Help me with a speaker cable build, Ideas?


Hey, This is the OldHvyMec,

I've been watching the forums and noticed all the clammer on speaker cables.

Got any ideas on how to build a better NETWORK SPEAKER CABLE?

THIS IS NOT about, what a cable should do, BUT, about what a cable CAN DO.
I've found some interesting ideas and would like to share.

Design??? I need All the help I can get!!!!

I invite all the poor sound hounds to the BBQ. What YA GOT???

Materials, Surplus, Ideas.  Just no Yoko Ono, and be nice, I'm old. LOL

Regards
oldhvymec
I have yet to hear the DIY cable that sounded as good as what you could buy for much less with the money spent on parts alone. Nevermind the time and wasted experiments. Good luck. You'll need it.


Get some Mogami 2477 Blue Neglex 14 guage OFC coax. Strip the ends and add your favorite bananas/spades and you will have a speaker cable as good as those costing big bucks! I had a pair connected to my KLH Nine ESL's for 20 years! Cost: $1 a foot (40 ft piece cut in half). 

I found one cable, that used 4 # 12 pure copper conductors, with a single #24 pure silver solid core wire running through the center of the 4 # 12s.
  
The # 24 was wrapped in teflon, then cotton batting, then teflon again. It was placed carefully in the middle of the 4 # 12s. The outside of the 4 # 12s was then tubed with clear thick VERY flexible tube.
The second conductor was the same, but not inside a tube. The two are then placed in an OVERSIZE clear flex tube, sealed vacuumed down and then an inert gas, (I got no idea) is sucked in via the negative chamber pressure.  Maybe it comes with a charge kit. For the 28,000.00 per cable, I'm sure it does. I would, say it's pretty easy to do. I'm gonna find out. 

I'm not to savy as to why one would be in a tube and the other one not,
maybe it's not in a shrink tube just an insulator. It had something to do with collective capacitance.  But I swear, that stinger wire is probably a way to do a frequency enhancement. Like a really REALLY good bypass
cap in a so so cap bank, of a passive XO. In this case the cap bank were of high quality too, (high strand count quality copper wire)
The ends were 2mm pin style, I got a feeling that #24 pure silver solid core was feed right in the center of that VERY special looking 2mm pin. The first part of its supper conductive life starts.

The longest cable was 2 meters, again 28,000.00 per, cable WOW

the PC were 12,000. ea USD Silver clad. OK

I bet they do sound good, REALLY good. no obvious network there, just flow like the mighty Mississippi. What ya think???

millercarbon
2,772 posts
01-30-2020 11:24pm
I have yet to hear the DIY cable that sounded as good as what you could buy for much less with the money spent on parts alone. Nevermind the time and wasted experiments. Good luck. You'll need it.

Got any ideas on how to build a better NETWORK SPEAKER CABLE?

THIS IS NOT about, what a cable should do, BUT, about what a cable CAN DO.
I've found some interesting ideas and would like to share.

Thanks for the input, I guess I've been a little lucker than most. I've yet to find anything that couldn't have been done a little different, a little better, or BY ME. Cabling is not my profession, but troubleshooting and repairing them WAS for MANY years. The lack of trying has never stopped me from FINDING a cable issue.  Someone had to build the cable. I assure you ALL cables are DIY. Some in a basements, some in a store front location MOST in a sweatshop, in central ANYWHERE, (they all have their very own fans to stay cool), or who knows where.

A company in Germany use to make the cabling for very complicated
CANN bus style mobile drilling platforms. The bus had the job of tying
several different processor clusters (nodes and their analog sensors) together and WORK without a hitch, in some VERY VERY harsh conditions. There were 30 + looms with over 50 wires each, GPS, for drilling with NO variation over 100 meters VERTICAL. The MM had to find cable, transducer, sensor, RF, cross sign, and all types of issues that brought that digital system to a dead stop. Just as sensitive as the finest sound system but much harsher environment. And much more complicated than ANY I MEAN any, amp, preamp, speaker, XO, ALL of it combined EVER MADE. Scopes and swearing, and 30 guys standing WAITING, with a $20,000.00 per hour liquidated damage clause.. It's not subjective. It is not experimenting, its measurable, repeatable, and REPAIRABLE. Can't just try a different one, have to built those cables in the field. NO WHERE TO BUY a 100,000.00  dollar special, 6 week wait, CABLE.

