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DiY cables

Wharfedale EVO 4.1 4.2 Speakers

klone

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hello,

thought i would share my experience with making cables for my parent's HT. Cable quality is probably not as important nor that negligible for power or AV signal quality. I chose to tread somewhere in between.
using shielded coax cables i made line level interconnects with RCA connectors between my receiver and powered speakers/active sub.

IMG_3829.jpg

these are the low frequency line level inputs left, right and subwoofer going into the sub. those are the decent quality rca connectors (approx. Rs.45 each) from MX Inc. India. The cables are Falcon premium OFC cables (India) sheilded coax with dual cores for a stereo usage (they are popular for noise-free commercial microphone cables). see the red and blue in the centre and aluminum shroud which is the common or ground for both. since this is a single channel configuration i used both red and blue.

IMG_3835.jpg

as for my video interconnects i used one composite cable and Y/Pb/Pr cables from my DVD player to my projector.

IMG_3822.jpg
IMG_3817.jpg

And the connections inside.

IMG_3825.jpg

the cables for the 3 component bunch are regular RG-6 coax cables (Rs.11/m) running close to 30ft without any loss in quality or distortion. those connectors are Monster Cable "type" rca connectors also manufactured by MX India. I used some insulation tape and some heat shrink tubing to get the connectors fit nice and snug. And for the composite cable i use for television the cable is RG-59 (Rs.6/m) and the connectors are the same as the audio interconnects.

I have been using these cables for 3 and 1/2 years with no problems and good quality. i Have pitched them against cheap rca cables and expensive Monster/Audionexus cables. while cheap cables are garbage, the only place where i felt my cables came short was the LFE cable from audio nexus had a negligible edge over mine in terms of bass from the subwoofer. The video cables seemed perfect!

These supplies or their close matches can be found in the electrical/electronics market of your city/town. Of course you'll need the basic tools - solder iron,lead,flux/ pliers or wire stripper/ mini screwdrivers etc.

many more DiY digital, toslink, speaker wire, D-SUB cables that i have made. let me know if anyone needs any info on them.

Kudos to Anil for initiatives on the DiY posts.

Cheers.
 
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Kamal

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Thx, Klone for an informative post with good pics.
I do know that many audio enthusiasts will benefit if they make the effort -I myself have been using "home cooked" IC's/Spkr cables and am pretty happy.
 

klone

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great to know that kamal. by IC's you mean for amps/receivers rite? and speaker cables home brew? would like to know your approach. i tried using havells 2 sq.mm (closest to AWG 14) for a few months before i moved to the basic monster 14 gauge OFC cables. havells supposedly use oxygen free copper and a decent strand count. heard of anyone using good quality ofc electrical wiring for speaker level cables?

thx
 

Jambumali

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Glad to note that there are people who don't buy the chicanery that is bandied around in form of "audiophile" cables.

I made my speaker cables from regular OFC wiring - 2 cores, banana plugs and am quite happy with the result. My setup is a Marantz + Paradigm.
 

awedeophile

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Glad to note that there are people who don't buy the chicanery that is bandied around in form of "audiophile" cables.

You should reserve that statement until you have properly compared a DIY home made and a good 'branded cable'. Again, this is system dependant and if you're using a Sony 2 in 1, the differences will probably not be apparent.

As Klone says "the only place where i felt my cables came short was the LFE cable from audio nexus had a negligible edge over mine in terms of bass from the subwoofer". Bass extension defines the overall sound to a very high degree. Replicating all frequencies as recorded is the ideal and it takes a lot of science and research to make equipment and cables capable of coming close.
 

suniil

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Excellent work Klone, CAT5 is also very good candidate for speaker cables. Also shielded CAT5e is very good to make component cables without the need of converters / baluns.
 

Jambumali

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You should reserve that statement until you have properly compared a DIY home made and a good 'branded cable'. Again, this is system dependant and if you're using a Sony 2 in 1, the differences will probably not be apparent.......
.......... Replicating all frequencies as recorded is the ideal and it takes a lot of science and research to make equipment and cables capable of coming close.

marantz + paradigm is similar to Sony 2-in-1? Sorry, I din't know that ! I had heard enough sound thru' [sic]audiophile cables and found it mostly daylight loot.

