DIY cables Vs Mass market cables.

Just wondering how DIY cables compare to audio brand speaker cables such as straightwire, audioquest, etc. Considering the amount of money some speakerwire cost that have been recommended. I am considering doing my own from fine silver wire and some tubing? Any ideas recommendation.
Go ahead make your own. USe good silver solder and decent RCA's.24 AWG would be good.
I agree with Mapleleafs3. Go for'll never look back. I need to make myself some interconnects out of this a stuff also. The Fine Silver speaker wires are great. Skip the terminations and go bare wire for the speaker wires. Remember no connector is better than the best connector. An eight foot pair should cost less than $60 to make.

Have fun!
Hmmm...8 feet of 24 AWG silver has a resistance of about 0.2 ohms. That's some 15 times the resistance of 12 AWG copper. It also costs about 10 times as much. Something to think about as you proceed.
Hmmm's 16 AWG Silver wire not 24 AWG for speaker wires.It will also last a lifetime without the worry of oxidation seriously degrading the conductivity unlike copper oxide. From what I gather from recent reading copper oxide as a conductor could be 3 million times, worse than that of silver oxide. Go and think about it again. :-)
Hmm... I (probably along with Pabelson, but speaking only for myself) wonder what the phrase "24 AWG" in the first response post means....Go and read it again? I imagine that we're just supposed to know that 'Fine Silver' speaker wires (whatever they are) just are 16 gauge?
Hmmm ..Mapleleafs3 is talking about Interconnects. Who uses RCAs on speaker wire ? This must be something new.LOL

How about read the original post where the poster mentions he's planning to make speaker wires.
Yeah, I was responding to Mapleleaf's recommendation. I just replaced a set of copper cables I'd been using for about 20 years. Extent of copper oxidation: trivial. The only bit that oxidizes is what's immediately exposed to air. Assuming your connections are tight, that's not a concern. Of course, people who want to sell you silver cables will tell you different. Consider the source.
Pabelson , I see your point and agree for the most part.
I would rather see a newby spend $60 or $70 on REAL Silver wires than $800 retail on the tin stuff. This is easiest way to find out for one's self that some of this Audiophile cabling is BS. Making your own... is the best way to understand what not to do on down the road. If you know what I mean.
It also cures some of the audiophile nervousis as you know your're using the best conductor available.LOL

As far as oxidation..I've seen it go up inside cabling. You wouldn't know this unless you cut it open. If you live in a moist climate as I can happen.
You can have oxidation inside cables, if oxygen gets in there. (Duh.) The solution is to buy decent cabling. I use the Belden cable sold by Blue Jeans Cable Co., and it is really fine stuff, starting at <40 cents/ft. Throw in some banana plugs and you can have top-notch cables for $20 plus shipping.
Pabelson, why would I want to put connectors in my signal path if I don't have to Duh.. No thanks ...I'll keep using the Silver.
Hey, use whatever you like. (And, in particular, use what you already have.) Bare wire connections are fine in most cases. I have non-standard terminals on both my speakers and amp, so bananas work best for me.
There are many opinions about DIY vs manufactured cables. Search the forums and you will get more opinions than you need. My two cents....Blue Jeans cable RCAs terminated with Canare using high stress bonding, excellent noise rejection, low impedance and decent capacitance. For speaker wires, Canare 4S11 4 strand, twisted, flexible, terminate as you wish (I used bare wires, but am considering silver soldering to good spades for more surface area contact). Good luck, and you probably will be happy regardless of the decision since the differences are small unless you have tens of thousands of dollars invested, and then, everything matters!
Talk about silver or copper all you want, if you don't have a good design you having nothing other than silver or copper wire.

Mattybumpkin... a good design? You've lost me guy. Silver is silver and copper is copper...did I miss something here? Adding a colorful jacket/sheilding will not change the composition of the metal. I didn't know Merlin the Magician was still alive. :-)

People can buy what ever they want. It doesn't make a difference too me one way or the other. I've been down the road of cable swapping. I've never been happier with any of them as I am with my own DIY silver cables. For me the speaker cable journey is over..I can concentrate on other components of more importance now.

