|Cheap replacement for the Roberts/Coleman cables
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|Author:||Stuart Polansky [ January 16th, 2017, 9:42 am ]|
|Post subject:||Cheap replacement for the Roberts/Coleman cables|
Joe graciously and generously gave several of us hunks of the vaunted Coleman cables (see another thread). Thanks Joe (BTW, I still have your box of AB resistors waiting......).
I built several cables with them, single and shotgun. They weren't a match for my system.
In the past, I've been using Cardas cables and a variation of the Chris VenHaus recipe for interconnects.
The VenHaus recipe was silver wiring spiral wrapped around a foam core; then covered in Teflon plumbers tape. Terminate with your favorite connector. Outer sheath of woven PET.
When I did my variation, I used Cardas 17.5, two conductors per terminal. Compared to a real Cardas cable, the treble was (I though) just as nice, but the lower mids and bass were a little light. Please keep in mind that the drive source was either SRPP or a 6SN& in cathode follower, DC servo coupled mode, so both reasonably low impedance with 12-15mA in each application. In each case, feeding a load of 100k-250k. I say this to qualify that I don't beleive the differences heard are because of the preamp's/source's inability to drive the cable.
Next time, I'll try that same spiral wrap formula, but with 3 x 17.5 and 1 x 23.5 per terminal. Should be great.
Trouble is, right now I needed RCA-XLR cables. These being used preamp>XO & XO>power amps. This is where I was using the Roberts/Colemans. This weekend I took those cables apart, cleaned up the connectors and built new cables (6).
Because my current budget doesn't permit buying lots of Cardas wire at $2.00/foot (that's $8/foot with my old arrangement and ~$12/foot for the proposed new one Per cable). I'll do it when I can afford it.
But for now, it seems that there was a roll of 22 gauge enameled magnet wire on the shelf. Used the old XLR and RCAs, the same 1/4" foam core (air gap insulation from your favorite home destruction center) and whatever covering I had on hand. Ran out, so lots is wrapped PVC tape. Yeah, I know, it is very ugly. Used a generic 20 gauge insulated conductor for ground, connected at the XLR only. May not have needed this at all, but it's wound with the other conductors, tried to have even spacing, around 1/8" or so between conductors.
On each signal terminal, two x 22 gauge magnet wire. Spiral wrapped together, per terminal. So effectively there are three "conductors" in the cable, but the signal carrying ones consist of two individually insulated conductors.
When listening, my first thought was that they were a bit dull in the treble, very forward and maybe a bit hard in the mids. Bass seemed ripped: deep and defined. This was digital source. On vinyl, wow. Lot's of detail, maybe quite bright. Wait a minute, take off Little Feat and put on a good recording; nope treble is just fine, detailed and airy, the edge is in the recording. After replacing another cable in the digital chain and switching to the Daphile server (thank you Roscoe!!!) I am quite pleased. Same results as vinyl. My digital is still nowhere hear as good as vinyl, so I learned nothing more there.
Bottom line, if you are hurting for cash, magnet wire, foam insulation, Teflon tape and PET woven covering makes a cheap interconnect that might make you very happy. Or not. But you won't be too much money, just a little time.
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