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Belden 8402 Microphone Cable (Read 83645 times)
beowulf
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Belden 8402 Microphone Cable
04/10/15 at 20:54:26
 
I thought this was a pretty cool article and (for you guys who can brew your own) a set of inexpensive All-American vintage-style interconnect cables.

The Vintage Beat: A Forgotten Voice from the American Recording Studio
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Belden 8402 Microphone Cable
Reply #1 - 04/10/15 at 21:07:57
 

I've used that Belden cable for guitar patch cords in the past. It's good stuff.

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beowulf
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Re: Belden 8402 Microphone Cable
Reply #2 - 04/10/15 at 21:29:53
 
I'm thinking about making 2 sets of these, it will be my first foray into DIY cables.  The parts are definitely cheap enough.
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ozoid
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Re: Belden 8402 Microphone Cable
Reply #3 - 05/05/15 at 06:12:48
 
Definitely interesting. The Belden cable for interconnects is widely available, but the Western Electric speaker cable seems to be more difficult to come by. Apparently there are some counterfeits out there; anybody know a reliable source?
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Belden 8402 Microphone Cable
Reply #4 - 05/05/15 at 15:48:13
 

For the same Beldon mentioned in the article? Yeah, they mention Triode in Chicago (I'm from the area, good shop). Get it from there if you want to try it. Probably the only reliable source in the US unless you buy used.
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Core32
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Re: Belden 8402 Microphone Cable
Reply #5 - 05/05/15 at 18:10:40
 
I think he was asking about the Western Electric WE16GA actually.
I purchased a few feet from an Ebay seller and can report back once it arrives.
Should be easy enough to tell if it's legit.
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Palomino
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Re: Belden 8402 Microphone Cable
Reply #6 - 05/05/15 at 22:09:36
 
I bit and will make up a few of these interconnects.
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maddog07
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Re: Belden 8402 Microphone Cable
Reply #7 - 05/05/15 at 22:16:15
 
Any old “seasoned audiofool” worth his salt, likely knows about the value of using Mogami Neglex microphone cable for DIY interconnects.  This stuff has been a studio standard for “decades” and is used in live event cabling pretty commonly also.  I used to be involved in pro-sound a bit on the side in my younger days and we had every possible implementation of line-level cables made with this stuff – not just for mic’s.  Quiet as death in the noisiest of environments and very natural sounding.
I also made several pairs of IC’s out of the stuff for home use about 20 years ago.  In fact, I believe (haven’t looked behind the built-in entertainment center of our HT for a few years) that our HT is all hooked up with the Mogami DIY cables, all terminated with the excellent Canare F10 Teflon insulated RCA plugs.
This thread has made me remember these, and makes me think that I should check my cable inventory to see if I have any unused and drag them out and swap them into the big-rig and see how they sound to me now and how they measure up to my current references.
Mogami 2534 – Quad 4 conductor + shield
Mogami 2549 – 2 conductor + shield
Used to be able to buy this stuff from HAVE, Inc. which also stocks CANARE cable and connectors.
The Mogami is a very natural sounding cable IMO, and most other peoples as well.  If you’re looking for a hyped-up, ultra vivid, etched or forward sound, this is not your wire.  However, if you’re looking for a wire that presents all the details of the music in a balanced manner, without drawing attention to any particular frequency or inducing listening fatigue during long listening sessions… might want to give this stuff a try – not much to lose… it’s cheap as dirt from the perspective of boutique audiophile cables.
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Core32
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Re: Belden 8402 Microphone Cable
Reply #8 - 05/07/15 at 21:00:54
 
So the wire I purchased from an Ebay seller looks "practically" identical, except for some of the markings, to this picture that was a part of the article listed above.
Strand count and strand tinning also looks the same.
I don't have the services of a metallurgist so I can't comment on whether the materials are exactly as talked about in the article.
I also bought some, identical in construction again, that has a black cloth insulation instead of the red, for the return.
I plan to hook it up over the weekend to see how it sounds.
If you want a link to the Ebay seller just PM me and I will reply.
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WE16GA-1.jpg
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Palomino
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Re: Belden 8402 Microphone Cable
Reply #9 - 05/07/15 at 22:31:53
 
I bought some to test as well.  The seller has impeccable feedback so I suspect its Western Electric wire.  Just may not be the right WE wire.
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Core32
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Re: Belden 8402 Microphone Cable
Reply #10 - 05/07/15 at 23:51:48
 
Now that I have this wire and it's separate hot/return, I would ask for a recommendation on twisting the pair or leaving it separated, etc.?
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beowulf
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Re: Belden 8402 Microphone Cable
Reply #11 - 05/08/15 at 00:10:51
 
Did you guys by chance read in the comments section where a guy is was making the Belden 8402 interconnects length based on the cable pioneer Robert Fulton designs (who always used multiples of 57 1/8″ for his cables)?  This length is supposedly the "magic length".

