BEST INTERCONNECT FOR $25 EACH?


Ready? Go!

No Blue Jeans Please. 
craigert
Mogami Gold Studio.
Thanks a lot! They look sharp too!

They are $38 each from B&H. I wonder if there is a better deal if I buy a half dozen.
Not sure one can buy the best of anything for 25 bucks.
Get cheap garbage at $25,00 are you joking dude!!!
How about the Belden 8402. Not quite $25 but not too far off, and I prefer it in my rig to my Kimber KCAG silver interconnects.

   LP
Sorry EBM I am brand new to this and didn’t realize aside from falling apart that it would make much difference for a
line signal. 

I can spend a little more but I have no idea what makes one cable that much better than another. 


I just read a previous post on a forum with audio engineers, so I now don’t need you guys to explain what can cause differences in sound. I believe there can be differences in sound due to these cables, but to me it seems to be marginal returns for my money over maybe $100-$200 per cable which I cannot afford right now. 

So far we have infinite cables, mogami, and Belden. The thing that makes me Leary of the Beldin is that although the word might be nice, it looks like people are just slapping RCA connectors to the end. Although Infinite Cables don’t cost a whole lot, they use silver laced solder and put shrink wrap over the ends. Do I want to be looking for cables with silver solder? 




Easy.  DIY Duelund stranded copper in cotton wire with Switchcraft connectors.  


Looks like somebody did my dirty work for me. I think I’m sold at $30 per cable. I read on another forum that a guy replaced $10k cables with these. 


Should I go for it grannyring? Are the haters above asking me if I’m serious dude still going to hate? Lol 


Look at this on eBay

Pair DUELUND DCA20GA Interconnect RCA Cable Wire .5M Switchcraft 3502AAU dueland


https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F202167106897



IMHO, I would not use that Infinite digital coax for an analog audio connection. I just never liked the sound of RG6 cable for analog use.

My choice is Mogami 2534, with the 2549, a very close second, but either one would be a good purchase. Here's a pair of 2534 within the budget.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Mogami-2534-Interconnect-Cable-Neutrik-Rean-NYS373-0-RCA-Connector-Plugs-3-...

You can purchase the Belden from BTPA in Tinley Park Illinois. They offer your choice of Switchcraft RCA's and do a professional job of termination.

If your looking for a shielded cable they can work great. They also mate extremely well with Duelund S.C. for an excellent value combo.

  Good luck,
         LP
Ok I am really green and have a couple rookie questions. Somebody before mentioned getting wire to send an analog signal. Isn’t this a digital signal? Maybe they meant just don’t use cable meant for video like RG6?

Also, wouldn’t you always want a Shielded cable for this?
I found Acoustic Research to be decent for a low-price cable. At that price level, I would be looking at something that is well constructed, which the AR are.
Interconnect cables are anything that connects components, could be a pair of analog cables,  digital coax or toslink, hdmi etc.. They wre saying they wouldn't use a cable intended for digital coax  in place of analog cables.
What cables are you looking for? Anything in particular or all interconnects? 
Morrow or Signal Cable.
The Duelund will surpass the other cables mentioned. Yes go for them.  I build and sell cables including Duelund.  Feel free to contact me or the Ebay seller if you cannot make your own.  I prefer the 16 gauge Duelund over the 20 gauge as it offers more weight and meat on the bones. 
I'm curious, why no BJC?
I think I studied the strands of the BJC in the past for speaker wire and they didn’t compare to what I normally buy, Phantom Speaker Cable, and figured I would just stick with Phantom rather than go to BJC. Plus it sounds weird but I can’t stand the look of the connectors. They look like lug nuts for electrical wiring. Lol 
After reading the very very interesting article by Jeff Day, it looks like I need shielded wire. 

https://positive-feedback.com/audio-discourse/duelund-coherent-audio-dca16ga-premium-tinned-copper-v...

Since shielded Duelund’s make the price jump quite a bit and they are hard to find, it looks like the Belden 8402 Shielded served Jeff Day quite well before he ran into the Duelund Shielded. For this reason, I may need to turn toward searching for a good price on the 8402 Shielded. 
"Ok I am really green and have a couple rookie questions. Somebody before mentioned getting wire to send an analog signal. Isn’t this a digital signal? Maybe they meant just don’t use cable meant for video like RG6?

Also, wouldn’t you always want a Shielded cable for this?"

craigert

It would be helpful if you would say what components you are connecting. If "this" is a digital audio signal, then the Belden 8402 is absolutely wrong. It is an analog audio cable, as is the Duelund, and others mentioned above. Actually, digital audio and video use the same basic type of cable, 75 ohm coax.

