New DIY Cable Instructions over at DIY Audio Projects
- Category: Blog
- Published: Thursday, 21 May 2009 23:39
- Written by Super User
Over at DIY audio Projects, they have added a couple of new do it yourself audio cable articles. Commercial audio cables range in price from a few pounds to a basic model, up into thousands of pounds for the most exotic. Clearly a frugal audio builder is unlikely to give away so much hard earned cash for such luxuries?
If you look around the web there are plenty of audiophiles willing and apparently financially able to not only buy exotic cables, but apparently happy to reinvest many times in different products in their search for audio nirvana. Do I sound a little skeptical? Well I am a little. However years ago I used to sell HiFi. Selling the cables alongside the hi-fi was part of the job, in fact that is where the commission is for the salesperson (that and the warranties). The reason the commission is generous is of course because the markup is vast.
On the other hand, the best way to sell cables was to demonstrate them. Almost all customers would purchase cables after hearing them in the system, even those initially skeptical. Compared to the most basic “patch leads” that came with the CD players, DACs etc, even the modestly priced upgraded interconnects would enhance the sound. Though moving up the price range, I am not totally convinced you get a guaranteed improvement. Frustratingly, magazines reviewing products are not much help either. Some of the 5 star recommendations that sold well often sounded poor. Trying to eek that extra bit of fidelity from your system can be an expensive experiment.
For anyone who is remotely useful with a soldering iron however, high quality cabling does not have to be a bank busting commodity. The materials required are not generally expensive to purchase and that leaves plenty of pennies left to try out a few home brew recipes. Good quality cable can be found in various places at pretty cheap prices. My favourite source for good quality signal wire is solid core CAT 6 cable. I tend to use it a lot because a couple of meters yields 16m of low oxygen cable, an added bonus is you get eight different colours in a CAT 6 cable. For prototype circuits this is handy indeed. Buying short lengths of hookup cable can be expensive in electronics shops, for a few pence you can have get so much more!
The first of the new home brew products that you can try uses Belden 89259 cable, Belden 89259 is a plenum-rated RG-59 type video coax, with a stranded (7x30) centre conductor and bare copper braid shield, and with FEP (Teflon) dielectric and outer jacket. Sounds exotic doesn’t it? Take out the mention of video and replace it with audio signal cable and you already have an advert for an expensive audiophile cable.
The article gives you some idea of just how achievable a set of cables are, even to a novice. The design by Jon Risch certainly looks very professional even though it is made from readily purchased materials.
The second new article on the site offers a low cost DIY Low-Inductance Speaker Cables. Made from 16 gauge wire, the site shows how to twist the cables to achieve low inductance. As several lengths of the cable are used, the cable also has a low capacitance. They are dressed to give that boutique look finish that impress visually and electrically at least promise to delight sonically (oops, I slipped right back to my salesman days)
The maker, Mark added some suitably mysterious wooden blocks to the cables to further ad the visual sense of the exotic, extra points to the first to write the ad-speak about how the wood offers a more natural sound
For full instructions, see the Low-Inductance DIY Speaker Cable page.