For an example for someone who needed 13ft pair of interconnects that would mean they would build them to 14′ 3 3/8″ long.

Don't know if there's any science behind it, but the cable is fairly cheap enough to try it out.  It's especially useful to those who want to setup their equipment in another area or accross the room from where their speakers are placed.

Seems CANARE F-10 and Switchcraft SWC-3502A RCAs are doing well with 8402 cables.

@ Core32 I see you got the WE wire for your speaker cables = very cool!  Keep us posted on the outcome! Cool
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Belden 8402 Microphone Cable
Reply #12 - 05/08/15 at 03:39:44
 
So is that cable length? Or cable length with plugs?
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ozoid
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Re: Belden 8402 Microphone Cable
Reply #13 - 05/08/15 at 05:35:50
 
Thanks for the update on the WE cable. It definitely looks as if it's tinned WE cable, like what Day has. I'll buy some once I know I'm buying from the right source.

Core32: Unfortunately, I haven't been active on the Decware forum and it won't allow me to PM. The seller I see is Tajacobs, in Oklahoma. Is that your source? Since I can't PM, I don't know if I can receive PMs. Could you confirm on this forum?

Good to see I'm not the only one who's reading Day's blog. I've learned a lot from reading him.
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beowulf
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Re: Belden 8402 Microphone Cable
Reply #14 - 05/08/15 at 07:13:28
 
Lonely Raven wrote on 05/08/15 at 03:39:44:
So is that cable length? Or cable length with plugs?


Actual cable/wire length only ... not including RCA connectors.
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Core32
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Re: Belden 8402 Microphone Cable
Reply #15 - 05/08/15 at 11:46:55
 
Quote:
The seller I see is Tajacobs, in Oklahoma. Is that your source?


Ozoid,
Yes that's the one, but today it appears the red is sold out maybe?
Still shows the black has some for sale and it is exactly the same wire, just a different color cloth.
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Core32
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Re: Belden 8402 Microphone Cable
Reply #16 - 05/08/15 at 15:00:00
 
First quick observation:
Well due to my impatience and having some free time last night I decided to hook up the WE16GA speaker wire.
Up front I must confess that I have been using some very old Monster speaker wire from the early 80s, terminated at solder posts on a dual bananna plug. (Both + and - banannas fixed in one backshell).
Obviously it is not going to take much in the way of improvement for me to notice.  ;)
With time being short I decided to use the new wire direct with no terminations on either end. My cable length, amp to speaker is close to 7 feet with some slack.
Right off, with all other settings being equal I noticed the volume was increased.
I say volume to mean the music was more prominent in the room across the frequency spectrum.
The session was too short and obviously the cable was right out of the box so I won't make any further claims until I have several more hours of listening under my belt.
For those who are also buying/trying this wire, I will say that even though this wire is listed as 16GA I needed to use the 14GA opening on my stripper to keep from nicking/breaking a couple of the fine strands.
It could be that my stripper blade is a bit worn and my hands aren't as steady but the 14GA setting cut straight through the white inner tubing and left the strands unscathed.
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Palomino
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Re: Belden 8402 Microphone Cable
Reply #17 - 05/08/15 at 18:08:11
 
If you reference the blog and the ebay seller description, you do see a slight variation in the lettering on the wire:

Blog:
VW-1 – – – CSA AWM 1 A/B 90C 300V FT1 A.I.W. CORP

ebay listing:
VW-6 --- CSA  AWN1  A/8  90C  300V  FT1  A.I.W. CORP

The only difference seems to be the VW-1 vs VW-6.  The blog also says A/B and the ebay listing says A/8.  This could just be in the lettering not being clear.

The difference between VW-1 and VW-6 is the wire's flame resistance.  VW-1 is more flame resistant than VW-6.

I think the internal wire is the same, but the external wrapper may be different.   Does that matter?  Its a different dialectic so...probably.  We'll see.

