Home made Interconnects [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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09-25-2004, 04:50 PM
I have been intrigued by the idea of improvements in sound from interconnects and speaker wire. A was one of these idiots that bought Monster Cable thinking it was good. I never could really tell the different because I had a Kenwood receiver and Infinity bookshelves that honestly portrayed music so badly than changes would be hard to hear.

Well over a year ago I bought some decent components off of ebay, a Lexicon CP-3 and an Adcom GFA-545. I connected them to my better MB Quart bookshelves(still not that great) and my Velodyno Sub. I noticed quite an improvement in sound quality and dynamics. I really liked the sound of my bookselves being run highpass(80hz) out of my Lexicon. People have been doing this for ever with car audio, couldnt figure out why it has become more prevalent till recently with Dolby Digital....anyway.

So I got the urge to experiment with nicer cables. I had some "decent" MC rca's between the preamp/processor and my amp, but I saw these nice looking Zu Cables on ebay. I bought their lower line Disco interconnects and tried them out. They actually sounded better than the MC's I had. So I was kinda pulled in. I don't have all the money to spend on better cables so I like to just look around. I noticed one "upper end" company is Kimber Kable. There stuff seems to look really cool, but I wondered about its performance considering the variances in reviews I have read about their products.

Here is my DIY part:
So I took notice of their PBJ Interconnect. Seems very simple. Three copper conductors and RCA terminations. They claim the wire is "hyper copper" or some crap. Whatever. I decided that I was going to make some clones. So I copied their braiding, which is actually a common braiding technique if I am not mistaken. I used some "el cheapo" high gauge car audio speaker wire(like 18-24awg), and some Monster Cable terminations I picked up for free from my brother(who used to work for a car audio store). I then made some. I listened to them in my system in comparison with these other crappy Esoteric Audio(car audio company) interconnects I also got for free from my brother. My homemade ones sounded better!!! More volume(transfering more voltage?) more mid-bass(not boomy though), and more dynamics...or at least they sound like there is more presence. I also paused the source and turned the preamp way up to compare the noise at full volume. There was very little from both sets, and they were equal in that aspect, so these copper wires dont seem to be picking up interference. NICE and cost to me $0.00, just took up a little free time, braiding and soldering....but I enjoyed it, for the experimental value. Gonna make more!

Here is my homemade "PBJ":

Here is the crappy interconnect that my homemade wires sounded better than:

And here are the real Kimber Kable PBJ's:

THESE THINGS GO FOR ~$60 used on ebay for 0.5m sets.....DAMN!!!

09-30-2004, 12:34 AM
If you ever get curious about experimenting with different wire in a braided geometry, both

Welborne Labs

and Homegrown Audio

sell various types of teflon insulated wire.

Also, I saw the thread in which you said you weren't happy with the MC connectors. The Dayton locking RCAs here:


are said to sound decent, and they're not very expensive.

09-30-2004, 04:54 AM
Check this out:


09-30-2004, 07:18 AM
Apparently the Belden 89259 is highly recommended for interconnect cables. I myself for speaker cables use a 3 wire 18 gauge solid core wire. I use 2 wires for positive and 1 for negative.

10-02-2004, 11:28 PM
Ya I actually purchased a set of those dayton locking rca plugs, and two decent looking 1/8" mini plugs.
I want to make a nice interconnect for my computer, to connect it to my system. If it sounds good, im gonna make a second and give it to my brother.

I'm thinking of just using some of the wires from some extra kimber kable 4VS I have(bought 3 runs of 8ft off ebay, only needed 2). Though I was thinking it would be kinda slick to get ahold of some small guage pure silver wire for the positive lead. What do you all think? I saw some for quite a lot on ebay, $18 for 5ft of 99.999%(5n) silver wire, with 5ft of clear teflon tubing to run it through. Anyone know what the "market" price for this type of wire is and if there is a cheaper place to pick it up?

Would silver wire make any difference in the sound? Should I just use copper?

10-10-2004, 10:55 AM
actually that homegrown wire link has silver wire(99.999%) for less. 22 awg is $2.80 a foot(I only need about 6 feet). Anyway, what do you all think, what could the advantage be for silver wire? Silver wire does have better conductivity than copper right? Or is this all hype.

10-11-2004, 07:33 AM
Is silver worth it? Well on the conductivity standard Copper is 100 and Silver is 106(?). Gold is about 67. Silver is slightly better for conductivety than copper. Will you be able to hear the difference? That is a very controversial subject. It is right up there with wire gauge. There is the camp that believes that the garden hose thickness of wire benifits the sound coupled with all other kinds of exotic manipulations. Then there is the camp that says the gauge is only relevant to the distance the electricity must travel. The audio/video boutique industry right now is making a fortune with wild claims of sound improvements with their products.
Personally I'm fortunate my ears aren't that critical. I enjoy my music immensely with relatively low cost equipment.

04-12-2005, 11:10 PM
I haven't yet spent the money on silver wire. I have bought silver plated copper wire though (military spec). Got it off ebay, cheap. Not sure if it sounds better, but it looked cool. Plus I was making a special interconnect for my brother for x-mas, so I wanted to use nice wire...being a present and all.

04-13-2005, 08:32 PM
How do the Zu cables compare to the ones you made? Is there a noticable difference in the sound quality?