Cable Building

Discussion in 'DIY' started by Skyline, Sep 30, 2015.

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  1. zonto

    zonto Friend

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    Thanks for the advice/offer! I'd totally do this, except 3m is too short. It's weird because the HD6x0 cables are "3m" and too short, but the HD800 cable (from what I remember when I had it) was also "3m" but was actually longer and would probably work...

    ***

    Thanks for the response as well @Torq. Will do some more digging and see if I can find someone to build it properly. I asked about Mogami as I recently swapped my stupid expensive Cardas cables out in favor of Mogami 2534/3103 so thought it would be nice to keep in the family.
     
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  2. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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    I went looking, briefly, and could not find an answer. (I'm probably retarded. Don't hold it against me.)

    Is there a two conductor version of this?
     
  3. Torq

    Torq MOT: Headphone.com

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    Nope ... by definition "Star Quad" requires four conductors in a two-pair star configuration.

    If it was just two conductors then it'd, at best, just be twisted pair. In theory that offers complete common mode noise rejection ability, but in practice it doesn't and the Star Quad configuration was created to actually deliver on that theoretical benefit.
     
  4. Torq

    Torq MOT: Headphone.com

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    Mogami 2543 would work ... just don't take the outer PVC sheathing off unless you want to do a lot of swearing while you try and re-sheath the bare copper wrapped shield that's underneath it ... ;)
     
  5. bixby

    bixby Friend

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  6. AllanMarcus

    AllanMarcus Friend

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    I recommend an extension cable. Easy to mod the Senn cable as discussed, then make an extension cable. Price is about $10-12 plus $1/foot. L-4E6S comes in many colors too. Contrary to popular opinion, colored insulation doesn't color the sound. :) I'm happy to make that too. I made a 20' extension cable from Sommer SC-Peacock MKII cable. Not a very exciting cable, but it allows me to sit on the comfy chair and listen to the nice headphones through the nice amp while controlling iTunes from the Mac with the iPad.


    [​IMG]


    I did 168 feet of Mogami W2799 when I lost my mind and made a couple of 16 and 8 strand braided cables. Removing the shielding was the worst part. On a positive note, I was able to sell the copper and buy a Utopia!
     
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  7. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    Canare and Mogami also make their mini starquads with the same geometries but thinner conductors. Might be easier to make into a headphone cable that is comfortable to wear.
     
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  8. rshuck

    rshuck Friend

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    I just got some of the Mogami in, and the 4.8mm OD fits pretty perfectly into the ass end of those Hirose HR10 connectors. I am waiting on some braiding for the outside, but I know that Techflex will not fit in there with the cable diameter, if that mattered to anyone. I am going to test with one, probably modifying the outer jacket to fit the connector as a test to see how microphonics are. I am assuming it'll be worse than the bare cable.
     
  9. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    You took the words right out of my mouth. Especially the part about easier with which to work.
     
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  10. willsw

    willsw Friend

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    To state clearly what has been implied for those not following: people use star-quad for headphones because it's inexpensive, flexible, feels nice, uses high-quality copper, and gives you four conductors already put together in a nice package. Star-quad is intended to be used as a 2-conductor cable (or three, with the shield for 3-pin XLR connections) with each colored pair of wires being connected at either end of the cable. Thus, using it as a headphone cable does not give you the noise rejection and other advantages that the star-quad geometry is known for.

    I'm not sure if an unbalanced headphone cable, where the ground is a connected pair at the 1/4" plug, would impart some of those qualities.

    If you need a long cable, which it sounds like you do, I'd just go with the Canare.

    Though braiding is the least advantageous geometry electrically, I like how cables drape when they're braided, and I like the flexibility in material choice. I believe that two twisted pairs, twisted around each other in the opposite direction of the way they're individually twisted, is the best geometry one can reasonably do at home without buying pre-made cable. This might be wrong.

    Coax is cool. If you want to do the double-barrel option you might try Mogami W2947. I might try that.

    Cloth/plastic sleeving is almost always more microphonic than a wire's jacket or heatshrink. Cotton sleeving has been better than paracord or regular techflex in my experience.
     
  11. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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    Thanks guys.

    Basically, I wanted a 2 conductor version of the star quad cable to use after the Y split in the headphone cable going to each cup on my ZMF Eikon.

    Having to strip the shielding and insulation off the 4 conductor wire for the last two feet works, I guess. If there is a 2 conductor cable I can use instead, I'd rather do that, which is why I asked.

    If that makes sense.
     
  12. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    There are plenty of twisted pair cables with shielding that you can run side by side, but of course it won't be a star quad. A number of cables are also available that are two coaxials bonded together. More knowledgeable people than me can tell you electrically what that might do for you. I am not sure on normal gear in a normal environment if any geometry is really going to make a noticable difference.

    In case metallurgy is something you are worried about, Oyaide makes twisted pair, dual coax, and even a starquad with their SSC copper which replaced PCOCC in their lineup. Hard to get it out of Japan, though.
     
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  13. bixby

    bixby Friend

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    FWIW _ I had a 3 meter extension cable made up of this: Mogami W2552. Sucked!

