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DIY ribbon cables (Read 738 times)
astro-chris
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DIY ribbon cables
03/09/17 at 16:19:47
 
After doing some reading on the internet, I decided to make some DIY ribbon speaker cables using a Goertz 14g copper foil inductor that I unwound.  All I can say is these things sound fantastic with my Torii III driving my GMA Eos HD speakers.  The amount of detail and ambient info on good recordings is amazing, and timbre is spot-on!  They were easy as can be to make; I simply sandwiched the copper foil between two pieces of packing tape, and then rolled the assembly with a veneer roller to get rid of any bubbles, then soldered a small piece of Tara Labs cable I had lying around to the ends to allow me to connect the foils to my amp and speaker terminals; voila!

Has anyone tried to make power cords out of copper foil?  I know companies like Verrastar sell foil PCs, but they cost some serious cash, so I was thinking I could try to DIY one myself.  Are there any tricks to make a foil power cord?

Thanks so much for any suggestions,
Chris
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Steve
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Re: DIY ribbon cables
Reply #1 - 03/09/17 at 18:46:04
 
I love the look of those! Are there any issues with the lack of shielding?
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astro-chris
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Re: DIY ribbon cables
Reply #2 - 03/09/17 at 18:47:29
 
Hi Steve,
Thanks!  I don't seem to note any issues with the lack of shielding (I was kind of surprised by this as well); the speakers are dead silent if no music is playing.
Best,
Chris
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Steve
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Re: DIY ribbon cables
Reply #3 - 03/09/17 at 20:20:49
 
I may have to give those a try. I just built a set of Betsy speakers and OB sub. I am doing the pre-build research on a Z-Kit 1.

Thanks
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astro-chris
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Re: DIY ribbon cables
Reply #4 - 03/09/17 at 21:02:05
 
Hi Steve,
I got the copper inductor foil from Madisound.  They shipped same day and I had it in like 2 days!
Best,
Chris
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maddog07
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Re: DIY ribbon cables
Reply #5 - 07/26/17 at 22:16:52
 
Foil speaker cables and IC's - best kept secret in all of audio.

12 awg copper foil inductors from Jantzen, Erse, Goertz, etc.  Unroll them - insulate the foil with something "natural", paper tape, wax paper, gaffer's tape(adhesive already applied), stack the two conductors one on top the other for a low inductance cable like Goertz or run them side by side like mgaudiodesign.com for low capacitance or keep them completely separate.  Each has its pros and cons and sonic personality, but you're not likely to find a better sounding speaker cable - at any price.  YM will vary most likely.....

this company in Germany will sell you a kit to make foil speaker cables.
http://www.solidcoreaudio.com/doityourself.html

you can buy spades and bananas from Goertz that will fit on the foil... without having to solder on some other piece of wire to the foil first

http://goertz.ipower.com/contents/en-us/d8_Goertz_Audio_Store_Accessories_Orderi...

git r' done......
Grin

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deucekazoo
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Re: DIY ribbon cables
Reply #6 - 07/27/17 at 14:03:39
 
I always wanted to make a pair of these. I have a few coils just sitting there. Quick questions on these, they are already in a sleeve, do you guys pull the foil out of the sleeve before you tape them up for the speaker cable run?
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astro-chris
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Re: DIY ribbon cables
Reply #7 - 07/27/17 at 17:46:36
 
So the ones I bought were not in a sleeve; there was simply a microthin layer of loose plastic separating the layers of ribbon in the wound inductor.  So, unfortunately, I had to unroll the inductor, peel off the plastic from one side of the ribbon, and then sleeve it using, in my case, packing tape.  However, based on the preceding post, I'm thinking I need to go back and remake them using some sort of natural material for the sleeving.
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maddog07
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Re: DIY ribbon cables
Reply #8 - 07/28/17 at 18:20:39
 
"packing tape" can be made of various materials.  The dielectric used in the Goertz foil inductors is 0.0015 inch thick polypropylene film.  That's pretty thin... One might be inclined to just leave it stuck on the foil... if it is indeed "stuck" and then just insulate the other side.  You can cuss-n-discuss "insulation" to death and get all kinds of opinions.  To be honest... I've heard "good sounding" speaker wire with various types of insulation.  I think the "design" is at least as important as the material.  And I also believe that the thinner the insulations is, the less difference it makes to the conductor what its made out of (within reason of course).
Goertz's other foils can be ordered with various polyester or kapton film insulation.  Goertz foil speaker cable is advertised as being insulated with very thin films of Teflon/Polyester Terepthalate/Polycarbonate.  Polyester Terepthalate is commonly referred to as "PET".  Expandable insulating sleeving, i.e. TechFlex is made of this kind of material.
Goertz is the hobby division of Bridgeport Magnetics, who makes very high-tech transformers for the medical industry for one.  I tend to think they know what they're doing......
I, for one, would not get too excited about the very thin insulating film used on the inductor foils... if it's reasonably well stuck to the foil - I'd just leave it on there and go with it... see if you like the way they sound.  Path of least resistance, least expense - first.  

I like "gaffers tape"... but you have to get "real" gaffers tape, which is simply an adhesive backed cotton cloth.  3M makes some.. you can buy at parts-express.  It is relatively expensive as "tape" goes... but it's the real deal and I've had a good experience with it so far.  It's not pretty to look at, but you can put some PET (TechFlex) sleeving over it if you want to pretty it up.  There are many who will tell you that TechFlex sleeving mucks up the sound of wire/conductors... and that it attracts static electricity..... who knows....
Grin
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EdGuY
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Re: DIY ribbon cables
Reply #9 - 08/12/17 at 18:02:53
 
I tryed something like this (copper) and output was way too warm in my system, maybe silver plated or pure silver would work. Interestind to hear what setup you using?
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maddog07
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Re: DIY ribbon cables
Reply #10 - 08/14/17 at 23:15:20
 
I have some solid silver Goertz AG2 silver and MI2 copper speaker cables.  There is not a "huge" difference in their sound to my ears and with my Torii and full-rangers.  The silvers are just a smidge more resolute in an A/B.  I typically use the coppers most.

For DIY, copper is all I've ever messed with.  Solid silver foil will cost a lot of money - which would defeat the DIY objective.  In fact Goertz doesn't even offer silver versions of their speaker cable anymore - due to the cost of silver I assume.

Silver foil inductors are "rare".  I think Mundorf may make some - no idea the costs.....

MG Audio Design offers silver foil speaker cables... they're only $3,200 for an 8ft. pair.....  They run the conductors side-by-side, not stacked like Goertz does.  

Experiment with stacking the conductors, versus side-by-side (equal distant spacing full length of conductors) versus completely separated + and - conductors... it changes the sound and the imaging IME.
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