CUTTING DOWN A TONEARM CABLE


Is there any reason why a tonearm cable cannot be cut down to a shorter length? - I have too much length on my tonearm cables

lohanimal

No, unless there is, and then of course there would be. You'll get a lot of these kinds of responses. :-)

No, just make sure if they are shielded to hook everything up the way they had it before. I've made quite a few pairs and singles for a mono unit or two.

Good luck.

hi @oldhvymec 

I read/feared tales of ideal length for tonearm cables - something to do with capacitance

thanks

 

Yup, it’s got to be low, when it get shorter it gets lower, pretty simple.. :-)

I’ve never heard anyone say "make one longer it makes no difference"..

Like I said it’s not hard to make good RCAs. If they are already good, you’re not going to make them sound worse or add some flavor unless you use crap solder and crappy terminal ends. You can make good cables better or worse..

Pay attention, you’ll be fine.. Are you running a low output MC cart? It can only get better unless you make it worse.. LOL

Choppers remorse.. Be bold.. Go for it.. :-)

Regards

Only thing: De-solder the plug, chop at that end to the desired length, and re-solder the plug exactly as it was.  Don't chop in the middle. Not that you would necessarily do that, but...  There would be an "ideal length" if and only if you are targeting a certain capacitance that you want to be added by virtue of cable length.

@lohanimal

Please do your math:

First ID capacitance per unit of length of your tonearm wire, than figure out how much you’re "saving" by cutting.

These minuscule fractures are completely and entirely negligible in audio so I’d rather spend sometime with beer or watching dirty videos.

Unless it’s a Litz…

I am a robot with a soldering iron in a surface Mount world

Let's think this one through. First you said you have too much length. But the only reason given has nothing to do with length. Nothing about having to coil it up, no room for yards of cable, nothing like that. Your whole "reason" seems to be some vague fear of "something to do with capacitance." That is not a need. That is a feeling.

You asked if there is any reason not to. Sure. Plenty. Phono leads are real finicky. It is real easy to make one noisy, real hard to make one quiet. You might do everything perfect, beautiful solder joints, put it back together, monster hum. No idea why or where it came from. Back you come looking for advice from the same guys who failed to warn you in the first place. Not me. Other guys.

The best reason to not do it really is there is nothing to be gained. But plenty to be lost. Whatever your lead is worth now, guess how much less it will be worth when sold as "I cut it down because of something to do with capacitance but I know what I'm doing trust me." 

Thanks. Pass. Future value: nada. 

MC your a party pooper! :-) Take the fun out of a fart. LOL

I’ve fixed a lot of hums, that’s for sure. But I don’t run 10 different kinds of Tonearms either. I’m a SME guy from way back. I ran a lot of Grados too, they were known to make noise. I fixed them all unless there was a cart winding failure. When I would inspect 90% of the time it was a very tiny frayed tube wire or a single stray just close enough to cause problems but almost impossible to see.

A sniffer will find it, if you screw up any ways.. I’ll find the schemo on how to build one.. They work great.. Can work for a noisy tubes too. What about that? Just  need to be able to check your work..

Dear @millercarbon ​​​​​@czarivey 

1. Cables are coiled up and messy

2. Nothing to do with my understanding Re capacitance - that was my question - does shortening cable cause any such issue in the forums experience

3 I asked the forum to ‘do the mathematics’ coz i do not have the expertise

 

This problem came up because I had to try and unpick the end of a tonearm wire so there was sufficient space between left and right channel physically because of the layout on my phono stage. One channel works and the other one doesn’t I am therefore looking to Re-terminate at a shorter length and getting someone more dexterous to do the work. Btw I previously got manufacturer to resolve this and it didn’t work…

The shorter the cable the better. Do not reuse the RCAs. Canare makes the best RCAs. If the inner conductor will not solder it is litzed. The pros deal with this by holding the end of the wire in a solder bath which burns the laquer off and tins the wire. You can accomplish the same by carefully heating the end of the wire with a torch. Some people try to scrape the lacquer off. This never works well and frequently damages the wire. 