I'll let others worry about getting more bass from a cable or more midrange from a cable or more presence from a get my drift?

Dialectric, twisted or not, spacing, vibration control, shielding, etc. You do know that these considerations make a difference, don't you? And no, it is not magic.

But hey, if you are happy with your own DIY, that is all that is important.

Out of the responses so far, hardly anyone has provided Aldres with answers to his question, "how DIY cables compare to audio brand speaker cables." I suspect we can be of more help to him. I do agree with Tgrisham that a forum search would yield many results. I suggest trying Audio Asylum's Cable and Tweeker's forums. The DIY possibilities range from simply terminating Canare 4S11 or HD power cords, both of which have their fans, to silver wires in teflon tubes as has been suggested, to more time consuming constructions such as JR CC89259, Cat5, and the newer VH Audio wire where you have to strip a bunch of fine wires and terminate. Personally, I have built a bunch of the CC89259 cables including the quad version, and found they worked pretty well, and compared well with low to moderate priced commercial brands such as DH Labs and low to mid priced AQ cables, but were beaten by my current Luminous cables. You can check Element Cables website for a professional review of the CC89259. If you don't want to spend the time, there are several companies including Element and Blue Jean Cable, which basically make cables from DIY receipes, put them in jackets and sell them to people not inclined to DIY.
Yes my friend these do make a difference. The best dielectric/ shielding is air itself. You knew this didn't you? Certain cable shieldings do more harm than good. Twisted cable ..well the verdicts still out on whether it makes a real difference or not. Some hardcore audiophiles actually use cotton tubing as the only covering. Also some DIYers may use a different Awg size/metal composition for the positive side of the terminal compared to the negative side of the terminal. There's a lot more to it than using cool cable coverings.

I could call several brands that I have used but still prefer my own DIY. Why will only piss someone off.

As you can see DIY is not as easy as it seems. The manufacturers have the advantage of testing different combinations and honing in on the best one. DIYers have the disadvantage of everyone having a different opinion and trying to find a formula that works without having start your own R&D department. So, unless you want to spend a lot of money and time trying different configurations, you won't be able to hone in on as good a design as most cable companies. That being said, DIY can save lots of money if you can find the right design online or from a friend that works.

Good Luck!
With all due respect that logic makes no sense. It is much easier for a person to figure out what works in their system at home. Than a person 800 miles away using totally different components testing cables. There's no one magic bullet for all systems. I guarantee DIYing and experimenting is a lot cheaper and more fun than spending absurd amounts on cables and finding out they don't work in your setup. I'm sure there are Aphiles on Agon that have owned 20 pairs of cables or more, all of them were suppose to be the best...go figure?

At the same time some are so concerned with how much the speaker cable cost or whether it's better because it cost more. The funniest part most have not a clue as to what the wire,capacitors,inductors and resistors quality is in the speakers themselves. The quality of these components makes more of a difference than the cables IMHO.

Is it logical to hook a pair of $1000 retail cables up to $50 worth of internal speaker components? I was being generous with the $50 quote. LOL

Good listening
Diy is very simple. All you have to do is be able to read and follow instructions. Its easy to diss DIY when you are one of the people who have bought into the Snake Oil that is the cable business. On my first try I replaced a 30.00 Per foot cable with CAT 5 home mades. My cost was 42.00 to make 12 foot runs.
I used Canare 4S11 Starquad speaker cable for almost two years, and thought it was great. For $.69/foot from, it seems like a no-brainer option to DIY.
Here's a DIY Wire Gauge Calculator, Damping Factor and SPL Loss Calculator that a nice Agon member sent me.From what I gather.. This is supposed to help you to find the proper damping factor for your speakers by tweaking the cable length and gauge of the wire. Of course you need to know the damping factor the designer suggests using for a particular speaker to use it properly. It's a neat little tool. You need Excel to run the program. Just click on the link at the top of the page to download it.

How is it cheap to test several different wires and hospital grade components without buying several different sets of wire and several different connectors (hospital grade) to try out, parts and shipping costs? Are you really saving money? And how do you know if it's better than the cables out there if all you try is your own concoction?

