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.
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:
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:
You can build your 10 foot XLR ICs this wavy Ken. First, the double sounds best based on my testing and builds over the years. I have built some 400 sets of ICs over the past 4 years and taken the time to listen to all manner of conductors, gauge, shielding and geometry.
I highly suggest you build using the Helix Method as given in the link provided. I would use the Vampire pure copper XLR connectors. Use the VH Audio 18 gauge solid core Copper Airlok conductor on pins 2 and 3. Twist conductors 2&3 every 2 or so inches. The VH Audio wire costs $4 foot so that will cost you around $160. For the ground wire on pin 1 you use Take Five Audio 16 gauge stranded copper, silver plated, cryo’d wire. It costs some $1 per foot. Use a 4-1 ratio to the VH Audio conductors. So you will need a total of 80 feet. Your total cost will be around $300 - $350 if you make this standard, not double, Helix XLR IC. The cost is closer to $600 if you double up on the conductors and make a double helix. The double will sound the best, but not twice as good 🙂.
Another way to build a nice set of XLR ICs in a more conventional manner is this...,
Use the same VH Audio conductors, twisted pair on pins 2&3, and use a high quality tinned copper braid shield tube as the pin 1 conductor. The VH Audio twisted pair runs inside the 1/4 inch or so diameter copper braid. Now you have a shielded XLR cable which will sound very good. Not as good as the Helix, but very good. I have compared. The Helix design is special giving the blackest background and most open sound I have yet to hear in a cable. Very resolving, but smooth and natural at the same time. Uncanny. The outer Helix acts as a Faraday cage.
Both of these builds can can be improved sonically by doubling up on the conductors.
- Two twisted pairs of VH Audio conductors for pins 2 & 3. One twisted pair to each pin. I would twist the two individual twisted pair sets together every 3-4 inches.
- Two TFA conductors for the Helix ground.
Standard Shielded XLR
- Same individual tinned braided copper tube shield as the single - pin 1.
- Two twisted pairs of VH Audio conductors as above - pins 2&3.
Use 4% Silver WBT solder. Be careful not to nick or mar the wire conductors when striping off the insulation. Use as little solder as possible to make a secure solder connection.