Cable Building

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

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  1. tommytakis

    tommytakis Friend

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    Hi friends

    does anyone know what type of adaptor is used for this modular system around the Y split? I kind of want to try making this but have no idea what that connector is.
    upload_2020-2-22_9-20-1.jpeg
     
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  2. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    Looks like Torq's secret sauce system. He posted some details a couple years back. I don't think it was a custom piece but I think it was obscure and expensive.
     
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  3. tommytakis

    tommytakis Friend

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    Is there any cheaper, widely available substitute?
     
  4. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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  5. furiossa

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  6. fastfwd

    fastfwd Wow, I made it this far without being a friend?

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  7. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    Mini xlr is the simplest, most used option. You can get them with metal boots which are a little shorter than the rubber boots. You can also try the JH Audio connectors. Lunashops makes a cable mount male connector. Would likely be the most compact option, though quite expensive.
     
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  8. ohshitgorillas

    ohshitgorillas Friend

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    Thanks for the recommendations!! I actually already have a pair of DH Labs Silver Sonics (the white ones, DH-600) and they're very nice, I have them wired up with Jupiter cotton sheathed OCC copper wire in a triple braid configuration (this stuff sounds so good) to connect Bifrost 2 to my supermodded Crack. I am definitely interested in the next up RCAs in their lineup, I think DH-650 and ordering some soon. Last night I placed an order for the Furutechs and KLE Classic plugs (almost got the 162G instead of the 126G, but thankfully PCX was able to correct it before shipping). I'll be sure to snag some Amphenols for experimenting as well, in the near future.

    I concur that the cheap Neutriks are bad, fairly thin and harsh with poor dynamics in my experience. The same cable was pretty smooth (for SPC), easy, and had good depth when wired up with knockoff WBTs, and it was then that I realized that the connector can play a big role in the sound. I also have a pair of the Eichmann bullet-style plugs, but made in China. I'm not super impressed, but I'm hopeful that the real thing will sound a bit less anemic.

    What are y'alls favorite wires to work with? So far I've been really impressed with the Jupiter OCC copper sheathed in cotton/silk, although its inevitable death by oxidation is an issue weighing on my mind. I was really surprised by how much Jupiter out-does the highly lauded Neotech PTFE UP-OCC-LOL-WTF-FBI-BBQ-KYS copper, in the same configuration and with the same connectors--there was a pretty noticeable increase in detail, depth, and staging accuracy. Actually I found the difference with the Neotech wire to be pretty minimal over a basic BJC RCA. Is there anyone that makes a good in-between type of wire wrt the dielectric? Someone who makes wires with high quality copper (at least OFC... from my limited experience beyond OFC purity seems mostly asinine) with an airtight non-Teflon dielectric that can at least bring part of the openness of cotton-sheathed or bare wire? I know I've seen it around, manufacturers calling it something like air foam or something, but that isn't stupidly expensive (maybe <$2/ft)? I know there's the option of silver plating or tin plating then throwing some cotton around it e.g. Duelund, but I can't find any that aren't stranded, and I strongly prefer solid core over stranded when making interconnects.

    Also, how do y'all feel about shielding? I haven't done much experimenting, but from my reading, it seems that shields actually take more away from the sound than they give... on the other hand, beyond maybe 3-5 ft, depending on environment, shielding is more of a good idea because the wires are acting like better antennae.

    Sorry for such a long post but there's something about cable building that is really kind of therapeutic and relaxing, so I really enjoy it, but there are a so many variables and not a lot of information out there (given how many threads get derailed by "but muh measurements" and old rich cunts that insist $800 cables are the only way to go). Also, I am budget- and time-limited and can't exactly just drop a few hundo on materials for experimenting, so second hand knowledge is very valuable. I have a ton more questions, but for now I'm trying to limit myself to RCAs.
     
