The best DIY IC I've heard.........

Discussion in 'DIY Discussion' started by zanash, Jun 29, 2003.

  1. zanash

    zanash

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    The best DIY IC I've heard.........L'Argent

    So I'm trumpet blowing.........as no one else seems to post much on here.

    I've now had the L'Argent [as I'm calling them] cables running for the best part of two weeks and I think they have stabilised. They are simply the best IC I've made, they are not the most expensive nor the most complicated. The basic materials are how ever not easily obtained cheaply.

    Now anyone how has followed my IC construction threads will/should have realised I'm a cheap skate. With that in mind It's taken the best part of 5 years to locate a source of unimpeachable quality, and a steady price. Now as you might have guessed its not an Audio supplier. I heard yesterday, the same silver wire [4n] was being sold from a Audio DIY place at the same price I got mine. The problem was they supplied a foot and I got a roll of 20m approx ! All the parts are readily available, its just the 4n silver wire at the right price that may pose the problem.

    Back to the cables..... I liked the sound of the zero cost cables [see previous threads] and so really all I've done is exchange the copper enamel wire for the 4n silver.

    To recap the design is a simple double helix 3mm spacing between condutors, this is roughly speaking a merging of the XLO and parrallel type designs. The double helix is wound round a central former and as the silver is not insulated the last few cm are sleeved in PTFE to prevent shorting, that plauged the first few efforts. The whole is then covered wih a flexible woven sheath.
    The plugs....pretty are really what ever you want but IMO, either the best you can buy or the cheapest. The cheapest, as they have very little metal to interfere with the sound, and the best well coz they are the best!

    How do they sound ?, well like copper but with added depth and clarity, but lossing a little roundness or warmth found in the copper. You could say copper puts a rosey tint on to the music, and the silver removes it. Copper is Very much like wearing rose tinted specs,but if your want to really see what colour something is naturally you take them off. Imaging and soundstage are better defined and wider than the previous copper versions. Providing a hugely detailed, spacious and deep soundstage that seem to extend in to next doors lounge, and is not locked between the speakers.

    Cost and perceptive value, of this cable, the only thing I have to go on are known relative values. As the copper zerocost IC's were subjectivly better than the famous? GWS [great white shark and these were said to be the equal of designs in the order of £150], GWS cost approx £80ish. The L'Argents are significantly better than the GWS and much better than the zerocost's ....I have yet to hear a better DIY cable, so I really have no idea of there relative worth !.

    Now you ask, how much did these cost to make........well if you take off the cost off the plugs,

    an 0.75m stereo pair was in the order £20ish ......no that the right number of noughts.

    Remembering that the zerocost IC's cost well a couple of pounds at most for material enough to make several hundred !!

    If people want a more construction and material details why not PM me.

    I've heared from MrSukebe for whom I made a Din to RCA for his Teac CDP to Naim Niat5, and he has permenantly? replaced a Chord cobra with the Prototype I sent him.

    So if your into DIY IC's give them a go £25 for the kit, so pm, me why don't you!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 12, 2003
    zanash, Jun 29, 2003
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  2. zanash

    lhatkins Dazed and Confused

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    zanash has kindly lent me one of his home grown cable (does it have a name?) its black braided one, with very very very tight plugs (I don't think they'll come off now I've got them on!).

    Here is a difference in the low end of the music, I think I'm getting more lower frequencies but without a meter I can't confirm that...

    I think I'm at the limit of my amp's capability, but with so many cables, IC, Speaker and all things inbetween its hard to know where the problem (if there is one) lies.

    Maybe I'll have more luck when I get a pre amp sorted out.
     
    lhatkins, Jun 29, 2003
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  3. zanash

    Mr_Sukebe

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    I'll happily backup Zanash's comments.

    Frankly I've no idea what the cables are made of, in many ways "who cares".

    What I do know is that I now have a run-in custom cable that happily and easily outperformed the Chord cobra 2 cable between my VRDS-7 and Nait 5/hicap.

    I put in a write up elsewhere, but just to clarify the differences I'd suggest the following was true:
    - Slightly more detail
    - Bit faster on everything
    - Deeper bass
    - simply more musical
    Just goes to show what a little hard work, perseverance and experimentation can do.
     
