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just removed my old RCA interconnects I've had hooked up to my system and replaced them with the JR DIY recipe.
I was a bit rusty with the soldering iron but I ended up OK with 3 Belden 89259 / Cardas RCAs interconnects connecting my Tweeter/midrange panels on my Maggies. Going to create two more for the bass panels tomorrow.
The smear heard previously (which I knew had to originate from my crappy cables) has now lifted , vocals are sharp (although not 'pin-point' but I'll experiment with speaker placement this weekend).
I gotta tell you it's like going from a glass of muddy water to sparkling Champagne, will enjoy breaking these in :)
Can't recommend this DIY enough.
Only problem I have is the the great contrast between the fat connector and the skinny Belden cable, leaving the shrink a bit loose. I slid a slimmer shrink to close the gap but it doesn't look too professional. Oh well I guess you can't have it all-
Edits: 01/27/17Follow Ups:
Simply order 3:1 (or 4:1 if necessary) heat shrink...problem solved.
you use solid-core cable. Belden 89259 has a stranded central core - and of course a stranded shield.
If you read the late, great Allen Wright books, he was very much into solid core cable - so that is what I use. Belden 3079A is 2x solid-core copper wires underneath a double shield. The 2 wires give you signal 'hot' and signal 'ground' ... and you just connect the braided shield to the RCA barrel at the source end only (so it doesn't become part of the signal chain).
And your extra strengthening heatshink over the back end of the RCA barrels and the Belden is in fact a good idea ... it damps the RCA barrels.
It depends on whether or not you feel that the solid core conductors are an overriding concern, versus the overall materials quality issues.
The Belden 3079A has a flame retardant foamed PE insulation, this is not going be of the same quality level as the foamed FEP teflon insulation in the 89259. Even straight PE is not that superior, but adding in a flame retardant DOES further degrade dielectric performance.
Some people swear by solid core conductors, but it must be kept in mind that both the center wire of the Belden 89259 and the braid use small gauge wires, in the case of the braid, VERY small wires, and the working mechanism that would provide the theoretical advantage of a solid core versus stranded is just not present at all on the shield, and is present on the 22 Ga. center wire to a very limited degree.
I have listened to cables similar to the Belden 3079A, and they typically do not have enough other advantages over the 89259 to sound overall superior sonically. Some aspects change, obviously, but there is the whole sonic picture to be looked at, not just one isolated aspect that is of a very mild nature for the most part.
I use these 89259 for digital and stereo RCA, where they do very well. JPS superconductor has better tonal balance and bass extension, the Belden does well on detail. Mil Spec 22 gauge stranded shielded twinax silver on copper in teflon does better on detail and imaging than either of the others but is a bit light in the bass department when used at line level. Works great for phono cable and midrange and tweeter interconnect.
I have been using these for years but with Eichman Bullets. It's a little late but if you are worrying about cosmetics, you could wrap the cable ends with teflon tape before using the heatshrink. I used the thicker yellow stuff for gas lines rather than white for plumbing. While you're at it, add some techflex for pizzaz -- or not, it will all sound the same.
I married the perfect woman. The downside is everything that goes wrong is my fault.
Nice work! Bet they'll improve quite a bit as you get more playing time on them. Always nice to hear of a DIY method or project that brings nice results.
For the connector/cable diameter mismatch, linked below is a great idea from Duster to solve that. May work nicely for your cable(s).
PS: For Mr. Risch, it's Jon, not John. :)
A nice thing about the use of 3M Nexcare Transpore perforated PE medical tape is how firm it is when layered, even though it is slightly perforated which makes it a bit lower mass in nature than a non-perforated tape, and that a very thin but high tack medical grade adhesive backing is involved, without making the layers unstable from a mechanical POV. Audio connector set-screws can really dig into the layers to firmly grip the end of a cable without deforming the structure, while typical polyolefin heat shrink tubing is fairly soft in comparison. BTW, Herbie's Audio Lab's optional adhesive backing for their footers and pads is a rather expensive medical grade adhesive selected for its high tack but low mass properties.
great idea; will try this :)
I'm so stoked over the sound improvement with the first batch of cables I just ordered 8 more Cardas RCAs this time with the 6mm cable opening.
Will also try connectors using CAT-5/6 and possibly pure silver a bit down the road.
Saving money is great mmm-kay! : )
less posts around here due to the good news!
"Once this was all Black Plasma and Imagination" -Michael McClure
Maybe try putting the smaller heat shrink tubing on first and then the bigger one over it.
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