Has anyone tried making their own interconnects?

Hey guys,

I've posted a few threads lately asking about DACs and Class D amplifiers and such. My current system consists of a recently acquired Marsh P2000 pre amp, Aragon 2004 amp, Emotiva XDA-1 DAC, Squeezebox Touch and Silverline Minuet Supreme Plus speakers. I'm also running all Blue Jeans cabling.

I was listening to some Diana Krall last night and it really hit me that I'm pretty comfortable with the synergy that I have with my components. I really enjoy listening to my system.

So, I was wondering if maybe I could try just a little bit of tweaking, since I'm no longer feeling an urgent need to change any components.

My interest is in making my own interconnects. I really have no desire to spend even $100 on an interconnect, but I've found that it is possible to get some good silver or silver plated copper wire at very reasonable prices.

I have a good soldering station and am fairly proficient with a soldering iron, so I figured that I could try my hand at making my own.

Have any of you tried this? What were your results? Which connectors did you use?

Yes, I purchased some interconnect wire and soldered on connectors. Cardas Audio use to and still may sell cable only. I sourced connectors from Parts Express. Before buying Cardas cable I tried a lots of small gauge control wires found on construction job sites, mostly low voltage alarm, com and mechanical sensor wire. I had a lot of fun testing various gauges of multiple strand and solid wires. The results varied. My ears liked multiple stranded small gauge copper wire best. Your results may vary.

Then one dark day a local audio type collector handed me a large box of speaker and interconnect wires from various well respected cable manufacture's. I fell in lust with MIT's sound, hate the stupid looking boxes but loved the sound. These day I use Cardas Crosslink for pre>amps, I put on the ends and MIT interconnects, purchased used here on A'gon.

Good Luck
Yes, I put together half a dozen pair of relatively inexpensive interconnects using two or three kinds of cable and connectors, not all of which I can remember.

The wire that was easiest to work with was Mogami shielded microphone wire, bought from markertek.com. The connectors I liked most were from Vampire Wire.

It was a fun project and the results compared favorably with the other interconnects I have from DHLabs, Canare and others.
I made a few cables from an old recipe I saw somewhere. You use 1/4" plastic tube (the type you use for connecting an ice maker.) Purchase some of the white tape you use for sealing pipe connections etc. (Teflon tape) wrap the plastic tube in the Teflon tape just barely overlapping. Purchase some Radio Shack 22 gauge magnet wire (copper) and wrap around the tube spacing about 1" per turn. This forms your shield. Once you have wrapped the wire, wrap it again with the Teflon tape. When you pull it just a little, it will adhere to itself. Wrap it as you did the first time barely overlapping and covering the wire. Next, run one (1) strand of wire through the tube. Using whatever connector brand you want, solder the center wire to the center connection on the RCA connector. The other wire goes to the shield connector. You can use a little strink wrap over the connectors where you soldered to the ends of the tube. Do not shrink wrap any more than this.
You will be shocked how good this cable will sound. Go ahead, compare it to any cable at any price!
Tony... The short answer to your Q is "no." But for those who are looking for I/Cs or speaker cable of great quality, reliable electrical attribute stats (e.g., resistance, capacitance and inductance), I highly recommend giving Tom Tutay a call. I don't have his number handy, but do a search on the Forum. His tel. number has been posted numerous times.

Tom has made several custom components for me AND interconnects as well. Tom is well known and well regarded in our community. Your Forum search should bear that out from me as well as from quite a few very respected other members.

Bottom line: Tom does great work for a very fair price. Why not road test him for just one set of I/Cs?? See how it goes. It's not a life investment. Just MHO.
YES. Some of my best cables.
I have a pile of "Mark Levinson" wire ffrom early 80's
I love it.
I reterminated it a few years ago with 'Tiffany' sttyle Vampire RCA connectors.
I love the 'Tiffany' design connector as the outer ground is a crimp using the entire case, rather than a crummy single point solder.
(Plenty of expensive RCA have horrible/difficult ground connections. Tiffany design solves that totally)

My interconnects cost me $24 a set for the RCAs.. and $2 a foot for the wire.
They remind me of older Cardas wires.
I tried a phono cable with a din plug and some 32g silvered copper wire. It worked. not any better than the Linn cable i had.
the Mogami 2534 wire with Neutrik ends is so cheap already made for <$60.00 I would not bother myself

my two cents...
If you like MIT cables a lot of people don't know that you can buy DIY interconnect and speaker cable kits from MIT,
the interconnect kit comes with RCA connectors and a 3-pole articulation "chip" inside the RCA, you soldier them yourself (WBT silver soldier is highly recommended).
The cable is the correct impedance for interconnects which is not possible to make without proper test equipment.
Jim C.
Here's a thread on this subject that was running last year on Audiocircle. The packing tape/Kapton interconnect is a very good sounding bargain interconnect IF you can get away with using unshielded wire in your location. Not everyone can, obviously. I've had a number of people contact me after building them who expressed surprise at how good they sounded. They are rather delicate and take care when connecting and disconnecting.

