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In Reply to: RE: Anybody have any experience with Furutech FT-111 RCA's? posted by bcowen on March 26, 2017 at 13:59:03
I look forward to a report about the connector, if you decide to post one, bcowen.
Had some time to work on the cable last night. For me, the FT-111's are very frustrating to work with for a small diameter (ie: 23 gauge) wire. The wire wants to pop up to the side of the setscrew as it's tightened, resulting in a poor mechanical connection. Probably with a wire gauge of at least 20 gauge or larger this would not be a problem as the groove the wire sits in would keep it in place and prevent it from riding up the side of the setscrew. But for this project, I'm going back to the Harmony plugs and solder...I just don't have the patience to deal with the multiple upon multiple attempts it takes to get the wire to stay under the screw in the FT-111. Spent close to an hour last night working on one plug. Finally got it, but had to re-trim a couple times due to the stresses of the wire riding up the screw causing it to break. Way too irritated to do it 3 more times to assemble one pair of cables. I still think it's a very nicely constructed and quality RCA plug, just not very suitable for small gauge wires...at least for me.
You might try folding over the 23 AWG solid core wire to double-up the gauge (20 AWG effective gauge) which will provide more surface area for the set-screw, and keep the wire firmly in place. Simply strip-off twice the amount of insulation from the end of the wire, fold back the exposed wire in half to form a tight loop, then insert the looped wire into the termination area.
Good suggestion, Duster, but I tried that. It just separated and still climbed up the side(s) of the setscrew. With the way it's behaving, the bottom of the setscrew must be rounded (if even slightly), and I thought about pulling the screw out and hitting the bottom with a grinder to be sure it was completely flat. But by then my patience had left the building, and I'd already whipped out the soldering iron and Harmony plugs. Have the completed cables in the cooker now.
I'll hang onto the FT-111's as I'm sure I'll have some other creation with a larger wire to play with in the future.
A twisted pair of VH Audio's 21 AWG solid core OCC copper wire with AirLok dielectric doubled-up would provide 18 AWG effective gauge. The wire could even be flattened a bit with a smooth surface type pair of pliers or a hammer so it stays in place better for the set-screw to grip.
I've been curious what that wire would sound like as an interconnect. I might give it a try after I see what this gold wire sounds like. I'm going to give the assembled I/C's another full day cooking and a day or so to "cool" before I listen to them. Kind of excited to see what happens.
The FT-111's came in today. The fit/finish, workmanship, and overall quality are top notch, as is the norm for Furutech. Jewelry-like, quite honestly. However, some further clarification on "low mass" is needed, as these are the heaviest RCA's I've ever held in my hand. One distributor's site lists them as "low mass," so after reading that I'm thinking Eichmann Bullet or a KLEI Harmony kind of low mass. Furutech's site advertises them as "low metal mass." Guess it depends on which metal is being referred to. If you take the outer barrel and collet off, the remainder is in fact quite light and low mass, and perhaps that's what Furutech is referring to -- the metal that's actually in or part of the signal path.
In any event, the only thing that matters is the resulting sound, and I still very much like the screw termination which eliminates the solder. After removing the outer barrel the internals are easy to get to as well, so these should be no problem to work with. I'll report back once I get a pair of cables built up. Going to try some cotton insulation for the positive conductor which may turn out extremely cool....or may be a disaster waiting to happen. :)
Have you found information about leaving one conductor un-insulated? Perhaps a link to share? I recommend using cotton tubing for both the signal and return conductors, not for the sake of adding another layer of insulation, but for the sake of a more precision twisted pair, since the form of each loop area may be skewed due to the lack of a mirror image of the two opposing conductors. A consistent mirror image twist ratio along the entire length of a twisted pair cable is what provides EMI/RFI noise cancellation.
No, haven't found or read anything about it. Just my random and probably laughable idea trying to be creative. Still have some more thinking to do on that approach, and what I wanted to do most right now was try out this gold wire. So my first try will be with a more conventional geometry. I'm using 20 gauge Neotech PCOCC solid core copper with PTFE insulation for the negative lead, and the gold wire for positive. I figured the Neo's insulation was good enough for both wires (for an interconnect application), so I'm leaving the gold wire bare naked. Techflex sleeve will go around it all, and I may run a PTFE heat shrink over both wires before sleeving it. Haven't decided yet, but it's Final Four time so it'll have to wait. :) Go Tarheels!!!
Not laughable at all, bcowen. It makes perfect sense from a minimal-mass POV. Your twist pattern looks to be very good, but might not provide the best noise cancellation properties since the two opposing wires are not mirror image. However, the cable might sound very good, since there are no hard rules about DIY experiments. If you have some PTFE heat shrink that's handy, I would choose to use it as a DIY cable jacket to provide a level of cable resonance control and to keep the twisted pair from loosening over time, which is important.
Thanks for the input Duster. I was aiming more for a minimal dielectric result by going with the bare wire. All dielectrics seem to impose some signature on the sound, so I figured less was better while still insulating sufficiently. Not even sure what is in this gold wire. May prove to be awesome......or a complete disappointment.
Been looking at this Jupiter cotton insulated wire. Might have to give it a try too. Should be easier to twist it much closer to a mirror image.
I expect it will sound very satisfactory, since I like what I see, bcowen.
I'm a tough critic at times, but I have an open mind to well-considered DIY experiments like yours!
I look forward to a detailed report, since your own evaluation is the point...
I'll be sure to, Duster.
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