I had great success with DIY - Furutech Power Cords and Connectors. I have build some PC’s for my amps using FP-S032N (12AWG) with FI-28 (R) Connectors for $350.00. They are excellent performers for the money.
If you are going to build cables, I highly recommend a one time investment of Furutech Nano Liquid.
They are on sale at VHAudio.com. You can count on stellar customer service from from the owner - Chris VenHaus.
no need and connectors for $350 that is really worth few buck max sounds REALLY DIY fun LOL!
If you go McMaster and specify number of conductors and strands per conductor and conductor type, than purchase connectors from there, you'll end-up with $10...20 DIY powercord depending on connectors.
Please do tell us which component in your setup currently powered by McMaster $10-$20 powercord.
Thank you for your time!
My new component will that will need a PC is the Lumin T1 Streamer/Dac power supply.
The following components are required for a typical configuration of a LUMIN system:
- LUMIN Audiophile Network Media Player.
- iPad running LUMIN iPad App.
- Home Network including Wi-Fi connection.
- LUMIN L1 Music Server or NAS (Network Attached Storage) including a UPnP server (QNAP or Synology are recommended).
- Computer (optional) used for ripping CDs, downloading music and configuring the NAS.
- Amplifier and Loudspeakers.
You won’t need your existing preamp, PC and DAC anymore if you choose to get Lumin T1 and L1 music server.
Cue in "Williewonka".
Like Duster on Audio Asylum mentioned by ddzstereo, review various posts on the subject of DIY power cords by Willie on the 'gon.
Well I made my own power cable using Furutech DPS-4 cable (Retails $449/meter) and Furutech Nano connectors (Retails $350 a set). I also used Furutech Nano liquid on the cut wire ends. Now I must admit I was able to get the raw cables and connectors for less than retail due to a quantity discount.
But still pretty pricey for a DIY project. However, these are the best sounding cables I have owned. (except for one other). And I have owned many, many cables.
Please disregard my last post on Lumin T...I got my post mixed up with another thread!
I am waiting for some Vibranium wire from Wakanda!
No, you're not. You are not a "gullible" one, remember? Although they might sound good in your fantasy system.
I’ve been making my own power cables for years using long crystal oxygen free aluminum shielded unobtainium with Ophidia oil tm. The cost is astronomical however it sounds just as good as three pieces of electric taped coat hanger bare ended into the wall socket. Sorry guys I don’t believe in power cord magic. I can hear a difference in bi-wiring and in using a power conditioner and things people think I’m crazy for doing, but not in what you plug your appliance in with. If I’m wrong educate me. I am educable.
Have you tried using any aftermarket cord?
Would be the benefits? My amp is already dead quiet.
The benefits would be patently obvious. My integrated is dead quiet with any power cord I've tried but it's the sound that comes out of my speakers that's different.
All the best,
Soundstage, more relaxed or forward? More depth? What discernible atributes of the sound? I thought the only benefits would be noise floor. I’m speaking out of ignorance, I don’t know what the benefits would be.
" I don’t know what the benefits would be."
Exactly, experimenting is the only way to find out, let your ears tell you.
There are lots of cords available out there, new & used at all price points. Take a walk on the wild side, buy one or two and test them out.
Soundstage and dynamics are the first victims of a lessor power cord, only because they are the most obvious upon first listen. Clarity, detail retrieval, coherence, etc. all follow suit. It's like something is holding it all back.
Haha okay you got me. I’ll see if my dealer will let me audition a ...power cable. But I’ll be ready to believe anything if I hear the slightest difference. If not I’m going back to my coat hangers!
brian, now that’s the spirit 👍
Please report back brian
brian and others,
Way back in the early days I too thought that after market power cords was hooey. Afterall, with all the romex used before the system how could one silly length of electrical wire make a difference? And if it does then why didn’t the manufacturer supply a better one with the product?
Well, a dealer loaned me a Synergistic Research Master Coupler power cord and when I first plugged it in I thought, ...what?... how the he--? this can’t be...
And from then on I was hooked. Now, not every after market power cord is a game changer and you do have to have a resolving system.
But, with the right cord and a good system you will not be able to go back to the stock cable.
Good timing on this post. I have been considering this exact DIY project over the past few days. I am having no issues in finding good wall plugs, and IEC connectors on line, but the cable itself is proving to be a little harder to find. Can anyone point me in the right direction? I have checked out the DH Labs site, but I have not been able to find any other bulk cable supplier.
