Zero Connector DIY Silver/Gold Interconnect

Discussion in 'DIY Discussion' started by 3DSonics, Oct 21, 2004.

  1. 3DSonics

    3DSonics away working hard on "it"

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    Hi folks,

    I thought I'll share my latest DIY Cable, seeing that there are some remaining FFRC Fan's around...

    To make the cable you need for a 1m Pair of interconnects:

    4.1m 0.2mm Solid fine Silver Goldplated wire (< £4) available from here:

    Goldplated Silver Wire from Wires.co.uk

    2m CT-125/FT-125 Satellite Aerial Cable (< £ 2) available from here:

    Maplin FT-125 Satellite Coax Cable

    You also need four rubber O-Rings (preferably silicon rubber - eg the ones for either Food processing equipment of hot operation) with an inner diameter a little below 6mm.

    Next you cut the CT/FT-125 to the desired length plus a few cm and completely strip the cablke down. Remove the sheath, copper screening and finally pull out the center conductor. This only leaves a PE Tube with aircells.

    Now you cut away the outer parts of the insulation for around 1cm or so, generating a plastic "RCA Plug Pin". You might want to try a few times on a spare piece and with a pare RCA socket untill you can easily generate a centerpin that will fit snugly and tightly into normal RCA Sockets. You can see what it should look like on the following picture (click for larger version):

    [​IMG]

    Insert one of the goldplated silver wires you cut to the right length (a few cm longer than the Plastic Insulation piece prepared above) through the now vacant center of the insulation (where previously a copper wire was) and fold the wire over at each end, any excess can be placed into one of the aircells (use the same cell at both ends). See above picture (which BTW shows bare silver wire) as to what you should end up with.

    The second wire you insert through one of the outer aircells, select one approximatly opposite from that where you placed the folded over center wire. Again, fold the wire over and double it back into an empty aircell. Optionally fixate the folded over end with a dab of glue or wax.

    Now place the rubber O-Ring over each end and plug the cable into an RCA Socket, Roll the O-Ring forward untill it clamps the outer wire loop to the RCA Shell, the join should be tight. Plug the other end in and make cable #2. Finished.

    [​IMG]

    The resulting cable is pretty good if you like a cable that is just a "wire without gain". You can attempt ot cry the wire if you like to make it sound much worse (as in not as transparent), your call.

    The whole thing is dirt-cheap to make, so feel free to experiment. As the wire is bare exposed wire you should NEVER use copper wire for this cable. Only use Goldplated or bare silver. I recommend to treat the wire ends (the part that is basically the connector) with some connection protection fluid, I have and use that which comes in the contact cleaning kit "Contact Clear System" from Stein Music Germany:

    Stein Music main page

    Ciao T
     
    3DSonics, Oct 21, 2004
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  2. 3DSonics

    3DSonics away working hard on "it"

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    Hi,

    Funny. 57 Views, no replies. And that to a £ 10 pair of simple DIY interconnects that are arguably a little off the wall, but nevertheless absolutely exceptional in performance. The silence is deafening. Well, anyway, have fun.

    Ciao T
     
    3DSonics, Oct 26, 2004
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  3. 3DSonics

    michaelab desafinado

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    Thorsten, looks like an interesting cable. The connection would seem to have Eichmann Bullet plug type advantages, but even more so because of the lack of soldering required.

    We had a big and sometimes a bit nasty debate about cables on here a while back and ever since the subject of cables has had somewhat less interest here as neither side (sceptics or believers) wants to start up the war again :)

    Michael.
     
    michaelab, Oct 27, 2004
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  4. 3DSonics

    3DSonics away working hard on "it"

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    Hi,

    Yup. It owes much to the 47 Labs cabeling system. I have been thinking for a long time how to provide something si,ilar cheaply. It all ame together when I found goldplated silver at affordable prices.

    I always fail to understand how such "wars" can take place. It would seems the "sceptics" are not so much "sceptic" then they are ignorant.

    I could understand that one might be sceptical of the issue of Silver vs. Copper (I specify and use silver primarily because it is less prone to show electrical problems when it oxidises than copper) and Stranded vs. Solidcore (even though measurements have been published among others in HiFi-News which showed stranded cables with a markedly higher level of broadband IMD than solid core ones - the division in solid core/stranded being an observation of mine on their published data) or Cryo (It changes the sound IME, but IMHO not to the better).

    But when it comes to dielectrics, geometrical construction etc. there are clearly measurable properties, they show even a reasonable level of correlation with percieved sonics. As long as we accept that the old "any change smaller than 3db is inaudible" quote is fundamentally false (which it is) then it should be easy to see that in the currently defined interfaces between equipments sufficient difference can occour between cables to be audible.

    Anyway, I'm rambling.

