Hello, I need help giving my system proper PCs. Bulk cables at 150 USD per meter max. to get a good basis before Going/DIYing further. I have a QB8 with Red Dawn and generic PCs. My needs are for Ncore nc1200 amp, a Truth preamp and a streamer/dac. Thank you!
If your goal is to convince yourself you outsmarted the competition and got better than those rubes who pay inflated prices then you're on the right track. A couple here will validate your quest and you'll all be one happy family.
But if on the other hand your goal is the most sound quality for the least money then you could hardly do worse than to try and DIY your own wire. It just never works. I have in my room this very moment a power cord sent me to prove DIY can work. It cost $150-200 just in parts let alone the labor which I'm told is hours to build one. It sounds way better than freebie rubber power cords. Being totally honest here. There is no comparison. Light years better than the rubber crap. But compared to even a 30 year old Shunyata? Not even.
That is by the way 30 years of people trying to prove they can outsmart the professionals. News flash: you will not outsmart the professionals. If you want the best power cord for the money do like everyone else, find it and buy it.
I suggest reaching out to Audiogon members, grannyring, Wig and Williewonka, they are seasoned cable DYI’ers.. I can attest firsthand to the cable making capabilities of grannyring; well worth the reach-out despite the above generalization of DYI cables.
IMHO just the fact you are mentioning member subaruguru is a testament to the intangible benefits and good karma of making something yourself. I remember the day, moment and place where I was when it was written he joined the everlasting. Enjoyed his posts a lot and thank you for mentioning him.
Cost of good quality plugs may easily surpass the cost of bare cable. I do believe in DIY, especially pc and so far has not let me down. If you decide DIY make sure lengths are between 1,5-2 meters, for pc shorter is not better.
Check out VHaudio.com and have at it... I don’t agree the “pro cables” are always better... but I will say terminating cables properly is the magic and poorly terminating expensive cables if you don’t know how, is a lesson in frustration and tenacity to generally not so desirable ends.
Professional cable-makers don’t need to be "outsmarted" in order for DIY to improve on manufactured offerings at certain price points. Cables consist of materials, geometry, shielding, damping, and connectors and while some designs sound better than others, and some cables are constructed better than others, it is not like building the space shuttle. One area where I find DIY to fall short is in the spacing, twisting, and braiding, which will not be as uniform when done by hand as it will when the cable is made on a machine.
This can be overcome by terminating pre-manufactured bulk cable made by companies such as Furutech, Neotech, Oyaide, Acrolink, LessLoss, DH Labs, etc. There are even a couple of less expensive Asian bulk cable products that provide a pretty good bang for the buck (but others that don’t so be careful). By assembling cables from good quality premanufactured bulk cable and high quality connectors, it is possible for a DIY’er to achieve better sound at a lower price point than with commercial offerings.
To the OP, at your price point, I suggest doing some research here and at Audio Asylum and then purchasing a good bulk power cable and terminating it with something affordable like this, which uses copper conductors.
+1 VHaudio Chris is a good guy and has fair prices for his products plus a wide selection. I am not a DIYer but had him built a couple of Furutech custom cables for me at very reasonable prices. Great service and the cables sound excellent.
Thank you all for your replies and sorry for the delay, the notifications seem not to be working. I’m sure industrial cables are a good bet and I’m very humble about my DIY skills (@williewonka I know your site and intend to try your recipe :p). I will buy industrial cables and have fun with some DIY on the side :) at the same time. Thing is, there seem to be a handbrake in my system, and I would like to upgrade its power delivery with good wire and connectors to form a base of comparison for later upgrades and find which components to focus on. Bulk wire from Furu, Oyaide, .... seems to be a good place to start and I’m looking for some people’s experience on them. Maybe the conclusion is to buy some old reference cables used as it is cheaper in the end, but some first hand experience would be appreciated :) Thanks guys
I can tell you, the Furutech offerings are top notch. Let’s face it, they build stuff for everyone. It’s like Ferrari suppling engines to F1. What some teams do with those engines is better than others. Point is, you can get some VERY good cabling in “bulk”. But, it’s still not cheap. Then you have your terminations, then time. Power cables are probably the “easiest” to do well. For the most part, I buy power cables. I’ve built a couple, but overall I prefer to buy them. Check out Audio Art and Audio Sensibility both have excellent products that are not outrageously expensive. There are plenty others.
