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DIY Cables - Parts Suggestions (Read 1623 times)
Lonely Raven
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DIY Cables - Parts Suggestions
08/29/13 at 14:06:06
 
So, lets just say I have the wire picked out for ICs and Power Cables, so I'm all set there (I hope). What I'm looking for are good bang for the buck plugs/connectors.

I need a decent but inexpensive set of IEC/Power.

And I need a few sets of RCA - I don't care if they are solderless or not, I'm decently skilled with an iron. I do prefer silver as my wire is silver plated copper, but I'm not married to that. I've honestly not tried rhodium or any other fancy metals/plating.

Just to be clear, I'm not one to spend hundreds of dollars for cables and connectors. I'd hope to get everything above for a couple hundred total - tops. Less would be better. I'm a firm believer of the 80/20 theories - I can do 80% of what the high end cables can do for 20% of the cost; it's a balance that's found in nature and I believe follows through in what we do.  ;)

Suggestions?

Thanks in Advance!

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« Last Edit: 08/29/13 at 14:07:25 by Lonely Raven »  
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Lonely Raven
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Re: DIY Cables - Parts Suggestions
Reply #1 - 10/01/13 at 15:10:36
 

Well, since I didn't get a response from this group, I just rolled the dice on some parts from China - this is what I came up with.

I made this power cable using the same wire that Zen Styx uses. Made this one just under 5' - I love these milled aluminum plugs with rhodium plated blades. It looks like bling!




The plugs were made with extra thick cable in mind, so I quadrupled the heat shrink to act as a nice strain relief. Though the silver plated cable is stiff enough when braided, that I could pretty much bend/mold this to whatever shape I want and it would hold pretty decently without torquing on the plugs.




I didn't need more ICs, but I made these as well. Again, using the same wire as Zen Styx but 22AWG - I braided this set myself (my fiance does it much better than I do though) using one line for the center post and two for the returns. Rhodium plated plugs and a little carbon fiber bling. I planned on making a few sets of these for friends and maybe to sell, but some of the plugs got lost coming over seas. Looks like another long wait for the replacements to show up! If I could find some quality/budget plugs in the US of this quality, I could whip up some more of these...but I have issues paying $40+ *each* plug in some cases. I'm still looking for USA made options.





Last project I'm working on in anticipation of running my Zen amp in Mono once I save up and get a Torii - I'm going to make a Y-splitter so each input of the Zen amp can get signal from my Oppo. I'm having trouble finding *quality* female RCA plugs that *aren't* meant for mounting on an amp. If anyone knows of a good female RCA wire plug, I'd love to know about it!


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Lon
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Re: DIY Cables - Parts Suggestions
Reply #2 - 10/01/13 at 15:27:20
 
Cool. I bet the power cord ends up sounding a lot like the Decware, which is a very nice sound.

The interconnects look interesting.

Nice work!
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Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,PS Audio PWT+DS,PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DBP-A100, Denon DCD-A100,Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable:Evo,Ultra Linear, Iso-PodMapleshade:Double Heiix Plus.Samsonv2+v3 +4" platforms,Herbie's Iso-Cup
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Lonely Raven
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Re: DIY Cables - Parts Suggestions
Reply #3 - 10/01/13 at 15:36:46
 

Weird, my photos of the power cord got cut off.

So yeah, about the power cord...my Zen amp doesn't have an IEC plug, and the Oppo came with this nice heavy duty, purpose built shileded cable that I have a feeling will sound better than this one - Oppo seems to have a solid grasp on the S/N ratio thing and I'm betting their power cord has something to do with that.

So this fancy cord might be relegated to guitar amp use, or maybe for the power cord on the sub-woofer. Steve already talked me out of modding my Zen amp, says it's worth more as it is...but then, I've still not received an offer of more than $350 for it...so maybe I should consider tweaking it a bit...
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Lon
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Re: DIY Cables - Parts Suggestions
Reply #4 - 10/01/13 at 15:48:13
 
Try it on your Oppo, you might be surprised. My guess is that the cable you made is a few times or more better. (I'm a believer that power cords make even more of a difference than tube rolling in important ways).
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Lonely Raven
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Re: DIY Cables - Parts Suggestions
Reply #5 - 10/01/13 at 15:50:21
 

I'll give it a try then. If it makes a difference, I could re-roll this cord, or make another cord that's length specific for my Oppo, and shielded. I'd just need to figure out what kind of shielding I like that looks as good as it works. I'm all about aesthetics if I'm making it myself.
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deucekazoo
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Re: DIY Cables - Parts Suggestions
Reply #6 - 10/08/13 at 18:20:17
 
LR,
This is what I use.
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=091-1270

I have been also looking at these.
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=091-1065

Also don't worry about finding a female connection. If you are making your own cables just make the Y cable long enough to reach everyting. I just made one for my amps. I would post a picture but can't get it uploaded.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: DIY Cables - Parts Suggestions
Reply #7 - 10/08/13 at 18:51:04
 
Yeah, but Y cables that long takes up twice as much wire, and if I use expensive wire...that gets very costly.

