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Gazjam
24-06-2009, 22:35
Hey all,

Ordered a set of speaker cables as recommended by our own Jerry and should be good when I get them.

Couple of things though - its colour scheme is hideous!
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ARROW-Speaker-CABLE-Bi-Wire-OFC-LEAD-per-METRE_W0QQitemZ190315533603QQihZ009QQcategoryZ1168 53QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem#ebayphotoh osting

I'm wanting to perhaps get some black sleeving for it and I wonder where a good source for this kind of stuff can be found.
Any pointers?

Also, these cables are to be the "Fit n forget" cables in my system, so I'm thinking properly soldered bananas heat shrinked etc would be the best way to go.
I'm pretty rubbish at soldering and haven;t soldered speaker cable before, but I dont want to pay a hifi shop Forty quid to do it, so I fancy a go myslef. Cant be that hard?
Any online guides anyone can suggest I check out?

I need to source some good banana plugs, heat shrinking etc too, not too expensive hopefully as I'm on a budget.

Thanks very much for any help! :)

The Grand Wazoo
24-06-2009, 22:53
Hey all,


I'm wanting to perhaps get some black sleeving for it and I wonder where a good source for this kind of stuff can be found.
Any pointers?

I'm pretty rubbish at soldering and haven;t soldered speaker cable before, but I dont want to pay a hifi shop Forty quid to do it, so I fancy a go myslef. Cant be that hard?
Any online guides anyone can suggest I check out?

I need to source some good banana plugs, heat shrinking etc too, not too expensive hopefully as I'm on a budget.



The sleeving problem has been addressed before, when
Marco wanted to cover some twin & earth for a project - Maplin & the like (I think Maplin only do grey, though).

Soldering bananas is about as simple as it can get. Make sure everything's clean, & be sure that the components' heat is causing the solder to flow and not the tip of the iron.

It's just like home brewing beer in that the most important things are being methodical, patient and clean. Oh, & be sparing with the ingredients!!

I don't know what the insulation is on these cables (too lazy too look at the link), but don't breathe the fumes if you touch the iron on it.

Good luck!

Gazjam
25-06-2009, 13:22
Thanks for that Chris!

I'll do a forum search on Marco's twin and earth jobbie

Cheers,
Gary.

twelvebears
30-06-2009, 06:46
I've found solding banana plugs, or similar chunky metal connectors (in my case the metal post section of some Cardas binding posts) to be a bit of a bugger previously, especially of the wire involved is quite heavy gauge.

I always found it hard to get the joint hot enough to solder properly, but have now got a fav method of doing it:

1. Use a gas, rather than electric iron (especially if the metal component is chunky).

2. Use the heat gun attachment rather than a soldering tip.

3. Hold the metal component with something heat proof (needle nose pliers or crocodile clip 'helping hands') as far from the joint area as possible.

4. Heat the joint area of the component directly until the solder will melt and flux when touched against the metal (not the heat source) and add as much solder as required.

5. Now insert the pre-tinned end of the wire, keep heating briefly to ensure the solder joint takes and then remove the heat source and allow to cool.

This should ensure you get a really good joint, even when the component and wire are quite chunky. The latent heat in the metal part will help keep the solder melted when the wire is introduced.

Also, to help prevent the problem of the wire insulation melting with conducted heat from the joint, just damp a wad of kitchen roll and wrap it round the wire insulation and clip with a clothes peg or similar.

DaveK
30-06-2009, 10:43
Hey all,

Ordered a set of speaker cables as recommended by our own Jerry and should be good when I get them.

Couple of things though - its colour scheme is hideous!
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ARROW-Speaker-CABLE-Bi-Wire-OFC-LEAD-per-METRE_W0QQitemZ190315533603QQihZ009QQcategoryZ1168 53QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem#ebayphotoh osting



Hi Gaz (permitted ?),
I saw the posting above and thought, "If it's good enough for Gazjam it's good enough for me !!" so I ordered 6m which arrived this morning. Looks the part, doesn't it, but the colour ..............ugh !!
I wondered if you had tried yours yet and, if so, what you thought of it. Mine will be bare wire connection as I never quite understand the logic of introducing a extra surface to surface contacts into the wiring, i.e. interposing a layer of solder between the speaker cable and banana plug and then banana plug to speaker post and amp output. As I understand it the main purpose of the solder is to anchor the connection mechanically, rather than improve it electrically and surely mechanical anchoring can be better, or at least satisfactorily, acheived by tightening the screw clamps on the output and input terminal posts ? This remark probably just confirms my naivete (again !!) in this forum so I would be interested in any justification that anyone might be prepared to educate me with.
Cheers,

twelvebears
30-06-2009, 14:01
It's an interesting one.