    Here is the message to sceptics and believers alike. Try these interconnects> They are not really that inconvenient or hard to make, the cost is pectaculary low (especially when accounting for the absence of 2 pairs of quality RCA plugs), so what have you got to loose?

    Ciao T
     
    3DSonics, Oct 27, 2004
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  5. 3DSonics

    michaelab desafinado

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    Well, as something of a cable sceptic myself, I could take that as an insult ;) . That's precisely the problem that exists. To cable believers sceptics are either ignorant or deaf (or both) and to cable sceptics, the believers are gullible fools who are just imagining differences that they wouldn't perceive under blind test conditions.

    If you have good evidence of that (correlation with perceived sonics) I'd be interested. As you must know, there is at least one standing prize of several thousand dollars to anyone who can reliably identify two different cables that have the same LRC properties under blind conditions. It's my understanding that most "audiophile" cables have pretty similar LRC properties and are eligible for this test.

    When I have a moment, I'll definitely give your cables a try.

    Michael.
     
    michaelab, Oct 27, 2004
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  6. 3DSonics

    3DSonics away working hard on "it"

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    Hi,

    You should allow another category between Sceptic and Believer, namely the Gnostic. WHere it comes to cables I am a Gnostic, as in "I KNOW", meaning I have to neither believe nor to disbilieve, both positions which are of course inherently based on profound ignorance.

    So if you state that you are a sceptic (aka disbeliever) or a believer, you in effect state that you are ignorant of any significant facts pertaining to the subject. The believer will without having any siginificant facts at hand accept the thesis presented to him/her, the sceptic will reject it out of hand until provided with whatever he considers acceptable proof. The interesting part is either group or individuals of either group will argue from this position of profound ingorance in the most disagreeable manner, instead of applying a modicum of empiricism and testing things for themselves.

    Anyway, two issues I see here, besides that....

    1) Given what we know about the general interfaces used in HiFi Gear (RCA unbalanced connectors and generally voltage interfaces to speakers) it is trivial to demonstrate that material deviations can occur in the whole interconnected system (through noiseloops, alterations of frequency response and many other issues), material enough to be at least potentially audible.

    2) Small scale double blind listening test are subject to statistiscs. If you select a significance level that balances type 1 errors (the zero hypothesis - eg no difference - is falsely rejected) and type 2 errors (the zero hypthesis is false accepted) for moderate to small difference in sound you find that you lack sufficient data to make any call whatsoever. If you select a significance level that heavily favours the avoidance of type 1 errors by increasing your acceptance of type 2 errors you have in effect pre-adjusted the outcome of the test to reliably return the acceptance of the null hypothesis.

    Typhically the experiementers presenting such data fail to inform their audience of their level of type 2 error risk which usually in small scale tests is very large, usually > .5 for a significance level of .05. That is the case before we actually sit down to criticise the actual test-setup, conduction of tests, take account of listener fatigue, attention span deficit and all that, we are talking merely about statistics, in the case of the vast majority of published DB Testing of such contnetious items as cables of the variety: "There are lies, damn lies, statements from Tony Bliar or George Bush and there are statistics!".

    It is easy to demonstrate that according to small scale DB Tests it is not possible to reliably tell the difference between a system with one channel in wrong polarity vs. correct polarity, yet few people would claim such an event to be inaudible.

    I have observed from anecdotal evidence, discussions reviews etc. that there are certain features in cables that appear to be universally percieved as "good". In interconnects the key tends to be dielectric quality and capacitance and in speaker cables it is inductance and geometry (related but not identical). You can easily observe these trends in subjective reviews and general discussions, if you interested in such.

    I am familiar with the charlatan who issued this particular challenge. I cannot accept his basic statistical setup for the experiment as valid as his approach results in a type 2 error that in effect ensures a rather reliable (> 80 out of 100 cases) return of a "no difference" verdict, REGARDLESS OF THE AUDIBILITY, assuming the audible differnece is small. Add to this the customary setup this particular charlatan insists upon using, UNLESS I am willing to bring here from the USA on my own expense and assuming that would accept my system for test, which he may very well decline, as this is stipulated, and you may forbgive me that I say that with a houseadvantage as big as that I shall decline to gamble.

    BTW, if you choose to take exception to my classification of said individual (I refuse to accord him the term Gentleman) as Charltan, please look up Websters definition.

    Sorry, I fail to appreciate what "audiophile cables" are. MAybe you would care to define? I tend to class cables into two basic categories, namely reasonably transparent (as in "wire without gain") as coloured/lacking transparence, which implies that the cable gives rise to subtractive or additive processes that alter sound. I cannot observe any particular correlation with either of these categories as "audiophile".