I agree that some cable companies sell vanilla cables with nothing special to them and overcharge. I think as a consumer it's your duty to snuff some of that out, but check out Van Den Hul’s website and the fact that they use carbon hybrid design (do you want to try that in your basement?). There are other companies that actually engineer interconnects that aren’t ridiculously priced.

If you can make DIY cables that rival JPS labs for example then you could make piles of money opening a business, but somehow I think you can’t.

If they make snake oil, I’ll buy it by the gallon.
If you've ever tried DIY. You wouldn't be asking me these questions. Again you ask me several questions that aren't logical. How would you know how good any cable is whether homebrewed or store bought against thousands of others? Your point is moot. Where did I say I've only tried DIY?

It would be impossible for you or I to know one way or the other if there was such a thing as a best cable for all systems..that cable DOES NOT EXIST. I only pointed out DIY is a viable solution for the ones that want to take a walk on the wild side and learn something on their own. If your not one of those folks it's problem. By the way, I considered buying some JPS Labs cables. After listening to equipment with JPS Labs throughout is nothing to write home about ..that's for sure.

I say bottoms up!! :-)
Robm321,Jps Labs does not make thier cable. They buy production cable like 99% of others dress it up nice and find it a date with money bags.

I had JPS cables and they where not bad, my DIY are far better. Just becuse we can make cables that are better than
"If you've ever tried DIY. You wouldn't be asking me these questions." - gmood1

I've tried power cables and the solid silver interconnects both formulas from the TNT audio website. They were ok, but did not compete with any of the modestly priced cables that I have tried since. That's why I asked the questions.

“After listening to equipment with JPS Labs throughout is nothing to write home about ..that's for sure.” – gmood1

"They’re far more transparent than any other cable I’ve tried and are able to deliver all the music your equipment has to offer. If you’re about to buy something else and haven’t listened to the JPS stuff, you are potentially throwing your money away."
--Marc Mickelson - Contributing Editor - Soundstage!”

Marc felt it was “logical” to not only write home about the cables but to publish a review for all to see gushing about it. And more than that, I hear the same things he heard in this review (there are many others reviews across the board – all positive). I guess we just hear things differently. Or, you make stuff up to help your case? who's to say?


Would you share your design so that we can try it and judge for ourselves? I would be happy to take you up on it. If your right, I'd be a happy camper saving money.

from the jpslabs website:
"The wire used in our designs is a proprietary, non-ferromagnetic, solid core blended alloy wire, Alumiloy."

Where can I buy alumiloy?

"The insulating dielectric material consists of the finest materials produced exclusively for JPS which closely mimics air. Years of testing again have proven that we had to use a unique dielectric not only to minimize dielectric absorption (mainly effecting the inner detail in your music providing 'air' and frequency response"

Where do I buy this?

There are several other steps to their construction process, but I don't want to list them all, it sounds a little more complex than your statement "They buy production cable like 99% of others dress it up nice and find it a date with money bags."

Is JPS lying on their website?

just wondering - if you give a formula that blows JPS cables away - I will try it. Let me know.
As Mapleleafs3 says, JPS buys their cables from a third party. If one knew the source, which I do not happen to know, but have seen spools of it, apart from the termination, you would have exactly the same cable.
If anyone knows the source, please let me know becuase I would be interested in saving some money by DIY. Much appreciated.

I like the JPS sound more than most cables, so I might be a convert if I can find the materials.
For power cords it 83803 Beldon Go to you can buy the kit from him. Saves you running around getting the parts.

Let me lok around for the other recipies. WIll post later.
Lord only knows what "Alumiloy" is. It's just a trademark. (Which, if it were ever challenged, might have a hard time holding up, since it's also the name of a solder-like aluminum compound used in automotive repair, among other things.) But as Trelja says, JPS just buys whatever it is from someplace like Belden (which undoubtedly calls it something different), probably for pennies a foot--or a bit more if you want a custom insulation job, which is where that extra-special "dialectric" comes in.

