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Cat 5e cable - ouch

Discussion in 'Cables & Switches' started by CodeThief, Jul 1, 2002.

  1. CodeThief

    CodeThief
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    Well I made a 5m pair of Cat 5e cables today. Took me 4 hours and I have blisters on my hands. I haven't really finished yet as I haven't terminated them and only one length has had the wires seperated up at the end. All I can say is they actually look quite good (if you like the industrial look), hopefully they sound ok as well :) Just gotta find a way to get those 2m round copper cables into some banana plugs ;)

    Dave
     
  2. JSW

    JSW
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    When your done before connecting them, play a track a few times over on your current speaker cable, then swap and listen again, then post your views :)
     
  3. alanrob

    alanrob
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    You'll be impressed m8 :)
    Best thing I ever did was upgrade (?) my speaker cable to Cat5 cable.

    It is a little bit tough on the old figers though, but then again what cable isn't?

    It'll take a few days from them to fully bed in, so give them time. Don't expect to hear anything different for at least a few days and then you can try them up against your old stuff.
     
  4. CodeThief

    CodeThief
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    Right,

    Today I finished the seperation of the twisted pairs. Im just waiting for my mate in a hi-fi shop to get me some bananas. To be honest, I won't be testing these for a while as I'm waiting for my new Q1s to be delivered and I'm making these as something to do to pass the time. I bought 12m of QED Silver Anniversary at the same time, so these, the speakers and the CAT5 will all need bedding in. Don't expect anything anytime soon, unless I take a pic with the terminations on as well :)

    Dave
     
  5. banners

    banners
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    i made some cat5 speaker cable also, terminated with ixos 204 banana plugs. they have quite a large opening to accept the cable and it's also side entry. cost about £8 from direct distribution over the net(for 4). the cables revealed more than my eccosse cs2.3 cables in my system.:D
     
  6. CodeThief

    CodeThief
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    Oooh sweet, got a link??

    Dave
     
  7. banners

    banners
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  8. Guest

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    There's always these at a quarter of the price.

    Mike.
     
  9. CodeThief

    CodeThief
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    OMG!!

    Flimber, you star!!!! Runs off to order them straight away. ....---->

    Dave
     
  10. CodeThief

    CodeThief
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    Just ordered them :)

    Cost me £17.39 for 20 plugs delivered :)

    Dave
     
  11. GaryG

    GaryG
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    I had a go at some Cat 5 cables but wasn't able to get the Belkin cable suggested in the Net article and used standard cat 5 cable from Maplin. Was pretty disappointed with the result, not as good as my original cable (bi-wired using two separate runs of CableTalk Concerto) a lot of wasted effort. Was tempted to import the proper Belkin cable from the USA but couldn't motivate myself to do all that braiding again. CableTalk Concerto is about £8.50 per metre including delivery from CableTalk would suggest you buy a couple of metre's of it and try a comparison.
     
  12. silver_sam

    silver_sam
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    CodeThief,

    Are those plugs solderable? I couldn't tell from the pic.

    TIA
     
  13. CodeThief

    CodeThief
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    Fraid not mate, theres just a screw that hold the wire inside the plug.

    Dave
     
  14. Guest

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    Are those plugs okay ? Thinking of getting some meself...

    Also, where did you get yer CAT5 and at what cost ?

    Oh, and some latest pics too please. Quick as you can ;)

    Cheers,

    Mike.
     
  15. alanrob

    alanrob
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    I just used bog standard Cat5 network cable from Maplin (it was purple :) ).
    How long did you leave the cables on your system before you changed back to your original ones?

    I've found that it takes a good few days worth of heavy use for these cables to bed in. You cant gauge any cable just by a few mins of listening (no matter what price they are).
     
  16. GaryG

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    Alanrob

    I left the cables to 'burn in' for a week with my system playing 24 hours a day. I have a fairly transparent system as listed below, making it easy to spot differences between cables.

    Meridian 600 CD transport
    Audio Synthesis DAX Decade DAC
    Krell MDA 300 Monobloc amps
    KEF Reference 4 speakers
     
  17. CodeThief

    CodeThief
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    Flimber:

    I haven't got a problem with these plugs but I haven't given them any abuse yet. Be interesting to see whether the weight of the CAT5 gives the little screw any problem when they're wired up. They seem quite good quality though! The latest pics of them are under my DIY Interconnects thread ...

    Dave
     
  18. silver_sam

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    Flimber,

    I got mine from screwfix.com for abt GBP17.50. Have a quick look at my previous posts. As for pictures, search for posts from evildonut. :)

    I infact took a chance today to compare my 5 metre Cat5 cable with Gale XL189 (1 quid/metre from RS) side by side and ran in for abt 1-2 hrs listening to CD.

    Dissappointingly, in contrast to what most people said on the 'FFRC' Cat cable, the Gale performed MUCH better than my Cat. I feel the Cat cable sounds flat and limits the speaker potential. The bass and mid range are there however they are not as deep as compared to the Gale.