There is enough info on the net if one has the time/inclination, to do proper search & research to find what is good.
For a sampling, pl. follow the link:
Speaker Wire
Or, may be, the McIntosh's president isn't "enlightened" enough.
 

Nevil

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Hey Klone, Great job, am in agreement with you, most of the branded cables are noe made in China (bulk) and not VFM....where can i source the MX Inc. (cables and inter) from in mumbai?
 

dinyaar

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Hi Nevil,
Champion rubber and spectra connectors both at lamington road, Mumbai. All MX products are available at the former while the latter will offer u neutrik and some other chinese,korean connectors, cables etc. Very reasonable rates. Next to champion is a large store called cable & wires who claims to have great OFC cables in all gauges. I have personally not been to this store but few friends vouch for it.
Regards
 

klone

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Nevil,
as i mentioned, "These supplies or their close matches can be found in the electrical/electronics market of your city/town." It takes a bit of searching and you'll find the one or two main stores that categorically sell these products. if you do find an authorized MX distributor/seller be sure to pick up the latest booklet on connectors. It has all products listed on connectors for a/v/data systems. its a handy book to have to know whats out there. i dont remember if MX has a website.
Also, MX sells a small variety of only connector-ready component cables in specified lenghts. (toslink, Y/Pb/Pr, s-video, maybe HDMI).

that said, i dont say that MX is the best brand in connectors but i tread the middle path and it more than does the job for me when compared to the mc.daddy international brands.

jambumali,

what brand ofc cables did you use?
please let me know. and what connectors as well.

Suniil,
saw your diy HT. Awesome. Sure u can use cat 5 cables for spkr wire. i shud try that but i hate BRAIDING!!! takes forever. are u using braided cat5? as for component cables i made one from cat6 stp cable. worked the same with or without the balun. but somehow i'd rather use co-ax.
let me know abt your diy cables.

thanx
 

awedeophile

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IMHO all this DIY cable stuff is quite a waste of time. Although it is a learning experience and fun, at some point you realise that the people who make cables professionaly actually know more than you do!

There are however some cable manufacturers that make superb cables which are incredible value for money even when compared to DIY. One such manufacturer is Heartland Home Theater - buy the IC's with Eichmann Bullets for an even better sound.
 

dinyaar

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Hi,

Actually DIY can work and work well. I would not call it a waste of time. But like most things its what works for u and what appeals to the head. Lots of people feel exotic cables are a waste of money. I agree to a point. The cable cos really market their stuff brilliantly making all kinds of claims and the end user is tempted to try and make the most of his set up by indulging in the cables.

Dear awedeophile this debate on improvements by power cords, exotic cables will go on forever with both sides having valid arguments so its best to agree to disagree.

regards
 

awedeophile

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Hi, I'm not talking about 'exotic cables' that cost as much as a Honda Accord but reasonably priced branded cables. I don't see anything wrong in spending about 10% of the setup cost on cables. So it's all relative. BUT there are branded cables out there that cost only marginally more than DIY cables and IMO are made mcuh better and sound much better than the DIY varieties.

Anyone who makes a product markets it to sell. It is for the buyer to make an informed decision - best one being to actually try the product.

I don't represent any cable company nor have any link/love/like/dislike with any company and this is simply my opinion derived from many years and many wasted hours and $$$$ in this hobby.
 

dinyaar

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Hi,
I think i would keep my Honda in that case!!!!!!!! HAHAHA
I will sit on the fence in this case as i do have some exotic cables and some DIY experiments too.
Spending 10% of the budget is fine no problem at all but what if the DIY guys (the ones who posted above) can achieve similar for <5%?
Bottom line try everything and select what appeals to ur ears and pockets.
Regards
 

soundofmusic

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Hi

IMO DIY for any product is just self satisfaction , i have some home made cables which are now lying un noticed, it was a waste of time for me. After listening to some branded cables , i have stoped all my DIY projects. LOL ......if your system is mid end and above go for branded cables . And as Dinyaar said this Cable talk is an never ending process and almost all the forums have a longggggggg list of supporters for branded and unbranded cables , afterall taste differs.

regards
 
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bhagwan

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Lots of people feel exotic cables are a waste of money. I agree to a point.

Dear awedeophile this debate on improvements by power cords, exotic cables will go on forever with both sides having valid arguments

Interesting observations / statements !!!

