Time Aligned interconnect and speaker cables - DIY

Hari Iyer

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FMs who are following my post may know by now that i am a cable freak and at times go nuts trying to perfect it. Family members feel that i need help :)- . After many years of working with different cable geometries, dielectrics, materials i have discovered that no single solution will be suitable for most setups (well atleast mine). I have tried copper, silver - stranded, single core with varying awg sizes and have used pvc, air, teflon dielectrics, have used enameled copper, tinned copper - stranded as well as single core, telephone cables .... the list is endless with various configurations and combinations.

What i have realized that with some combinations the sound stage is much faster than it need to be and usually the high frequency appears to be ahead of the low frequency. This is even when my speakers are time aligned in geometry and i have measured delay from 4mm to 8mm in arrival time. This cause a severe phase shift in my otherwise accurate setup. This lead me to think about various other materials (metals) that could be used other than just copper and / or silver to slow down the HF energy a bit.

This led me to discover metals like aluminium, tin, chromium, zinc, steel, nickle along with copper and silver. The conductivity, resisitivity and skin depth of all these material differs so need to arrive at the proper guage size when used in combination. For instance in my speaker cable i have found that using only copper wires tend to make them more forward sounding and aggressive in the high-end. But when i used copper - along with aluminium, zinc, steel and silver with proper sizing there is a kind of perfect balance to the sound stage with everything else remaining same. The sound becomes more netural, balanced and open. This is due to no skin effect in aluminium wires and so the LF & MF arrive at the same time as the HF and the signal pass through the entire conductor. Its after many permutation and combinations i was able to arrive at the right recipe of what will constitute an interconnect or a speaker cable.

I have ordered some material to finalize and complete my design to help me make my own first batch of IC cables and that should be ready in 2 more weeks. My speaker cable is already under use since past one week and i am enjoying every bit of them and always wonder why i did not go this route earlier. That's certainly for its keep. I may not intend to make more than 5 pairs of these interconnect cables in this batch due to want of funds and my own requirement / needs.

Thanks for looking.
 

Hari Iyer

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Made 2 pairs of interconnects today and using them now between CD PLAYER, Preamplifier and Monoblocks.
This interconnect hat 5 metals - Gold, nickel, copper, silver and chromium. The conductor size is optimized to have no skin effect issues and signal is on the entire conductor and not only on the skin. Dielectrics used are Air, cotton, pvc, teflon.
Inital 30 minutes were bit on the warmer side and now after 4 hours of use are very neutral and balanced. I am glad that I went this route and finally my search of the accurate interconnect has come to an end . I now wonder how much coloured were all my previous interconnects either DIY or commercial. Nothing that I have built till date even comes close to the sound stage, neutrality and dynamics as this. Only listening is believing.

Thanks for looking.
 

Hari Iyer

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Please post some pics..
Measured this interconnect as below,
for 1/2 fulton length
inductance = 0.1 uH
Capacitance = 30pF

for 1/4th fulton length
inductance = 0.06uH
capacitance = 16pF

HI-IC.jpg

Unfortunately the cost of the interconnects could not be kept down due to material cost and effort required to make them. Hence it would be just another choice for buyers in addition to "Murthy cables". I would have been glad if i could make it at a lower price, but currently am not able to do that. As listening and judging how they sound compared to other cables is purely a subjective choice, i will leave that for others to decide. Am planning a pair of IC for a FM who is keen to try one.
 

sud98

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Nice Hari.

Is it possible to share the picture before you put the RCA plugs?

Was curious to know if each of the metals are a separate strand or they are mixed to make a composite metal wire.
 
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Hari Iyer

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Nice Hari.

Is it possible to share the picture before you put the RCA plugs?

Was curious to know if each of the metals are a separate strand or they are mixed to make a composite metal wire.
Unfortunately no, I can't share that part.
 
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Hari Iyer

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If I really want to copy, I shall buy that cable and rip it...
Is the cost of your years of research equal to the cost of that one cable...? There's got to be a better way to protect your IP.
You can buy one pair and copy it, though it won't be that easy imo. Opening it will damage the IC beyond use.
 

kapvin

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Made 2 pairs of interconnects today and using them now between CD PLAYER, Preamplifier and Monoblocks.
This interconnect hat 5 metals - Gold, nickel, copper, silver and chromium. The conductor size is optimized to have no skin effect issues and signal is on the entire conductor and not only on the skin. Dielectrics used are Air, cotton, pvc, teflon.
Inital 30 minutes were bit on the warmer side and now after 4 hours of use are very neutral and balanced. I am glad that I went this route and finally my search of the accurate interconnect has come to an end . I now wonder how much coloured were all my previous interconnects either DIY or commercial. Nothing that I have built till date even comes close to the sound stage, neutrality and dynamics as this. Only listening is believing.