If you are using a MC cartridge capacitance is never an issue. Lower capacitance will make some MM cartridges brighter but it is really high capacitance that is the problem as it will roll the high end off.

Good for you! I always use the shortest connection possible. It makes for the cleanest installation and the best sound.

You could have made the issue clear from the beginning.

Is this correct?

1. this has nothing to do with a factory din or rca connector.

2. you need to desolder and resolder INSIDE a phono stage?

3. you will get someone competent to do the work

4. existing cable is ’inconveniently’ too long, While desoldering/soldering you want to shorten it to ___ (leave yourself enough slack)

question: any guidance on length?

......................................

btw, title says cable (singular), in post you said too much on cables (plural). in that case, other cables: they do involve din or rca connections? 

are these expensive cables? 

 

Canare connectors?

I read/feared tales of ideal length for tonearm cables - something to do with capacitance

@lohanimal A good tonearm cable will be low capacitance. But I would not be concerned about shortening one, because when you reduce the capacitance (which will happen when the cable is shorter) you reduce the problem which the capacitance causes.

If you want to know more, in a nutshell the capacitance of the cable interacts with the inductance of the cartridge to cause a high frequency resonance. If you have a moving magnet high output cartridge, this resonance can be just inside the audio band (causing brightness) or just above it (causing phase shift, which the ear interprets as brightness, so essentially the same thing). By reducing the capacitance of the cable, that resonance is shifted to a higher frequency and so becomes less audible.

If the cartridge is a low output moving coil, then the resonance is so high as to be considered radio frequencies- and so shortening the cable will have no audible effect.

Either way you're better off, so if you can solder well, have at it!

Dear @lohanimal :  The reason or reasons is only common sense: in any audio system  cables should be as shorter as the system audio items permits.

 

Through a cm. or inch that the audio signal musts pass exist degradation of that audio signal as longer the cables as worst that degradation.

 

Capacitance?, who cares. What's important is that the audio signal " trip " to our ears been the shorter we can achieve.

 

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,

R.

Get Audio Note connectors if you shorten the cable this will be better.

I just had the honor of rewiring/repairing two different tonearm cables. In short, patience and thinking ahead pays off. This is delicate work to be sure, yet I am happy with the results. The former installer of both of these cables made poor solder connections, broke headshell clips and more. I didn't want to have to do this job, but there are times when it is just easier to do it yourself. Stripping the fine wire was all about feel. I only lost one fine hair of a conductor during the process.

@elliottbnewcombjr 

Is this correct?

1. this has nothing to do with a factory din or rca connector. - NO IT IS THE RCA END OF THE TONEARM CABLE

2. you need to desolder and resolder INSIDE a phono stage?

NOT AT ALL

3. you will get someone competent to do the work

HOPEFULLY

4. existing cable is ’inconveniently’ too long, While desoldering/soldering you want to shorten it to ___ (leave yourself enough slack)

NO - LET ME EXPLAIN the left and right channel on my phono stage is about 8 inches apart (its a vendetta) the way the tonearm cable was wired was that i could plug into left and right plugs  next to one another. I therefore cut back the heatshrink to do this - that's where it went awry...

 

 

question: any guidance on length?

......................................

btw, title says cable (singular), in post you said too much on cables (plural). in that case, other cables: they do involve din or rca connections? 

 

YES TONEARM CABLE - LEFT AND RIGHT CHANNEL

are these expensive cables? 

YEP :( 

 

@lewm, Canare makes a wide variety of connectors all very heavy duty and beautifully finished. They even make 75 Ohm RCAs for wide bandwidth SPDIF cables although I prefer BNCs. Most of their connectors are crimp on and require special tools. I make all my cables to length. The only one I did not make is the tonearm cable and I see no reason to mess with Frank Schroders work. If I go to a balanced phono stage I will have no choice. 

If you have not checked out the Channel D Lino C recently you should give it another look. They have added a regular MC input and a MM input as an option. The price is also much higher. 

What has all the above got to do with the flat assertion that Canare are the best RCA connectors? I am not in the market for a phono stage. Your amplifiers would benefit from balanced phono drive, however.