I theory this is true, but providing it is done properly, a good soldered joint is often more consistant over the long term than a potentially compromised mechanical one. We all know how dirt, corrosion and vibration can affect a mechanical connection over time, but a good soldered joint rarely causes problems in my experience.

That said, as the wire/banana plug/speaker terminal is just a series of connections, it's just about having as few of the most reliable one possible.

Bare wires into quality binding posts at both ends is probably best, as long as the wires aren't too prone to tarnishing/corrosion over time....

alb
30-06-2009, 14:52
Bare wires into quality binding posts at both ends is probably best, as long as the wires aren't too prone to tarnishing/corrosion over time

A light coating of petroleum jelly(can't remember the trade name.), should help.

Gazjam
30-06-2009, 16:28
Hi Gaz (permitted ?),
I saw the posting above and thought, "If it's good enough for Gazjam it's good enough for me !!" so I ordered 6m which arrived this morning. Looks the part, doesn't it, but the colour ..............ugh !!
I wondered if you had tried yours yet and, if so, what you thought of it. Mine will be bare wire connection as I never quite understand the logic of introducing a extra surface to surface contacts into the wiring, i.e. interposing a layer of solder between the speaker cable and banana plug and then banana plug to speaker post and amp output. As I understand it the main purpose of the solder is to anchor the connection mechanically, rather than improve it electrically and surely mechanical anchoring can be better, or at least satisfactorily, acheived by tightening the screw clamps on the output and input terminal posts ? This remark probably just confirms my naivete (again !!) in this forum so I would be interested in any justification that anyone might be prepared to educate me with.
Cheers,

Hey Dave,

Set up the cable this morning and had it streaming Napster Playlists all day.

Cable sounds SUPERB....really. :)

A big step up from the Gotham 4mm/ Van Damme Biwire arrangement I had previously.

Not ordered my Banana plugs n stuff yet, so fitted wire ends with solid good qty screw on Banana plugs in the mean time.

Sounds pretty amazing to these ears, even set up as they are.

The cables themselves are pretty thin, imagine 12 of the thin solid cores from DNM Reson bundled together.
Pretty stiff but easily pliable.

Thans for the soldering tips 12bears - pasted into a text file for nearer the time!

leo
30-06-2009, 17:29
Interesting thread Gaz, all the diy and faffing about with the electronics I do yet the speaker cable I use is real cheap shit too:lol:

Funny thing is I've borrowed a range of speaker cables ranging in price , never really found anything to suit yet

Anyway the cable is still something I need to properly sort out I guess so look forward to more impressions on this fugly looking stuff:eyebrows:

DaveK
01-07-2009, 20:03
Hi again Gaz,
Thanks for your response. I spent an hour or so this morning baring the ends of the new cable and then swapping them in. They replace some DIY jobbies that I cobbled together from 3 plaited lengths of Cat 6 soild core ethernet cable, ex-Maplin's, which I was very happy with. I repaced one speaker lead at a time and spent some time listening, ear close to speakers, with one old and one new cable and couldn't notice any difference. I then replaced the second lead (now 2 new leads) and listened intently again, from various positions in the room. Again I was unable to notice any difference.
I decided to leave the new leads in place as, being much less bulky than my DIY cables, they are easier to hide.
As my wife is a complete 'nut' regarding Wimbledon (only 2 weeks every year), I gracefully withdrew (I'm like that ;)) and let her watch her tennis. Tonight, after tennis, I regained possession of the hi-fi kit and switched on again AND WAS GOBSMACKED !!
The improved sound I am hearing now is very noticeable, certainly at the bass end which is much taughter. Another thing I noticed was an apparent gradual increase in volume over the first half dozen or so tracks which continually had me reaching for the volume control. Any ideas as to what might be happening? - have you noticed anything similar?
Cheers,

alb
01-07-2009, 20:47
Another thing I noticed was an apparent gradual increase in volume over the first half dozen or so tracks which continually had me reaching for the volume control. Any ideas as to what might be happening? - have you noticed anything similar?

