Constructing/braiding your own speaker cables.
In about a week, I will be taking delivery of a pair of
Mission 753 Freedom speakers
They will be bi-amped by my Harman Kardon Signature 2.1
5-channel-amplifier. The pre-amplifier is the Harman
Kardon Signature 2.0. The speaker cables will be
approximately 8 to 10 feet long.
And so on the questions for you sonic-gurus:
While shopping for speaker cables, I saw a picture of these
on www.audiogon.com (http://gon8.audiogon.com/i/c/f/1019421876.jpg).
They have impressive specifications--some of which are: "This superb
quality cable is made by Monster Cable to specification
for the European B&W Matrix series loudspeakers. It
consists of three 12 AWG Ultra-High Purity oxygen free
stranded copper wires with teflon coating braided in a
noise cancelling geometry. The cable is brand new is
terminated with the world?s finest, precision machined,
German engineered, WBT 0660 spades using WBT's proprietary
crimping technology. WBT's crimp termination technique is
designed to replace a soldered joint with a low resistance,
high-quality termination. This special termination
technique results in a directly connected, high-pressure,
large surface area termination that yields audible
improvements. This WBT spade lug has an elastomer shock
absorber for consistent contact pressure minimizing
structural noise and absorbing system-born noise endemic to
the listening environment. The elastomer is housed in a
non-magnetic, stainless steel shell to further damp
vibration and add rigidity. The spade is fully insulated,
safe to use, and conforms to international safety
standards. This is an 8' pair, but custom lengths and
configurations are available, please email me. Note that
the photo shows one cable for the sake of detail, but 4
will be delivered to the buyer (2 left channel, 2 right
channel)." They cost almost $600 for 2 sets (i.e. for
bi-amping) + shipping (16lbs) though.
Then, I had an idea. I could buy 130' of 12AWG cables, cut
them into 10' lengths, zip-tie one end together, tie it to
a door knob, and braid my own! The braid does not seem too
hard to make. Here are my two choices--both from
A) 11AWG Monster Cable @ $1.39/foot
B) 12AWG Carol Command Studio Quality Silver-plated Speaker Cable @ $1.36/foot
Since both (A) and (B) cost the same (give or take a cent),
it is more of the performance difference I am concerned
with. The Monster Cable is 11AWG, while the Carol Command
Studio is 12WG but is silver-plated copper (silver oxide is
an excellent conductor, while copper oxide is a
semi-conductor). Which is a better deal?
The game plan is to cut the cables into 10 feet lengths,
and braid 3 strands into ONE single speaker cable. Hence,
there will be 4 such braids for each bi-amped speaker,
using a total of 24 individual strands of cable. Each cable
would be terminated using WBT Spade Connectors @ $14 each
(just like the design I am copying).
This project will cost about $350 plus shipping.
Just to recap on this dissertation (heh), here are my questions:
i) Should I construct my own cable from this "stolen
design" for $350, or bend over and pay $600 for the "real
ii) Note that the "real thing" uses Teflon insulation,
Ultra-High Purity Copper (but is not silver-plated). Is
Teflon insulation worth the $250 price difference?
iii) If I were to construct my own cables, which yields
better performance? The thinner, silver-plated, 12AWG Carol
Command Studio Copper Cables, or, the thicker, standard
OFC, 11AWG Monster Cable Copper Cables?
I really, really, appreciate your input on this.
Best one-liner to shut anti-audiophiles up:
"Yes, one might say that my $10,000 hi-fi sounds the same
as $30 Computer Multimedia Speakers, but consider this
saying: "To a blind man, every sunset looks the same."