I have had great success making power cords . On eBay I found a vendor selling Oyaide Black Mamba V2 ( 12 gauge ) and Tunami V2 ( 10 gauge ) cables by the meter . The copper used is their 102SSC , the highest purity copper commercially available . It is copper foil shielded with a drain wire which you connect to the ground lug of the input plug . Google Oyaide 102SSC for the full story .
The Neotech connectors I used are no longer at the vendor I found , but any brand with gold plated copper conductors ( not brass ) at the lowest price you can find will do .
Commonly used brass has only 16% the conductivity of copper . A good search might read " copper US mains plugs " on eBay . Most connectors will handle the 12 gauge wires, but check closely if you go with the heavier 10 gauge wire as not all take that size . This 102SSC wire has slightly smaller outside diameter than all others due to their unique stranding and will fit more easily into connectors . YMMV
You will want to make the IEC end FIRST, since on the other end you cross the insulated wire to maintain correct polarity ( between hot and return ) and there is more room to do this at the power plug connector than at the IEC plug . Learned the hard way ! Work carefully and insure there is not one loose strand of wire shorting to another ! Get help if you need it .
So for about $650 I made myself 4 power cords, none longer than 3 feet , better than I had any right to have and probably better than many very pricey commercial power cords .
The improvement in sound quality , and especially quietness and impact were unreal .
I have no financial connection to any brand mentioned , I'm only a 70 year old audiophile with military electronics training .
Good tips on plugs and construction process.
Sorry I’m late to the game - Thanks for the mention(s) guys :-)
Here is a brief history of some things I have tried...
Started with Bulk Furutech FP-3TS762 (10 awg) and FP-314Ag-II (14 awg) cables and Vanguard IEC/mains connectors
- these were better than stock power cables
Next - tried DH Labs Power Plus(12 awg) and Encore (14 awg) cables with Vanguard IEC/mains connectors
- these were really very close to the performance level of the Furutech cables, but much more affordable
Next - I stripped the wires from a piece of Home Depot 12 gauge extension cord and braided them - attached Vanguard IEC/mains connectors
- SURPRISE! - they outperformed both of the above cables
Next - I stripped the wires from the DH Labs and braided them, attached the Vanguard IEC/mains connectors
- these outperformed all of the above cables
I then developed the Helix design as detailed on my web site and upgraded the IEC/mains connectors to the Sonar Quest silver plated copper.http://image99.net/blog/files/be8de0c383c5434907610d6b55049e69-75.html
I use a single wire for the live conductor from either DH Labs or Furutech cables, but a different bulk wire for the ground and neutral conductors - (see my web site).
I use the heavier gauge DH Labs/Furutech conductors for the power components and extension cables and the lighter gauge DH Labs/Furutech conductors for source components.
I promote crimping and soldering spades onto ALL wires because I have found they provide better performance and it adds to the safety aspect of the design. i.e. they will not pull out of the connectors
So - Furutech or DH Labs ?
- I now use DH Labs because there is very little between them when used in the helix design
- I even have one PC that uses the same wire used for the ground and neutral conductors - i.e. stranded Mil Spec 12 AWG Silver Plated Copper Wire, Cryo Treated and it sounds very close to the named brands
Why Sonar Quest IEC/Mains Connectors?
- they are very well made solid copper with a very heavy silver coating - yet to wear off after dozens of insertions
- the pins of the mains plug are very flat - and provide a great connection
- the IEC connectors clamp like a vice - I first plug them into my guitar amp to loosen them a little
What improvements were observed?
I have found that source components show a greater improvement, I suspect because their power supplies are not as "able" as those generally found in power amps.
However, the improvements in my amp - a NAIM 5i MKII integrated amp - was less noticeable at first, but some subtle improvements observed applied more to the fine details of venue acoustics, hall reverberations and imaging.
Other system components: Bluesound Node 2 and Simaudio MOON LP5.3 RS phono stage
Dynamic performance, clarity and imaging are probably the most noticeable improvements across all components
The cables/conductors/connectors on the web site is only one option, so try others brands if you already have some power cables lying around.
Feedback from others that have tried them is very favorable
I have tried some commercial products up to $1500 - they have since all been returned or sold on.