I replaced a mixture of old generation Isotek, and some other well regarded manufacturers power cables with DIY. Oyaide black mamba v2 with furutech plugs and oyaide IECs (c-004). Very surprising uplift in SQ on my digital sources and Lyngdorf TDAI3400.
its a very very rigid cable which is difficult to work with but get the lengths right and you can keep the cables suspended relatively easily. I think that helps with vibration control. I also used FO.q ta 102 and ta 32 damping tape on the cable grips and other parts of the plugs and iec. Also using total contact contact enhancer (no longer available) but you can get other offerings from furutech, oyaide walker audio and others. Well worth going this extra mile.
Hello, For your amps that draw serious current or produce decent heat stick to a min of 2 meters and 12 AWG. If it’s a source I would go a minimum of 1.5 meters and 14 AWG. I use Nordost in my system due to this is what I could audition and sounded the best. Blue Heaven for 14AWG and Red Dawn for the amp. Purple Flair for the figure eight stuff. https://holmaudio.com
I've seen millercarbon pretty much post the exact same message in another thread somewhere. Many have had huge success with DIY cables. VH Audio and high end bulk cables can be very good. I actually like to get a used Audioquest NRG-4 and chop the ends, then re-terminate with Furutech rhodium plugs. The Audioquest is a very good and affordable solid-core conductor design (which I think is much better than any stranded conductors).
... amps that draw serious current or produce decent heat stick to a
min of 2 meters and 12 AWG. If it’s a source I would go a minimum of 1.5
meters and 14 AWG ...
What could possibly be the advantage of having a power cord of a length unnecessarily long for the installation? I can only think it's a disadvantage to have that extra cable coiled up behind the system.
I've seen millercarbon pretty much post the exact same message in
another thread somewhere. Many have had huge success with DIY cables.
Yes! Congratulations on following me and thanks for noticing. When something is right and can save people a lot of time and trouble I make a point of spreading the news.
Many do have huge success with DIY cables. I have some right now that were deemed a huge success. Like I said they are a whole lot better than freebie rubber power cords. Damn impressive in one or two areas even. They are not however in the same league as could be bought from any of a number of different manufacturers, and for the same or less money. So not a total fail.
But I've never said it was. DIY cables are great for guys who enjoy building DIY cables. Also for guys who want to think they figured out how to beat the system, or whatever. Some guys would never buy the best sounding speaker in the world simply because of the way it looks. Some guys will never buy really good wire simply because it crosses some arbitrary imaginary threshold they have of what is "worth it". We all have our preferences. All I'm saying is if your preference is the most sound quality for the money then DIY is not the way.
Thank you guys, so many suggestions. I will look into all of them. Millercarbon has a point, but I find it fun to peruse connectors, recipes ans tweaks for PCs, I don't know. I will buy manufacturers cables as well. One approach does not exclude the other. There is DIY and DIY. I guess making a cable from scratch implies a lot of trials and costly errors for an incertain result in the end, but choosing bulk cables and connectors can perhaps ensure a certain level of quality at a fair price, even if not as good as renowned products. Anyway thanks for your inputs, it is/would be great to have some real world testimonials about manufacturers bulk cables !
There is DIY and DIY. I guess making a cable from scratch implies a lot of trials and costly errors for an incertain result in the end, but choosing bulk cables and connectors can perhaps ensure a certain level of quality at a fair price, even if not as good as renowned products.
The thread @facten has mentioned above, not only has lots of great information on the various wires the many members have tried and found to provide extremely high levels of performance.
It also has comments from members as to the performance level of the Helix Cables compared to some of the top brands on the market, such as TOTL Nordost and Inakustik cables, that cost thousands of dollars for each cable (or pair).
The Helix cables are among the very best available, DIY OR Commercial Products - i.e. provided you use the recommended wires and and follow the construction details.
They provide exceptional imaging, articulation, clarity, dynamics, with a deep textured bass WITHOUT adding colour and they do that across a myriad of systems
Granted, they are a little more expensive than many DIY cables, but they are a fraction of the cost of the commercial brands.