As I have scanned the various Asian sites offering WE wire, it seems its all valued no matter the gauge.  Some of the solid core seems to be valued as well.
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Palomino
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Re: Belden 8402 Microphone Cable
Reply #18 - 05/08/15 at 18:32:54
 
I have not been able to find another source citing VW-6 so I am not sure of that comment I made about it being less flame resistant.   Still looking.
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Palomino
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Re: Belden 8402 Microphone Cable
Reply #19 - 05/08/15 at 19:55:18
 
I couldn't find any other verification of the VW-6.  I think the ebay seller is mistaken in the markings on the wire.
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Core32
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Re: Belden 8402 Microphone Cable
Reply #20 - 05/08/15 at 20:12:06
 
Palomino,
Here are some pictures of what I received.
I believe the Ebay add just has some typos in it.
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IMG_0412sm.JPG
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Core32
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Re: Belden 8402 Microphone Cable
Reply #21 - 05/08/15 at 20:13:16
 
A second:
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IMG_0411sm.JPG
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Core32
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Re: Belden 8402 Microphone Cable
Reply #22 - 05/08/15 at 20:15:09
 
And a third:

I believe these show to be the same basically as what is in the original article.
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IMG_0413sm.JPG
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Syd
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Re: Belden 8402 Microphone Cable
Reply #23 - 05/08/15 at 21:09:51
 
I`ve just bought a nice length as well. 30ft Red WE AIW 16g. I know I need a pair of longer interconnects so it`ll be fun to see what they sound like when I source some RCA`s.
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Palomino
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Re: Belden 8402 Microphone Cable
Reply #24 - 05/08/15 at 21:28:30
 
I sent a note to the seller and they confirmed those are just typos.  I too think this is the right stuff.  We'll see how it sounds next week.
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ozoid
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Re: Belden 8402 Microphone Cable
Reply #25 - 05/09/15 at 06:37:37
 
Thanks, Core32, for the extra info. With the red out of stock, I bought enough of the black for both hot & return; a little bit of colored tape or something like it will keep them straight.

And then, after dithering for more than 6 months, I finally pulled the trigger on a SuperZen! Spoke to Steve, who will customize the amp so I can use my little PSB subwoofer on the desk. Eager to hear those new transformers!

I occasionally add a comment to Jeff Day's blog and I thought he'd enjoy seeing how his post mobilized some readers, so I sent him a link to this thread. Greatly appreciated.
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Core32
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Re: Belden 8402 Microphone Cable
Reply #26 - 05/09/15 at 14:52:27
 
Ozoid,
Great news on the amp purchase.  :)
And not that you want to spend anymore on speaker cable but it appears the seller has put up more red for sale.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/351394358821

If he hasn't shipped I suppose he might be willing to swap some red for black. He did combine shipping charges for me.
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Syd
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Re: Belden 8402 Microphone Cable
Reply #27 - 05/09/15 at 16:31:28
 
Heres the length I bought yesterday.


Heres the new listing


Same heading for both. The 30ft length was $29.95 + $12.75 ship. Good deal I thought. I couldn`t see the print on the cable, I think the lighting is harsher.
Oh, I see he has a `light red`length listed as well so thats my one I guess.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Belden 8402 Microphone Cable
Reply #28 - 05/09/15 at 23:50:22
 

You guys and your fancy clothe wrapped 16AWG WE wire...and all I have is 75 feet of Zen Styx type 8AWG wire....and an apple.

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ProggRob
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Re: Belden 8402 Microphone Cable
Reply #29 - 05/10/15 at 02:20:07
 
LR, is that good for our PC project?
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Palomino
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Re: Belden 8402 Microphone Cable
Reply #30 - 05/10/15 at 13:41:25
 
I was thinking about buying that roll and Raven swooped in and snagged it.  I was debating about using it for the direct line into my room but couldn't make up my mind.  He who hesitates...

This is a little different than Zen Styx wire, but I actually liked it better in a head to head contest.  It has a different coating (2 lighter layers rather than one thicker coat).  As such, it is more flexible.  Inside wire the same.  You tend to find this cheaper than the Styx wire.

I just made a pair with this stuff yesterday for the cottage system.  My old set was a transplant from my existing rig and not long enough.

I also made up a pair of the interconnects mentioned in this thread yesterday and have been listening to them after letting them burn in a little overnight.

I believe they are a very good value and perform as advertised.  Nice balance, smooth but with detail.  Very musical.  I was looking for some new interconnects and these seem to fill the bill quite nicely.

We'll see how the 'fancy' NOS cloth wire works this week.  I should have it in by Tuesday.  

