket designed to take abuse and had a very low kink factor.
 
I had one problem with it...it's pretty stout, so when I coupled it to the headphone shell it ended up mechanically microphonic (incidental movement or rubbing of the cable would amplify mechanical noise into the headphone shell.  In spite of that, I remember liking the improvement of the cable so well that I'm thinking of using it for my next build--but this time somehow decoupling the jacket from the headphone shell.
 
Jul 23, 2015 at 12:48 AM Post #10 of 13

vanhiel

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Barbadread - Very nice looking cables!
 
Zaubertuba - I just took a look into the 2549, Having the cables already attached is nice and the rated flex life is quite high as well.  On the Mogami website they have a few variation with steel cable inside!  Talk about reinforcement!
 
As for mechanical noise, the stock Audeze cable transmits mechanical noise pretty well so I'm not too worried about that.  And I have some ideas on using Techflex fabric shrink tube to help combat that.  As they state on the website that it's for abrasion resistance which is nice but also suitable for noise and rattle suppression, may be a different kind of noise but if nothing else it'll make it look nice!  Or I've thought about creating a cable "block" to attach to my desk and/or chair made out of rubber with some clamping to keep noise from traveling up the cable.  Though I don't tend to move too much when listening so who knows.
 
Jul 23, 2015 at 5:23 AM Post #11 of 13

barbadread

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Thanks! Not shown in the photos are the fabric tubes I use on them as a final step. I looked into using tech flex as well but I could only find synthetic, pretty coarse stuff. I ended up using flat, hollow boot laces! They're really great actually. Finely woven so there's hardly any raspiness in the mechanical contact. They're made to last a looong time in very much less favorable conditions than use as headphone cabling. I had to try some different stuff out but finally found a brand that worked. You can check them out in a shoe store by sliding flat boot laces between your fingers so see if the layers move against each other. Some are woven flat and are of no use.
 
I experimented a bit with using FireLine, multifilament kevlar fishing line as a support too. I ran it from the top connectors down to the split and anchored it using iron wire anchors on the insulation of the cables. The crimped it in with the leads in the connector, slightly more tensioned than the cable itself. It was sewn into the fabric tube as well so no flopping around the cable. Took some time and did not yield very promising results... I guess you could make it work it strain relief is a big concern of yours.
 
Best
 
Karl
 
Jul 6, 2021 at 10:42 PM Post #12 of 13

Lolito

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where's the photo
 

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