CAT5 speaker cable thread gone?!

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi and General Audio' started by condyk, Jul 12, 2003.

  1. condyk

    condyk

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    Maybe I was dreaming ... but last week I found an long set of postings on creating spoeaker cable from CAT5 cable.

    Now, when I want it again I can't find it anywhere. It may be that it wasn't on this forum at all ... but I've looked on a couple of others I looked at briefly at the time and not there either.

    Now, it could be hidden with a not quite obvious subject line, or I've missed it, or something ... I'm hoping one of youi can recall it. There were some great photo's of some very, very nicely braided bits of CAT5 (sounds a bit sexy, LOL!!!) I have loads of the stuff sitting idol and just fancy trying it out :)

    Dave
     
    condyk, Jul 12, 2003
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  2. condyk

    SCIDB Moderator

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    Hi

    The thread is in the Twilight Zone under the Kindergarten section. It got moved there due the way it was going.


    SCIDB
     
    SCIDB, Jul 12, 2003
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  3. condyk

    condyk

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    Yes ... see what you mean :cool: People are very excitable!

    The actual thread I wanted was found within that section, but is actually a link to Hi-Fi Choice:

    http://forum.hifichoice.co.uk/viewtopic.php?t=998

    Do we have any non emotional views on whether this is worth the effort and likely to be better than spending £5-6/m on some branded stuff?

    Suppose that's a 'how long's a piece of string' type question!!

    Dave
     
    condyk, Jul 12, 2003
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  4. condyk

    Robbo

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    CondyK,

    Yes we do! Check this thread out for an unscientific comparison of some cables including FFRC.

    http://zerogain.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=288

    my personal opinion is that you'd be better off with some £5-6 per meter commercial stuff - especially the ortofon cable.

    Cheers, Robbo
     
    Robbo, Jul 12, 2003
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  5. condyk

    zanash

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    Satisfaction wise you just can beat the though youv'e got one over all those mega buck cable companies.
    these are my opinions

    Cat5 - pretty good but do a recipe that strips the jackets....you can allways cover them again with one of those woven braids.

    Ubyte2 - cross linked coax better than cat5 less fiddly to make but requies careful construction around the cross links to prevent shorts andpoor joints.

    Zerocost - speaker cable [my recipe on the DIY forum] has the good bits of both but not quite so forward in the treble, and you can go down to maplin and get the stuff for £5 !

    commercial stuff you'll need to pay significantly more for one metre, than on these designs. To get significant improvments over even cat5 you'll be spending upward of £10/m into the isolda or goetez league.

    I've stuck with DIY and spent the money on music.

    If you want more info on the speaker cable pm me !
     
    zanash, Jul 12, 2003
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  6. condyk

    Robbo

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    Maybe I just dont like cat5 but I think you can easily improve on it for far less money than that! How about £2/m Richer sounds special Gale speaker cable for instance!

    I quite like the the Ubyte-2 though.

    Robbo
     
    Robbo, Jul 12, 2003
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  7. condyk

    wadia-miester Mighty Rearranger

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    Pete, I beg to differ, the Ofton SRC 200 was 'a lot more less naff than the cat5' at £5@meter, and Isaac came and borrowed some from Timpy after last week's shoot out
    DIY is great and should always be ecouraged, however there is a point that you have to start 'using more costlier parts' to make decent gains, what ever side of DIY you use, to quote a famous phrase, not coined by myself 'There's only so much you can polish a turd' still give it go, you may well fingd it fits a in with your system better than others and only for the cost of drum of cat 5 some connectors and a few hours. WM
     
    wadia-miester, Jul 12, 2003
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  8. condyk

    PBirkett VTEC Addict

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    Gale XL315 (£2 / m) is slightly better to my ears, its a bit boomy, but at least it actually has bass to speak of.

    IMO, QED Silver Anniversary craps on it from a great height, and that was only £4.50 a meter. However, Silver Anniversary probably doesnt work well in a bright system, where the FFRC may be preferable, but I'd still rather go for a decent £5/m copper cable over FFRC.

    My main problems with it are that it lacks bass slam and prescence, and although its not bright, it sounds a bit brittle, and midrange is non-existant.
     
    PBirkett, Jul 12, 2003
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  9. condyk

    Sid and Coke

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    Dave,
    If you say you have loads of the CAT5 cable knocking about anyway then just give it a go, it will only cost you a bit of spare time. Don't even bother to terminate it with plugs, loosely twist the like phased conductors together and add a blob of solder at the ends, along with a couple of turms of Red and Black electrical tape. This will ensure that no wires go astray or short out. I'm using the well known FFRC at the moment and I kinda like it. As i already had all of the bits and pieces knocking about at home or available to me for free (work :MILD: ), it only cost me the pennies of the cat5 to try it. I really like it and have been using it on and of for over a year now. We all hear and percieve things differently. You will get a roughly equal amount of praisers and knockers , so instead of listening to other peoples biased or unbiased personal opinions , have a go for yourself, time costs nothing if you are enjoying yourself. Braiding cables for 20 minutes, with the possibility that you might get a sound or effect that you enjoy at the end of your efforts is mildly enticing and helps to keep your finger joints supple ;) .
    If you don't like it, throw it away, put it down to experience and just don't do it again.