    Mr_Sukebe, Jun 30, 2003
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  4. zanash

    zanash

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    lhatkins,

    You had a set of black jacketed zero cost cables,
    can't remember what you were running before ?
    Glad to hear you got them on !! As I said they are not my first choice of plug.

    We ran a pair of zerocost IC's at the weekend with some extremely expensive gear, and they managed not to disgrace themselves, like a £6k tube amp !

    Remind me whats the rest of your system ?

    MrSukebe
    Thanks for the nice comments
     
    zanash, Jun 30, 2003
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  5. zanash

    lhatkins Dazed and Confused

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    Hi Zanash.

    I had 2 sets of cables before, a pair of WM's home grown cables and QED Quenx4. I did try a pair of Henryt's Nortdos (blue something), but the home grown ones were the only ones to really make much of a difference to the system. I'm using WM's on the digital coax at the moment, replaceing the Ixos.

    I'm using a Yammy AX1 (yes its an AV amp!), Pioneer DVD 717 as a transport and a TAG DAC 20 as a DAC. Mordaunt Short 908 speakers and sliver cable. More detail is on the HIfi kit section, link at the bottom of my post (just click the link.
     
    lhatkins, Jun 30, 2003
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  6. zanash

    kermit still dreaming.......

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    hi zanash , please forgive me for any mis use of teminology , i havn,t had anything to do with making interconnects .
    now i,ve read a few things about making interconnects (just not much stayed betweenmy ears :rolleyes: )and i,ve seen a few recipes for silver ones (diy and commercial.
    several i saw got excited about using more conductors but .....and this is the bit where they got excited ,not for signal but for return (this is the term i,m not sure about )
    ie - i,ve seen a recipe for x 1 signal and 2x return(still not sure:rolleyes: )
    and i,ve seen 2 recipes that really got excited about 1x signal and 3 x return

    now as your aware as a commercial product , an interconnect with x4 solid silver conductors is going to be expensive (and the ones i,ve seen are:D )but my questions are
    a, does this sound like a valid idea
    b, have you ever tried it
    c, would you try it

    i appreciate the merits of solid silver interconnects , as i have 2 pairs of c.a.d anacreon , they use std 2 conductor shielded design .
    but i,ve always wondered at the validity of these multi return (still not sure if that,s the right term ) interconnects .
    i can,t be certain , but if my memory serves me one of the triple returns was over a grand .:eek:
     
    kermit, Jun 30, 2003
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  7. zanash

    zanash

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    Hi lhatkins,

    Yep should have remembered.

    How are you finding the sound, with the Zerocost IC ?
     
    zanash, Jul 1, 2003
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  8. zanash

    lhatkins Dazed and Confused

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    HI zanash

    Well they are going good, they didn't "blow" me away so to speak, but I don't think its the cables fault. I have tried about 4 different types of cables now and am getting similar results, each slightly different.

    I really want to get a pre amp in the mix and see what happens then, but I don't think that's going to happen any time soon since we are thinking of moving house "gulp" (we must be mad!).

    If you'd like me to return them please let me know (and your address again sorry) cos with all the madness that is bound to be going on around me now I'm quite likely to forget, but they wont get lost, cos I doubt I'll be able to get them off the amp for a start!

    Again thanks for giving me the opertunity to try them out, I'm always on the lookout for new things to try, got any solutions for counter acting plaster board houses? (just in case we end up buying one) cos if I loose my bass, life will not be worth living!
     
    lhatkins, Jul 3, 2003
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  9. zanash

    zanash

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    Hi

    As I pm you ...and to let other people know, the cables I lent you were the Zerocost. The topology is the same but the material are copper not silver.

    These cables cost, as the name suggest virtually zero...just the plug and in your case the heat shrink jacket. I'm please that they were at least on a par with other cables that you tried. Can you remeber what they were, as comparisons are always useful.

    How did they compare to the pink PTFE things I made you ?

    Looking at your system, I feel the gear you have should be upto the job.....It ought to sound pretty damn good. Perhaps its the room that's one of the limiting factor. Areas where you might be able to improve for limited/no cost - equipment support [I've seen your posts] this can make big differences. Isolation of the CD and DAC might be a start . Have you tried the 1/2 infalated inner tube under the CDP ? If youve a wilco's locally there small wooden door knobs at a couple of quid work like RA's oak cones.

    There's a few ideas and questions for you !

