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 Post subject: DIY XLR Interconnects
PostPosted: November 10th, 2017, 7:06 pm 
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Joined: October 21st, 2013, 6:53 pm
Posts: 226
Hey all,

I just recently bought a couple of Cardas XLR plugs to build some Balanced Interconnects.

My plan was to buy the Lessloss Cmarc bulk triaxial cable:
https://www.lessloss.com/cmarc-bulk-wir ... p-225.html
But it appears its going to be a lot of work preparing the ends of the cable. You need a solder pot, some super glue, and a lot of patience to get the wires tinned and shrunk down to suitable size to fit on the XLR solder pins.

I was just wondering, (for the people that believe that cables do make a difference :wtf:) if there were any previous threads, or advice on how to build a really good (Hi Res) Balanced XLR cable, that isn't going to require me laboring all day long.

Thanks,

Chris


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PostPosted: November 10th, 2017, 7:36 pm 
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Joined: July 24th, 2015, 4:17 pm
Posts: 593
Location: Parkville, Maryland
chris1973 wrote:
Hey all,

I just recently bought a couple of Cardas XLR plugs to build some Balanced Interconnects.

My plan was to buy the Lessloss Cmarc bulk triaxial cable:
https://www.lessloss.com/cmarc-bulk-wir ... p-225.html
But it appears its going to be a lot of work preparing the ends of the cable. You need a solder pot, some super glue, and a lot of patience to get the wires tinned and shrunk down to suitable size to fit on the XLR solder pins.

I was just wondering, (for the people that believe that cables do make a difference :wtf:) if there were any previous threads, or advice on how to build a really good (Hi Res) Balanced XLR cable, that isn't going to require me laboring all day long.

Thanks,

Chris


I've made XLRs out of Illinois Wire and W.L. Gore shot-gunned micro-wave cable. It is a royal pain-in-the-ass. I do have some nice Teflon TSP in stock that would be easier to work with. Stranded silver over copper with silver over copper shield and Teflon dielectric and jacket. It's a pretty blue color.

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PostPosted: November 10th, 2017, 8:16 pm 
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Joined: February 28th, 2013, 3:31 pm
Posts: 790
My go to wire for interconnects is Belden 1800F. It works well at audio frequencies, has a 100 ohm impedance making it perfect for AES/EBU, is very flexible, has a nice matte finish, and has a French braid shield which is a joy to work with. If you want to try a few feet I can provide it. Here is the Belden data sheet.

https://edesk.belden.com/products/techd ... /1800F.pdf

Tom


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PostPosted: November 10th, 2017, 8:44 pm 
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Joined: October 21st, 2013, 6:53 pm
Posts: 226
Hey Walt,

I don't mind doing some homework and labor, but there needs to be some sort of technological gimmick to it.
I started a couple years back with an 8 strand silver litz braid interconnect which served me pretty well for several years. It took advantage of the superior conductance of silver obviously, but supposedly the 8 strand litz increased the skin area, and also cancelled out noise. I finally replaced that with Alumilloy, which is a JPS labs patented alloy that somehow carries an audio signal with greater resolution than silver. It outperformed my silver litz by far! Alumiloy went head to head with Cardas when I made that decision, because somehow with Golden Ratio conductors, Cardas figured out how to make copper perform better than silver with an audio signal. Lessloss also has a gimmick, and like the others I think it is real too. CMARC mostly uses skin effect by breaking down the primary conductors into many tiny individual conductors, all isolated from each other with a lacquer coating (kind of like Cardas), and traveling in opposing spirals to cancel out noise. CMARC comes in bulk even though it's a lot of work to turn it into a finished cable. In order to get the other technologies I mentioned however, I had to buy finished cables.

I'm trying to incorporate some ideas like these into a DIY format. I'm willing to do a little work. I'm just wondering if anybody is kicking around ideas like these too??

Thanks,

Chris


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PostPosted: November 10th, 2017, 10:39 pm 
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Joined: July 24th, 2015, 4:17 pm
Posts: 593
Location: Parkville, Maryland
chris1973 wrote:
Hey Walt,

I don't mind doing some homework and labor, but there needs to be some sort of technological gimmick to it.
I started a couple years back with an 8 strand silver litz braid interconnect which served me pretty well for several years. It took advantage of the superior conductance of silver obviously, but supposedly the 8 strand litz increased the skin area, and also cancelled out noise. I finally replaced that with Alumilloy, which is a JPS labs patented alloy that somehow carries an audio signal with greater resolution than silver. It outperformed my silver litz by far! Alumiloy went head to head with Cardas when I made that decision, because somehow with Golden Ratio conductors, Cardas figured out how to make copper perform better than silver with an audio signal. Lessloss also has a gimmick, and like the others I think it is real too. CMARC mostly uses skin effect by breaking down the primary conductors into many tiny individual conductors, all isolated from each other with a lacquer coating (kind of like Cardas), and traveling in opposing spirals to cancel out noise. CMARC comes in bulk even though it's a lot of work to turn it into a finished cable. In order to get the other technologies I mentioned however, I had to buy finished cables.

I'm trying to incorporate some ideas like these into a DIY format. I'm willing to do a little work. I'm just wondering if anybody is kicking around ideas like these too??

Thanks,

Chris



My experience has shown that Cardas works as a "band-aid" -- Cardas does not stay out of way. I've had the best XLR experience with Audioquest W.E.L. signature interconnects with the 72-volt DC battery bias -- between my DAC and pre-amp. My AES/EBU connection between my transport and DAC is via Audioquest Coffee with the battery bias. They have blown away each every "store bought" and DIY cable I have.

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Walt


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PostPosted: November 11th, 2017, 7:00 am 
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Joined: February 19th, 2017, 9:43 am
Posts: 163
I've been using Audioquest S-5 SVideo cable for my interconnects for quite a while. So far, nothing I've compared them to has sounded as good. The cable has two solid core solid silver coax with three layers of shielding each. If you'd like to hear a single ended interconnect I'd be happy to loan you a pair.


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