    For some unfathomable and unreasonable reason The very word Cat5 or FFRC seems to bring out all kind of negatives these days for no real reason, perhaps its a four letter word thing ? :)confused: ).
    At the end of the day it's only a bit wire and not worth aguing or falling out over.
    Isn't it great when the sun is shining ? i'm off to do a bit of gardening, lets us know how you get on , catch you later....
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 12, 2003
    Sid and Coke, Jul 12, 2003
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  10. condyk

    condyk

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    Nice one Sid ... don't go getting all sunburnt in the garden now ;-)

    I have ordered some banana plugs and QED Silver Anniversary which should arrive middle of next week. However, I'm going to play around with the CAT5 too as it's all a bit of fun isn't it!

    Dave
     
    condyk, Jul 12, 2003
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  11. condyk

    bottleneck talks a load of rubbish

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    What a great attitude Dave !! Forums like this can get way too serious - its just hifi, like you said.

    Let us know what you think of the difference between the two, should be a laugh finding out :)


    Cheers
    Chris
     
    bottleneck, Jul 12, 2003
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  12. condyk

    amazingtrade Mad Madchestoh fan

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    My FFRC were a bugger to make, it took me an hour to strip the damn things down, then I had to stick to CAT5 cables into one banana plug, not an easy task. It all sounds good though, on my system CAT5 sounds more open than Gale XL315-2's ever did. The Gale's are used on my mums Crappy Goodmans CDP/Marantz PM4000/JPW 310is combo now. Talk about overkill the cable is probably worth more than her CDP! Its a just a pitty I decided to keep my Sony CDP for me.
     
    amazingtrade, Jul 12, 2003
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  13. condyk

    timpy Snake Oil free!!!

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    I wouldn't use FFRC if it was the last speaker cable on earth.

    I would instead break out a few bottles of heated rear window repair kit and paint the conductive strips along the carpet in pursuit of a better sound :p. Well, perhaps not, but you get the idea.

    And if it worked, I'd still be able to be all smug and satisfied that I'd made it myself ;)

    FFRC: waste of good data cable (IMHO of course). And no I'm not selling any alternatives, I don't need to, there's simply so much better out there all ready. For £5/m I'd track down some Ortofon SPK-200 for a whirl if I were you Dave. Getting hold of it is the problem though. You can make it single of bi-wire easily as well, and seems equally as good as either. Mine's set up bi-wired, but everyone else who seems to use it uses it single wired.

    Cheers
     
    timpy, Jul 13, 2003
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  14. condyk

    zanash

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    I suggest you get on and make a set rather than being dissed by some of the posts.

    You'll then be able to make up your own mind, rather than being influenced by the naysayers !
     
    zanash, Jul 13, 2003
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  15. condyk

    Sid and Coke

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    Yes you would, stop lying and being melodramatic ( ;) ).

    Just to make sure I wasn't being too blinkered I switched out my FFRC with my QED silver Anniversary (SW-WJ) last night. The FFRC is certainly a brighter sounding cable than the QED the very top of the upper frequencies could get on your nerves a bit if you have really girly sensitive hearing. If your ear drums have been bombarded with Jet engine noise for 20 years like mine have , you'd appreciate a little lift in the upper registers. The mid band of the QED was so muddled and unfocused, when compared to the FFRC that I removed it and had to recheck all the connections with a multi-meter, as i thought it had been damaged whilst in storage.


    Whoops ! nearly forgot the..................;)
     
    Sid and Coke, Jul 13, 2003
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  16. condyk

    PBirkett VTEC Addict

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    Sid,

    You experiences of Silver Anniversary against FFRC are the complete opposite to mine. I found the Silver Anniversary a brighter cable than CAT5, with more detail and more power to the sound. The Midrange is definetly recessed on CAT5 whereas on QED it is forward, like a front row type sound in comparison. The CAT5 lacked bass slam and it was soft, certainly not boomy, but very restrained. The highs of CAT5 were as said, dull to my ears, but hard as well. I most certainly cannot stand the flat and boring, lifeless sound I got from FFRC.

    Even stranger, dont you also use Rotel amplification and Mission speakers? If so, as do I...

    Its strange how it seems to vary so much from system to system.

    Cheers
     
    PBirkett, Jul 13, 2003
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  17. condyk

    condyk

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    Maybe it's ears more than systems that are different :D :D

    I have Silver Anniversary arriving middle next week so I'll be able to try it. Bought it to see if it would bring my system general sounds characteristic forward of the speakers a little. Almost a great sound, but a little restrained between the speakers ... just needs to leap out a little more.

    We'll see when it arrives.