I win, haha:

https://www.proaudiola.com/product-p/1-m2549-rca-rca-1.htm

love and use this cable for DYI RCA. Upgrading the connectors is a big difference. Furutech 126g are excellent. 
Thanks for helping with my confusion TLS49!

I am connecting a Marantz 7704 preamp processor to an Anthem PVA 7 amp. I just ordered them both and they are in the mail. 

I need one cable per channel right?


If you want to connect all channels on the amp you need 7 analog cables.
Yes, one cable per channel, and preamp to power amp is definitely an analog audio signal.
Ok great, thanks guys. So I’m on the right track.

On Ebay I found a guy in Greece that makes Belden 20awg 8402 Shielded with a choice of rca connectors like the switchcraft 3502AAU and uses Cardas Quad Eutectic Silver Solder with Rosin Flux for $63 a pair. 

Unless you guys guys tell me that 20awg is not thick enough, I may have just found my connects. 

If there is enough savings maybe illnmake them myself but I need to price Belden wire and silver solder. If I make them myself is there a gauge you recommend more? 
Check out the Audio cables at Cable Solutions 
Sturdy and seems to be in your price range. 

https://www.cs1.net/products/cables.htm
One consideration is how rich your radio environment is.

You don't want radio and TV and cel traffic and UHF (ultra-high frequency) in your audio signal. If you have a lot of that in your neighbourhood, then you need a high quality copper shield to keep the crap out, and a star quad cable configuration to neutralize what comes through the shield.

Premium microphone cables do this. Canare Starquad is very good. I've used that a lot, but the dielectric is teflon, and you should be careful when soldering near that. Think industrial grade fume hood. Mogami 2534 is a starquad configuration, and it too is very good, does not use teflon, and the shield is easier to terminate. I use Belden braided shield, and it too is very good, but I haven't used their cable in ages.

While any premium microphone cable will serve, I would stick with Mogami 2534. If you are terminating with RCA connectors, connect both the blue wires to the centre pins, both white wires to the outer rings (or vice versa). Connect the shield to the outer ring at the amplifier end only.

Conventional solder with silver content is the standard - this is not silver solder, which is a completely different thing, more of an industrial process. WBT makes a good one, available from Parts Connexion and probably Michael Percy Audio.

I make my own cables like this, and use them in a high end system. Good luck!
Hold on Terry, I think I may be seeing things This looks too good to be true. They show Canare F-9s with the Starquad but I don’t see mention of them or a drop down to select the connects.

https://m.markertek.com/product/sc3rryw/canare-star-quad-audio-cable-rca-male-to-rca-male-3-foot-yel...


Yep. Looks good - when I make cables out of this stuff, I use a better quality connector, usually Eichmann or WBT. But this stuff should get you 90% of the way for the price of parking.

Interesting, Canare are now using cross linked polyethylene dielectric instead of teflon; just like Mogami.

I would definitely buy this, and then trade up only after an in-home demo demonstrates a clear improvement; and then, only if you can't make a bigger improvement by upgrading something else.

Well spotted.
Thing is, Craig, cables are just another electrical machine, and not a very complex one at that. Doesn't mean anyone can design them - but it ain't Nobel Prize territory neither.

Thankfully, Eichmann (ETI) and WBT and Canare and Mogami have done all the work. It's ours to enjoy.
You'd be amazed what I've found at garage/estate sales for a buck or two. Audiophiles kick the bucket and the heirs just dump the cables and such.
Saturday is coming right up...
@terry9 Canare Star Quad (L-4E6S) has never used Teflon. It's always been polyethylene dielectric AFAIK, certainly for the last 15+ years.

Also I'm not sure why you need a fume hood for soldering teflon - if anything, teflon can withstand far higher temperatures than most other insulation types. If it didn't, it would never be used as a coating for non-stick frying pans. PE is much more likely to melt/off-gas, though XLPE seems to withstand higher temps.

Nothing against star quad Canare or Mogami, they are solid cables. However for single-ended (RCA) interconnects they're not the most transparent. They perform much better in balanced XLR applications for which they were designed. 

I think given the quality of your components, it's worth investing a little more than $25. My first suggestion would be anything DH Labs. Very nice, consistently musical and neutral cables that don't break the bank. The BL-1 starts around 90 bucks for a pair, however you can also buy the raw wire for $6/ft (so $36 for a 3ft pair) and terminate it yourself with e.g. Switchcraft RCAs to save a few bucks. Or find them used. They also make a budget cable called White Lightning for around 50 bucks or $2/ft, but it's a different design (coax) and I haven't heard it. 