If, I may add a bit;

Cables will only show 'their true clour' when the 'rest of the chain' is up to the mark;
An 'expensive cable' may and shall only show what it can do in a set up that costs 7 to 10 times its price.
So if you buy a 5K US $ cable & put it in a 15 K US $ set up and expect it to perform, it will not. This is because a 15 K US $ set up will have a 'resolution' that is 'capped' & the cable [5K one i.e.] is not able to show its true potential.

It is like this, if one goes and buys 97 Octane fuel & puts it in a Honda City and expects it to show a performance increase.... well that is being a bit ambitious. But that same fule in a RS [Skoda] will show the difference to you within seconds.

The synopsis, the person who drives a Honda City will B***H about the 'fuel' & the person who drives the RS will AppreciatE the 97 Octane Fuel !!!
 

dinyaar

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Hi,
I agree that cables can only show their colours if the rest of the set up is up to scratch. Why only cables that holds true for most components in a chain.

However if i take ur above example of a 5000 USD cable in a 15000 USD set up, what if i were to put that 5K into better electronics. Would the increase in performance be the same. Basically i feel there is always better and the money spent on exotic(construction and materials) cables may yield better results if it goes into a component upgrade with decent cables.
By decent i mean something like a Kimber (not the select) or some of the mid priced cables from VDH or Transparent and the likes. As for me the end result is always relative to the cost (price=performance). If its a case of price is not an issue then of course one can experiment with cables costing (and resembling) as much as jewelery.I also believe that a cable should do nothing, by that i mean add nothing and take away nothing so i believe in spending most of the money in the components.(That does not mean i would link it with some cable bought of the street)

This post was basically a few guys who are into DIY posting some info and pictures. Should we all go the DIY way, absolutely not but we definately cannot just condemn it as a waste of time.

Lastly Shanti i totally respect ur knowledge in anything audio and i also know the lenghts u would go for better sound so if u say cables improve the sound radically i would keep that in mind for a future upgrade.

About the 97 octane petrol and the mentioned cars i think we better leave that for some other forum or better in person, though i would like to state that a higher octane( plus better additive package) does make a difference in both my old city VTEC as well as the 3L accord and definately in all the bikes we have experimented on though i dont use it as its not available at all times and i also feel the 93 performs great for me at a LOWER COST. Maybe if i had a ferrari i would use 97 as a rule but then i dont.

Best regards
 
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awedeophile

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marantz + paradigm is similar to Sony 2-in-1? Sorry, I din't know that !

Or, may be, the McIntosh's president isn't "enlightened" enough.

Sir, I was not refering to your setup (I had no idea what you use), but was making a general statement. Your setup could benefit from better cables but definitely not be able to show any difference in very high end cables. I would lke to know how many types / brands of cables you have auditioned to find them "daylight loot".

There are thousands of articles on the net about the pros and cons of cables but does anyone say that Cables "do not make a difference", regardless of price point? I think not. The amount you want to spend depends on your budget, setup, requirement and passion. I'm sure that the millions of doctors, lawyers, scientists, engineers, businessmen, etc. who are in this hobby and spend on cables don't claim to be "enlightened' but can actually hear a difference. No one likes to waste money which is why company's like fatwyre.com offer home auditions.

When someone buys a $20000 watch that tells time no better than a $100 Casio, that's OK. But if someone spends $2000 on a cable where he CAN hear a difference, that's "daylight loot"!

People should reserve their opinions and arguements unless they have personally experienced it and not quote from what other's think.
 

awedeophile

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Be careful when using Cat5 speaker cables. These are very high capacitance and if your amplifier cannot handle it, it will go into oscillation and possibly get damaged.
 

Jambumali

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jambumali,

what brand ofc cables did you use?
please let me know. and what connectors as well.


thanx

I use shielded cables (speaker), which you can find in industrial supplier shops. Check the local yellow pages. These are normally used as spares in control systems for process/power plants, where a single mal-operation due to interference can cause a loss of few crores.

For others I dont have a set up for heat shrink etc, so went for "reasonable" cables - video, I use MX/ optical - Bandridge.

It was quite amusing to see MX ( with quite a decent finish) put on their cables - Monster-type!

Maybe Monster has achieved in wiring what Bose has done in systems?!
 
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