    Dave
     
    condyk, Jul 13, 2003
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  18. condyk

    Sid and Coke

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    Paul,
    Hmm interesting stuff. I must admit i did just throw the QED in place last night and didn't route it as carefully as the existing FFRC. I didn't listen to it until this morning and then only for about 2 or 3 songs. I've had the drill and soldering Iron out all day today, building a DIY/Clone version of the Naim Armageddon TT psu for my LP12 This new mod won't effect the suspension set up so it's not a full scale tinker. I've had the Hi-Fi on all day long from 11 am until 8:30pm , but must admit my mind was elswhere. The FFRC is back in place but the QED's are still out so I'll give them a better chance in the next couple of days. I really do think though that I thought that the Mid range was very unfocused, even distorted at one stage - I wasn't joking when i said I got the Multi-meter out ! ( ok but my tongue was slightly in my cheek). I was listening to a new album by Zwan. There is a chance that album has distortion actually built into it ! ( I saw a Billy Corgan/Zwan interview on MTV 2 or Kerrang and I'm sure this was mentioned - Bizarre)( I could also be mistaken, so don't quote me). I actually bought my QED silver anni well after i had made the cheapo FFRC. I think the total cost for the QED was about £40+ this was for 5 metres plus 6 banana's (IXOS @ about £1.50 ea).
    I really don't have so much spare cash to waste that I would use a DIY cable that cost me about £3 to make, over a commercial one that cost ££ unless i thought I was doing it for good reason. Having a seemingly quality cable languishing in a box under the stairs just doesn't make sense - no ? The way that my FRRC's are routed also means that they are pretty much out of view, in fact, they're totally out of view, so I'm not even going for the "Wow ! what are them cables" angle to any visitors, also we don't get any visitors - non that are even the remotest bit interested in Hi-Fi anyway.
    I also think that the fact that we may be using similar family components isn't really a good comparison, unless all other parameters are the same , eg our listening rooms are exact copies and we exchange Ears & Brains for the test :)D :D I kill myself sometimes )

    Like I said, I think it will be worth my while to give the QED's another proper good listen, I can also assure you that i have no problem with admitting when I'm wrong, ( which is quite often ), so if the QED's do sound better in my system in a proper demo session , I'll be sure to let everyone know.

    Always a pleasure talking to you,
    catch you later,
    Sid.
     
    Sid and Coke, Jul 13, 2003
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  19. condyk

    Sid and Coke

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    Well the QED silver anni has been back in the system for a few days now and i have to admit very nice it sounds too !
    true to form though i've gone and done loads of things all at once. I've switched out my Goldring 1012GX for a Nagaoka MP11/30. i remember why I bought the Nag now, not quite as 'Modern' sounding as some carts , I believe that some cart designers may have brightened and sharpened the sound in response to the new fangled silver disc. The Nag is a fairly oldcart now , but the decent MP30 stylus is doing a great job of information retreival. My new Denon MC cart still hasn't arrived in the post as yet so I'm hoping for things to get even better , shortly. The LP12 is now getting it's power via a DIY 'cloned' version of the Armageddon PSU. It is working a treat so far- no fires, no smoke, just switch on and off she turns.
    Due to an unfounded, false alarm 'fault' i ended up stripping my rig down earlier on in the week to try and trace a source of loud humming. The cause turned out to be an unconnected signal lead that was picking up 'something' from out the atmosphere, maybe it was too close to a power transformer- anyway you live and learn. This has given me the excuse and oppurtunity to to relocate everything , to incorporate the new TT PSU on my rack. I also took great care in the routing of cables , trying to seperate Power leads, Speaker leads and Signal I/C's as far apart as was practical and in such a way that they wouldn't react to each other if they did get a bit close.

    Had a bad day yesterday as the Timing belt snapped on one of my cars. I haven't found out yet whether it has destroyed the engine, and can't be arsed to find out today either as it is a bit damp outside.
    Which means...
    I've had all of this morning to play some tunes. Perhaps i was a bit hasty in saying that the QED was a bit un-focused. I think that possibly it might have been a case that the rest of the system wasn't giving it's best and the QED just gave out what it was given. I'm getting a sound this morning that I can live with VERY happily for the immediate future. Even the missus commented on the fact that it was sounding good , and she is very non-Hi-Fi.
    Perhaps a periodic complete system strip down and careful re-build can be a good tonic for a system ?
     
    Sid and Coke, Jul 18, 2003
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  20. condyk

    condyk

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    Well the Silver Anniversary arrived along with some very nice gold plated plugs and, after a bit of fiddling, I managed to get all up and running.

    So, the differences where marked ... much more focus, some real space around instruments, seems louder, some new twangs on double base clearly heard, reduction in sibliance (SP?) and great rock solid rythmn to the bottom end.

    I'm quite happy with the sound of the new cable and so have forgotton about going the CAT5 route.

    Recommended!

    Dave
     
    condyk, Jul 18, 2003
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