DIY Interconnects

TubeHiFiNut

Administrator
As I've stated before, my cable and wire ADD was legendary among our local group. I've spent more than I care to know on this stuff.

The cables I'm discussing today are very cost effective, easy to make and sound wonderfully clear and balanced. They are not shielded so please keep that in mind if you have RF issues.

This is a two conductor, loose twist cable using 30ga solid core silver-plated copper with Kynar insulation. Basically Radio Shack 30ga wire wrap.

Get some low-mass RCAs, good solder, put them together and this is what you get:



Great low end. Clear, smooth, good detail. Very nice image size. Gets lots of things right.

No way they should sound as good as they do for the low cost.

YMMV.....
 

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Hartge7

Senior Member
A friend gave me some silver coated copper interconnects he made and they do sound good. More high end than other cables.
 

TubeHiFiNut

Administrator
Hartge7;n12192 said:
A friend gave me some silver coated copper interconnects he made and they do sound good. More high end than other cables.

The thing that really surprised me about these was the low end.

Bettered some fairly high priced cables in that respect.
 

TubeHiFiNut

Administrator
I'm in the process of making up some additional cables using the 30ga solid core, silver plated copper, Kynar insulated wire and using some very inexpensive low-mass RCA plugs.

More to follow, including pics.
 

Catcher10

Senior Member
What do you mean by "good solder"? I have to change the RCA plugs in my phono connector box as the hex screws are lose and I ordered a set from Parts Express. Is there a brand or grade of solder I should use, it's such a small solder joint would not think it matter much.
 

TubeHiFiNut

Administrator
Catcher10;n13410 said:
What do you mean by "good solder"? I have to change the RCA plugs in my phono connector box as the hex screws are lose and I ordered a set from Parts Express. Is there a brand or grade of solder I should use, it's such a small solder joint would not think it matter much.

I use a rosin core lead free silver solder. You can get it through Amazon.

You do need a high heat soldering iron to use it properly.

I'm not sure if it makes any difference or not - I haven't done listening tests comparing this with regular lead based solder.
 

marantzfan

Administrator
Staff member
I use rosin core as well, have always liked it better than messing around with flux and I get good joints very consistently.

I'm curious to see what you think of the thin gauge silver interconnects. I've thought about putting together a pair similar to what you're cooking up here for a while.

 

TubeHiFiNut

Administrator
marantzfan;n13419 said:
I use rosin core as well, have always liked it better than messing around with flux and I get good joints very consistently.

I'm curious to see what you think of the thin gauge silver interconnects. I've thought about putting together a pair similar to what you're cooking up here for a while.

I really like them. The pair in the pic is around half-meter long. Before I moved everything across the room, I used them or the one meter pair between my CDP and preamp and found them to be quite good.

In that position, I preferred the DIY cables to both a one meter pair of Van den Hul Carbon Fiber interconnects, a one meter pair of XLO Type 1 and a one meter pair of Nordost Red Dawn. I stress that I have not had the opportunity to compare them yet in other positions but am going to try them between my new Schiitt Modi Uber and preamp this weekend.

I must tell you that everyone in the room was very surprised that these DIY cables held their own against really excellent interconnects.

They are cheap enough so that you should try them and see. They may, or may not, work in your application.

As always, YMMV..... :)
 

RH 67

Active Member
TubeHiFiNut;n12135 said:
As I've stated before, my cable and wire ADD was legendary among our local group. I've spent more than I care to know on this stuff.

The cables I'm discussing today are very cost effective, easy to make and sound wonderfully clear and balanced. They are not shielded so please keep that in mind if you have RF issues.

This is a two conductor, loose twist cable using 30ga solid core silver-plated copper with Kynar insulation. Basically Radio Shack 30ga wire wrap.

Get some low-mass RCAs, good solder, put them together and this is what you get:



Great low end. Clear, smooth, good detail. Very nice image size. Gets lots of things right.

No way they should sound as good as they do for the low cost.

YMMV.....

Have you given thought about trying the WE wire http://jeffsplace.me/wordpress/?p=7997&cpage=1#comment-16344. In my older age i no longer have the steady hands to solder otherwise i would do it myself. I use the WE wire for speaker wire and find it amazing. Since you have the experience i would be interested in your thoughts about the wire used as an interconnect.
 

TubeHiFiNut

Administrator
RH 67;n13468 said:
Have you given thought about trying the WE wire http://jeffsplace.me/wordpress/?p=7997&cpage=1#comment-16344. In my older age i no longer have the steady hands to solder otherwise i would do it myself. I use the WE wire for speaker wire and find it amazing. Since you have the experience i would be interested in your thoughts about the wire used as an interconnect.

Ever since you spoke so highly of the WE wire, I've been toying with picking some up to try as speaker cables.

