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DIY Analogue Audio Interconnects

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Building DIY' started by ReTrO, Mar 29, 2003.

  1. ReTrO

    ReTrO
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    As a request from Buns I have created this sticky as an ideas resource for those wishing to create their own analogue audio interconnects.

    Can you please post ideas here, and any results or views on them if you made the cable.

    Pictures would be most welcome also.

    Can any other discussion be kept to other threads though.

    Thanks
     
  2. buns

    buns
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    Since i suggested this, i'll give my little contribution!

    I made a series of long interconnects for pre amp to power amp and processor to power amp. They are the piano 6 cable as described at Tnt-audio. I used shark plugs.

    My most major concern was the plugs, i really couldnt get then clamped well to the cable. To me, the inners of the plug were just a little bit flimsy. Though i will admit not to having the correct tool to crimp to the cable and this was also my first attempt at soldering, so maybe someone more experienced would contradict me.

    But, there was a good side! I had previously used a VDH thunderline between pre and power (only a 1m length). Upon replacling this with one of my own made cables (in the region of 6 meters) there was one distinct difference, there was less noise picked up. To my ears, the sonic character of the cable was the same as my thunderline (and basically most other cables ive heard) but i did feel that the piano cable was better at lower levels when background pick up normally is most audible to me.

    So for my part, a good cheap cable that is well shielded and performs perfectly well. Id like to try some different plugs, perhaps some crimp ones like the canare jobs.

    Ad

    ps. I have a bit of cable left over if anyone wanted to try some.
     
  3. ReTrO

    ReTrO
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    I shall hopefully (finances permitting) be making up a 1m stereo pair using Van Damme Starquad Professional Microphone Cable and a set of Shark Phono Plugs at some point in the near future.

    All the parts can be bought from Maplin and will cost no more than £11 for the parts.

    I'll post up a reveiw as and when they are made.


    :smashin:
     
  4. bob1

    bob1
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    Maplins have some good cable i used it to make up a sub lead,its also on offer at the mo.
    Take a look here
     
  5. Exeter Man

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    ReTrO,

    Out of interest, do you intend to:

    A. Use two conductors for live (is this the correct term ?) and two conductors for ground, with the shield connected to ground at one end only, or
    B. Use four conductors for live, and the shield for ground.

    I have used the Van Damme instrument cable before, but found the cross sectional area a bit weedy - probably doesn't affect SQ much, but I like heavy duty !

    I will be making a sub interconnect some time in the next couple of months, so any suggestions for a cheapish type of cable would be gratefully received.

    Connection-wise, I have found the Shark connectors to be pretty well made for the money, and will certainly use them again for my sub interconnect.

    EDIT: Sorry, just seen you comments on keeping other discussion to alternative threads.

    Regards
     
  6. ReTrO

    ReTrO
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    Exeter Man: No problem, thread seems to be slow anyway.

    I'll probably go with 1 pair for signal and 1 pair for ground with the shield connected to ground at source end.

    If I have time and money I may try all for signal and shield for ground.

    I'm looking at some other phono plugs as well if I can find them.
     
  7. Kearney

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    I am also having trouble finding really good phono's for cables of 8 - 9 mm in diameter. Something like these would be good but i can't find a supplier in the UK :confused: http://www.amabilidade2002.com/rcaplug.htm

    I have also used Sharkwire 80 x 0.1mm OFC 75Ohm cable from maplin and will try some of the Sharkwire silver cable when it comes in stock.
     
  8. ReTrO

    ReTrO
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    Kearney:

    They look like something WBT make, but thiers will be very expensive. How much are those ones?

    I can't think of any others at the moment.

    Dig around trade suppliers if you can. They usually have something different available that's worth a try and shouldn't cost too much.
     
  9. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Maplin do one that does 8.5 mm I think, is that too small?
     
  10. MikeK

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    I am also having trouble finding really good phono's for cables of 8 - 9 mm in diameter



    Try

    http://custom1.farnell.com/cpc/product.asp?catalog_name=CPC+Catalogue&product_id=CN0236766

    http://custom1.farnell.com/cpc/product.asp?catalog_name=CPC+Catalogue&product_id=CN0236666

    http://custom1.farnell.com/cpc/product.asp?catalog_name=CPC+Catalogue&product_id=90294

    http://custom1.farnell.com/cpc/product.asp?catalog_name=CPC+Catalogue&product_id=90287



    The first two look practically identical to the ones you posted, save for cable size (the website has no image) - the first one is all gold, the second has a silver grey shell, otherwise they look the same to me!
     