Thanks for looking.
Its really interesting to see your transformation from "if you cannot measure it, it isn't real" or similar posted many times in the past to your current statement. I see you did share measurements, but am curious:
  1. what was the difference in measurements initially and after 4 hours of use ( that led to such a change in sound)
  2. how do your measurements compare with any standard or reference cable or electric cable (say finolex 2.5mmsq.)
  3. do you think that the "awesomeness" of your cables is relevant to the quirks of your electronics / speaker /listening environment and may not be replicable outside of that?
your insight, as always, will be very interesting.
 

Hari Iyer

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Its really interesting to see your transformation from "if you cannot measure it, it isn't real" or similar posted many times in the past to your current statement. I see you did share measurements, but am curious:
  1. what was the difference in measurements initially and after 4 hours of use ( that led to such a change in sound)
  2. how do your measurements compare with any standard or reference cable or electric cable (say finolex 2.5mmsq.)
  3. do you think that the "awesomeness" of your cables is relevant to the quirks of your electronics / speaker /listening environment and may not be replicable outside of that?
your insight, as always, will be very interesting.
Thanks kapvin for your queries,
- I have not done a pre / post measurement TBH and would plan after 30+ hours of use to check. All measurements are pre. I don't think there would be much difference in that but would be interesting to check for them.
- I am using a standard HTC make LCR meter for measurements. I am not sure how accurate they are, but atleast that's the reference meter for all my previous measurements too.
- yes, I have done all my cable antics with my setup which are in my signature and have don't know how they will sound outside my setup. Its for you and others to experience / experiment. I have used my ears to subjectively listen and conclude about how they sound. YMMV.

If you are keen to discover you are welcome ( you stay just 5 km away from my home).
 

Hiten

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Sorry for offtopic.
Multimeters are not reliable for inductance and capacitance. Was also told that for sudden transient requirement of currents also they are not reliable.
However perfectly fine for Resistance and stable current and voltage measurements.
Best regards.
 

Hari Iyer

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LCR meter measures with a fixed known current and voltage and use that to compare before display of value.
 

kapvin

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Thanks kapvin for your queries,
- I have not done a pre / post measurement TBH and would plan after 30+ hours of use to check. All measurements are pre. I don't think there would be much difference in that but would be interesting to check for them.
- I am using a standard HTC make LCR meter for measurements. I am not sure how accurate they are, but atleast that's the reference meter for all my previous measurements too.
- yes, I have done all my cable antics with my setup which are in my signature and have don't know how they will sound outside my setup. Its for you and others to experience / experiment. I have used my ears to subjectively listen and conclude about how they sound. YMMV.

If you are keen to discover you are welcome ( you stay just 5 km away from my home).
Hi Hari, in reverse order.

I will definitely pay you a visit before I move. thanks again for the invite.

if it's not a measurable difference, then what do you think is at work to change the sounds so radically over a few hours

On "unique to your system", glad you gave that clarification. the corollary of that may be that it hugely worsens the sound on other systems. I understand that you are sharing on true DIY spirit. then you should share the composition as asked by another FM here. OTOH, if you plan to commercialise nor or in the future, you should then offer all the caveats. I, like many others, see you as a valuable contributing member of the forum and not as a seller of Krypton audio. I think there are different rules for commercial entities.
 

Hari Iyer

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Hi Hari, in reverse order.

I will definitely pay you a visit before I move. thanks again for the invite.

if it's not a measurable difference, then what do you think is at work to change the sounds so radically over a few hours

On "unique to your system", glad you gave that clarification. the corollary of that may be that it hugely worsens the sound on other systems. I understand that you are sharing on true DIY spirit. then you should share the composition as asked by another FM here. OTOH, if you plan to commercialise nor or in the future, you should then offer all the caveats. I, like many others, see you as a valuable contributing member of the forum and not as a seller of Krypton audio. I think there are different rules for commercial entities.
I am not sure why the sound changes so much in 4 hours, but the fact is that they change. Also surprisingly the break-in works better if you play for couple of hours and give them a rest for few hours instead of continuously break-in IME. The in-between gap is crucial for break-in IME. These cables will need 30+ hours to settle down. I hear almost no hash or edgy sounding highs now. Also sibliance has vanished. During break-in period there was a loss of HF in one cycle and in the next cycle it was normal. I am unable to explain this but allowed that cycle to play normally. I must have completed around 7-8 cycles now and it should be done by 10 cycles of start and stop.