Maybe we have a CDApS wire-off.
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mark58
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Re: Belden 8402 Microphone Cable
Reply #31 - 05/10/15 at 15:16:44
 
I'm looking forward to your impressions of the WE 16g wire.  There are plenty of sellers so I don't think there's any shortage.  Are there any reviews of other's experiences with it used as speaker cables?  Mark.
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The motions of his spirit are dull as night and his affections dark as Hell. Let no such man be trusted." William Shakespeare
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Belden 8402 Microphone Cable
Reply #32 - 05/11/15 at 03:16:57
 
Quote:
LR, is that good for our PC project?


IMHO, I think any 10AWG or bigger would be good. But I also believe there is more to power cables than gauge. At least with a thick gauge you're not holding back the amp - and to me, that's the first step.

I've still not decided what I'm going to do with this roll. I still also have that triple wrap of 10AWG.

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Core32
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Re: Belden 8402 Microphone Cable
Reply #33 - 05/11/15 at 12:55:41
 
Palomino,
Quote:
I bit and will make up a few of these interconnects.


Did you find Belden 8402 for sale?
If so can I ask where?
I'm only finding 8412 on the sites I frequent.
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Palomino
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Re: Belden 8402 Microphone Cable
Reply #34 - 05/11/15 at 13:54:37
 
The place in Tinley Park Il referenced in the blog.
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Palomino
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Re: Belden 8402 Microphone Cable
Reply #35 - 05/12/15 at 19:37:33
 
I got the Western Electric wire yesterday and burned it in overnight.

I didn't listen for everything because I only had an hour this morning but I found it very musical, meaning it really relays the emotion of the musician.  I found myself very engaged in the various recordings.  This is similar to how I felt about the Belden microphone wire interconnects.  I did listen to both of them together.

It could just be the power of suggestion because the Japanese designer is known for the musicality of his creations, but it was fairly obvious to me and across multiple songs.

This wire still needs some seasoning before a final opinion.  For example, the bass is a little mushy and the highs are a bit strident.  I don't know if that will change over time.  Based on past experience, I'd guess the highs will smooth out, but bass may remain the same.

I will say that if that emotion continues to come through, I can look beyond some other shortcomings.
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Core32
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Re: Belden 8402 Microphone Cable
Reply #36 - 05/12/15 at 21:50:18
 
Palomino,
I don't have the background, trained ears or poetic license to comment on the new cables except to say, I agree!
These are so much better than the old junk I was using.
So much so I bought a bit more so that I can biwire my speakers and I will most likely continue to use them un-terminated.
That extra arrived today so I can possibly comment on the effect after a few more days.
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Palomino
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Re: Belden 8402 Microphone Cable
Reply #37 - 05/13/15 at 14:15:32
 
I don't know guys, but with this new wire, listening time in the morning is expanding and exercise time is contracting.

I usually get 30-45 minutes in the morning to listen while I wake up and enjoy my coffee.  Everyone else is asleep and nobody can get to me.  No showers running, toilets flushing, fighting, requests for computer fixes, where's my shoes?, etc.

Anyway, for two mornings now I have gotten pretty lost in the music.  I am probably certified ADD and with computer based audio, I tend to flit around a lot.  I have been doing solid albums.

So, possibly I am in the middle of a grand delusion (which is quite nice, actually) or there is something here.  I bought more of the wire last night for the cottage system.  I am now into this boutique wire for 100 large (meaning bucks).

I think this is a job for the CDApS scrutinizer squad.
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Lon
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Re: Belden 8402 Microphone Cable
Reply #38 - 05/13/15 at 14:17:18
 
Glad you are enjoying the benefits of exploring cables!
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Core32
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Re: Belden 8402 Microphone Cable
Reply #39 - 05/13/15 at 14:20:41
 
Palomino,
Are you terminating the connections in any way or going naked?
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Palomino
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Re: Belden 8402 Microphone Cable
Reply #40 - 05/13/15 at 14:20:57
 
I am and I am enjoying it for a change.

I have you guys to thank.  I have now hit digital coax, ICs and now speaker wire and gotten a lift.

