Which AWG for and headphone cable wires ?
May 23, 2015 at 12:28 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 8

ginetto61

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Hi !
i have been redirected here from another thread ... 
rolleyes.gif

The question is very basic ...
 
which AWG for the wires in an headphone cable.
 
Is AWG 26 a sweet spot ?
What puzzles me is that in mic cables, where the currents are much lower, i see used even AWG 24  wires !!!  
eek.gif

while in some HP i have seen wires thin like an human hair ... 
I ask this on the basis of the reading of very positive reviews of high end cables.  
I think that there is something very true in them.
Thanks and regards,  gino 
o2smile.gif
 
 
May 23, 2015 at 12:41 PM Post #2 of 8

Steve Eddy

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Hi !
i have been redirected here from another thread ... :rolleyes:
The question is very basic ...

which AWG for the wires in an headphone cable.

Is AWG 26 a sweet spot ?
What puzzles me is that in mic cables, where the currents are much lower, i see used even AWG 24  wires !!!  :eek:
while in some HP i have seen wires thin like an human hair ... 
I ask this on the basis of the reading of very positive reviews of high end cables.  
I think that there is something very true in them.
Thanks and regards,  gino :o2smile:  


Go back where you came from. We don't want your kind here. :p

Ultimately it will depend on length. Even for headphone cables, it's not so much about current as it is about resistance, which will be the same regardless of current. For reasonable lengths, say up to a couple of meters, you can get by with relatively small gauges without any ill effects. Even 28 gauge would work for most situations.

se
 
May 23, 2015 at 2:38 PM Post #3 of 8

kraken2109

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Microphone (XLR) cables are designed to be able to run long distances without the signal being lost. Headphone cables are normally under 3 meters so the cable matters a lot less.
 
May 23, 2015 at 4:05 PM Post #4 of 8

limpidglitch

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One rule of thumb is to make sure the output impedance of your amplifier is at most ~1/10th the nominal impedance of your headphones. The resistance of the headphone cable contributes to this output impedance. Assuming your headphones have Znom=32 you can do a simple approximation like this:
 
32/10 #assuming a 32Ω nominal impedance of the headphones and applying the 1/10th rule.
= 3.2
ans-1 #assuming a one ohm output impedance of the amplifier, so subtracting this.
= 2.2
ans/3 #assuming a three-unit-length cable. I prefer metres.
= 0.733333333333333
ans*1000 #converting from Ω to mΩ
= 733.3333333333329 
 
Then you can just look up the table here for what gauge will give you at most a 733 mΩ/m DC resistance. In this case that would be 33AWG @ 
679 mΩ/m.​
 
May 24, 2015 at 3:12 AM Post #5 of 8

ginetto61

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Go back where you came from. We don't want your kind here.
tongue.gif


Ultimately it will depend on length. Even for headphone cables, it's not so much about current as it is about resistance, which will be the same regardless of current. For reasonable lengths, say up to a couple of meters, you can get by with relatively small gauges without any ill effects. Even 28 gauge would work for most situations.

se

 
Hi ! thank you for your very warm welcome.  I am moved 
biggrin.gif

Seriously ... i understand when they say the gauge is not important ... that can be very small ... but i think that at least in these Takstar hi2050 they have set a record for thinness 
rolleyes.gif

I have bought a Canare mini mic cable 26 gauge and i understand it is a reasonable choice also on the basis of what you recommend.   26 or 28 of good quality stranded copper
Now the problem is to solder them to the drivers without damaging them ... i am very worried.
The idea is to terminate the cable with an XLR and from them use a XLR to stereo plug mic cable to connect the HP to the amp, a little like AKG new models (they use a mini xlr that is even more elegant but i guess more difficult to solder).
Anyway thanks again for the very valuable. They were right. This is my place.
Especially with such nice people around ... 
wink.gif

Have a nice day
Kind regards,  gino 
beyersmile.png
 
 
May 24, 2015 at 3:25 AM Post #6 of 8

ginetto61

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  Microphone (XLR) cables are designed to be able to run long distances without the signal being lost. Headphone cables are normally under 3 meters so the cable matters a lot less.

 
Hi and thanks for the advice.  I see your point.  I have only one DIY experience.  I made an extension cable with a Canare mic cable for my Grado sr200 once.  
The wires in the Grados looks quite thick for HP standards (i wonder which AWG anyway) 

 
The Canare was the l-2t2s, a big 23 AWG with a phenomenal quality of the copper i think 
 
http://www.canare.com/ProductItemDisplay.aspx?productItemID=57 
 
Neutrik plug and socket for the 3 meters extension.
I do not want to sound on drugs, but the sound with the extension cable was almost better than without.
I believe that a low resistance path for signals is always a very very good thing, and you words confirm me this.
The mic cable application is one of the most demanding task for a cable.  The signal is so weak that, as you say, a very low resistance cable is needed.
This means to me that the same cable in a less demanding task will be spectacular.
Anyway i agree that even lower a gauge of quality stranded copper would be perfect the same.
26 +/-2  of what is available ... from a celebrated pro brand like Canare, Belden, Mogami, Gotham and so on ... 
Thanks a lot again,  gino  
 
May 24, 2015 at 3:36 AM Post #7 of 8

ginetto61

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  One rule of thumb is to make sure the output impedance of your amplifier is at most ~1/10th the nominal impedance of your headphones. The resistance of the headphone cable contributes to this output impedance. Assuming your headphones have Znom=32 you can do a simple approximation like this:
 
32/10 #assuming a 32Ω nominal impedance of the headphones and applying the 1/10th rule.
= 3.2
ans-1 #assuming a one ohm output impedance of the amplifier, so subtracting this.
= 2.2
ans/3 #assuming a three-unit-length cable. I prefer metres.
= 0.733333333333333
ans*1000 #converting from Ω to mΩ
= 733.3333333333329 
 
Then you can just look up the table here for what gauge will give you at most a 733 mΩ/m DC resistance. In this case that would be 33AWG @ 
679 mΩ/m.​

 
Hi and thanks a lot for the very informative advice. 
If i have understood rightly the gauge is not a problem with low Z HPs where even a 33 AWG is ok ... using a 28 AWG could be safe and maybe 24 overdone ... 
and even much less of a problem with high Z headphones where the resistance of the HP is very big indeed compared to the one of the cable
Maybe it is more important, especially with low Z HPs, the output impedance of the amplifier that must be at least  1/10th of the Z of the HPs.
Now the problem is to solder to the drivers ... a very delicate process.
If only they had invented a cold soldering i would be more confident. 
Thanks a lot again. issue closed.
Regards,  gino   
 
May 24, 2015 at 4:27 AM Post #8 of 8

ginetto61

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Hi and sorry Guys but i must tell you my dream ... to be able one day to use a nice off-the-shelf stereo plug to xlr mic cable with an HP that has a xlr out ... just that.
The AKG example should have many more followers ... it is a very good one indeed.  To be slaved to the original cable is a lack of liberty ... of freedom even
What is life without the freedom to choose ? 
This kind of cables comes ready for operations in all sort of quality and length ... they are excellent
Why not use them for HPs ??? I would pay 10 USD more to get an xlr out at the HPs, at least for quality HP of course. 
 

 
an this is mine waiting to be used ... 
 

 

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