Does it matter the wire gauge used in interconnects?


I am thinking of trying my hand on building some DIY interconnects. It will be balanced (XLR) and 10 feet long. I have seen interconnects made with thin 30 gauge wire, is there an advantage using super thin gauge wire?
I was thinking of using 20 gauge but is that too thick for interconnects?

ozzy
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twoleftears,
Thanks for that info. I have tried Duelund wire, and although its good , soft solid .9999 silver wire is better. At least IMHO.

ozzy
Duelund 16 gauge sounds best in ICs within the Duelund family.     More full bodied and better fleshed out mids. I have also found wether you use VH Audio Airlok, Neotech etc... the thicker the better up to 16 gauge.   Shielding does close in the sound with ICs.  

The best sounding ICs are made as a true double IC. Two ICs in one.  Double runs of the positive and negative conductors.  Remarkable results. 

Go to that DIY Helix site shared by @twoleftears and read it fully.   Build the Double Helix IC and be prepared to hear the best cables you have ever had in your system. 


grannyring,
Thank you for chiming in. I don't understand why doubling up the cable is better than just using a heavier gauge wire? And, I need 10 foot lengths.

ozzy
Back in the early 2000s, quite a few of us were building cables, which generated quite a bit of discussion over at Audio Asylum. In response to this question:
What are the ideal LRC specs for analog interconnects and loudspeaker cables? Would a zero value for all three be ideal?

Jon Risch, a speaker designer for Peavy who used to post often on AA about cable construction, replied:

According to theory, yes, zero for all three would be nice, however, since this is not possible, there must be trade-offs. Any attempt to lower inductance will often cause the capacitance to rise. Interconnects like a low capacitance, while speaker cable shine when their inductance is low. Low resistance is critical for a speaker cable, while it is not much of an issue for IC’s.
In my experience:

  • 20-28 awg wire is common for IC construction
  • geometry including spacing and uniformity is critical
  • dielectric material, shielding, stranded vs. solid core wire, and connectors are also important
  • regardless of the connectors used, they most often get plugged into bog-standard Neutrik connectors that most equipment manufacturers use
  • I often used the expensive Furutech 601/602 and Xhadow connectors (which use silver plated pure copper) are also good while for a less expensive option Vampire XLRs are good
I finally concluded that I could make better sounding ICs by using manufactured bulk cable, which will have much more uniform geometry than what we can do by DIY. Here are a few sources for pretty good manufactured bulk cables, although there are others:

Unfortunately, when they stopped manufacturing OCC wire, IMO the quality of bulk cable choices declined. Interestingly, Furutech sort of breaks the mold by offering some larger gauge bulk IC cables all the way up to 14awg (see link above) - I have no idea how those sound.

Other choices would be to use a variety of bulk Belden wire available including their 8402 cables that the designers of the SPEC amplifiers consider to contribute to the "Real Sound" they desire. I made a couple of pairs of those and they do have a nice tone. You can read about the SPEC folks and their cable choices here:

Back in 1990, when I had Stan Warren mod by Philips CD-80, he told me to just go to a jewelers store and get some thin, high quality silver wire and use an oversized sheath (I forget which terminations he reco'd). 

All the best,
Nonoise