    Then, I ran my 2nd Cat cable of the same length. Again, same result was observed.

    Havent got time to run in the cable much longer. The amp was set to abt 55 dB and the speaker is 100 W and non-biwire. The cables are bare wires at both the amp and speaker ends.

    Apart from running them much longer, other advice to improve the cables is highly appreciated.
    :rolleyes:

    -Silver Sam-
    ---------------
    Strider, Dr Doom, X = the best offensive team. :D
     
  19. alanrob

    alanrob
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    Nice setup m8 ;)
    Mine isn't too bad either -
    Tag McLaren AV32R / 1005xR / DVD32R
    Linn centre 5120 and rears 5110's
    Kef 104's Front l/r

    If I have the time this weekend (at last, a weekend off :) ) I'm try my old cables in again (Furakawa) and see if there is any diffence, but I doubt it as there was none three weeks after putting in the Cat5 cables.

    A word of note though! How many runs of the cable were you using to each speaker? I'm using four to all the fronts and three to the rears. Read on the site I got all the info from that it make a huge difference using four instead of three per run.
     
  20. GaryG

    GaryG
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    AlanRob

    If I didn't know better I'd say you were masquerading as Nic Rhodes! Nice bit of kit, now if only Audiolab had been bought by Ferrari;)

    I'm hoping somebody can compare the Cat 5 to the Concerto and tell me it's better, it would give me the incentive to have another go at it. It would appear the Teflon jacket is the key.

    Here's some useful background on cables for those that may not have already seen the link.

    www.tnt-audio.com/clinica/spkcbl_e.html
     
  21. alanrob

    alanrob
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    I've been rumbled :D
    BTW, tnt-audio.com is the site I used dor all my cabling DIY info.
    Great site ;)
     
  22. GaryG

    GaryG
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  23. CodeThief

    CodeThief
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    Well I better update this thread really. I've had the Cat5 on for a week or so now. I havent given them a huge amount of burn in but they sound much better than bellwire and also better than the 12 metres of QED Silver Anniversary it appears I've wasted money on :( Never mind, have to see if these can be used for the rears now. Ho-hum, thats life.

    Dave
     
  24. buns

    buns
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    One thing which has definitely caught my eyes....... the time! I barely got my cables started in the time it has taken some to complete! I am pretty sure that it took me in the region of 50 hours to braid all my cables. How many cores did everyone use? I have 216 cores per speaker, thats 108 per connection....... did you guys use hat many and still get completed in the really short time????

    ad
     
  25. CodeThief

    CodeThief
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    Hi there,

    I used 3 pairs of Cat5 per side, so thats 48 cores per side. how the hell many pieces of cat5 did you use??????? :eek:

    Dave
     
  26. Alaric

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    Hi there,

    CodeThief....Which cat 5 did you use, as i'm in the midst of re-building a set-up and was going to upgrade my cabletalk stuff to QED SA myself.

    It also looks like the type of cat5 you use makes a difference, as some people seem to have disasterous results (silver_sam vs Gale cheapy stuff)

    Also is this single wire, or bi-wire set-up you've used ???

    Ta,
    Lee
     
  27. CodeThief

    CodeThief
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    Im afraid I couldn't tell you off the top of my head as it was some CAT5 I got off the networking guys at my last place, they were recabling and had about 2000 metres in a skip and said I could take as much as a I wanted so I took about 500 metres :) I thought it sounded good so who cares :p

    It's a bi-wire setup Im using, purely because they were the instructions I got (it'd be a piece of **** to change to single wire though.

    Dave
     
  28. GaryG

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    Alaric

    FWIW I tried using QED Silver bi-wire to replace my CableTalk 4 bi-wire and found that the QED gave a sweeter treble but was light on bass. As a compromise I used the QED for the treble section and CableTalk 4 for the bass section whilst looking for a cable that gave me the sound of both. I eventually settled on the CableTalk Concert with two seperate runs in preferance to the bi-wire, this gave me the best of both the previous cables. It's pretty reasonable at £6/m and was miles better than my DIY Cat 5 in my system.
     
  29. evildonut

    evildonut
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    I use the TNT recipe as well for my CAT5 speaker cables, you need the VB20W from Maplin.

    HTH
     
  30. Ian Cox

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    Thought I would add my opinion on this CAT5 speaker wire as I have now had it installed in my system for two weeks. I originally had that Gale bi-wireable speaker wire that many of us got from Richer Sounds for my fronts and centre. When I switched over to the CAT5 cable that was a significant difference especially at the top end. The treble is much clearer and I can hear things in both music and movies that I never could before, this cable is very transparent. The overall soundstage is much better as well with music really coming alive and movies have more impact.

    The only downside of the cable is the bass department, it is definitely lighter than with my Gale wire but I am so pleased with the overall sound improvement that I am willing to sacrifice this. If you have got cheap speaker cable then I would advise you to give this a go as the cost is relatively inexpensive, if you have spent lots of money on expensive cable then any improvement would probably not be worth it. I wired my front three speakers for £30 including banana plugs, which is a bargin.
     

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