sleeving AudioNote tonearm wiring

Recently tried newly purchased AudioNote silver tonearm wires on a couple of my arms (Ortofon RS-212D and Sumiko MDC800), I should say I was impressed in a positive way. Now I need to finish the project, I am going to install it into Sumiko. What I am looking for is some advise. I am planning to put either cotton or silk sleeve outside, if somebody can share a good distributor for cotton/silk sleeving material. Also, would be nice to read up / hear any thoughts on the procedure. In particular would love to hear opinion whether or not I should apply any extra insulation before it is put into the sleeve. The wire itself is already insulated of course it is not a bare wire but I was not sure.
Thank you,
May I ask how you tested the wire? Are you planning on wiring the inside of the arm only, or is the wire going all the way to the preamp? I have some suggestions, but am unclear about what exactly you are doing.

If you are replacing the internal tone arm wire only, I personally would not "sleeve" it in any way. One of the beauties of this wire, as you know, is that it is extremely fine which is very desirable for the free movement of the arm at the pivot. Anything that you sleeve it with will decrease it's flexibility; not ideal.

Great wire!
So far the wire just sits on top of the arm, just for testing it out. The wire will go right from the cartridge up to the preamp (about 3 feet I would say). I was planning to let it trought the arm (with no sleeving like you said) through the pivot down to arm base, at which point I was planning to start the sleeve at the point where the wire exits the base. I tried the nylon guitar string through the pivot and it goes fine :)
I guess I will need to fix the wire at the base exit, I was thinking about using the original plastic cap (it has an outside thread to thread it into the arm base. Original Sumiko inside arm wiring was from cart to this plastic cap (wiring was solded on the inside 5 points including ground wire), and then on the outside I still have a cable with plastic female which I won't be using any longer, that part took it to the preamp.
I may just drill a small hole in the plastic cap which goes into the arm base to let the wiring plus the sleeve through. Hope it makes sense, would appreciate your thoughts.
Thank you
Maybe something here for you?

That is a great way to do it. I did something similar with my ET2 air bearing arm, although with this arm I kept the wire external the entire span. With this arm the wire needs to make a loop for free lateral movement of the arm. Up to that point, the wire is not sleeved. Then, right after the loop, each channel's pair of wires is braided and then each braided pair is inserted into a length of very small diameter Teflon tubing, like is used to insulate capacitor leads. Each Teflon tube is then covered with copper mesh. Each length of copper mesh has a "pigtail" of insulated wire with a spade soldered to it at the preamp end to attach to the preamp's grounding lug. The copper mesh is then covered with polyester mesh. It is very effective and looks good. I have the wire soldered directly to the preamps circuit board, thus eliminating several solder joints and jacks for significant gains in sonic purity.

Your plan should work very well. Pay particular attention to strain relief at the point that the wire exits the arm. Perhaps you can put a small amount of silicone adhesive in the hole you will drill in the plastic cap. Do braid each pair of wires for increased RFI rejection. Good luck.

Would you mind sharing your source for the exact wire that you're using? Is it the three stranded wire with the Polyurethane insulation?


That is exactly how I wired my ET-2 tonearm except I didn't twist the pairs after the loop or put the polyurethane mesh on. I read somewhere that Lloyd Walker does not twist the pairs unless there's an RF interference problem. Did you have an interference issue?
Great small tutorial, thanks much, this helps!
Speaking about Teflon – the reason I wanted to have cotton sleeve is that I like how cotton (or silk) feels :) Though on a more serious note I agree with the opinion that cotton will not provide any proof against the corrosion, certainly not like Teflon, but I want to take a risk at this point.
A couple of questions - how did you put the wire through Teflon and then through the mesh? Did you use some specific tool or just some long needle or some rigid steel wire?
Do you think I should ‘ground’ the arm tube as well as the mesh?
And about the mesh itself – can you recall your supplier or just any copper mesh of the right size will do?
Thank you again
Hi Anatoliy, I bought the Teflon tube, copper and polyester mesh from Michael Percy (Michaelpercy .com). Sending the wire through the tubing was tricky. What I did was to solder the preamp end of the twisted pair to one end of a piece of uninsulated solid core steel wire a little longer than the teflon tubing, and send the steel wire through the tube, with the AN "going along for the ride". You have to be careful and make sure the steel wire (or whatever you use) has an OD smaller than the teflon's tube ID. Putting the "filled" tube through the two meshes is not difficult; they expand somewhat.

Ketchup, unfortunately, I do have problems with RFI so braiding was very helpful. Do not have RFI problems now, but can't say how the braiding affected the sound, if at all. However, since it is fairly well acknowledged that the consistency of the proximity of conductors (in general) in cable to each other is something that is optimized in most cable designs, logic tells me that since upbraided wires WILL have some contact with each other at different and unpredictable points along their span, so why not at least bring some consistency to the "design".

Anatoliy, as you know, the cable is very very thin; although not quite as fragile as we might think. However, and in spite of that, I managed to fray one conductor before I put it in Teflon, and had to replace it. On the other hand, if I did not, as I do, have multiple arm wands and not have the wire hard wired, I probably would have either left the cable alone or do what you have in mind.

Good luck.
Frogman, sorry, didn't see the question about the wire source - yes, you are correct, it is the three stranded wire, consists of 3 twisted wires of 0.05mm, not sure about what's on top, I guess you are correct it should be the Polyurethane insulation, I am just not sure. Part number AN-WIRE-300 (I don't have diff colors though, all 4 wires same color).

Thanks, folks, I guess I am a t a good start thanks to your input.
Best Regards

It was me who asked. Thanks for the part number!
Dear Anatoliy: The wire insulation is teflon.

regards and enjoy the music,
Dear Raul, that is not correct, the insulation on the AN 300 tonearm wire is multiple coats of polyurethane, not Teflon.


Audio Note's website shows it as being polyurethane insulation. See part number AN-WIRE-300 three quarters of the way down the page.
Des, thank you, I put an order through with them, response was quick, they seem to be nice folks:)
Here are some more sources for AN wire and other tonearm goodies:
This is a very intersting thread. I have a rega P3-24 with an Audio note IQ3 cartridge and a home brew audio note preamp.  Would this wire upgrade expose flaws in my rega/audio note set up or would it be an overall improvement? Thank you
Here is something worth knowing: Geoffrey Owens of Helius Designs (U.K. pick-up arm designer/maker) offers his arms wired with copper, silver, and cryo-treated silver. He told me the cryo treatment not only improves the sound of the silver wire, but relaxes it's physical properties, making it more limp and flexible, a very desirable characteristic for the internal wire of an arm to have.