    Plaster board well that is a bit of a problem, but not insirmountable. You need to fill the void between the two layers of plaster board. Now easier said than done but polyeurathane foam springs to mind, or dry sand, much like you would a hollow speaker stand.
     
    zanash, Jul 4, 2003
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  10. zanash

    lhatkins Dazed and Confused

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    Thanks Pete for the suggestion on the plasterboard, I'm trying very hard to steer the Mrs away from houses with this stuff in but its hard, end of the day its her choice (complex, you don't want to go there) so I'll just have to make do.

    Right ok, not too good at remembering names I'm afriad, but the other cables I have tried in my system are QED Quinux 1 & 4, WM Home brew "white shark?" stuff, (which wasn't bad BTW, I'm using it as my digital cable at the moment) & henryT's Nordost Silver / Blue Something, sorry can't remember, now that cable I expected to blow me away and it did absolutly nothing untill you got the volume up to -20db (which I never play it at).

    Sadly I do think the bottleneck is in the pre section of the amp, think the power amp is up to the task but I think the video signal is interfering with the pre section, although it is switched by relays so it should be OFF on audio souce, but Hex Spurt and I had a long thread on the GH forum discussing this, he have me some great advice, so I'm hoping that Domfjbrown will get his Audiolab 8000s in for repair soon so I can borrow it and test out the theory, if i'm right then I'm in the market for a pre amp, if I'm wrong then its back to the drawing board!

    Don't think my current room is the problem, its got solid walls, ok its suspended floor, but it really LOVES bass, with each speaker having a 10" sub gives a lot of depth to the music, nothing to the scale of WM's house/system which I'm WELL jelious of I'm convinced he had build a sub into the floor of the house, it really was awsome and I am saying from experience.

    I'm not keen on "weedy" systems, I like to hear and feel the bass, not necessary at high volume, but I guess that's just my taste.

    oh no I've waffled on for far to long and better get back to doing some work (thankfully working from home today, got plumber, valuers and all sorts going on, I'm surprised I've got as much work done as I have!)
     
    lhatkins, Jul 4, 2003
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  11. zanash

    zanash

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    I built the great white shark, but was little underwhelmed, In most respects I prefer the zercost to it, I've not heard the Nordost so can't comment on that. Quenex are roundly ok I've a II that I use to demonstrate to people,so they can see what a commercal cable of the same cost approx as the L'Argent.
     
    zanash, Jul 4, 2003
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  12. zanash

    zanash

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    I've just re fitted these with bullets.....

    stunning performance ....I'm certainly not going to use anything else now.
     
    zanash, Jul 16, 2003
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  13. zanash

    penance Arrogant Cock

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    glad i opted for bullets then;)
     
    penance, Jul 16, 2003
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  14. zanash

    zanash

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    So was I coz I'd have never tried them otherwise ! ....not absoltly true but you know what I mean.
     
    zanash, Jul 16, 2003
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  15. zanash

    MO! MOnkey`ead!

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    Silver or standard?

    When things settle down here i'll certainly be interested in having a go at these. Even "zerocost" seems a little expensive at the MOment though!
     
    MO!, Jul 16, 2003
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  16. zanash

    zanash

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    Just pm me and we can sort things....You can even have a listen !
     
    zanash, Jul 17, 2003
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  17. zanash

    lhatkins Dazed and Confused

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    What the zerocost cables?
     
    lhatkins, Jul 24, 2003
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  18. zanash

    lhatkins Dazed and Confused

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    Can tell your from Scotland :)
     
    lhatkins, Jul 24, 2003
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  19. zanash

    zanash

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    The zero cost cable is like the L'argent but uses the enammeled copper wire as conductors. The pair you borrowed were "zerocost". The L'Argents are well superior and to be honest the level of efforts the same....so I'll not realy be concentrating on these. But if your on a bugget and I mean a couple of quid you can put together a decent IC with little effort.
     
    zanash, Jul 24, 2003
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  20. zanash

    MO! MOnkey`ead!

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    Get tae fuk numpty bawz!

    :D

    I'm currently saving for two holidays, college fees for september, and putting MOney aside for getting a place with Mrs MO. Whatever i've got left over seems to be spent on going back and forth to London MOst weekends, music, and "socialising".

    I have however just this hour got my speakers back from mission, fixed 100% free :)
     
    MO!, Jul 24, 2003
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