It's just those nice electrons clearing a path for the following electrons.
Eventually the path is nice and wide and all electrons can get through much easier.
More electrons=more volts=more volume.

or it might be something else.:confused:

DaveK
01-07-2009, 20:55
It's just those nice electrons clearing a path for the following electrons.
Eventually the path is nice and wide and all electrons can get through much easier.
More electrons=more volts=more volume.

or it might be something else.:confused:

Thanks alb for that - I'm a lot wiser now having had that explained to me - I think !! :scratch::scratch::scratch:
Cheers,

PS
I'm very glad that you're better at soldering than explaining :lolsign:

Gazjam
01-07-2009, 20:55
Hi Dave,

Yup, I noticed similar things, except mabye an improvement right away.
This probably says more about my old cables as opposed to the virtues of the new set.

Right away I noticed the extra layer of bass I never had before - almost like a sub-bass...very very deep but not so focussed if you know what I mean?

I'm a tennis nut too! so I've been watching the tennis with the sound through my BDac and new speaker cable.

Bloody marvellous by the way...great sense of space. ANYWAY...

I figured I would just let the cable bed in through normal use and anyway, I dont pay too much attention to burn in and that kind of thing.
I know it happens, I jut dont obsess about it! :)

Heres the thing...
I was watching a Horror film earlier with my dinner (LOL) and I noticed that into the movie within a space of, I dunno ten minutes?,the bass started opening up quite a bit. The film had quite a dark booding atmospheric soundtrack and I was taken aback by the throbbing BUT VERY TIGHT AND FOCUSSED pulses in the music.

I hadn't heard (or rather FELT) such deep tight bass and such a wide open sound in my system, ever.

I sat there with a smile on my face..something good had happened.

I put it down to cable burn in. I had heard this cable was great sounding and performed great with 1.5K speakers from an "esteemed" forum member (dont know if he'll thank me for that!), so I was expecting good things from it - even in my modest system.

And I wasn't let down.

I've found my fit 'n forget speaker cable.
Next upgrades to my Amp.

Consider this my resignation from the F.C.S.P. (Fellowship of Cable Side Graders and Procrastinators) ;-)

leo
01-07-2009, 21:15
I know some interconnects improve after some use but a lot of that is down to the cables being handled, it loosens the tightness of insulator on conductor affecting capacitance etc
Some places recommend swinging new cables around the air to loosen em up:eyebrows:

alb
01-07-2009, 21:26
PS
I'm very glad that you're better at soldering than explaining

I'm actually quite good at explaining things.
But only when i know what i'm talking about.:)

I doubt if anyone knows exactly why these things seem to happen.


Some places recommend swinging new cables around the air to loosen em up

If i catch anyone swinging my cables, there'll be trouble.

Will
01-07-2009, 21:58
Al I think you have seen this...

http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm#wiretable

Could save others some money and sanity:)

DaveK
01-07-2009, 22:26
Hi Gaz,
Thanks for that - it is nice to know that I really (might) have heard what I think I heard - if you heard something similar there may be something in it - perhaps my ears are learning to listen properly.

Hi Alb,
I studied metallurgy at 'Tech' for many years and remember hearing something about electrons moving along wires. However I must have skived off when they told us about electrons with bezoms or similar behaving like ants and sweeping a wider path for more of their bretheren to follow along behind. That's another missing piece in the jigsaw back in place !! - thanks for that :lolsign:
Cheers.

Gazjam
02-07-2009, 00:34
Its great cable.
And great cable doesn't HAVE to cost 's

:)

Barry
02-07-2009, 00:52
Al I think you have seen this...

http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm#wiretable

Could save others some money and sanity:)

You're not wong there Will. There's more techno-gonads talked about interconects (signal, speaker and mains cable) than any other aspect of the reproduction chain.

