DIY Cat 5 speaker cables....

Hello all you fellow audiophiles, I Want to know if you think its a good idea to make some DIY cat 5 like the chris VenHaus ones. I heard that they have a large capacitance. And can cause an amp to ru hot or oscillate. I have a NAD C-370 and i dont think that i would have any poblems, but i just want to make sure. Also what do you think of this DIY cable? I would make a 10-12' Pair and i dont wanna spend a 100 bucks and hours making these is they wont work. Thanks all
Replaced Audioquest Midnight with Cat 5..Amp runs fine.Does not run hot.
Use Plenum grade and use 2 runs 1 + 1 neg twist them toghther and then use a good quality shrink rap over them.Also use good quality spades.I used Cardas spades.
Natalie, it sounds like you did the "shortcut" approach. It sounds like you basically made a "twisted pair" out of the CAT 5 twisted pairs ??? If so, that is why your amp is not running hot. Whereas your using 16 wires total, Chris' uses 54 wires. It is MUCH more reactive. Using your design, you end up with something that is quite similar to an XLO design and is of appr 15 gauge for each polarity.

We did something similar to your approach on my brothers system, but we took three runs of CAT5 and braided them. This gave us 12 conductors per + & -, leaving us with appr 13 1/2 gauge. Worked okay but always sounded somewhat lean and "splashy". I did not know if this was because we used the "plenum grade" stuff instead of the higher grade teflon jacket or if it was simply the nature of the cable.

I have two pairs of Teflon CAT5's built as Chris designed it. While they have tremendous bottom end, the highs are still somewhat splashy and smeared in my opinion. This cable takes a LONG time to settle in though and i might not have given them enough time. Then again, my brother ran his for well over a year, several hours a day and typically at good volume. They still never "smoothed out" as much as we would have liked. Sean
You are right about the bottom end being good its very good.
I do use this cable in my HT set up.I will try it out in my 2 Channel set up sometime.
The plenum grade is teflon.
sean: "splashy"? i like your word a lot but don't really know what it means. is it something like "unfocused" or "close to sibilant" or something else entirely? -kelly
"Splashy" treble to me is a combination of things. Lacking of detail, focus, attack & decay, harmonic overtones, air and the seperation of notes, etc... It can be "close to sibilant" in many cases.

As an example, a cymbal that is cleanly and quickly struck with the tip of a drum stick near the center will produce a very definite rise and fall of sound with natural bell-like overtones. You can pick out the harmonics as the note quickly rises and then slowly shimmers into decay. Think of a good jazz drummer and you'll know the sound that i'm talking about.

On the other hand, a cymbal that is struck with the "meat" or "side" of the stick by a "ham fisted rock drummer" will sound much flatter, lack any specific tonality or overtones and will not have near as pronounced beginning or end. I.E. it is "smeared", "splashy" or "blurred" since it lacks detail, definition, harmonic structure, etc... It is more of a "crash & splash" smearing of notes rather than a "strike & shimmering decay" of notes. Know what i mean ???

As to the bass on Chris' 27 pair CAT 5 design, it has the greatest amount of bottom end and overall "weight" that i have experienced from a cable of that type. If you had speakers that could be biwired and sounded slightly lean and lacked extension, using this cable for the woofers could easily fill things out. If i remember correctly, it is equivalent to about a 10 gauge i.e. Goertz MI-2 or Kimber 8TC but with WAY more "oomph" in the bottom octave. Sean
You might want to try this with Cat5E plenum rated cable as it is lower capacitance than Cat5. (Always use plenum rated cable if you are running through is a safety issue regarding the flammability of the insulation.)
George, what is the difference between the 5E and standard CAT5 ? I know that the plenum uses a different insulation on the wires themselves. As to using these cables, most of the "DIY" designs suggest removing the outer jacket and simply twisting or braiding multiple runs of this together. As such, the capacitance comes from having SO many braided & twisted wire pairs running in parallel. It is not necessarily the single runs of cable that are causing this. Sean
Not to swim against the stream, but I put together a set of the aforementioned cat5 cables, and was rather unimpressed by the results. I used 4 runs per speaker, and seperated each twisted pair into positive and negative to retain the balancing effect that cat5 is useful for. That meant stripping and twisting 16x4x2 wires --can you say bloody fingers? The 4 runs were braided together, and then heat-shrinked. Plenum grade uses a different type of insulation rated for in-wall and heating duct use--I used this grade of cat5. Not only did I find the sonic result unimpressive, because I used plenum grade I ran into problems after a short time. The insulation used in this grade cable is far stiffer and cracks easily if it is flexed. This caused mine to short out during a cross-country move. Since the total outlay on the cable and connectors was roughly $100, I didn't think it was a wise investment since that gets you a fair distance toward decent speaker cables from a number of companies. Just my $.02
I use CAT5 cables in my sytem and am very happy with the results with my 802 series 3's. I used the Chris VenHaus design and Belden 1585a cable that he recommends. I run my speakers bi-amped and used 9 twisted pairs for the mid/tweet and 27 for the lows.