The best are always the onesies and  twosies. Once upon a time, I was a least a threesie. LOL Productive input is much appreciated. If YOU can't do it, that ok, ask I'll help you out, that's all I can do. It will be as good or better, in workmanship and performance.
NO DOUBT ABOUT IT. Show me your stuff. What I'll do will be as good OR BETTER, if not I'll conceit, to the better builder.
COST
WORKMANSHIP
PERFORMANCE

What I'm looking for is ideas, and personal failures that weren't in vain.
Personal thing that JUST work. Not "It won't work" This DOG can hunt...
I'll commit to builds I can match, or better. If not, no need, to waste the finger power.

Regards






Get some Mogami 2477 Blue Neglex 14 guage OFC coax. Strip the ends and add your favorite bananas/spades and you will have a speaker cable as good as those costing big bucks! I had a pair connected to my KLH Nine ESL's for 20 years! Cost: $1 a foot (40 ft piece cut in half).

A lot of the cabling we used was silver clad, open ends, tinned with silver solder. 20-75 foot runs, sometimes. It was all reinstalled back in Enviro Armor. Can't have sparks down the hole, could wind up on the moon, if you hit a flammable or combustible pocket.

A lot of the really GOOD cable is made to German and Japanese DIN standards, VERY HIGH QUALITY cable in the industrial and Aerospace industries. CLOSE QC. no doubt.

I've used a lot of commercial wire, LOTS. I've never had speaker cable problems. EVER..

This is really a fishing expedition on NETWORK speaker cable builds.
I think I have 500.00 USD in all the cables in all the systems I use, XLRs, speaker, PC, wall sockets, conduit EVERYTHING. Some speaker builds I've used pure silver solid core #20-24, mids and depends copper sometimes in the tweet position. BUT NO CLADDING, too many problems.

Regards
Audio sensibility, Take 5 audio, parts connexion, Audiyo, VH labs, and many others, for high grade audio oriented cables, in bulk (by the foot).

This tends to be better money spent, when it comes to trying out making your own cables.

It is not unusual to try it yourself first, and to do it using anything but ’high end audio’ specific bulk cable.

