Regarding Interconnects and Speaker Cables.....

Discussion in 'System and Room Tweaks' started by TubeHiFiNut, May 29, 2018.

  1. TubeHiFiNut

    TubeHiFiNut Administrator Staff Member

    From years of experience, I can attest to the interconnects (wires) and speaker cables (cables) "merry-go-round". It can be very expensive and it seems that it's easy to go "round and round" without appreciable improvement.

    My own journey has taken me through some rather expensive experements. Thankfully, I feel very comfortable with my current line-up:

    Cables and Wire:
    • Belden 8402 tinned interconnects
    • Canare L5-CFB tinned interconnects
    • Dueland 16ga and 12ga tinned speaker cables
    Nothing too expensive by high end measures. :)

    I still connect my expensive stuff occasionally......and then hook my references back up, relax and connect with the music.

    Where has your wires and cables journey taken you over the years? :)
  2. MikeT.

    MikeT. Senior Member

    Oh boy, oh boy (gleeful sound). I love cables and the subtle and not-so-subtle differences they can make.

    I went through lots and lots of cables but have slowed the pace significantly in the last 18 months.
    -Speaker: Monster, AudiQuest, Alpha Core Goertz, MIT, Shunyata Black Mamba, Tellurium Q Black and now Colin Wonfor’s EWA LS25 and I’m done.
    Interconnects: AudioQuest, Goertz, MIT, Tara Labs RSC Prime M1 and others. Now DIY Dueland with the exception of the Tara Lab. If I had the money, I’d go with a loom of Tara Lab RSC Prime M1.
    Digital: Not so big a difference between cables but still many trials. Finally settled on Black Cat Silverstar SPDIF AND USB.
    MikeyFresh and TubeHiFiNut like this.
  3. TubeHiFiNut

    TubeHiFiNut Administrator Staff Member

    @MikeT. - Ahhhhh.....a fellow passenger on the Wire and Cable Merry-Go-Round. ;)

    Any truisms you've noted regarding materials and/or geometries?
    MikeT. likes this.
  4. Mister Pig

    Mister Pig Active Member

    Hmmm, as a seasoned hobbyist I have had the chance to own several cables. One thing I think is that components, rooms, and speakers have different voicing, and therefore different types of cables are better suited to a system than another. Which also means that there are no universal descriptions that fit a cables "sound" across all systems, rooms, or listeners.

    Cables I have owned have been from Audioquest, Goertz, Straightwire, XLO, Analysis Plus, Wireworld, Audio Magic, eh those are the ones I remember at the moment.

    My current cabling is Wireworld Eclipse 7 speaker wire, VH Audio Spectrum CU ainterconnects, and Pi Audio Group power cords. It is a versatile and evenly keeled combination that does a nice job of balancing resolution and the ability to relax with the music.

    If I could have any cable back, it would be the Audio Magic combination, those were wonderful products. The silver ribbon wire had it all, I regret letting them go. But a 24" run of the speaker wire would cost what an Apollo moon mission would.

    Mister Pig
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  5. MikeT.

    MikeT. Senior Member

    @TubeHiFiNut , truisms I’m not so sure about (get it?). Observations I have. Strangely enough, the stranded speaker cables, I forgot about Naim NACA 5, the ones I like the most were Naim, Tellurium Q and and my current EWA LS 25’s which all had about an inch of spacing between the positive and negative runs. Tara Labs RSC solid core speaker cables were VERY, VERY good but the others were just a bit better. Colin’s designs win, hands down.

    These Tara RSC Prime M1 interconnects were the only interconnects that were completely neutral and dynamic at the same time. I don’t know if the rectangular solid core mae the difference or just solid core.
    Interconnects, Tara Labs RSC solid core runs away with it, no contest. I am tempted to try some Deulund 26 gauge solid core for the next pass at interconnects loom.
  6. MikeT.

    MikeT. Senior Member

    Duelund Wire DCA-26Awg Tin Plate Copper Hookup Wire
    This is the plan on interconnects.
    Wntrmute2 likes this.
  7. Try1256

    Try1256 Very Special Member


    I haven't had that many notable cables. Right now I have a mixture of DH Labs, Audio Sensibility and Neotech. When I bought the DH Labs, it really opened up my system. Since then, I have changed most of my electronics with higher quality units and there seems to be a bit of high mid glare that I suspect might be attributable to the silver coated wire. My phono cable and interconnect between the phono stage and line stage are both OCC copper. I am thinking of replacing the interconnect between the preamp and amp and speaker cables with a similar type of cable to see how it sounds.

