I have a loosely twisted pair without any sheathing and am using the KLEI banana plugs. They sound very good and several of our audio club members are also using the 12ga. wire.
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I have a question on the use of sheathing.
Yes it looks better and offers protection and possibly some damping. And for a commercial product it is obligatory.
Some feel that sheathing changes the sound and, depending on the composition, could attract static charges (or something like that - I really don't know).
W/o sheathing, the heat shrink at intervals could provide some damping and keep the twist a little tighter.
Just a small twist perhaps every 6-8".
Apply electrical tape every so often to keep the twist together. Then use 3/8" expandable sleeving with shrink tubing on the ends.
I used Furutech Nano liquid on the ends. Best is bare wire, but if you need connectors don’t cheap out, remember, that is the connection!
How are you guys "twisting" the pairs? You should not do it by laying two wires next to each other, picking them up an the end, and rotating the pair together. What you want to do it hold one end in a vice or something similar and then hold one wire in each hand. Then, beginning at the vice, use the same motions that you would use if you were braiding three conductors. What you want to do is pass one conductor over the other. This method does not actually twist each individual conductor which messes with the structure of the strands, stresses the insulation, and probably disrupts the adhesion between the strands of wire and the insulation.
With the Duelund you need to be carful not to abrade the fabric covering. I just had a person on the other end hold with the wires together while I carefully wound some loose twists. Someone said you could start in the middle and wind opposite directions with a helper till you get to the end. Didn't try that one.