That's the game: You order generic cable with some fancy-looking insulation on it, printed with your logo if you like (or just use "cable pants" when you terminate). Then you put up a website with a lot of blather about proprietary materials and processes (not to mention all the R&D work that's involved in scanning Belden's catalog!). Audiophiles shouldn't fall for this.
"But as Trelja says, JPS just buys whatever it is from someplace like Belden (which undoubtedly calls it something different), probably for pennies a foot--or a bit more if you want a custom insulation job, which is where that extra-special "dialectric" comes in."
- Pabelson

That sounds great and all since several of you have said that, but so far my request for a formula for a better sounding cable hasn't been offered. Proof is in the pudding.

Also, there is such a thing as intellectual propery. Which means if you don't know their formula, then you can't make what they make without buying their cable. So, where's the better formula. I will try it and be honest. I do not care about winning an argument here, and will readily thank you for providing information on a DIY forumla that will save me money and sound better than some of my favorite cables. I'm being serious, not sarcastic about my request.
Yes lol ..I've also seen spools of this stuff. I don't know where the owner purchased it though.I looked at this wire close looks like some of the copper strands are dipped in Aluminum or Tin..not sure though.
"Audiophiles shouldn't fall for this". Yeah ..I agree but some refuse to see it any other way. I say let them blow as much as they feel will help with the audiophile nervousis.
There is no intellectual property here. You buy some cable from Belden. You solder some spades on the end. That's the formula.
Darn, Pabelson, you make it seem a lot less glamorous than the advertisements!
Proof is in the pudding
You are quite right. There are very many formulae -- do try googling the subject. OTOH, a simple experiment is to use magnet wire (i.e. coated copper wire -- choose awg according to application). Make single core cables for the spkrs first -- you can get away with unshielded. IF you use terminations, make sure yr soldering is top-notch (not talking about using silver/gold/platinum solder; I mean making a good connection). Try these out.

Quite a few parametres affect how the connecting wires (cables) connect (sorry). Load & source impedance is one of these. Accordingly, different wire "recipes" can sound slightly different. But you CAN diy cables & obtain satisfactory results...
"Accordingly, different wire "recipes" can sound slightly different. But you CAN diy cables & obtain satisfactory results..."

- Gregm

Greg, Thanks for the information. When you say satisfactory, does that mean they will better JPS labs or Analysis Plus cables? There are a lot of heavy claims written on this thread by people that have been silent since I put them to the test.
Robm: I can almost guarantee you two things:

1) DIY cables will not sound as good to you as the ones you have now.

2) We could secretly swap DIYs for your current cables, and you'd never know the difference.

And, no, those two statements are not contradictory.
Pabelson, your cynicism shows, but I agree with you.
My DIY Canada Wire 12ga Red Heater wire, non terminated, sound the same as the 16ga lamp cord that I previously used.
Bob P.
pableson, you have hit it right on the head. I have tried them all. Good DIY is as good as anything 1-2 I have tried. Plain and simple and will blind test them up against anything.
Bob P. plug in an Analysis Plus Oval IC and you will get better sound than your lamp cord or DIY wire I imagine. This thread is turning into - it's better/it's not better and I don't think I have more faith in DIY or less. So, nice thread, but the question will still remain. It's been fun though.
When you say satisfactory, does that mean they will better JPS labs or Analysis Plus cables
It would depend upon the system. The effort in commercial products goes toward achieveing "good" sonic results in different systems. WIth a diy solution you're aiming at getting "good" sound for the specific application (i.e. your present components).

For example, my copper diy's IC connecting the amps, sound slightly better overall than an expensive silver commercial offering. The same cannot be said for other systems (where the commercial offering is slightly better).
Mind you, however, my main amp has a very low rated input impedance which allows me to use unshielded (if short) ICs... Cheers
Robm, 'you will get better sound than.....your DIY wire I imagine' surely that is a Freudian slip. Of course you are 'imagining' the 'better' sound.
With respect, Bob P.

It was intentional, because I haven't actually A,B tested lamp cord against my Analysis Plus cables. So, I don't want to make any false claims.