But, in the end, the audio specific bulk cable designs, do turn out to be the best money spent in DIY speaker cables. And interconnects. Have fun along the way....

~~~~~~~~

Actually, in my experience, there is one other. One cable design to rule all the DIY cables. Copper foil from the stained glass industry, with stabilized physical geometry and insulation supplied by simple high grade paper based masking tape. It is the most DIY of all, but it has the highest value return.

The big trick, is, if one finds the copper foil cable as being deficient in some parameter.. it is generally not the fault of the copper foil - the fault lies elsewhere in the system. This can take some time to figure out.

It is like walking up a set of high end audio steps. The foil gets you one step up in the right direction, and then another leg has to move to a new spot. The foil is already correctly positioned to provide lift upward, via other or connected effort. The foil is not a misstep. In many systems, it may not be likened to a misstep or 'the weakest link' for quite some time, in the realm of sequentially attempting those upward steps.
teo_audio

Very interesting COPPER FOIL. I've seen craftsmen work with gold and silver clad (type foil) in the inlay process of fine jewelry, ornamental armor, wood. You name it. I've done a few pieces through the years.

The cable you mention is out there? I just need to hunt it down? OR I need to make it so it's not deficient in some of the sonic pearls, it can offer up.

The tape you speak of, could you elaborate. Some type of paper?
I never thought of it. But the material could vary from customary  wood product, to HIGH quality rice, silk, cotton, and hemp. ULTRA thin super strong designs. 

Paper in general, is slightly on the acidic side, rice, hemp, silk, cotton, and I'm sure quit a few more, are closer to neutral.

I know that different jackets and the material between jacket and conductor can REALLY vary. The different  materials surely have different sonic signatures right? 

Thanks for the input..
Go to Tempo Electric site. They sell cable, insulation, etc. I bought two pair of Big Twist 12 gauge solid core silver in Teflon tubing, and love them. They sound great.

Retired old heavy equipment operator,
Dan
stained glass, copper foil.

https://www.ebay.ca/b/Stained-Glass-Supplies/4770/bn_16516878


Various thickness, widths, and backing materials.

All copper these days is inherently 99.99% OFC copper. As the cheapest way of making it is via a electrolytic process that automatically comes to that level and type of quality. They would make it cheaper if they could but that is now the bottom of the barrel in copper quality, strictly due to costs.

Basically, you lay out a long strip of high quality masking tape, on a linoleum kitchen floor or whatnot,..done glue side up...and then lay down a long strip of the given copper of the right ’total guage/area...’, of equivalence to 18-14g or whatnot..and then a strip beside it, separated...and then lay another strip of the tape down on that, using the glue side down, so the two glue sides contact and entrap the copper strips.

Thus you get a high grade high current high bandwidth foil speaker pair set, for about $40 total. With paper dielectric, no less, which is a very high quality dielectric. the glue sucks, but you can’t have everything. Maybe even multiple strips of copper per positive and negative leg. The good part of the glued together set is that it is low mass with high damping. The ideal desirable combination. With an almost MIA dielectric skin. Which is also desirable.

You can even make unshielded interconnects of the thinner copper foil, via similar techniques. And you can probably run video signals down the speaker cable version they are so high bandwidth. Or alternatively run a toaster at 1400 watts.


Please try this and it will beat a lot of cables that cost you hundreds and even of thousand of dollars.  Go to Home Depot and get the low voltage electrical wires and they will work like a champ.  Under 6’ to 10’ get 14 or 16 gauge and over 10’ to 20’ is, of course, 12 gauge.  Just want to share!
islandmandan927 posts01-31-2020 10:46amGo to Tempo Electric site. They sell cable, insulation, etc. I bought two pair of Big Twist 12 gauge solid core silver in Teflon tubing, and love them. They sound great.

Retired old heavy equipment operator,
Dan

RetOldHvyEqOp Dan, Yup. I worked on lots and lots of different equipment through the years. Always an adventure.LOL

Thanks I'll check out the cable. Are you running a single conductor or Bi wired/amps? Valve or SS or BOTH?? AND speaker type, round, planar, ribbon, electrostatic, or combo? Teflon is good, so are the soft jackets, cotton, silk, hemp, and dense paper types like pressed hemp and rice paper, (rolling papers).

I see teo_audio has post some WONDERFUL pearls, also!!!
HQ tape with a flat conductor, 99.99. and a second piece of tape. Flat conductor, NON woven, I bet it's KILLER. Especially mids and highs.
I suppose enough layers would be good for many MANY watts, yet singles would have very good detail, kinda like the SC # 20-24, BUT BETTER dielectric, nether is OVER dampened VERY important.
SAY, you know what the 5 components are in the cables you