Barry
02-07-2009, 01:04
It's just those nice electrons clearing a path for the following electrons.
Eventually the path is nice and wide and all electrons can get through much easier.
More electrons=more volts=more volume.

or it might be something else.:confused:

What !!!!!!! More electrons = more current!

Whilst it's good to know that you, Dave (Dave&Sue) and Gazjam are benefiting from the new speaker cables you are using, the only thing that matters is that speaker cables have a low resistance and inductance. Everything else is technological psychobabble!

Regards

alb
02-07-2009, 06:28
Barry,

I'm just here to make light of this situation. Not involved as such.
I use mains wire.

Will.

Yes i came across that before, probably didn't read the whole thing though.

Marco
02-07-2009, 07:15
Don't forget that the colour of the sheathing also influences things significantly... Blue cables sound 'cool', brown ones a bit 'muddy', white ones rather 'bleached', black ones a bit 'dark', etc.

Marco.

Gazjam
02-07-2009, 07:47
This stuffs sheathing is purple and green..... ;)

For the record, I'm happy hearing what it does without caring why.
I'll even put up with the gash colour scheme, Not too bad once its hidden away mind you....

I'm Foo free now because of a five quid interconnect and 17 quids worth of speaker cable.

Cant be bad?

(could have bought a new amp with the ammount I've spent on cables over the years.... grrrrrr)

Marco
02-07-2009, 07:57
This stuffs sheathing is purple and green.....


Then it must sound quite 'colourful'. It's not really difficult this, is it? :eyebrows:

Marco (happy to de-mystify the secret effects of cable for the benefit of his lesser colleagues)

;)

Ali Tait
02-07-2009, 09:57
What !!!!!!! More electrons = more current!

Whilst it's good to know that you, Dave (Dave&Sue) and Gazjam are benefiting from the new speaker cables you are using, the only thing that matters is that speaker cables have a low resistance and inductance. Everything else is technological psychobabble!

Regards
Capacitance can be an issue also.I certainly found this with my statics using the Twisted Twins DIY cable,known for having high capacitance.It made the speakers sound very peaky and harsh.New cable sorted the problem.

DaveK
02-07-2009, 10:07
Don't forget that the colour of the sheathing also influences things significantly... Blue cables sound 'cool', brown ones a bit 'muddy', white ones rather 'bleached', black ones a bit 'dark', etc.

Then it (purple and green speaker cables) must sound quite 'colourful'. It's not really difficult this, is it? :eyebrows:

Marco (happy to de-mystify the secret effects of cable for the benefit of his lesser colleagues)

;)

Is anyone willing or able to de-mystify the secret effects of whatever Marco's on, so that I can avoid it in future !!! :lolsign:

Cheers,

Gazjam
02-07-2009, 13:28
Dont notice it as much with the old cardboard elephant ears on...


Jimmy Hughes, come back all is forgiven!

RochaCullen
09-07-2009, 08:09
Hi Gary,

I made my own cables there recently and I got all the kit from canford: http://www.canford.co.uk/.

They do everything from the sleeving to the banana plugs and at a good price too.

I bought some cable assemblies from them also which I couldn't find anywhere else.

Nathan

Gazjam
09-07-2009, 13:28
Hey Nathan,
thanks for the link!

Added to favourites, might just be what I'm looking for, cheers.

Kris
04-12-2009, 00:46
Hmmm . . . Interesting thread.

I see the cable is still available: ARROW Speaker CABLE Bi-Wire OFC LEAD per METRE (http://myworld.ebay.co.uk/babyjackal/)

Some of my present speaker cable is so old it's getting oxidised. Might give this arrow stuff a try.

Rare Bird
04-12-2009, 00:59
Hmmm . . . Interesting thread.

I see the cable is still available: ARROW Speaker CABLE Bi-Wire OFC LEAD per METRE (http://myworld.ebay.co.uk/babyjackal/)

Some of my present speaker cable is so old it's getting oxidised. Might give this arrow stuff a try.

I use this, cost peanuts & sounds great in my system, the build quality is superb for the small outlay..Don't care how much it cost i won't be changing it..

