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CAT5 - Anyone not too impressed

Discussion in 'Cables & Switches' started by gerbilly, Mar 22, 2005.

  1. gerbilly

    gerbilly
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    I made a few of these cables at 2m length (x4 for biwire) and after the time I put in, I was expecting a lot better than the Silver Anniversary I was using , and the Twin and Earth which I had also tried.
    However I was not too impressed when the volume was higher it seemed a little strange sounding, hard to describe it just didnt sound right. :thumbsdow
    I have since found out that another method of biwiring was to take one of the three cables and split this for the tweeter and then combine the other two cables (colour for positive, white for negative) for the woofer.
    This did sound better but still wasnt the great sound that I was expecting.

    Since then I have bought the 4 core 2.5mm Van Damme Professional Loudspeaker cable from Maplins at about £3 per metre. This cable looks great and is very flexible and easy to work with and I have found out since is used for a lot of professional installations. :smashin:
    This cable sounds great compared to all others I have used QED SA, Atlas 2.1.1, CAT5 and Tand E and is an excellent choice for those of us who cant afford hifi equipment the cost of a good second hand car. :lesson:
     
  2. Wolfman310

    Wolfman310
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    I see where your coming from, but, at £3 a meter, some would say it should be better.
     
  3. Knightshade

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    I found a big difference between different types of cat5 cable. In the end I went for Stranded Cat5 cable. Sounded better to me. :)
    I think maybe the colour made it sound better..... No really, the chemicals used for making the red cable are superior to those used in blue ones.;)

    Anyway, surprised it wasn't an improvement over T&E, just goes to show I guess.
     
  4. gerbilly

    gerbilly
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    cypher The Atlas cable and the QED were more than double the cost of the Van Damme but were not as good. The T and E was better also and that cost buttons, but it is damn unflexible.
    I did use a plain grey cat5 from Maplins Knightshade but I have since ordered the purple stuff, I hope that makes a difference and I will try again.
     
  5. Knightshade

    Knightshade
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    Sorry, I was being sarcastic about the colour thing!:oops:

    Just had a long argument about power cables and I guess my annoyance with salesmen was showing through again.....

    It did take some getting right though. I found the best way for my system was 6 cables paired together and then plaited. I tried a few different ways (From TNT, etc) but this was the best. My sytems Tri Amped with mono blocks so it was difficult getting all the cable to sit right and match etc. But it was worth the effort, works very nicely and I haven't heard anything to beat it yet! I ended up using soldered plugs. Good quality silver plaited, well I figured it couldn't hurt.....:)
     
  6. gerbilly

    gerbilly
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    Just ordered one of mark Grant's interconnects I hope this helps improve my sound, I have been using a Thor one around the 20 quid mark.
    I will get back once I have my made my new cat5 cables. If you are using 6 cables how do you split them at the speaker and the amp?
    if at the amp all the coloured cables go to the positive (red) and the white cables to negative (black) it is obviously going to end up pretty thick and will not go into any banana plugs apart from the side entry ones.
     
  7. Londondecca

    Londondecca
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    I guess this just goes to show there is no universal answer with cables
     
  8. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
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    gerbilly, what speakers and amplification are you using?

    Cable geometries such as those used in the Cat5 cables are renowned for having a higher-than-normal capacitance. This isn't usually a problem but with some esoteric kit can create trouble. I think it's quite telling that the volume was higher as clearly the real part of the impedence (the resistance) must have been lower compared to the other cables.

    I wouldn't have thought there would be much between the normal figure-of-8 type cables that you've tried though. :)
     
  9. Taz69

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    I thought it was the Belden Cat5E cable that people used, I believe that the diff in quality will matter in these cables as I used to use 3rd party stuff for installing networks, but the Belden stuff made hell of a difference in reliablilty, speeds etc, so I assume that its going to be the same for Speaker cables amde of the same stuff. Pretty sure there is a thread on here somehwere about the belden cat5 cables

    Taz
     
  10. Londondecca

    Londondecca
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  11. gerbilly

    gerbilly
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    Evil John it is fairly average budget stuff Marrantz amp and cd player with TDL Kev1 speakers. All in it cost around 450 quid.
     
