Western Electric Cloth copper 3M 16GA Wire for IC's
I have talked to a couple of guys who have praised the sonic benefits of this vintage conductor. Can anyone offer an opinion about using this cable for interconnect cables, either pro or con? Thank you. Mark
When the "real sound" WE 16ga wire craze began, the associated ICs being touted were made from Belden 8402 wire, which is also constructed using tinned copper conductors. You can read about if if you do a google search. Speaker cables and power cords share similar characteristics since they both benefit from low inductance and low resistance (i.e., large conductor size). ICs are a different breed and benefit from low capacitance as well as things like termination quality, control of external and self-induced vibrations, and geometry (i.e., consistent spacing of conductors and spacing away from each other and from the shield). Some have tried the WE 16ga wire for ICs but I have heard mixed results. Others like the newer Duelund 16 awg tinned copper in cotton wire, that has a potential benefit over the WE wire because it doesn't have a plastic covering. I wouldn't think the relatively large 16 awg wire would make an outstanding IC, but you never know until you try. I prefer using manufactured cable for ICs, and I have made many both from basic hook-up wire and also from manufactured cable. I like the more consistent spacing you get from manufactured or machine-constructed cable. I would probably look at using Belden 1800F wire for ICs. If your gear is balanced, I can set you up (through the A'gon system) with some finished Belden 8402 cables if you are interested.
Do a search for Jeff's place blog. It will tell you all about the Western Electric, Beldin and Dueland Craze. I use Western Electric and Dueland as speaker cable and Beldin 8402 for interconnects. Also have some Dueland interconnects on order. Really great stuff. The WE is getting hard to find but the Dueland is a close copy of the WE and sounds great Alan
Good advice from Alan. I meant to add to my post that I currently use the WE 10ga wire for speaker cable (bi-wired with two twisted pair to each speaker) and for power cables (a twisted, cross-connected quad, i.e., 4ea of the 10ga wire for 7ga aggregate per pole) and I am completely satisfied. A little different presentation (in a good way) from the many cables I have used but a quite real and tuneful sound with excellent tone and zero errors of commission.
I had been using WE 14g speaker wire bi wired with Belden 8402 IC's and was very pleased with it. Certainly can't beat the price but it's not for everyone. It's more of a vintage sound with great tone and very musical and while detailed it's not nearly as transparent as many cables on the market. It works great with tube amps. Some that have heard it in my system thought it lacked transparency and they're probably right but I find the sound to be very natural and real sounding. I have some Duelund 16g on order as many seem to prefer it and unlike WE 16g its readily available. I'm also going to try Cerious Technologies Graphene Extreme cables as they are supposed to be very real sounding with great tone along with great transparency.......maybe the best of both worlds? I shall see.
The new Duelund copy is better sounding for sure and yes use it to make your ICs and speaker cables. It is amazing stuff surpassing many high dollar cables in sound quality. This wire sounds so right. Get it at Parts Connextion for $10 meter. I use it for ICs and just lately for speaker cable. Just fantastic. No need to ever spend more.
Whitestix, The the newer Duelund 20ga interconnect wire should be the ticket to happiness. Read about it now on Jeff's Blog, jeffsplace.me, he covers the interconnect thoroughly, plus he is a huge fan of Mr. Sacks' work and sound of his Citation preamp rebuild that I know you like. Best, Rob
We will see if the 20ga sounds better. Based on what I hear and read it seems it just sounds different, not neccessarily better in ICs. I like a little warmth and weight and it seems some of this is traded for air and resolution. We will see.
Both make the best IC possible really. Determine which gauge is best based on your sonic priorities. More full bodied tone vs more ambient detail and air.....
I will have to try the new 20ga as I can’t help myself! I have another WE power cord for sale so if you know another person that may want to try one....let them know 😊 Seems very, very few are even interested as they just don't know about this stuff it seems.
Hey mikirob and grannyring, have you guys heard whether there is truth to the rumors of an upcoming 12ga Duelund tinned copper wire? If so, I would like to try some as speaker cable when it is available. I agree with the potential of the 20ga Duelund wire for ICs and also plan to try it, but I will be surprised if it beats the ICs I am currently using in my system.
I have not heard this, but yes indeed it would be ideal for speaker cable. I have long runs and use more than lower power tube amps unlike Jeff Day. I do think many of our systems would benefit from the thicker gauge Duelund.
I got hooked up with 20' of vintage WE copper 16ga. wire yesterday on Audio Circle -- from a source recommended by Jeff of the WE blog fame. I am gonna wire up my Dali Zensor 3's with the wire when it arrives and see how it compares to the Van Damme 2X6mm OHNO cable I recently got. I haven't done an A/B of the VD wire vs. my Neotech 10ga wire, but I think the VD wire has no errors of commission that I can tell, driven with a Don Sachs preamp and Dennis Had EL84 SET amp. So, if i hear a bit of magic with the 16ga. WE wire, I am gonna drop the dime on the new 12ga Dueland when available for my speakers and have the WE wire made into IC's.