Like you, my fine motor skills are pretty much shot (the folly of youth) so I have a (very) qualified tech repair my equipment and solder most of my DIY interconnect and speaker cable experiments.

The 30ga is hit or miss but it's not too expensive if I screw things up and melt an RCA. ;)

With the WE wire getting popular, is there any concern about counterfeit goods hitting the market?
 

RH 67

Active Member
TubeHiFiNut;n13470 said:
Ever since you spoke so highly of the WE wire, I've been toying with picking some up to try as speaker cables.

Like you, my fine motor skills are pretty much shot (the folly of youth) so I have a (very) qualified tech repair my equipment and solder most of my DIY interconnect and speaker cable experiments.

The 30ga is hit or miss but it's not too expensive if I screw things up and melt an RCA. ;)

With the WE wire getting popular, is there any concern about counterfeit goods hitting the market?

Yes, there is conterfeit wire from China, where else lol.
 

bacobits

Junior Member
Just buy it from the seller "tjacobs" I think it is on E Bay should be fine she is the one who had it from the start.
The Belden 8402 interconnects should be checked out too. Thesewires kicked my WyWires to the side in my system. Just very natural sounding.

If anyone does not have the capabilities of making this stuff up, interconnects etc. let me know I will make it up for the at cost $$ no charge for labor send me the materials and I will construct and return. Done a lot of this the last year and a half.
 

Vladimir

Active Member
Professional microphone wire (by the meter/foot) is hard to beat for this application. Best results IME with Mogami and interesting with Klotz.
 

TubeHiFiNut

Administrator
Vladimir;n13554 said:
Professional microphone wire (by the meter/foot) is hard to beat for this application. Best results IME with Mogami and interesting with Klotz.

I've had good luck with the Canare version, too.
 

bacobits

Junior Member
The 8402 Belden is better than the very good Mogami 2549 I have here.Both being mike cable. Mogami 2 Pairs, 3' if interested let me know terminated with nice HGA RCA's, one pair Gold the other Rhodium plated. Picts on request.
 

TubeHiFiNut

Administrator
bacobits;n13618 said:
The 8402 Belden is better than the very good Mogami 2549 I have here.Both being mike cable. Mogami 2 Pairs, 3' if interested let me know terminated with nice HGA RCA's, one pair Gold the other Rhodium plated. Picts on request.

The Belden 8402 appears to be rare. Nothing on eBay.
 

Catcher10

Senior Member
TubeHiFiNut;n13413 said:
I use a rosin core lead free silver solder. You can get it through Amazon.

You do need a high heat soldering iron to use it properly.

I'm not sure if it makes any difference or not - I haven't done listening tests comparing this with regular lead based solder.

Thanks....I have some solder that came with one of those radio kits, no clue what it is. I have used it to repair some bad joints on my Teac R2R and used it the other night to replace the RCA in my phono box, sounds fine if not a bit better but I think that is the RCA themselves, they seem to be a nice quality.

At some point I do want to try some super-dooper high end tonearm wire and see what I hear.....

Speaking of Belden wire my speaker cables are made by BJC in Seattle, using Belden 5000 series 10awg.....Best sounding speaker cable I ever had, and inexpensive....BJC does a nice job.
 

TubeHiFiNut

Administrator
Listening to the DIY 30ga Kynar cables between the Schiit Modi Uber and the Quicksilver Dual Mono Line Stage Preamps.

If I've got $5-$10 max in the wire and RCAs, I'd be surprised.

Sure sounds a heck of a lot better than it has any right to.

Annie Haslam's voice sounds like the voice of an Angel. Jon Camp's Rickenbacker is solid and well defined.

Going to try a variety of 1/2 - 1 meter cables in this location to see if my opinions remain the same. Different components, could easily get different results. Cables will include my DIY 30ga Kynar, Kimber KCAG, Tara Labs Prism 22, Canare Star Quad mic cable, Canare 75 ohm coax, Nordost Red Dawn, Nordost Blue Heaven, VanDenHul Carbon Fiber and whatever else I can come up with..... Hopefully a good mix of pedestrian and higher ticket stuff, DIY and 'store bought'.

Obviously, I'm going to have to take some time with each set of cables so this ain't going to happen overnight. I'll start a new thread to begin posting my thoughts and impressions as things unfold. :)
 

bacobits

Junior Member
Cables are a real Pandora's Box because of the construction of each and the materials/quality used.
I never got into how particular RCA's sound, geeeze even which solder to use. I always use Cardas Eutectic solder.
I do lke the Switchcraft RCA's but that also depends on the Gauge of the wire and jacket being used if techflex is used etc.
Have fun lots out there. AND you need not spend a fortune.
The Mogami's surprised the hell out of me because they have been around for years and I always got influenced by reviews and lots of other recommendations. KISS principal if you can.
 
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