Part of the fun for me is doing it on the cheap so used gear and DIY is my preferred method.  The CDApS boys may do a Cable Company deal as well.
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Re: Belden 8402 Microphone Cable
Reply #41 - 05/13/15 at 14:22:22
 
I am totally nude.
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Core32
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Re: Belden 8402 Microphone Cable
Reply #42 - 05/15/15 at 02:11:58
 
I've had the new wire and set up in bi-wire configuration now for a couple of days.
I cannot say what is making the difference:
a.) the simple doubling of the "amount" of wire feeding the speakers
b.) the act of separating the drivers at the speaker, or
c.) the combination of a.) and b.)
But the difference is very noticeable to even my old ears.
In the amount of time I have on them I would describe it simply as "speaker invisibility".
For the price this was quite an upgrade.
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ProggRob
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Re: Belden 8402 Microphone Cable
Reply #43 - 05/15/15 at 06:28:57
 
Palomino, listening to whole albums is the only way to go!  I have a goal this year to listen to 100 new albums, and so far I'm on track to exceed it.  Switching tracks can be fun, but to get lost in music, whole albums are hard to beat.

I might have to pick up some WE wire to modify the run I have from Rite Audio between my crossover and drivers.  My TWL wire is of WE heritage as well and this sounds like the perfect compliment.  I can take some off your hands Tom if you have too much.  :-)
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Palomino
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Re: Belden 8402 Microphone Cable
Reply #44 - 05/15/15 at 11:38:25
 
Yeah total albums is the way to go.  Single song listening is like looking at only one corner of a painting.

But I have the ADD and TBI (time between interruptions) working against me.

I do like a good mix tape (showing my age).  Since I was in high school I have been doing them. 8 track, reel to reel, cassette, then cd and now playlist.  I believe these can be artfully prepared.

Still digging the wire.  You can try mine for sure.  I may also have some left from the cottage after I figure out those runs.  I'll know after Memorial Day.
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Re: Belden 8402 Microphone Cable
Reply #45 - 05/15/15 at 16:10:05
 
Quote:
I have a goal this year to listen to 100 new albums, and so far I'm on track to exceed it.


Palo, I think it might be time to let Rob in on my music collection.   Smiley
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Core32
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Re: Belden 8402 Microphone Cable
Reply #46 - 05/18/15 at 00:46:04
 
I asked this earlier and didn't get an answer so I thought I would ask one more time:
Now that I have this wire and it's completely separate hot/return, I would ask for a recommendation on twisting the pair or leaving it separated, etc.?
I think what I have read says twisting speaker wire conductors will have no effect but I wonder about wrapping in close proximity or keeping the spacing between wires equal as a way to control capacitance?
If nothing else I suppose I will just tie-wrap the pairs together and see if it has any noticeable negative effect.
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Re: Belden 8402 Microphone Cable
Reply #47 - 05/18/15 at 14:15:52
 
I can't really say what the best way to run this wire is.  

When I was running the Zen Styx wire I thought it sounded better with them running parallel and that is how I am running the WE wire.
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Core32
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Re: Belden 8402 Microphone Cable
Reply #48 - 05/19/15 at 02:08:34
 
Thanks Palomino,
That's the best answer I've heard.  ;D
Once I have the lengths optimized I will just tie-wrap the dual pairs together and see if I can tell any difference.
I'm still of the opinion these sound much better bi-amped than any speaker wire method I've tried, but of course my experience is very limited.
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Re: Belden 8402 Microphone Cable
Reply #49 - 05/19/15 at 17:03:54
 
I have found twisting to help wires that sound a little congested, especially mid bass down. Subtler up higher, it will heighten the sense of detail and micro dynamics articulation across the spectrum. But for me, when I like it, it is the bottom that points me to doing it.

I don't think this is my room, because I find the same effect in both my listening spaces. That most cable makers do it is indicative of something they at least theorize on, but in my experience, also hear...the good makers being into better sound supported by theory rather than the opposite.

That said, it depends in my experience. If everything else together with the wires is right without twists, then it is good. I think I tended to like the styx better untwisted too. And since these WE wires are pretty thin relatively speaking (likely to have less heavy/congested bass tendency), and have a shield (dealing with RF and EMF), they may not be inclined to low end congestion or interference distortions.

EDIT: Oops...looks like the WE wire does not have a shield. It will be interesting if twisting sounds better or worse. Being so little, the sense of warmth/musicality may be may be better untwisted.

A good test is a light duty twist about a foot apart, not imbedding it in the wire shape, but indicative of the effect to expect with more twists. The last pair I chose to twist was a rich and warm wire with gold and silver particles in oil surrounding pure copper. I ended up with maybe 2-3 inch twists on them and it really helped solve "smearing," to me, making a nice cable really nice. Good to my tastes for that wire.

Wink
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