Budget interconnect cable with my own hands
From time to time here on this site, in the “Questions” section, some threads about home-built cables pop up. Personally, I have homemade (speaker and interconnect) cables. Recently there was a need for a 180 cm long cable. Naturally, I decided to make it myself and, of course, to share the process.
I decided to assemble it from inexpensive and readily available materials. At my local “Muztorg”, I bought microphone cable KLOTZ MC5000 for 300r/m. The cable has the following features: two wires (material not specified) with a total area of 0.50 mm², shield, total diameter of 7 mm.
I had in stock Neutrik Rean NYS 373 RCA connectors. Its parameters: RCA connector in a metallic black housing with colored markings, one-piece central contact with a soldering output, contacts gold-plated, for cables with a diameter of 3.5 – 6.1 mm. Price from 80 to 150 rubles. The connectors themselves may be different versions and vary slightly in appearance. I like these connectors, they solder very well and do not lose their properties over time. I consider them the best in this budget.
At this point I ran into the fact that the 7mm cable did not fit the size of this connector. I had to remove the rubber guard on the end of the connector to enlarge the outlet. Since our cable has two wires and a shield, I decided to make one wire a signal wire, the second – a signal shield, and the shield itself to connect to the ground on the connector only from one side, the side of the signal receiver. Do not forget about the direction in the cable – the shield solder where the markings on the cable ends (here will be the connection of the signal receiver).
Now we proceed to cutting the cable itself. If you have any questions about the photo, feel free to ask. I made it on my desktop, so please don’t judge too severely on the quality of the pictures.
Let’s start with the signal receiver side. Remove the insulation from the shield and the general insulation from the wires.
I use a heat shrink to keep the insulation from melting when soldering.
I cut and shrink two pieces of heat shrink to the signal strand, shape the leads to the length and shape, and try on the length of the connector. It’s time to tin the center wires.
In the end we should have something like this
We solder the shield and the signal ground to the connector body. The excess solder can be removed with a file. I use PIC61 and neutral flux, rosin.
A closer look at the second cable.
We put some heat shrink on it to be sure.
The special thing is that the cable is pretty thick and can be hard to fit in the connector housing. When assembling the connector I had to remove the plastic part of the connector which should fix the cable. And at the output of the connector I additionally put a heat shrink.
Now let’s assemble the other ends of the cable.
Pay attention: on one side the screen is completely cut off and to avoid the short circuit with the connector body, we put the heat shrink tube over it.
And then we continue to do by analogy with the pictures (as above).
As a result here is such a cable:
By the way, making the cable took much less time than writing an article on making it.
Ultra-budget audiophile class interblock cable
The connection wires between the components – amplifier and CD player or DAC, despite their short length, can clearly affect the sound. And if your equipment is connected by store “noodles”, the first step that will ennoble the sound is to get a full-fledged interconnect cables.
If you see one of these interconnects, run away in terror.
Everybody can buy any good or not so good branded cable, so it’s not interesting to talk about it. Today we are going to talk about self-made – with our own hands we will make an interconnect cable with a rather audiophilic sound, transparent, beautiful. In general, it’s cheap and very good value.
Globally, you will need RCA connectors, the so-called tulip plugs. I tried these, for example.
I liked that these connectors are good soldering, pretty handy, contain inside a protective film-cum-membrane. According to the reviews they sound good and I also join this opinion.
And the second main component is the cable itself. We have the ultra-budget version and it has, believe me, an unusual solution. For a long time I wanted to try a cable based on twisted pair UTP-5, which is used for computer network wiring. But if before you could go to the store and buy a normal copper cable UTP-5, but now, in 99% of cases you will be sold not only cable with minimal shielding, but it will be not copper, but with red-painted aluminum.
It is easy to tell – make a cut of the cable, if the cores are shiny white – it is aluminum dyed to match the color of copper. It’s horrible, isn’t it?
The copper paint “peeled off” while cleaning the poor cable.
Of course you can buy high-quality American cable made of copper UTP-5 abroad or in Russian online stores, allcables.ru, etc., but as you know, then the evening ceases to be languid (the cost becomes incommensurate with the concept of “ultrabudget” mezhblok).
On this account I found an interesting trick, which you can follow, when money is not superfluous, but you want to listen to music.
A patch cord will come to the rescue. Don’t be alarmed if this word is unfamiliar to you, I’ll explain everything. If you want to connect your computer to the computer network, you take a cable UTP-5 desired length, take two connectors RG-45 and using a special tool “crimp” connectors to fasten the wire. Agree in real life, it’s like that is not applicable, unless of course you have a profession is not a system administrator. Therefore, for all other people on the planet earth at the factory produce ready-made wires for different lengths with connectors. Factory cable with connectors and called a patch cord and comes for free with a lot of devices that you could buy ever – Wi-Fi routers, switches, network printers, etc.
It looks like this.
For our purposes, a 1.5 meter patch cord will suffice. Pick up a patch cord which looks better than UTP-5 or UTP-6 (which is even better, since the braid is even more shielded).
How does this factory cable is different from the UTP-5 cable from the coils, which are sold as a cut. Firstly, most coils in Russia now are painted aluminum with poor shielding.
Pseudo pseudo-copper (aluminum) UTP
With patch cords, there is a good chance of getting a good quality patch cord.
A normal UTP-5 cable, or so-called “twisted pair” cable, consists of 8 wires. Each 2 wires are intertwined with each other to mutually destroy interference. There are only 4 of these intertwined tails and they allow 1 Gigabit of data to be transmitted. Translated to the usual megabytes, it is 1000/8=125 Megabytes. If you use only 4 tails, you can transfer 100 megabits of data or 12.5 megabytes and if you use only 2 tails, you get 10 megabits or 1.2 megabytes per second.
