Constructing/braiding your own speaker cables.

Hi Tech-gurus,

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 (
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
thing" ?

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.
Thank you!

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."
Enchilada: The Teflon insulation is very important, IMO, as it just sound better. Also when you braid cables you loose overall length and the cable would have to be longer in order to end up with a finished 10' unit. If you are interested in a stranded/braided design then you might want to research Kimber Kable 4TC which is a proven and popular product. The price of the 4TC is approx. the same as your DIY project (if purchased new) or much less if picked up on the used market.

If DIY interests you, then check out the Cable Forum @ for project designs. The only DIY "speaker" cable design that I tried from these forums was the CAT5 recipe (TNT version) which I felt was easily bested by Kimber 4VS (which retails for $3/foot), but there are many other designs to choose from.

I no longer use Kimber Kable myself and am just using it as a reference.

Silver coated copper is generally not well received in budget speaker cable designs (unless one has a very dull sounding system that could use some "zing"), but there are some exceptions to this, depending on the cables design and use, also some high end cables use this type of wire.
Try contating Belden and ask them if they have something already made along those lines. You may be able to buy pre-manufactured cables and save yourself the labor. Obviously, you would have to put your own terminations on, but this doesn't seem to bother you as you had already planned on doing so.

You might also want to check into a spiral twisted star quad geometry, as this offers much of the same benefit but with an even amount of conductors for each polarity.

A simple solid conductor cable arranged in a twisted pair with teflon insulation can be a damn good sounding cable too. While it is not as RFI resistant as either of the two above, it is far superior to standard "zip cord" type construction in terms of bandwidth and lack of inductance.

I would not worry too much about using super heavy conductors for the mids / tweeters. Some find that smaller gauge wires actually sound better for this purpose. Sean
DH labs has wire that can be purchased as bulk. They have all kinds of conductors and dielectrics. Also you can purchase Cardis and Kimber wire in bulk and have fun making your own speaker and IC's.

I like Teflon but a word of warning, "this dielectric has a break in period".
A good plenum grade CAt % is all you need.
The WBT are a huge waste.
I had them on the end of a cat 5 run Switched to bare leads sounded as good or better.