    @MikeT. - a good friend of mine has a loom of Tara labs cables, the top shelf stuff with the little ground thingy that goes with it. You would love it.
    TubeHiFiNut and MikeT. like this.
  8. MikeT.

    MikeT. Senior Member

    @Try1256 , I always like to have aspirations. I just looked them up and they are $549 for a one meter pair. I’d need three pair.....uuuuggghhh not gonna happen.
  9. Celt

    Celt Peanut Head

    I made my own cables using Switchcraft ends and ProCo 90% shielded braid...and have used AudioQuest Evergreens.

    Speaker cable...I'm currently using 14 gauge Vampire...Count Chocula...something with teeth or fangs...
    with gold plated nanner ends.

    My phono cable is a mix...fixed heavy Rega cable on my RB-303 arm and a short and heavy Graham Slee between my Accession preamp and the TP-60.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2018
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  10. Try1256

    Try1256 Very Special Member

    I'm pretty sure his are the Air Evolutions. He also has the 0.8 speaker cables. Way out of my league but they fit well with the rest of his gear.
    TubeHiFiNut likes this.
  11. Chops54

    Chops54 Junior Member

    I've only ever bought one pair of fancy cables and they weren't even that expensive but when I realised just how little money the basic components were I set out to make my own and have done ever since. I did use cat5 for my loudspeaker cables but I've since upgraded to cat6 and I use Sharkwire for my interconnects, the same stuff that those first pair of bought cables were made with. It's around £3 a metre when it's on offer but I don't mind pushing the boat out now and again. The cat6 more often than not comes out of the skip at work
    I've listened to quite a few mega music systems over the years and I have to say that even after a serious aural assault my own music system still pleases me so much.
    TubeHiFiNut likes this.
  12. MikeT.

    MikeT. Senior Member

    I ordered some of the Duelund 26 gauge single strand tin plated copper hookup wire from Parts Conexxion (no affiliation), then I started to examine the actual size of this wire.....and I’m not totally sure my soldering skills are up to pulling these interconnects off. The wire was on sale though, so I’ve got that going for me ;)
  13. MikeT.

    MikeT. Senior Member

    The Duelund 26 guage hook up wire arrived and surprisingly I am not intimidated by the small gauge but the oil-impregnated cotton sleeve. On the larger 20 gauge wire I just used a razor blade to score a cut and pulled off the sleeve, but a little nervous with the smaller wire.

    Is there a better method? Burning with soldering iron tip, BIC lighter? Or should I just use the razor blade method and apply pressure lightly?

    Comments and opinions are highly appreciated.
  14. Mister Pig

    Mister Pig Active Member

    Send it here, I will give it to Addy the wiener dog to take care of it. Have that insulation off in 10 minutes or less. Now if its got a squeaky toy in the center that will take longer, but she is guaranteed to have that out before the night is over. Its her mission.

    Mister Pig
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  15. mhardy6647

    mhardy6647 Señor Member

    The important question here may be:

  16. MikeT.

    MikeT. Senior Member

    It's "oiled" does not squeak. ;)
  17. MikeT.

    MikeT. Senior Member

    Thank you for the offer but I think I will give it a try first. :D
  18. TubeHiFiNut

    TubeHiFiNut Administrator Staff Member

    Be very gentle and have a steady hand.

    Also, if using wire strippers with gauge settings, try using the 24 or 22 gauge setting to start - less chance of damaging the 26ga solid core.

    You should try making a set of interconnects using the 30ga wire wrap I like. ;)
  19. Wntrmute2

    Wntrmute2 Junior Member

    I struggled with 26 gauge cotton insulatied silver wire. Easiest was just to push it back. Don't strip it at all. This worked MUCH better than my previous idea. Setting it on fire! No joke, I tried that.
    airdronian and MikeT. like this.
  20. MikeT.

    MikeT. Senior Member

    Hey @Wntrmute2, that’s a REALLY great and elegant solution. I don’t need much exposed wire at all. Thanks VERY much! :)

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