  9. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    Not sure if it is exactly what you are looking for, but Norne Audio has 22awg UPOCC stranded copper wire in a really thin polyethylene dialectric for DIYers. It is very nice for headphone cables and I don't see why it wouldn't be good for an interconnect, especially if you are looking for minimal dialectric and shielding. http://www.norneaudio.com/litzheim/...em-iem-full-size-aftermarket-up-7-n-6-upgrade
     
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  10. ohshitgorillas

    ohshitgorillas Friend

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    Wow, those Furutech FP-126(G) connectors are awesome. Music comes through so smooth and subtle with great detail and bass texture/tightness. The DH Labs RCA-600 are not far behind, still very smooth, but loses just a bit of detail. I'm still very curious to see how the DH Labs RCA-650 performs. The FP-126(G) will likely be the most expensive connectors I'll be buying for the near future, because damn they are good. The KLE Harmony plugs were my least favorite of those three. They weren't harsh, but lacked the smoothness of the Furutech/DH Labs connectors... I'm preemptively blaming the silver plating. I'll grab a set of the gold/copper versions next to see how that performs. If anyone can think of any other excellent value RCA connectors, let me know and I'll put them on the list!

    For my next projects, I'm thinking that PCX's "The Natural One" interconnect wire might be pretty nice. Yes, it's stranded wire and in a previous post I said I wasn't interested in stranded wire, but I'm curious enough to make a pair of 1m interconnects with it. Maybe some Duelund too, although at least in theory solid wire should perform better than stranded. So far I have really liked Jupiter's cotton/copper wire, and this is tin-plated so I wouldn't have to worry about rusting over time--the Jupiter cotton/copper wire I've used so far, I've braided and wrapped in Teflon tape to hopefully slow the process, but I do live in a humid region so it's only a matter of time. I'll also be checking out some of Jupiter's cryo-treated OCC cotton/copper wire, probably paired with the cryo-treated FP-126(G).

    I'm currently working on building a Bottlehead Eros 2, and when it's done I plan on re-terminating the stock RCA cable on my Rega P3 (actually I want to replace the tonearm wiring entirely) with something similar to the bullet plug style, thinking that the raw turntable signal is so tiny that using the least amount of metal in the connectors would be beneficial, so I'm really interested in finding a connector in that style that I really like. If there is ever a place to use silver wire/connector contacts, it would be for the pre-preamp turntable signal. I also bought a set of four WBT RCA jacks that follow a similar design philosophy (I really wanted a pair of the silver version for the inputs, copper is fine for outputs, but I couldn't bring myself to drop $120 on a single pair of RCA jacks), and using pure, bare silver wire for the input signal wire and signal ground (PCX's OCC5N series), and bare silver plated copper for the rest of the signal after the initial amplification stage.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2020
  11. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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  12. monacelli

    monacelli Friend

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    These caught my eye and look like they may be a good substitute (or possibly the same part with different branding). They are the [Onkodo IP-101G]. I've only seen them on Amazon Japan, but you may be able to find them elsewhere too. Haven't used them yet, but look promising~
     
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  13. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    Unfortunately, that amazon.co.jp seller doesn't ship to Taiwan either. But a buddy has a buddy in Japan who will order and forward a couple of sets. Will report back when I get them.
     
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  14. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    I know you already have some on your way, but AEC in Taiwan is the OEM for an incredible number of brands. I don't know if they have a retail shop or can send samples domestically, but might be worth a shot in the future.
     
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  15. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    I remember you mentioned them before, and I looked them up online at the time but never inquired directly. I'll give them a call on Monday. (4 day weekend starts today)

    Edit: I just searched their site and they list HD800 connectors, but not HD6xx.
    https://www.aecconnectors.com.tw/st...ame_id=&Product_News_Search=&search=Headphone

    Correction: What's listed as an IEM connector is actually the HD6xx connector. Here's the left one:
    https://www.aecconnectors.com.tw/en/product-217771/2P-IEM-PLUG-IP-101MBATG-TEF-3-5-L.html
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2020
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  16. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    Inspired by the cable that @fraggler made for me, I decided to pop my cable cherry and make one to hard wire into my new HD800s. I ordered some Norne DIY cable, but Trevor's been a bit behind getting shipments out so I sourced something locally to get started with. I was going to buy some Mogami W2549 to strip out clear sleeved wire like @winterfog did, but my local audio DIY store didn't have any. They did have some some Mogami W2514 "Hi-Fi Hook-Up Wire" in clear (21 AWG) that didn't need to be stripped out.

    The following will be boring for those who are old hands at making cables, but I figured I might as well lay out the process I went through for the benefit of other newbies. Maybe someone can see something that I can do better next time.