mentioned???? SHARE! NOW!! Elaborate!!!

I've used HEAVY (#4) flat woven copper in a cotton/burlap jacket or clear high temp silicone for SERIOUS bass sections.
I've not found a better cable, some as good but not BETTER.

Have you ran "Network style", cabling?

I use pure solid core silver wire or GOOD SC clad when I build a monitor section (#20-24). I've tried a few different combinations.
  
Planars and ribbons, WORK well with both pure solid core Silver, or Copper. I CANNOT hear the difference. MIXTUREs definitely have a sonic signature.
I've pumped every bit of 700 plus watts through,# 20-24 SC conductors. I've NEVER heard (along with a few others), any difference or any undersize issues, that were noted. Definition and clarity, come to mind.

CLADDING on the other hand, UNLESS solid core, DRIVES ME UP A WALL. BLISTERING HF Multi strand/clad anything can be BRIGHT.
I haven't tried solid core with clad on SPEAKER RUNS. I bet it would be a much better combo. Problem it's not flexible.

Copper tames some of the qualities my Macs and VTL tube units have, in concert with SS amps for bass duty. I NOW use BIG copper only, from about 700hz down, and UP if I'm using Valve amps.

I've had to roll tubes with other individuals stereos behind speaker wire.
I LOVE the MC240s in a small room, with good speakers. (especially a good horn type system)
A fellow wanted to buy one of my 240s. I take it over, he's got these humpty dumpty wires that my POOR old (NEW) 240, didn't understand. I wasn't gonna argue. Sylvanias OUT RCAs in, fixed. BUT 600.00 USD valves for his 2000.00 cables. Sounded wonderful. Yet that same cable in copper (40.00) with Silvanias (150.00 new) sounded as good, maybe a tad tighter in the bass, and crisper on the top. 2210.00 upgrade that didn't sound BETTER... PLUS the 3000.00 for the Tricked out amp. Still has the amp, he loves it. GO FIGURE...

I found that Terminal ENDS are the biggest UNUSED tool, in the TOOL box. I literally use them as a tuning aid, if I get feedback ABOUT a tunable issue, it's an easy fix. Silver, copper, red copper, gold, rose gold, then cladding combinations. ALL have a different, signature. Red copper, and rose gold, BOTH have iron. not the best, ay? Pure silver or copper VERY CLOSE, sonically I can't tell the difference on MY GEAR, with my ears.

Round speaker, with SD/Ribbon/Planar, combos, I use a HIGH strand count copper, for speaker runs.

Now, Network cables, ANYONE!! any imaging inside?? Where is superman when we need him.
Opps, I didn't mean the superman thing, I prefer superman not show up, BUT if he did, BE NICE, ay.. No bickering, (I'm telling myself), deep breaths. Concentrate on the force LUKE, CONCENTRATE. lol

thomasnguyen10161
1 posts
01-31-2020 8:21pm
Please try this and it will beat a lot of cables that cost you hundreds and even of thousand of dollars.  Go to Home Depot and get the low voltage electrical wires and they will work like a champ.  Under 6’ to 10’ get 14 or 16 gauge and over 10’ to 20’ is, of course, 12 gauge.  Just want to share!

Solid Core conductor, right?? I've used it. WORKS great, it's just not flexible enough for most applications, unless your a "off the floor guy"
I saw a  "HIGH" dollar systems, with stiff conductors and bridging. I figured it was so the cleaning person could vacuum. 55,000.00 for that set up in Florida show 12 year or so back.. You did it for 40.00 or less. Heck some plexiglass and a table saw, you got the bridging, for the vacuum person, you, I assume. It works for me.....

BTW that 55,000.00 USD system BOILED my ears behind dirty
DIRTY VAC, along with most of the vendors. I just walked by B&W,
ML big stuff was ok.That was called the "Cotton Convention", Everyone was bitchin', about the HF ear bleeding highs. Cotton in your ears...

roberjerman
3,295 posts
01-31-2020 12:02am
Get some Mogami 2477 Blue Neglex 14 guage OFC coax.

I use, their W-2524(I think that the number) cable for my XLRs.
I really like their stuff. QC is just unsurpassed. I just wish I could find a GOOD source, for XLR, AT A REASONABLE price, with copper pin ends. The housing is not the biggie. The conductor is.

You got a good source for GREAT cable ends, ALL EARS HERE..

What do think of Cable COOKING? I think they got something there.
I've done it with RCAs In tape loops. Systems seem to settle in a bit quicker, after a component swap, Your thoughts?

Regards
Ok I've built 3 sets of cables.

First one with inductor (first part of the network) and the second network (resistors and cap), in a 3 meter 12/4 soow (600vac) cable.

The second build is  WITHOUT the inductor, 17' cable of 10/2 sjoow  (300vac), second network is installed.

The third is 12/4 3 meter, no network of any kind, soow (600vac) They are all being conditioned on a 2.5 cooker. Takes a bit of time. 3-5 days per pair. I'll run them on a pair of RM30, Elixirs, and RS2b.

All three cables are set up for inline attenuation, of HF if needed.
They are all 99.9 pure copper domestic cable

These are all planar/ribbon monitor sections, but all the MBC/ Bass, sections vary, in all three. They will show any and every flaw. I'll use a few different Pre and power amps. Mac, VTL, Nord, and Pass design. I figure about 3 weeks or so to get everything pretty close. 

Give an update when I HEAR SOMETHING....