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/CHORD-CARNIVAL-SILVER-SCREEN-5-35m-UN-TERMINATED_W0QQitemZ350255445413QQcmdZViewItemQQpt ZUK_Computing_CablesConnectors_RL?hash=item518cd9f 5a5

Kris
04-12-2009, 01:32
Don't care how much it cost i won't be changing it

If you're happy with it and it works in your system and jasn't degraded, then there's no reason to change it. Spend the saved money on some Lps or CDs :)

Rare Bird
04-12-2009, 02:13
:youtheman:

We speaker der same language..

Thanks Kris..

leo
04-12-2009, 19:09
Hmmm . . . Interesting thread.

I see the cable is still available: ARROW Speaker CABLE Bi-Wire OFC LEAD per METRE (http://myworld.ebay.co.uk/babyjackal/)

Some of my present speaker cable is so old it's getting oxidised. Might give this arrow stuff a try.

Think I'll give this stuff a go too , I've been using the same old no name cheapo stuff for ages now, I've tried various types ranging from solid core, stranded, copper, silver plaited copper and pure silver, I always came back to the old no name stuff:) its looking a bit manky now though so really needs replacing

Tripmaster
04-12-2009, 19:54
I used to use a pair of Cable Talk speaker leads, that is before I made a pair of plated CAT5 cables. There was a noticeable improvement when I switched

http://www.humblehomemadehifi.com/CAT5.html

Magna Audio
04-12-2009, 21:37
I used to use a pair of Cable Talk speaker leads, that is before I made a pair of plated CAT5 cables. There was a noticeable improvement when I switched

http://www.humblehomemadehifi.com/CAT5.html

Similar story for me with cat5e but then I found U-BYTEII - not felt the need for anything else since then...

http://www.tnt-audio.com/clinica/ubyte2e.html

Nice challenge for your soldering and insulation skills...

Themis
04-12-2009, 22:05
Bulk premium copper cable or nothing at all for me. ;)
(although the UBYTEII has tempted me, more than once)

Tripmaster
05-12-2009, 11:01
Similar story for me with cat5e but then I found U-BYTEII - not felt the need for anything else since then...

http://www.tnt-audio.com/clinica/ubyte2e.html

Nice challenge for your soldering and insulation skills...

That looks interesting, could get expensive with all that heatshrink! I might have a go. How long are your cable runs and how much did it cost to build?

For single driver, full-rangers some recommend a single twisted pair cat5 cable (two strands of wire untwisted)

Magna Audio
05-12-2009, 13:03
I have 5m runs of Ubyte2. I have made up 10m runs for a friends installation (in wall) and a further 2 of 4 or 5m can't remember. All these guys are still using it (the last set I lent out- will never see them again.
These were all to Audiofools with Krell's, tube amps and speakers like Isobariks, ProAc, Ruark and me with big Tannoy's
Really works well for the longer runs as it carries / shoots a complex analogue signal with wide freq range very well.

"Where the UBYTE excels is low Inductance. For the Cable as constructed there is less than 1uH overall Loop Inductance. Compared to the Cat 5 Cable Twisted Pair the Inductance is reduced by the factor 3 to 5, compared to Kimber 4TC by still more than 2. Another Plus-point is the fact that this Cable combines two of the most individual (and good) sounding approaches to Speaker-Cables.
Cables using a moderately thick solid copper conductor (like the DNM/Reson Speaker-Cable) have a tendency to be extremely good in the Midrange and with human Voices. The Frequency Extremes are treated less well. On the Other hand, Copper-Foil Cables (like Goertz Alpha Core) have excellent Performance at the Frequency extremes but are a Load many Amplifiers simply cannot drive.
Combining both approaches gives an excellent Balance between Midrange Detail and Naturalness on one hand and good extension on the Frequency extremes. I believe that this Cable has to be heard. It was for my System a "Quantum-Leap" similar to the one the X-Cables provided for the Interconnects."