  11. Kearney

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    Thanks for the replys, but i was going to buy some of those silver grey ones from cpc but they are discontinued and the maplin ones i have already but i don't like them much.

    Anyway i have found a genuine suppliet of WBT phono's and I have put a link in the DIY supplier sticky thread.
     
  12. Orbital

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    Hi all,

    I'm just about to undertake the creation of some Piano 6 interconnects (I knew their would be at least one bonus working for IBM :D) for between my CD and AMP.

    I'm having the same problem as the rest of you guy's finding a decent phono plug for use with this rather thick cable. one I have found is this one http://www.eichmanncables.com/bullet_plug/index.html Looks an interesting design, with the one single return contact instead of the normal all round collar design. It also takes up to a 9mm cable which should be just right. I'm just wondering if anybody else has used this plug and if so their thoughts on it.

    Cheers

    Dave
     
  13. buns

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    I made the piano cable and used the shark connectors from maplin..... took a bit of coaxing mind you.....

    ad
     
  14. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Came across these in Tottenham court road,

    Bandridge 1933 RCA Locking phono plugs for 10mm cable (ProfiGold), seem decent enough quality and down from ?£15 for 4 to £10
     
  15. JonLeach

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    Hi,

    I was tring to make a set of the "piano" cables from TNT-audio. but couldn't get any IBM token ring cable, i work in the IT industry and our boss had only cleared out the stuff we had in.

    anyway i was routing around for cable and found some top quality Cat6 FTP, its sheilded with seperate space for each pair. Here

    not sure if it is that one but it looks the same. used 75p phono plugs from maplin.

    i used 2 of the 4 pair and my god what a cable. without any burn in it had so much detail than my previous cable 40 quid a pair stuff. rated in hifi mags as 5 star.

    Jon
     
  16. buns

    buns
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    A word of warning..... the shark phono plugs may not be a good solution...... mine are not making a terribly good connection.

    Ad
     
  17. BAD Dave

    BAD Dave
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    I am about to buy a Pioneer 565 DVD player which I will connect up to my Yamaha DSP A5 home cinema amplifer.
    I know that I will need to connect the DVD analogue outputs to my amp inputs by means of 3 pairs of phono interconnects in order to hear 5.1 multichannel DVD-Audio & SACD music.

    How much should I spend on analogue interconnects, bearing in mind I will need 3 pairs?

    Is this lead likely to be adequate (http://www.richersounds.com/index.php?f=itemdetl.php&p=300416) (Limit 5.1 interconnect, £20 from Richer Sounds) or would I be better off making my own DIY cables?

    If DIY is the best option, what kind of cable and plugs would anyone advise using for DVD-A & SACD? (please provide links to suppliers products, if you can).

    I don't know any electronics/soldering but may be tempted to have a go if encouraged!

    Finally, how good are DIY cables in comparison to interconnects costing, say £20, £60 or £100 per pair?
     
  18. Mylo

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    Welcome to the forums Bad Dave.
    I personally would go down the DIY route. Costs are lower, it's satisfying and they can look very cool. The cable used for my interconnects is top quality. What Hi-fi rates a prebuilt cable from Puresonic as a 5 star product. I use exactly the same cable but with better quality plugs. To be fair if you are making your own cable you put effort into making it as good as you can. I have bought leads before and the workmanship was terrible. The cables made by Buns and Retro etc are all equal to mine, but I suspect my method is easier for a novice. I think all the data you need is in this thread or my own, if not give give one of us a shout.

    Regards, Mylo
     
  19. ReTrO

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    I'm a big fan of Van Damme cabling, but on the phono plug side I love the Neutrik Profi ones that ground before connecting the central signal pin. Not cheap by any means, more then the cable inbetween, but very well made and make very good contact.

    You can get these bits from CPC/Farnell and Maplin etc.
     
  20. Exeter Man

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    I'm a fan of the Shark connectors myself. The connectors mylo used (link in his thread) look to be exactly the same as the Shark ones, but at a cheaper price.

    I've made interconnects using Van Damme Instrument, Starquad and Twin Interconnect before, and been happy with all of the results. As i've said before, Instrument is a bit weedy to work with, and in the future, i'll probably stick with Starquad.