Hope that helps - Steve
Thanks for that overview! I’ve been reading the DIY cable threads and followed yours somewhat and meant to respond prior.
A little while back I had an itch to try building my own power cable (just for kicks) to replace my Shunyata Python Helix that powers a Hydra. I also may try it on my SMc Audio amp on which I'm currently running a Grover ZX. I already had two Furutech connectors in house. I saw some Furutech cable on sale at Cable Co. and bought a meter of FP-S55N Alpha-OFC.
My initial question is... the cable (outlet) side of these connectors are slightly smaller compared to the cable’s out jacket. Does one just trim down the outer jacket to fit. (Sounds like a stupid question, but an answer from you would make me feel better). More questions to come.
@slaw - how about....
1. completely remove a piece of the cable's outer jacket, such that you can insert the wires comfortably into the assembled plug
2. cut a piece of heat-shrink that is long enough to cover the exposed wires into the plug, in addition to about one inch of the outer jacket
That way the wires have some protection
If you can manage two pieces of heat-shrink even better
I think that would be my preference
It may make the whole process a little easier and perhaps result in a nicer finish.
That makes perfect sense! This is why I came here...if one is in the cable making (mindset), they'll have an easy way of doing things. Hopefully, I too, can be of said mindset soon.
I’m a little bit surprised there’s been no mention of carbon fiber sleeves on cables and power cords on a DIY cable thread. What’s up with that?
I believe the Furutech nano connectors include that in the design.
@geoffkait - I frequently use the nylon "expandable" sleeve of different types because of its insulation properties
Some questions in my mind...
- does Carbon fibre sleeve conduct electricity ?
- if so it could be dangerous on mains leads if it touched a live conductor inside the plug?
- If used on speaker cables or IC's would it cause interference (RFI/EMI, eddy currents etc.) in the actual conductors?
- also, I think the debate is ongoing as to whether braided shielding is a good or bad thing on cables - would carbon fiber have a similar effect?
Can you "seal" the cut end (as with nylon) to stop it from unraveling?
I haven't tried it in any cable applications to date so I cannot confirm either way.
I know a person in the cables/connector business that believes the use of carbon fibre, particularly on RCA plug housings may "interfere" with the other properties of the RCA if it is not designed properly
- he has 30+++ years experience so I trust his opinion.
But - if you are smart enough to incorporate it into your cable's design/properties it might it might be advantageous?
Not much help I'm afraid
But I don't think I will be using it any time soon.
Regards - Steve
The Carbon Fiber sleeves are intended to cover the entire Cable length but not the plug or connector. Select the diameter and length to suit your cable or power cord and slip it over the existing jacket. Voila! Seal both ends with electrical tape. The Carbon Fiber sleeves are highly reflective to electromagnetic waves and fields and act as RFI/EMI shields. Carbon fiber is conductive so keep that in mind when using. You certainly don’t want any dangling fibers floating around. Carbon fiber shield by reflecting rf so I doubt there could be interference. Besides the plug and connectors aren’t covered with carbon fiber. Problem solved. Carbon fiber sheets are also available for draping over equipment, providing additional shielding.
I’ve had very good results using Belden 19364 cable. It’s 14 awg and shielded. Fit some good connectors, and if you want to get fancy, some Techflex, and you have a pretty terrific power cord for not very much money.
Re McMaster or HomeDepot DIY cords - any gauge or specifications recommended?
Wound love to try something in that $10-$30 range to see if I notice improvements.
+1 / I've made several PC's using
Oyaide Tunami cable myself & completely agree that this cable is well worth the money. Bought the cable from vhaudio.
Could you elaborate on how to braid the cables?
@leexmaze - I will try :-)
My Braiding is simply a criss-cross affair...
- Take the three conductors and attach them to the IEC plug
- plug the connector into an unused component (if you have one)
- or hold it in a vice
- you can even wedge it in a drawer or tape it to an table top if all else fails
- allow the live conductor to hang free
- take the ground and neutral conductors and cross them over the top of the live conductor
- then pass them to the back of the live conductor and cross them again.
- bring them to the front again and cross them - repeat until finished
Each time the neutral and ground conductors cross the signal conductor - alternate the conductor position i.e....
- place the neutral next to the live conductor for one crossing and then the ground next to the live conductor for the next crossing
The braiding needs to be "reasonably tight" - about 1.5 inches between crossings
You may find the live conductor ends up being a bit longer than the ground and neutral - just trim to the same length.