Here is all their bulk wire, lots of affordable stuff:
https://silversonic.com/products/bulk-wire-and-cable/

What about speaker wire? If you want something a little ungainly (stiff and heavy) but terrific sounding for cheap, I have a recipe, and you can get it at your local Lowes hardware.
@grannyring 

I am using the Duelund DCA16GA wire as speaker (Double Impact) wire and the Duelund DCA20GA wire for interconnects. I prefer the 20GA for interconnects. The sound is a little more open and it works well with my 6SN7 tube preamp and KT88/6SN7 tube amp. 
Thanks guys. I will check them out Taww. Also, the President of Parts Connexion answered me and said that I don’t even need Shielded cables for a short interconnect application for signals. 

Now I am back to thinking about those Duelunds. Sorry, this is a work in progress as you guys steer me. He also recommended 20awg over the 16awg for the interconnects. 
By the way everybody my speakers are Monitor Audio Gold and my speaker wires are 12AWG Phantom Speaker Cables rated for FT-4 in wall use from Infinite Cables in Canada.  Check out the number of strands! 
There are no $25 best interconnect cables. As a rule of thumb, if your components are under $1000, Decent cables such as from Monoprice work fine, and you don't need more expensive cables, or even a $3000 cable doesn't make any difference. If you components are between $1000 and $10,000, Blue Jean cables work fine. BJC uses Belden and Canare cables, Neutrik and Switchcraft connectors, and a few others. If your components are more than $10,000, then look for better cables. The total cost of your cable is no more than 5% of your system. I make my own cables for a $50K McIntosh-Focal system.

"While any premium microphone cable will serve, I would stick with Mogami 2534. If you are terminating with RCA connectors, connect both the blue wires to the centre pins, both white wires to the outer rings (or vice versa). Connect the shield to the outer ring at the amplifier end only."

terry9

It's always been my understanding that the shield/drain is only connected to the sending end of the cable, so with a preamp/power amp connection, that would be preamp end only.

The mogami 2549 sound really good, you won’t be disappointed, just put on nice connectors and your set. 
I’m still up in the air and starting to watch videos to build my own. If I buy some Duelund wire and make it unshielded, how do I add a drain line?

Are the Duelund makers in this post not using a drain wire?  
Years ago I purchased cables from Innersound $50 per meter pair.  If you can find some used I'd go for it.

The manufacturer explained that all that is needed for them to sound good is a have good wire (he used Belden) and a solid connection to the plug.

Innersound was a high end electrostatic speaker manufacturer.

You can probably get pretty good cables if you check your local vendors and find someone who will build them for you.
Why use unshielded cables? You're going to have all those IC's next to power cords (which may or my not be shielded), transformers, and the AC lines into the receptacles. Possible RFI and EMI.
@tls49 

The shield should be connected to the component with the most robust ground, which is often the amplifier. Some phono/pre are even battery powered, whereas amps are not. Hence the suggestion.
terry9The shield should be connected to the component with the most robust ground, which is often the amplifier.
I'm not sure what you mean by "robust ground." A good ground has low resistance and low impedance and - unless there's something amiss with your electrical wiring - that's easy to achieve. You want to avoid ground loops in an audio system, and the best way to do that is to have all components grounded at a single point. That usually means using the preamp (or integrated amp) as the ground for all components in the system. The goal is to keep all grounds at the same potential.
Taww, teflon is bad stuff to get hot because it decomposes into seriously bad compounds starting about 470F. Think HF (hydrogen fluoride), the stuff used to etch glass. Some modern non-stick uses a high temperature variant, or so I understand.

But I may have been wrong about Canare and teflon - I don't remember how I came to that conclusion back in the dark ages.

As for my components deserving better, I am still spending on things which yield unambiguous improvements, like vacuum capacitors, or things to protect equipment, like isolation transformers and Variacs for soft-starting the power supplies. Until I have finished there, I just don't have money to spare for things that don't demonstrate conclusively in my system, and for which I see no theoretical advantage. YMMV

Thanks for the corrective note about Canare and teflon.
@cleeds

By 'robust' I mean a solid connector and heavy gauge ground line. Unlike some pieces from the old days.

Agree with everything you say, except using the preamp instead of the amp.

Oh, I get it - if one is using mono blocks. Yes, in that case, use the preamp, if it has a good ground connection.
If I can add one more choice--Anticables.com.

Handmade in America using a unique thin covering on the conductor and air as the dielectric. The cable is coiled, and bright red but they are 50% for $50/1-meter pair, right now.

And no matter which cable you choose, it will be improved with High Fidelity Cables Magnetic Adapters on both ends.
Man this turned out to be a great thread from a new knucklehead like me trying to learn the ropes. I have learned so much. 

I am still confused about:
1. Whether I will be sorry if I don’t get any shielding since the Duelund wire seems awesome. 
2. Which side you connect the connected shielded side of the cable.