You also have the opportunity to build them using the wires you choose, in order to achieve a cable that fits YOUR budget and still performs to a higher level than most commercial brands.
But if you think I my opinion of the abilities of the Helix might be a little "one sided"
then please, read the comments from the many other Audiogon members, like @Wig and @Grannyring that have tried them, together with their own adaptions of the design
read what brands/cables some members have replaced
see how the members are now contributing to the continued Helix development story
I've also had good luck with building cables with DH Labs bulk cable - both Power Plus and Red Wave. You can get 10% off just by signing up to their email list, but they often have sales for 25% or more off their bulk cable if you are patient.
I've experimented with a few different connectors from Furutech, Wattgate, Sonarquest and HifiKing. I think the Furutech and Wattgate connectors are worth the extra cost if you are using better quality cable. The Wattgate connectors, in particular, are easier to use with heavier gauge cable like the Red Wave (10 awg).
Some of the higher priced Furutech bulk cables are also excellent, but are more than you indicated you wanted to spend.
I am going to have to disagree on the Wattgate recommendation. If you are at an absolute low budget, the Wattgate are decent for the money as long as you get the "Classic" series. DO NOT get the EVO series because they use hex-head screws for the wire clamping and you WILL strip the hex insert the first time you try to tighten it down. The Wattgate use brass conductors and can come across a bit harsh. If you have to spend under $20 a plug, these are probably the only option.
I would recommend the Furutech FI-15(R) Plus connectors. They are absolutely excellent and have the same exact rhodium plated conductor/clamp assemblies that are found in the more expensive plugs. They just use a flexible plastic outer shell (but you’ll notice that the shell/case screws are still connected to ground). They are only about $62 each. I use them frequently (but I also have the really expensive NCF plugs). The only downside is the FI-15 Plus won’t support some of the very thick cables (it allows up to 15mm thick cables).
I will second melm's suggestion of the Viborg 1606, combined with the top of the line Viborg plugs, either unplated or with the plating of your choice depending on your subjective listening preferences. I used the unplated copper versions as I wanted the most neutral presentation.
Also had the cable and connectors cryoed at minimal cost.
Have used DH Labs in the past, as well as JPS Labs in-wall and the DIY Viborg's I have now are in another league altogether and noticeably better.
When I was building the Viborg's I loaned out a DIY JPS Labs terminated with the budget ($25 pair male & IEC) Viborg unplated copper connectors to a friend of mine with a much better system and he thought the DIY JPS/Viborg combo sounded very similar or equal to a Nordost Brahma that he was using. He felt a bit sheepish about that as the Brahma was about $1200 vs. about $100 that I had into the JPS that I loaned him.
The Viborgs that I've built are much better than that IMO.
Any 10 - 12 awg copper cable costing no more than about $10 will do perfectly.
There will be absolutely no difference to the sound unless your cable is extremely underrated, and with a 10 -12 awg copper cable that will NEVER be the case. And even then, you will not notice any sound degradation but simply a hot running cable, which may be dangerous.
I suggest Ramm Amadeus 5 MKII for hot and neutral and a counter rotating earth wire around the cable, and combine them with pure copper Viborg plugs (for example VE512R) with the plating that you prefer (gold,rhodium, pure copper). That gives you 11 AWG of high quality OCC copper in an air dielektricum with tellurium copper connectors and the performance of a 1000+ dollar cable.
@petg60: yes, I don't want to skip on the plugs, I'm convinced of their importance @auxinput: thanks for the feedback on Wattgate @discopants: this Oyaide has a good reputation and is on my short list :) @hdm : I'll have a look at their offering, but was not sure at first, as there chinese (I don't have a problem with that) passing themselves for a german brand (I have a problem with that) @tantejuut: thanks I will think about it @williewonka : as I said, I'm really interested in the helix approach and will try it definitely, and compare with a bulk wire of my choice.
I've gotten good hints from you about the advisable diameter, the importance of the plugs (thinking
FI-E35 or 38). I have then to chose between the
Ramm Amadeus 5 MKII, the Oyaide Black Mamba 2, the Furutech FP-TCS21 or
(preamp and streamer) and the FP-TCS31 or