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Low end. Cheap. Generic. Otherwise bang for buck cable thread!

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  1. Relaxasaurus
    Wow, great rec, thanks!

    I've heard of Canare but the Mogami's look better built. Any experience with that brand?
  2. hakuzen
    ouch. thanks for checking! yea, better not trying, if amplifier circuit is not protected
    i started buying some choseal and canare, because they were the only choices for the cables i was purchasing.
    very satisfied with canare star quad, so didn't try mogami nor belden. but guess they are also a safe bet. and neutrik plugs might look better than yongsheng (neutrik china)
  3. Slater
    I received a pink colored 8-wire braided Kinboofi cable today. I bought it from AK Audio.


    I took it out of the package and plugged it in. No sound at all. Hmmm...

    I tested with multimeter. No continuity on any pins. Uh oh, that's not good...

    So I unscrewed the 3.5mm plug to investigate what the problem was:

    None of the conductor wires are even soldered to the TRS plug!!

    Someone must have fallen asleep on the factory assembly line!


    I have contacted the seller, and will let you know what they say.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
  4. CoiL
    LMAO! O_o
  5. Slater
    Sadly, the seller doesn’t see the problem. I’m not sure if it’s a language problem or not.
    hakuzen likes this.
  6. CoiL
    Well, luckily it is quite easy fix. For You certainly :wink:

    Btw, wanted to ask just to be sure how is cable impedance calculated, when, lets say for example there is 0.04mm x 80 strands and cable length is 2m ?
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
  7. hakuzen
    LOLOL, hilarious.. but sadly typical..
  8. HungryPanda
    Its a bit better having nothing attached than getting a cable that is wired wrong. One I got had L & R going to one side and the 2 common going to the other ear because it was wired wrong in the plug, I had to desolder then use a multimeter to sort them out and resolder.
    Alberto01 and hakuzen like this.
  9. hakuzen
    calculation of resistance of a cable, given conductor material and length

    you can read this tutorial.
    1. calculate section of each strand (surface of a circle). StrandSection = pi * Radius * Radius. your strand diameter is 0.04. radius is half the diameter. so StrandSection = pi * 0.02 * 0.02 = 0.0012566 mm2
    2. calculate section of the the core. CoreSection = NumberOfStrands * StrandSection. so CoreSection = 0.0012566 * 80 = 0.1 mm2 (this is equivalent to a wire of 0.36mm diameter = 27awg)
    3. calculate section of each signal. SignalSection = NumberOfCoresPerSignal * CoreSection. if your wire is 4 cores, each signal will use 1 core (2 for ground); if your wire is 8 cores, 2 cores are used per signal. let's imagine this is your case. SignalSection = 2 * 0.1 = 0.2 mm2 (which is equivalent to 0.51mm diameter = 24awg).
    4. calculate resistance per signal for you length. Resistance= (MaterialResistivity / SignalSection) * Length
    here are typical resistance of some materials at 20ºC, per area of square millimeter (and conductivity is the inverse of resistivity, 1/resistivity).
    ..Silver 0.0159
    ..Copper 0.0168
    ..Annealed copper 0.0172
    ..Gold 0.0244
    ..Aluminum 0.0265
    let's imagine your wire is copper, and your length is 2m
    Resistance = (0.0168 / 0.2) * 2 = 0.168Ω = 168mΩ.
    add plugs and solders resistance (let's say around 20-25mΩ), and your 8 cores cable of 2m will have a total resistance of 190mΩ per signal.
    note that the difference when using pure silver is not much (around 180mΩ).
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
    Relaxasaurus and CoiL like this.
  10. CoiL
    Thanks a lot! I made a mistake myself. You should add this to You cable measurements post! :wink:

    EDIT: Btw, I got myself 0.04*180 PU enameled copper Litz wire which I`m going to sleeve myself with translucent PO shrink tube and braid it into 8-core cable. Neutrik jacks and 0.78mm 2-pin sockets added it should be around ~94mΩ per signal (that`s for 2m cable, will probably make it around 1.1m). Will post pics when I finish it.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
    hakuzen likes this.
  11. Slater
    It wouldn't be so bad if they would STOP GLUING the plugs closed! There is absolutely no useful need for this, and it prevents people from repairing the cable should a problem arise.

    As an alternative to calculating it theoretically (like hakuzen outlined above), you can also objectively measure it using a scientific instrument.

    For lab-grade measurements, you’d want to use an impedance analyzer (which can cost $2k for used all the way up to $100k+). This is an instrument purpose-built for this task.

    If an impedance analyzer is used, however, it must operate in the same frequency range that audio cables will be subject to. It does no good to use an impedance analyzer designed for 1-60Hz, nor one that is designed for 1.5-2GHz. We ideally need one that can measure from 1Hz to 100kHz. If shopping for impedance analyzers, a specific sub-model that is tuned for the desired frequency range can be selected from the manufacturer.

    As an alternative, you can also use an LCR meter. There are many cheap Chinese $10-$30 meters. However, despite what the product specifications state as the accuracy rating, they’re all based off the same hardware design. The original hardware design is low resolution, and they are notoriously inaccurate (as can be expected for the price) The good news is that near-lab grade (very accurate) LCR meters can be purchased for around $250-$300. This is what I would recommend, as readings from the cheap meters will be near worthless.

    And just like the impedance analyzer, you need an LCR meter that is designed to measure in the frequency range that audio cables are used at. Ideally, you want an LCR meter that has a selectable centering frequency range. For example, there are some with settings for 10Hz, 1kHz, and 100kHz. In this case, we would select the 1kHz setting. This is why on some impedance measurements provided by audio cable manufacturers, you see the spec listed as “xxx ohm@1kHz”. That’s what that means.

    However, be aware that even using an LCR meter, it’s still not possible to directly measure the characteristic impedance of a cable. This is because LCR meters are designed to measure the value and impedance of discrete electronic components such as inductors, capacitors and resistors. Instead, you have to use the LCR meter to measure the inductance of a cable (with the distant end shorted) and the capacitance (with the distant end open circuit).

    Once you have those 2 measurements, you use the following formula to calculate the characteristic impedance:

    Zo = SQRT(L/C)

    Please note however that this method is ideally designed for much longer lengths of cable. Smaller lengths of cable (such as audio and headphone cables) will yield poorer resolution for both capacitance and inductance. This in turn will give you a somewhat inaccurate calculated characteristic impedance value.

    This is why you need to use an LCR meter that is high quality and as accurate as possible.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
  12. KimChee
    I’m probably going to get the 8 core pure silver cable to feed my JH Roxanne..I wonder if 8 wires would improve my setup vs 4 and I have the 4-2 pin adapter...

    Alberto01 likes this.
  13. Slater
    Update on my defective cable from AK Audio.

    I made a video of the problem, which was much easier for them to see what the problem was.

    They are sending me a new cable.

    A+ customer service from AK.
    HungryPanda and darmanastartes like this.
  14. hakuzen
    every and all issues i've had with defective cables come from AK audio store..
    forced to make a video in every case
    one defective cable 125 (but other two were ok), wrong cable received (115) instead of 131 twice!, received 131 at last, although i asked for a refund instead, and it resulted to be defective!
    for me, customer service from AK is D--
    waste of money and time always together with headache
    ..and i'd put my hand on fire betting they belong to the banned seller, like miss audio store
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019
    Slater, strawed and superuser1 like this.
  15. PointyFox
    I got two of those "Kinboofi" cables so far from Amazon for like $16 each. One was perfect and one had a slice out out of the side of one of the wires near one of the ends. It went through the insulation and a few of the strands.
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