You can usually get the FT/CT100 on ebay - I bought a drum of 100m twinned foamed teflon as I knew I would be making several sets;)

RochaCullen
14-12-2009, 12:48
Made a new set of cables last week. My brother-in-law needed a set. He said his cyrus kit was sounding a bit dull, so I thought I would knock together a set of cables that would brighten things up. The design was an experiment, inspired by Kimber and a few other things I have read. Here are a couple of pics of the cable construction:

http://i830.photobucket.com/albums/zz230/rochaCullen/Speaker%20Cable/cableInternals.jpg

The internals are made up of 12 square braided silver-coated high-purity copper wtih PTFE covering. Inside that is a piece of coax which has had its conductor removed. The braiding took a little while to get the hang of.

http://i830.photobucket.com/albums/zz230/rochaCullen/Speaker%20Cable/finishedCables.jpg

These are the finished cables, I used heat shrink on the ends and braided slieving to cover them. They measured 3m each.

The cost of making them was around 120, and we'll see how they sound with the bro-in-law burns them in properly. Plugged them in for a little while in my own system, but as they were brand new, they didn't sound as warm as my old and well burned in cat5 cable inspired by TNT.

John
14-12-2009, 13:14
As rule I think its best to use either pure silver or pure copper

leo
14-12-2009, 18:29
Oh, that Arrow cable arrived, I've not had chance to try it yet.
First reaction after opening the packaging ansd seeing it in the flesh was :lol:

Kris
16-12-2009, 09:25
First reaction after opening the packaging and seeing it in the flesh was :lol:

Oh well, worth a try. Be interesting to hear your thoughts on the sound quality. Maybe it's a wolf in sheep's clothing?

These look interesting snake oil free designs:

https://www.wilmslow-audio.co.uk/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=24&products_id=230 or maybe https://www.wilmslow-audio.co.uk/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=24&products_id=229

Gazjam
18-12-2009, 09:37
Oh, that Arrow cable arrived, I've not had chance to try it yet.
First reaction after opening the packaging ansd seeing it in the flesh was :lol:

I was the same Leo when I got mine...
Reminds me of Bubblegum leo those colours...!
I originally was going to get some black Braid sleeving for it, but you get used to the colours.

Still sounding great, and I know the cables been used and preferred over far more established brands with very expensive speakers...so well good enough for my system.

I've terminated mine with good qlty heavy screw in banana plugs...would I get an improvement soldering and heatshrinking them in?
I dont think I'd change this cable to be honest....so no cable swapping in my system.
This and the Hitachi LO-OFC interconnects have cured me of that..

Primalsea
18-12-2009, 10:00
A another alternative for covering is to buy some cord from a DIY shop. You need the one that has a stranded core and a woven outer. The outer is of the same kind of braiding as the poly cable sheathing that you but from electronics stores. You just need to tie the cord core to the cable and then pull it through.

If you look around you can get some quite nice colours.

Gazjam
18-12-2009, 11:18
Top Tip!
:)

Primalsea
18-12-2009, 13:20
Gaz, I see now, you edited it, I thought "Top Yip" was just a Glaswegian thing!

Gazjam
18-12-2009, 14:55
naa.. just me being typotastic!

leo
18-12-2009, 21:51
I was the same Leo when I got mine...
Reminds me of Bubblegum leo those colours...!
I originally was going to get some black Braid sleeving for it, but you get used to the colours.

Still sounding great, and I know the cables been used and preferred over far more established brands with very expensive speakers...so well good enough for my system.

I've terminated mine with good qlty heavy screw in banana plugs...would I get an improvement soldering and heatshrinking them in?
I dont think I'd change this cable to be honest....so no cable swapping in my system.
This and the Hitachi LO-OFC interconnects have cured me of that..

Bubble gum, your right there Gaz:lolsign:

I'm going to solder spades on mine, I think as long as you don't go overkill on the solder it should give a better connection than just twisting the cable and using the grub screws in those banana plugs

I'll then stick some of that black nylon sleeving over it, at least it won't look like something from Willy Wonka's factory:eyebrows:

BTW, the cable is advertised as having PTFE sleeving, I really don't think it is in all honesty, more like rubber so if you do decide to solder it make sure you don't over heat it or that rubber will melt and make a mess

Volante
09-01-2011, 11:29
available again on the well known auction site