Thanks guys. If nothing else, you have certainly fueled the fire.

I think I'm gonna start with something along the lines of a silver plated solid core copper wire using PTFE sheathing and see what I get.
I've made lots of interconnects over the years. It can be fun and sound great, too. Below is a prior description I had put together for a friend of some of the sources and recipies that I've used before. In terms of parts, while you can get them from either of these (or many others), Parts Express is also a great, and often cheaper, source if you know what you're looking for. You can also get wire from any of many sources (Mogami is nice, Blue Jeans and Signal also sell wire, and many of the "Big Names" will also sell you parts to cheff up on your own. More flavors and options than you could possibly want.)

This is a great, one-stop resource for DIY wires. http://www.homegrownaudio.com/. They hit the scene about 10 years ago and were offering bargain basement pricing for really great wires, along with kits to make them at even lower cost. Since then, they’ve gotten a lot more expensive. They have DIY kits for their production wires, as well as various iterations of parts that you can buy to mix and match your own. All their designs center around braided silver or copper wires. I have two sets that I bought assembled and probably 4-5 sets that I got as raw parts and made myself. You can see their kits, which is likely not what you want, or just parts such as bulk wire in various flavors (silver http://www.homegrownaudio.com/bulk-silver-audio-wire/) (copper http://www.homegrownaudio.com/solid-core-ofhc-copper-wire/), each in various iterations (bare, Teflon coated, cotton coated, etc.). RCA terminators (http://www.homegrownaudio.com/rca-interconnect-connectors/). And various other useful bits, such as heat-activated shrink wrap and nylon tubes to encase wires if you want to go that way. (http://www.homegrownaudio.com/categories/DIY-Extras/).

If you really want to go deeper into the world of DIY wires, like this guy as a resource (http://www.venhaus1.com/diysilverinterconnects.html). I made a couple sets of these a long time ago, and it was fun. Looks like the “recipe” has been updated, and that he has started selling both finished cables and DIY supplies. http://www.vhaudio.com/products.html. Looks like he’s really focused on the high end of the spectrum. This is really nice stuff, probably very deliberately the best available in terms of raw materials, but a resource. When I made the set, he didn’t have a website, just found the recipe floating about from general buzz, and sourced the parts all over from manufacturers. Here, he at least offers the potential for one-stop shopping. As you’ll notice, the RCA terminators are usually the most expensive bit when it comes to parts. The ones on this site are top-shelf, and can be several hundred $$ for the requisite set of 8.
All kinds of audio sites selling wire and connectors. You can find almost any metal from copper, silver, to a mixture of that with gold.

I don't think soldering is the way to go though I could be wrong. Another thing would be the capacitance vs shielding. Those are subjects that seem to attract the argumentative.
Mezmo, that venhaus link is actually what got me thinking about this. I just wanted to ask some of you here what you thought about it, just in case.
Cool. I think yes, it's the real deal. Not currently using the ones I made, but then I didn't do a very good job. Alas.

Honestly, with good materials and craftsmanship, don't think there's anything particularly magic to wires. Markups are huge, and DIY has always struck me as a great idea, on wires in particular. Of course, picking the right materials and supplying the craftsmanship is the trick -- one that I wouldn't claim to have dialed in on either front....
Well, what makes sense to me (not that it means anything) is using a good quality wire with a PTFE sheath of sorts allowing lots of air around the wire. It also sounds pretty easy to do, especially for the lengths normally associated with interconnects.

I'm thinking about trying something like this....http://www.ebay.com/itm/AUDIOPHILE-SOLID-CORE-SILVER-OCC-BULK-WIRE-60FT-24AWG-SPECIAL-1-WEEK-PROMO-SALE-/111123441450?pt=US_Audio_Cables_Adapters&hash=item19df79272a
Mental, yeah, that's something I'm going to have to look into. There was a time when I thought that soldering made the best connection, but I have read that crimping makes for the best connection. Well, crimping or some other method of mechanical attachment, like a screw or something.

Still, soldering seems to be the most popular method. I just don't know if that is because it's the best way to go or because it's the fastest way to go when you're talking about line assembly.