    Last one I made was for the sub, and I put a bit of heatshrink around the cable to make it a nice snug fit into the connector. After soldering everything, I put heatshrink over the whole connector and about 1inch of cable to really beef-up the strain relief, and looks quite cool too :)

    I've never compared SQ with a ready-made one as I won't buy one, but i'm quite confident that a DIY job is money well spent.

    If it were me, i'd go for mylo's connectors with 6 lengths of Starquad in a nice cool colour to contrast with my other ICs.

    BTW, got my cheapo soldering iron from Maplin for about £4, along with silver solder.

    Regards
     
  21. Brogan

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    A few of the links on this thread are broken so can anyone recommend cable and RCA connectors (solder type) for a 0.75m cable from DVD to amp?
    Preferably from CPC as I'm in the process of putting together an order for a few bits and pieces from there already.

    TIA
     
  22. Mylo

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    The links in my homebrew thread should still work.
     
  23. Brogan

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    Thanks Mylo.

    Just looking at that now.
    The CPC site has both plug descriptions as Phono Plug, Red but with different part numbers so I guess that's just a typo?
     
  24. ReTrO

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    I'm still a very big fan of Neutrik's Profi phono plugs, they're not cheap, about £10 for a pair, but well made etc.

    I use this with various colours of Van Damme Star Quad mic cable for pretty much all my analgoe interconnects.

    I have made up a set of 2m and 8m interconnects a couple weeks ago for running between my PC via my sub amp (for bass filtering) to my Arcam P75. They sound pretty damn good to me, not something I will be changing in a hurry!:)
     
  25. porker

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    Has anyone tried these Shark plugs from Maplin yet? http://www.maplin.co.uk/products/module.asp?CartID=031215140430915&moduleno=36514&Products=1
    I've used the ones most people on here are using but these look like the dogs danglies and they can take cables up to 10.5mm :smashin:

    I don't see the point of the Neutrik plugs that ReTrO is so fond of.
    The ground before signal concept is great for connecting equipment while powered up but how often are you likely to do that? All you are then left with is a ground contact on a spring which to my mind isn't going to give as good a connection as a solid one.

    Just my opinion of course.

    Porker.
     
  26. ReTrO

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    The Profi plugs are far better made than most of the other ones I've seen (with exception of a few WBT jobbies, but much cheaper).

    There's also plenty of area to solder the multi core cable I use onto the ground area without having to thin the ground and shield strands out to fit the soldering area as on most phonos.

    That and I tend to be fiddling with my equipment a lot with it turned on. :)
     
  27. Mylo

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    I have been using my own leads with CPC plugs for 3 months now. My kit has been in pieces several times during this period. All I can say is that the contact made by these plugs is as good now as it was when I first installed them. This is worth noting if you like to fiddle a lot with your cables, you know who you are:rolleyes:

    Regards, Mylo:smoke:
     
  28. stegalv

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    better quality cables and interconnects is it a myth? i would put together some more expensive or "better sounding" cables and interconnects but is it worth it. has anybody actually listened to equipment being switched from cheaper cable to a more expensive one without knowing which is which.
    i am fairly sceptical that you could'nt tell. i read an article on tinernet carried out in 96,they used an ordinary thick cable then switched to more expensive ones and no one could pick them out.
    so is it a case of i have paid more so i AM going to hear the difference.
    i have wrote to a few of the home cinema mags asking them to try the experiment not only on cables also equipment, but surprise surprise never had a reply. i would just like to know the truth, i have bought cables and equipment that were slightly more expensive ,but am i just fooling myself that they sound better. sorry if this is the wrong thread for this query.
     
  29. Mr THX

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    Got these connectors this morning and put a couple of interconnects together using the Shark Silver plated screened cable N59AR
    Got to say I'm really impressed with the connectors - based on the WBT style they have a locking action to them. Take a 10mm cable as said and are well built. Have yet to try the cables out, going to use them between Processor and Amp. If these two sound good on the L/R channels then I'll put another three together. The connectors I felt would be good with the silver cable as the center pin is silver then rhodium plated.

    Got some pictures just dont know how to attach them :confused:
     
  30. whiteflyer

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    Panny300, I have been to a HI-FI where speaker cables have been demonstrated and there was a very noticable change in the sound.
    I will be making some interconnect soon to see if DIY works OK.
     

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