About sharing - it should be with my discretion of what I should share and what I should not be sharing and that should be respected. FMs who want to know more should get in touch with me directly.
 

Hari Iyer

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Its almost 2 years since i came upon this patented article and i implemented fig.17 of this design not exactly but in principle. This document will take some time to read and understand what the author is claiming. I had done this implementation earlier in bits and pieces but that approach don't fully work IME. I started this activity last weekend and it took me quite a bit of my time to gather material and assemble them. A pair of interconnect took me close to 5 days working for almost 4 hours a day.

I have used 4 metals to create this interconnect as below,
Pure silver (not silver plated copper) - 28 awg - Conductivity 105
Pure copper (99.97%) - 24 awg - conductivity 100
Nichrome (An alloy of Nickle and Chromium)- 30 awg - Conductivity - 15
Brass (An alloy of copper and Nickle) - 32 awg - Conductivity - 28

These metals were combined into one by twisting them and giving me a final gauge size of 22 awg. I have used a first layer of teflon dielectric and a second layer of paper dielectric. The 1.5 meter cable gave me a final capacitance of 45pF (not bad considering the size of the conductor). I have used two pairs of these cables from my CD player to pre-amplifier and pre-amplifier to power amplifier.

First hour subjective listening, they sounded a bit constrained and with almost no top-end like compressing the entire top-end like a tone control. This gave me an impression that this cable would take almost 100+ hours to break-in. I have been listening for almost 4+ hours and they don't seem to budge much. But i could hear some fine inner details and some sound in the music which were masked in my previous interconnects. Hope this is not hallucination. I am confident about this cable and shall give them the required 100+ hours to break-in and settle down which mean almost 1 month of time with my listening schedules.

Once they are sounding good may replicate this on my speakers internal wiring to see if they can be further improved.

Thanks for looking.
 

drlowmu

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Awesome posting and thread Hari !!

I would just like to explain to FMs that a basic Fulton wire length is 57 1/8th inches. This length can be applied as divisors or multiples of same.

A half length is 28 5/8 inches. A double length ( which we often use as an amp-to-speaker cable length ) is 114 1/4 inches, or 9.52 feet.

Mr. Robert W. Futon, was a USA recording engineer, musician, and audio manufacturer. He pioneered specially-developed-wire for audio. Robert determined the wire length aspect in the 1970s, from his own Lab work.

FMs can read about this lovely, gifted human being, ( born 1925 and who passed away in 1988 ), here:

http://fultonmusicalindustries.com/index.html

AND



Jeff
 
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Hari Iyer

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I have now been using this IC for 5+ month and am extremely satisfied with the outcome. I got an opportunity to test a Blue Jean IC from my preamplifier to power amplifier. They sounded very much constrained and compressed compared to my DIY cable. Replaced after listening for 30 minutes to my DIY IC. Gave me assurance that I am doing something correct.
 

grindstone

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OK, this is OT and either "way out there" or "routine engineering" but I sorely wish someone would apply this thinking to diy tube amp power supply rails such as yours and Jeff's. I do not have EE/transmission or "RF skills" to do so. My sense is that, if only to quantify the degree to which is does/not matter, the exercise would constitute progress. I envision someone with real sim skills taking a V/I & phase looking backward into a PT, and the same looking forward into an output stage (etc), importing them into a "device", and adding all the self-resonant parasitics in the filter elements. Maybe the output stage is wrong to look at owing to more-dominant OPT parasitics, but perhaps the idea is clear anyway. I just know that, if I have something ringing at 40kHz and something ringing at 41kHz, I'm gonna hear extra 1kHz. Between impedances at the ends and every wire being an antenna, there is more going on with all the bypassing than people post much about (and not just time-constants for discharge/energy-delivery). I always wonder, but it is too late in my lifespan to deep-dive on such things even given the education and skills. Maybe it's simple EM/RF & noise-rejection to people with real educations, but there may be more to be gained by earnest diy-people than many of us know. Thank you for posting about these things. The tolerance and open-exchange of ideas on this forum is rare in my experience and valuable to me.
 
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