But this is for information, we are interested in this wire for audio transmission.
So, the main difference between the cable from the coil and the patch cord is the following.
The coiled cable is 8 wires, each two wires are woven together. One wire is one strand. This was done to make it easy to crimp the wire in a domestic environment with the proper professional tool.
The coil is hidden in a box, often sold by the meter “cut”
The patch cord has no restrictions on the number of “hairs” in the core, because the connectors there are pressed on the machines, one wire is a lot of the finest copper hairs, which is a big plus for audio. That is, the cable has 8 wires, each wire consists of many thin copper conductors, and the wires themselves are woven together in pairs + then further twisted together.
And yes, in patch cords it is high grade copper. I won’t say for all patch cords in the world, but it often is as opposed to…
I cut one 1.5 meter patch cord in half – got two 75 cm cables – quite a comfortable length. I cut the RG-45 connectors off, they are not needed.
I stripped and joined the two twisted pairs into one bundle (I chose orange-white-orange and green-white-green wires). Connected the remaining colors in the second harness. This created two twisted harnesses – a plus and a shield.
Next, it was left to solder the harnesses to the RCA connectors. Now for the fun part.
The resulting patch cord interconnect copper cable turned out pretty decent sounding.
It has a high audiophile resolution, which was pleasing.
The character of the sound is more light, clear, but the bass range works confidently as well.
I used (and use) this cable in conjunction with the amplifier SA1969 (pure class A, a new version of the scheme Hood 1969) and a speaker system Diatone DS-1000. Inntak Sabre ES9018 DAC + 2x Muses8920 + 2x AD797 + 2x R-Core.
There is a slight simplification of the cymbal texture and that is probably all I can put down as a minus. The end result is a very budget-friendly, fairly decent audiophile cable that isn’t afraid of ultra-high resolution and minimizes the negative impact on signal path to the amplifier.
I’ve been wanting to try twisted pair interconnects for a long time, but the actual experiment led to an even more interesting result.
For more details about the sound of the cable with this interconnect, see the review Amplifier SA1969 by John Hood in pristine Class A.
the topic was interesting cable… I went through all this countless experiments… monkey’s work. uncle kimber developed his cable kimber pbj in 1996, which was so good that it must have broken all sales records, both in cut and finished form… kimber pbj cable was so good that it probably broke all records of sales in a cut and ready to use… three cores of different colors inside which again surprise 7 cores of special copper and all 7 different diameters… probably that’s where the dog lies… when kimber stopped production of this cable clever Germans bought up all stocks of it… now successfully sell it and say so not cheap … of available I would note supra dual and black rodhium twist is where to start …
black rodhium twist also twisted pair, only the wires are clamped, there are only 2. The more expensive models have more wires + silver-plated.
Very interesting theme. Tried to use UTP as acoustic. Measure two measures, four pieces of (good) UTP.All eight wires of each piece stripped and twisted, then every two twisted between them.Podkuchayem and listen.
I don’t quite understand. From 1.5m we are making one interconnect cable? Or two? Four tulips or eight?
Are the plugs magnetic? Is it brass or black?
@ OldSchool : 1.5 meters gives you 2 cables. You need 4 PCA connectors for 2 cables. About the magnetism did not try, but they sound good, I will try. In China with the same connectors goldsnake saw assembled nordosts and not only. Later, I will add a photo of the cable ready, I did not want to do it in the evening – the pictures are of poor quality. Allegedly copper, but who knows. For Chinese Nakamichi (I think) say that the copper, but they look ugly, cost similar. I still ordered snakegold. I could also get wbt or something else, but I’m happy with them. They come in a blister.
wbt 0144 the same normal soldering easy collets and the main advantage can be put a thick cable 9 mm in vintage devices possible problem connections.Since connectors are located at a close distance from each other … and so quite normal products given the price of the original starting from $ 40 per piece.
You get an interconnecting speaker, which outplayed the Reference Inacoustic for 150k
I don’t really understand the idea of saving kopecks but worsening the sound quality… there are decent quality interconnects for cheap. For example Kimber Kable PBJ
I don’t understand the concept of saving money but worsening the sound quality… If you want to save money, there are good quality interconnects available at reasonable prices, such as Kimber Kable PBJ… @ Sergei Michigan : sergei, besides pbj these days you can find lots of cables, both used and cut… if you wanted. And there are many articles online that say if you buy a cable for $20, solder a rca clone wbt 0144 and it will play better than cardas golden referens, I believe it, as long as you buy it on alliexspress…
Before you put my cable down you would have made a similar one and listened to it. And oops, it suddenly sounded good.
All the brass from Ali in this price range is magnetic, that’s 100%.
Tried it with a magnet – these snake golds are not magnetic! The metal body is magnetic, and the gold-plated or whatever it’s coated with is non-magnetic. good RCAs.
@ hifi-audio.ru : I also soldered such a cable, and I liked it very easy to solder twisted pair of coiled copper wires from a bay four pairs of stranded copper wires to compare particularly with what about 15 years ago I bought on the hubbubka unsoldered interconnect camil here with them and compared the sound of a twisted pair was more transparent clear listening to warnies sony 555ESA cd denon 1650 AL speakers diatone 77 Z ordered on ali yet such connectors.
Me too, the first pack of snakegold ran out, bought a second one of the same, already arrived.