Good cable?
Sep 12, 2006 at 5:27 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 24

SoundGoon

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Hi. I'd like to start making my own interconnects and headphone cable, and was wondering what would be an inexpensive but worthy-of-replacing-what-I-already-have cable. I have an idea of what I want, but would love some suggestions from people who know what would work well. Thanks in advance
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Sep 12, 2006 at 5:56 PM Post #2 of 24

FallenAngel

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Really depends on budget and what kind of sound you want out of it (will probably depend on your setup). I personaly really love pure silver wire.
The main drawbacks are that it's solid core so it isn't very good for headphone cable, but I still have a pair of KSC75's recabled with 22AWG and although you gotta take special care of the wire, the sound is worth it.

Next I'd say look into Silver Plated Copper which is VERY cheap and sounds pretty good. It's stranded which works great for headphone wire and is readily available from navships on eBay, good guy, I always buy lots of wire from him.

Some people swear by Cardas cable, personally I haven't heard headphones recabled with Cardas, but my Cardas IPod Line Out has nothing on my pure Silver Line Out. Sure, the Cardas is warm and sounds good, but the Silver sounds cleaner and just has more detailed. I would definitly put Cardas as good though since I have a regular IPod Line Out (mini jack) and when using cheap copper / SPC interconnects, the Cardas does sound better.

The big thing to consider here is price.
Cardas 4x24 (4 23.5AWG cabled with thin blue jacket) is $6.75/ft from www.partsconnexion.com

Silver 22AWG is $1.10/ft from http://www.vt4c.com/shop/program/main.php (cheapest place, otherwise you're looking at around 3x that cost).

SPC is CHEAP! at around $10 / 50ft, eBay - navships.

Hope this helps with your decision, and know that for the most part, making DIY cables usually improves the sound over stock factory cables.
 
Sep 12, 2006 at 6:26 PM Post #3 of 24

Fitz

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Quote:

Originally Posted by FallenAngel
SPC is CHEAP! at around $10 / 50ft, eBay - navships.


And that's with paying a hefty premium for it being in short pieces. If you intend to do a lot of cabling and don't need a big variety of colours, you can save even more money by buying a spool with several hundred feet on it, and pay what you would've for just a few of the 50ft spools.
 
Sep 13, 2006 at 12:57 AM Post #4 of 24

Garbz

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Starquad or something standard for interconnects. Professional 2 or 4 core cable is more than worthy.

For headphones something thin, light, and NOT shielded. If you use starquad for headphone cables you'll very soon find they are a pain in the A** because they are heavy stiff and don't twist.
 
Sep 13, 2006 at 3:51 PM Post #8 of 24

blaken

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EFN

When you use L-2T2S for a mini-mini are you using the shielding as the ground? I must admit I don't know much about making mic cables but isn't that a bad idea? I thought the shielding was there to keep unwanted signal out but if you are using it wont that just let all that unwanted RF right into your path?

Fallenangel what was the shipping cost like from http://www.vt4c.com ? I was going to order a knob from them a while back but they are in Hong Kong and I am in the US. I tried to figure out the cheapest shipping method but it looked like it was going to be $20 USD for just 1 knob but I could have been wrong. It might have been in HK dollars. Which would make it about $2.50 USD
 
Sep 13, 2006 at 5:28 PM Post #9 of 24

FallenAngel

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About grounding the shield: If you don't ground the shield, I don't think it really does much. I think you should ground one side of the shield to prevent having a ground loop.

Shipping from VT4C:

Quote from VT4C Site
Current Exchange Rate US$1 = HK$7.30
(For Posting cost calculation only)
# Hong Kong Posting Office charge us in Hong Kong Dollar

The shipping is not very expensive. If you're using Air Mail (under 2kg), it would cost you only around $3 to send that one knob. Read http://www.vt4c.com/shop/program/mai...03&group_id=12
 
Sep 13, 2006 at 9:26 PM Post #10 of 24

blaken

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FallenA thats a good point. You could ground one end to bleed off RF but wouldnt this only work if the end that was attached to the ground lug was was connected to an infinite ground? Also the L-2T2S is 2 conductor cable. The only way I could see making a stereo mini-mini would be to use the ground on both ends. Does canare make a 3 conductor cable? Most people here use starquad which is 4 conductor.
 
Sep 13, 2006 at 9:40 PM Post #11 of 24

Fitz

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Quote:

Originally Posted by blaken
FallenA thats a good point. You could ground one end to bleed off RF but wouldnt this only work if the end that was attached to the ground lug was was connected to an infinite ground? Also the L-2T2S is 2 conductor cable. The only way I could see making a stereo mini-mini would be to use the ground on both ends. Does canare make a 3 conductor cable? Most people here use starquad which is 4 conductor.