That Y cable project is put on hold anyhow...eagerly awaiting the Mystery amp to be built, as well as saving up for it. So cable building has been put on hold unless I get more custom requests for cables.

Those RCA you showed me look much like the carbon fiber ones I posted above! Probably all similarly designed, just different materials.

Sadly, the carbon fiber ones fit really, really tightly on my Zen amp, so I've not had a chance to try them out...it was too much of a PITA to plug them in behind my gear rack, at 1am after driving home from Decfest.
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deucekazoo
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Re: DIY Cables - Parts Suggestions
Reply #8 - 10/08/13 at 19:19:20
 
The ones I showed you are lockable. So you have to unscrew the outside shell a little and once on the RCA connection you  tighten them back down. If yours are the same way then you need to do this to put them on. If they are not lockable, they are probably like the Monster Cable ones where they are so tight they pull out the female connector from the board when beeing removed. I have seen this happen.  >:(

Also one less connection inline should be worth the extra wire. Not sure how much your wire is.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: DIY Cables - Parts Suggestions
Reply #9 - 10/08/13 at 19:24:12
 
Son of a....that totally makes sense...these are lockable and I had no idea! I'll try that as soon as I get home!

yeah, your point about extra parts in the chain vs simply longer wire makes sense...it's the type of battles I have in my head when I design and built this kind of stuff...

On one hand it would be really cool to make really high end Y cables, on the other, it would be easier, and might look nicer to just braid extra cables off the source and have the braid split as it reaches the amp.
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deucekazoo
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Re: DIY Cables - Parts Suggestions
Reply #10 - 10/08/13 at 22:55:26
 
That is what I did.
Sorry about the crappy picture.
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« Last Edit: 10/08/13 at 22:56:42 by deucekazoo »  

2013-10-03_07_00_54.jpg
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will
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Re: DIY Cables - Parts Suggestions
Reply #11 - 10/09/13 at 01:38:13
 
Nice looking cables Lonely Raven. I look forward to how you like the sound. I hear notably different sound from different decent quality power cables in my Oppo, but not as much as with the more transparent and revealing Tranquility, in which case it is more like Lon suggests...like changing some notably different tubes.

One thing I bought that really helped with power cable breakin (can take a while, and I suspect with the wire you used, will) was an IEC converter. Then you can plug into some weird, hard pulling loads for a few weeks, like a desktop computer, or the refrigerator. I do both.

Also, with the braid, you may find you don't need shielding for components. I have one cable I made using a piece of rubber hose over the main wires. Then on top I turned another ground wire about every foot or so, hooking it up on the AC side and not on the IEC side.  At least I think this is what I remember. On another, where the cable was made with only a hot and neutral, I did the same with a ground, and I believe hooked it up on both ends as I wanted to change it to a grounded cable. Both are pretty quiet.
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« Last Edit: 10/09/13 at 01:48:11 by will »  

Mac mini, Tranquility DAC, CSP3, TORII MkIV, Morrow SP-7, HR-1s...VHaudio DIY, Grover, MAC ICs...PSAudio P5 and Shunyata Defender, PI Audio and DIY power cables, HerbiesAudioLab isocups and tube dampers...
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beowulf
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Re: DIY Cables - Parts Suggestions
Reply #12 - 10/09/13 at 02:50:07
 
Quote:
will said,
Then you can plug into some weird, hard pulling loads for a few weeks, like a ... refrigerator.


LOL, I just thought of this stupid blurb ...

Audiophile upgrades stock refrigerator cable to solid silver UP-OCC wire and notices that pea's are greener, lettuce is more crunchier and meat more tender than with standard power cable. Grin
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« Last Edit: 10/09/13 at 05:57:01 by beowulf »  
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will
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Re: DIY Cables - Parts Suggestions
Reply #13 - 10/09/13 at 03:04:06
 
That gave me a good chuckle! Thanks!
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« Last Edit: 10/09/13 at 03:04:41 by will »  

Mac mini, Tranquility DAC, CSP3, TORII MkIV, Morrow SP-7, HR-1s...VHaudio DIY, Grover, MAC ICs...PSAudio P5 and Shunyata Defender, PI Audio and DIY power cables, HerbiesAudioLab isocups and tube dampers...
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