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?
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
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.
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.
"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?"
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.
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?
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.
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.
@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:
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.