    So not all this stuff sounds great.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2018
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  14. AllanMarcus

    AllanMarcus Friend

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    The downside to this is then you would need solder at at the Y, and most would prefer not to have that extra joint. There are a couple of options:

    1) Sommer SC-Peacock MKII cable, as shown above, is essentially quad cable, but easily splittable. It's the same cable beyerdynamic used in the T1 gen 1. It's a bit heavy, but has the property of being shielded and insulated with no extra solder joints. Some might say is warms the sound a little, so great for the T1, but not so for warm cans.
    2) You could run mini quad to each tip, join them at the Y, and use sleeving from the Y to the plug.
    3) I made couple of cables using quad, and the sleeved the Y to tip sections with medical grade latex tubing. It was a major pain to feed the wires into the tubing, but it came ok well, and the tubing causes very little cable noise. this cable is ready flexible.
    4) You can buy insolation tubing, and even shield tubing, and remake the outer part of the wire from the Y to the tips.
    5) and finally there is heat shrink. The stiffest option.

    Hope this helps.
     
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  15. willsw

    willsw Friend

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    I'd also discourage splicing at the Y. The Sommer cable is essentially a two-channel snake cable without an outer jacket. Zipline style. These are potentially good, but the one snake I've tried was by Redco was a bit too heavy in the body vs. above the Y. Here are some others I'm interested in trying but haven't yet, which may suit your needs:
    Zipline style:
    Mogami W2528
    Belden 1504A

    Fully jacketed style (arranged from smallest OD to largest, though this doesn't correspond to conductor size):
    Belden 827232
    West Penn Wire D25430
    West Penn D430
    Canare MR202-2AT
    Mogami W2930
    Belden 1902A

    And they do make two-channel star-quad cable, they just get quite thick in the body:
    Canare L-4E3-2P (.350" OD)
    Canare L-4E4-2AT (.413" OD)

    There is thin wall heatshrink, which flexes an OK amount. Clear heatshrink is significantly more flexible and less microphonic than colored.
     
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  16. AllanMarcus

    AllanMarcus Friend

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    I've tried it. Yuck. Too stiff. Even though it's smaller than the Sommer, I just didn't like it. You might. It's $0.58/foot with free shipping from markertek.
     
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  17. willsw

    willsw Friend

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    Honestly, that one looks unappealing enough that I might have skipped it, and now I will for sure.
     
  18. willsw

    willsw Friend

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    I ordered lengths of a few of the wires I listed above. Initial superficial impressions:
    Mogami W2528: nicest feel, natural and pleasant drape and flexibility. Has the best feel for a headphone cable, which is important. Similar in appearance and feel to the stock HD650 cable, but about 25% larger. I made an 11' HD650 cable Quick and easy, though you'll need to be sure your connector has a big enough opening for the double-barrel cable. The opening on these was exactly large enough. Adding thin-wall heatshrink made the cable too large.

    Canare MR202-2AT : Pretty good feel, though not necessarily pleasing. Not annoying but not soft. The step-down in diameter from the full cable to the two pairs stripped of the outer jacket isn't as bad as the Gotham snake cable I tried, and with some heat shrink it could be fine. This could be an OK option, though its 25 awg wire might not be thick enough to make the overall size of the cable worthwhile. For this, and the rest of the cables, I'll really need to put a cable together to see how the wire acts in a straightened length with connectors and their weight attached.

    The Belden and West Penn wire had a smaller OD with thicker wire (22 awg), which was good, but the outer jackets aren't anything more than something to hold the two pairs together, unlike the Canare's insulation that gives the whole cable body and a sense of integration. They are also slightly stiffer and more prone to hold onto a curve. I'll have to see how true this is once I cut free whatever length to make a cable out of and attach connectors.

    Belden 827232 and West Penn Wire D25430: These two were preferred out of these style wires, mainly because of their small diameters. They can be sleeved with 550 Paracord, so they're easily customized below the split. I haven't stripped them to see what the internal wire is like, but it looks like it will be easy to twist and cover with some thin heatshrink to finish. With the 22 awg wire, these could make great, inexpensive extension cables or longer length cables.

    West Penn D430 : I haven't put any cables together, but I don't see why you'd choose this one over the previous two. Larger diameter, a bit stiffer, even slightly higher capacitance than the other West Penn wire, though it's a bit more expensive.
     
  19. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    Presenting a 1/4" TRS F to 4-pin XLR adapter for the MCTH, and a very short RCA interconnect:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Couldn't find such a thing at a reasonable price. The TRS end is this very cheap stereo to dual-mono thing, with R & L sides not even labeled: https://www.ebay.ca/itm/112531932333 . The XLR end is also a cheap no-name unit, but it seems reasonably well put together and fits the socket satisfyingly firmly but not too hard.

    Now I can use both outputs of the MCTH simultaneously, so I'm sorted for when I grow an extra head.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The interconnect is about 5"; for where it was needed, even 6 was a bit long and finding one at reasonable cost was again a problem (mailing a PYST set to Canada would almost double the cost). Connectors are Rean, cable is from an old Radio Shack IC which was chosen because I had it lying around, it's flexible, and I like the colour.

    It should be evident that I don't claim to be the world's best soldering technician :rolleyes:
     
  20. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    This sort of adapter always bugs me, because you are going from a 4-wire output down to 3-wire. At the very least, snip out the "ground" connection on one of the xlr pins. On an amp that has a shared ground output, it will make zero difference. But if you ever accidentally plug this adapter into a proper balanced or differential amp, you won't short it out.
     
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