I have tried a more normal braid i.e. criss-cross alternating conductors - but this method seems to work better.
Hope that helps - steve
@williewonka any reason you prefer the Rhodium plugs over the Pure Copper plugs?
@leezmaze - the rhodium plated plugs are the most "affordable" I could find on eBay
I actually prefer the Sonarquest or Vanguard silver plated copper because silver plated copper has the best conductivity rating
Pure copper (not plated) have a tendency to oxidize - whereas the silver sulfide on the silver plated plugs can easily be cleaned. Having said that I am yet to clean the Sonarquest plugs I have after 3-4 years of use.
Vanguard silver plated copper are a little more affordable, but are not as well made, but I still have a set of them that are 3-4 years old and have yet to see signs of tarnish as well.
The Sonaquest IEC connectors are better because they clamp like a vice
I listed that plug because you were looking for a $10-30 power cable, so I posted the more affordable plugs. I have used plugs like these also, but they are not as good as Vanguard or Sonarquest.
There is not a lot to choose between Gold plated or Rhodium plated copper from a performance perspective - they simply do not perform as well as Silver plated copper.
Beware - some silver plated or rhodium plated plugs are brass under that plating, they pale in comparison to the silver plated copper .
In the end it all comes down to what you are prepared to spend - just giving you some options :-)
I use Sonarquest on all my power cables these days
Hope that helps - Steve
For hot and neutral use solid core silver (the larger the better) in cotton sleeve with shrink tubing on outside. Use solid core copper (one or two sizes larger than silver). Silver coated plugs from wattgate. I was a skeptic as well until I tried this recipe. After that I upgraded all my power cords, umbilical power cords and even some internal power wiring. I am not smart enough to explain what causes the equipment's sound to be impacted by that short piece of wire, but silver is the best conductor and cotton is one of the best dielectrics. I am skipping detailed descriptions about the improvements these cables made in my system so all the naysayers don't have to feel obligated to comment. If your system is good enough and you have tweaked interconnects and speaker cables as much as possible - upgrading power cables will make you shake your head in disbelief!
I use Sonarquest on all my power cables these days
As does Cullen Cables.
I am building a new stereo system with tube amplifier (most likely quicksilver mid monos) and LSI 15 polk towers (capable of bi-amping) .
Wanted to see if I can make my own speaker wires to save money and get better quality. My alternative was AQ 4. Really not willing to spend any more. Need about 5-6 feet for each cable. Never have done this before, but did some reading on the subject.
After reading multiple forums, decided to focus on Dueland tin plated copper wire, which has excellent reviews for the price.
1. Buy 12, 16, 20, and 26 awg wires of equal length (26 solid core, others are stranded).
2. Braid all 4 wires together. Strip all 4 wires on both ends from insulation.
3. On the amp end, connect all 4 wires to the binding posts (bare wire or through connectors, undecided yet). Amp is not capable of by-amping.
4. On the speaker side, connect 26, 20, and 16 awg wires to the upper post (high frequencies), and connect 12 awg wire to the lower post (low frequencies).
Any thoughts, comments, suggestions? Good or bad idea? Can I really screw this up and burn the amp?
If I use terminations, what brand is good? Low mass? Not looking for something very expensive as am I doing this to try to avoid paying $$$$ for brand name cables but still get better sound than my current 12 awg monoprice wire.
My primary goal, since I am not an engineer or electrician, is to not damage the expensive new equipment.
Thanks very much.
@sophie999, I not sure that you are going to accomplish a better sound using the various gauges of Duelund wire, I suppose one never knows for sure unless they experiment.
With that said here is what I'm currently using: Duelund tinned - copper in cotton oil impregnated wire. 16 gauge going to my top speaker terminals and 12 gauge going to my lower speaker terminals. Terminated with the KLE Bananas, and I used WBT with 4% silver solder.
Twist every two inches and every foot, hold in place with a small piece of heat shrink. Color code the + and - ends with red and black heat shrink. If you want, use a carbon fiber jacket on the outside of the speaker cables to further reject interference.
I've been told that the New OYAIDE TUNAMI NIGO V2 wire sounds better than the Duelund wire and I have some on order however I have not received it yet, probably another two week wait or longer.