  12. Wolfman310

    Wolfman310
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    Yeh, sorry, i meant no offence, i think it depends on diff people on how they rate different cables and so forth.

    I can hardly tell the difference between cheap and crap stuff, and top notch stuff :)
     
  13. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    Re. Belden CAT5 dudes, Ive tried many different types of CAT5, from PVC cheapo multistrand, Maplins LSZH Polyefeline VB20W solid, Ive also tried Plenum Teflon CAT5 solid, the Teflon stuff is regarded as the GTI of CAT5 in DIY circles, did not sound any different to the VB20W, CAT5 cables can suffer the same audiophile hype that plagues dealer bought cables IMHO. As for CAT5 being unimpressive in some systems, I think speaker cabling boils down to one thing in every individual system :

    LRC effect and ideal length for a CSA of copper to equal these values in your system.

    Thus it’s a lot easier & cheaper to play about with DIY cables (not just CAT5) until you find the perfect mix, rather than buying expensive dealer cables, and I would call anything above £3 expensive. Give me CAT5 any day over that stuff.

    Just as a side note I recently bought Van Dammes Blue Series 2x2.5 mm speaker cable, £1.99/m from Maplins for a second system and had a play with it in my main system, sounds stunning, so does CAT5 though. Moral of the story, reasonably close CSAs and lengths sound the same to me. If your on a budget then CAT5 is a no brainer, as is VD Blue Series if you don’t fancy DIY. One thing though they will vary in everyone systems due to LRC/Length/CSA values so it’s a good point to remember about any cable. Maybe if one has not hit the right formula then its hit and miss time trying dealer bought cables.
     
  14. Knightshade

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    It's easier for me with mono blocks, 6 cables, 6 holes. Colours for + stripes for - No more than 4 wires per plug. Basically 1 single cat5 cable for + and -.

    I have managed to get all 6 into 2 plugs (soldered) I agreed to make some for a friend - Never again, the air was very blue that day....:D
    Bi wire with six cables is about the (Sensible) limit for fitting easily into a 10awg plug. You need to strip back a bit more casing to make it easier. It's also much easier with stranded than solid core cable.
     
  15. gerbilly

    gerbilly
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    Knightshade I eventually made one 2.5 metre cable with 6 seperate lengths of CAT5.
    Ok at the speaker end and I just managed to fit in at the amp end. :smashin:
    I listened to a Badly Drawn boy album with this cable attached to one of my speakers. It sounded excellent as if he was in the room. :thumbsup:
    One album that always shows how good a hifi is, is the first Portishead one. Every time I have listened to this the base has sounded too powerful for my system and sounded very flabby and not under control.
    However with this new cable it sounded great and very listenable. :D

    Now to make the other one then I dont want to see CAT5 cable again. :suicide:
     
  16. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    Great to see a thread that started off as a critique of CAT5 has ended up as an experiment with more CAT5 cables over length required rather than simply dismissing these cables as unimpressive, I think every system is different TBH, thus playing about with CSA/Length in DIY terms can be so satisfying. How many people do this when using speaker cable, maybe simply increasing CSA (within reasosn) in a lot of cases would be the answer.

    I can endorse the fact that BDBs albums and CAT5 mix very well FWIW :

    http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y57/CJRHifi/Tulips.jpg
     
  17. Kobus

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    And CSA stands for ....
     
  18. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    Child Supporty Agency
    Cross Sectional Area
     
  19. Knightshade

    Knightshade
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    :rotfl: I'm sure there must be a way to make it a little easier on the fingers! Glad to hear you've got what you wanted.
    Knight
     

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