People use two conductors for each channel with the starquad, the shield still gets connected to the ground, as it should be. The shield works because its connected to the signal ground, as there isn't any other ground for it to connect to in an unbalanced connector. Unbalanced wiring sucks for grounding, yeah.
frown.gif
 
Sep 13, 2006 at 11:32 PM Post #12 of 24

blaken

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Fitz I am not saying you are right or wrong becuase I don't know but in the sticky thread for making an interconnect it says to use 2 of the wires in star quad for ground and the other two for the 2 +


Quote:

Step2: Reference Pics 1 and 2
In the case of Canare Star Quad(but I am sure the other wire types are similar), strip of about 3/4" of the rubber insulation, then you will see some metal braid surrounding the inner wires, cut that off as well. You can also cut your wire to length now or before you add the other connector to the other end, it is up to you. I personally wait so i can maximize my bulk cable.

Step3: Reference Pic 3
Now you will see 4 wires. Pick 2 of them and designate them as ground and then the other 2 are left and right. Cut the insulation off the ground wires and solder them to the part of the plug that corresponds to ground, usually the part of the connector that has the most surface area and has threading on it for the cover to screw on to.

Step 4: Reference Pic 3
Pick a connection point and solder 1 wire to it, then do the same with other wire/connection point. Clamp the wire in place, then put on the plastic insulation sleeve and screw on the cover.


Could you explain the discrepency? I just want to know what the "best" method is. I have made plenty of speaker cables and RCAs but no mic cables and I have some starquad on the way. I just want to make sure I am making the best possible cable.
 
Sep 14, 2006 at 12:52 AM Post #13 of 24

Fitz

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Quote:

Originally Posted by blaken
Fitz I am not saying you are right or wrong becuase I don't know but in the sticky thread for making an interconnect it says to use 2 of the wires in star quad for ground and the other two for the 2 +


Could you explain the discrepency? I just want to know what the "best" method is. I have made plenty of speaker cables and RCAs but no mic cables and I have some starquad on the way. I just want to make sure I am making the best possible cable.



If you're not going to use the shield, then why buy shielded wire in the first place? You can use it that way since it happens to have four conductors, but it sort of defeats the purpose.
 
Sep 14, 2006 at 4:23 AM Post #14 of 24

blaken

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Fitz it looks like you are on the right track. I did a bit more reaserch and came accross a great article on audioholics.com

http://www.audioholics.com/techtips/...ieldcables.php

Its directed at video shielding but the same principles apply.

Here is a quote

Quote:

A shield on a coaxial cable acts by intercepting electromagnetic energy which it encounters, and shunting that energy to ground, preventing it from reaching the center conductor of the coax where the signal travels. To do this effectively, a shield needs three things: (1) high coverage, so that energy cannot readily pass through holes in the shield, (2) good conductivity, so that energy, once it enters the shield, will find its easiest path to ground; and (3) good connection to ground at the ends of the cable.


It looks like someone needs to re-write the "How to make an interconnect Step by Step With Pics" sticky post. I haven't read the whole thing so it might already be in there.

Thanks for the input.
 
Sep 14, 2006 at 4:31 AM Post #15 of 24

EFN

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Quote:

Originally Posted by blaken
EFN

When you use L-2T2S for a mini-mini are you using the shielding as the ground? I must admit I don't know much about making mic cables but isn't that a bad idea? I thought the shielding was there to keep unwanted signal out but if you are using it wont that just let all that unwanted RF right into your path?

Fallenangel what was the shipping cost like from http://www.vt4c.com ? I was going to order a knob from them a while back but they are in Hong Kong and I am in the US. I tried to figure out the cheapest shipping method but it looked like it was going to be $20 USD for just 1 knob but I could have been wrong. It might have been in HK dollars. Which would make it about $2.50 USD




Hey, yes I used the shielding as the ground. So far it satisfy me quite well.....but then after re-reading the Interconnect Sticky I have decided to do a test. I spent a good 2 hours building up a new Mini/Mini Interconnect using StarQuad precisely as per advised in the sticky thread. I used the paired blue for ground and the whites for signals. Once done, WOW!! I was floored immediately with the result!, while my L-2T2S has been superb but my new StarQuad Inteconnect trounced L-2T2S to pulp, now I can fully enjoy the wide soundstage and fluidity my 2134PA CMOY pumped out. So making an interconnect using L-2T2S is not a good idea after all. On my StarQuad interconnect I left the shield isolated fromt the poles. Plugs used were Neutrik NYS231 (REAN) - just the poles only and I substituted the cover with cheapo silver - the standard REAN enclosure holes does not fit StarQuad shell.
 

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