    First, pro tip from fraggler: I soldered all the wires to the Neutrik 1/4" TRS connector to make it easier to keep the ends of the wires together. Then I used this 8-strand braid.


    After a few false starts, it was actually pretty easy to keep track of the strands when the structure of the braid was properly formed. I taped numbers on the strands so I could put them back in order more easily if they got tangled. I initially started out too tight, wanting to keep the braid consistent, but then I remembered fraggler's cable had a fairly loose braid that made it really supple. So I reduced the tension a bit by not pulling so hard outwards on the wires, and was able to even out the tight section using a needlepoint needle.
    kable1.jpg

    With 15" or so left, I started on the 4-strand braid for each channel using this pattern. Though easier to manage only 4 wires, it was actually more difficult to restart after loosing your place than the 8-strand braid because the pattern isn't as obvious. I ended up redoing one side completely. kable2.jpg

    On the left is fraggler's splitter, mine is on the right (kinda looks like my ball sack, but I dress left). 3:1 heat shrink was used to get a decent thickness. Nylon multifilament sleeving was sourced from Techflex. kable3.jpg

    Comparison of the stock HD800 internal wires to dual strands of 21 AWG. kable4.jpg

    First attempt at strain relief using heat shrink and a zip tie. It didn't grip the wires tightly enough so there was still some movement when pulled on. The heat shrink has adhesive on the inside, so next time I would overlap the sleeving and some bare wire with the heat shrink. I used a black marker on the "+" terminal to keep polarity straight. Managed not to melt the voice coils when soldering. kable5.jpg

    Hot glue for additional strain relief.
    kable7.jpg

    The eagle eyes out there will have noticed above that I melted the frame a bit on one of the cups with the soldering iron, just beside the zip tie. Luckily, it's not visible when reassembled.
    kable6.jpg

    Finished product.
    kable8.jpg

    kable9.jpg

    The cable is noticeably heavier than the stock one, and you can really feel the weight if you stand up. But it's fine when seated and there are only a couple of feet or so hanging down. People have mentioned improved bass after hard wiring. My initial impressions are:
    • Bass quality improved noticeabley overall: slam, tightness, extension
    • Slightly warmer tone from the thicc copper wire(?)
    • Unexpectedly a bit more air, maybe cuz the warmer tonality let's it come through
    Other mods to the HD800 will be written up in the appropriate thread when I'm done.

    :bow: Special thanks to @fraggler for his additional help and advice :bow:
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2020
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  17. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    You didn't just become a cable maker, you jumped straight to hardwiring! Great job, period. Even more impressive since it was your first try.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2020
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  18. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    Well, that saved me soldering the connectors at the headphone end :D
     
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  19. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    *Edited because I'm an idiot*

    So I've been in touch with AEC, and their MOQ for orders is 1000 pcs. But they have 10 sets (L+R) on hand and will sell them to me for USD 7.60 per set each. This is almost 1/2 a little more than the price of of a set from the eBay seller. Shipping from Taiwan is fairly cheap, but if you guys want to do a group buy it'll probably be most cost efficient for me to ship to 1 person in either the US or EU who then forwards them on the the rest. Let me know if you're interested.

    *Now that I've realized I'd originally posted with the price per connector and not per set, it doesn't really make sense price wise for me to do the buy, but if anyone is having trouble getting them from the eBay seller, I'd be happy to buy them and send them on.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2020
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  20. willsw

    willsw Friend

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    I don't know if you got a quote at 1000 pieces, but based on my experience with using AEC components as a manufacturer I'd guess that it'd still be a $3500+ order for 1000.

    I know that Audio Envy works with AEC and makes HD650 cables. They sell their AEC-sourced RCA connectors separately (pretty nice bullet-plug style) so if you're looking to buy several sets it could be worth trying to contact them to see if they have any they'd sell. The owner is a very friendly guy I met at CAF last year.

    I'm fairly sure Plussound also uses AEC for many of their DIY connectors they sell, but they don't have HD650 connectors and the pictures I've found of Plussound Sennheiser cables use the standard style. They might be lobbied into stocking these, though I imagine they'd be priced similarly to the ebay seller.
     
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