    I do observe that in current domestic hifi systems the vast majority of cables appear to be of designs that maximise their deviation from the "transparent" cable, mainly because they are actually not designed with a serious thought as what the aproriate way would be to minimise any variation introduced by the parasitics and their non-ideal behaviour resulting usually in the misaproriation of gemotries and cables from areas other than audio which are not apropriate in the context. I observe this with cables found packed with your Lo-Fi CD-Player and with cables having absolutely staggering retail prices.

    Please do, it may mark the point where a sceptic becomes a gnostic.

    Ciao T
     
    3DSonics, Oct 27, 2004
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  7. 3DSonics

    julian2002 Muper Soderator

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    'audiophile' is a euphamism for stupidly expensive.
    as for believers, disbelievers and gnostics well as a subjectivist i prefer to separate cables into 'like' and 'dislike'. if someone dislikes a cable i like or vice versa i could care not a jot.
    cheers


    julian
     
    julian2002, Oct 27, 2004
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  8. 3DSonics

    penance Arrogant Cock

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    I think Micheal is refering to the commonly used advertising terminology of rather expensive cables.
    I would of said i am a believer, but i think i will change my 'terminology' to a gnostic!
     
    penance, Oct 27, 2004
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  9. 3DSonics

    3DSonics away working hard on "it"

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    Hi,

    Hmm. I thought "Audiophile" when applied to a person referred to someone concerned about the quality of music reproduction to the point of mild (or strong) obsession. As a cable is an inanimate object it cannot be concerned about anything.

    If indeed "audiophile cable" means "stupidly expensive cable" I must say that this usuage shows a most deplorable use of english and a severe confusion on account of the person(s) coining it. Moreover, it is severely misleading. Surely, "stupidly expensive cable" would be much clearer and please the Plain English campaign no end.

    Moreover, it should be obvious to anyone that in each market sector (Cars, Watches, Furniture, commercial sex workers of your preferred orientation etc.) there are items that command a price premium not substantiated by production cost, preformance or any such items. I believe this is called capitalism. To lump in such commercial practices with individuals predilections in music reproduction is rather malicious if you ask me, apart from showing poor ability to distnguish seperate factors.

    Actually, in order to like or dislike something (other than on prejudicial grounds) you must have first hand experience and knowledge (gnosis) hence a "subjectivist" is still technically in the context a gnostic.

    Ciao T
     
    3DSonics, Oct 27, 2004
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  10. 3DSonics

    julian2002 Muper Soderator

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    3d,
    the meaning and implications of words change as the society that uses them changes. audiophile as a word has come at least to some to imply some gulability on the part of the purchaser of a piece of equipment. just as 'bad' can mean good or bad dependant upon usage.

    actually i am perfectly capable of forming an opinion about something without first hand knowledge. i can infer, guess, or make up out of whole cloth an opinion about anything. i try not to make a habit out of it but it is possible.
    cheers


    julian
     
    julian2002, Oct 27, 2004
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  11. 3DSonics

    michaelab desafinado

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    Thorsten,

    Perhaps, rather than "audiophile" I should have used it's derivative "audiophool" meaning someone willing to spend huge amounts of money on hifi gear (cables in particular) on the basis of marketing hype and pseudo science which has little or no basis in fact.

    I've tried quite a number of hifi cables from the reasonably priced to the moderately expensive, including interconnects, speaker cables, digital cables and power cables and can honestly say that I have heard no significant difference between them except for digital cables, but even there the differences were subtle at best.

    I'm inclined to think that the connectors used on cables are likely to have a far greater impact on the sound than the cables themselves and that any cable comparison where the connectors used are not identical is completely meaningless. That's why I found your idea of connectorless cables interesting.

    Michael.
     
    michaelab, Oct 28, 2004
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  12. 3DSonics

    3DSonics away working hard on "it"

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    Hi,

    Well, as said, the state of affairs you describe is hardly unique or limited to Audio. I repeat, it's capitalism. If you don't like it - change it. You won't change it by calling people gullible or idiots.

    Absolutely. There are such things system context and many others, plus remeber my note, most cables are designed such that they are all suffering from fundamental problems. Have you ever tried DNM Cables (interconnects mainly, less speaker cables)?

    Yes and no. If we compare commercial products the connecor is part of the entire cable assembly. If we are talking "wire" as opposed to cable, true.

    And I do agree, connectors are a significant problems hence me comming up with that one.

    Ciao T
     
    3DSonics, Oct 28, 2004
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  13. 3DSonics

    michaelab desafinado

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    Agreed, allthough most products can be tested more objectively, cars and their performance for example, than audio ones.

    Not in my system I haven't but it's funny you should mention them, I'm about to order a set of DNM interconnects and speaker cables as I've heard very good things about them and they're extremely cheap by the standards of most audiophile cables. Why do you mention them?

    Michael.
     
    michaelab, Oct 28, 2004
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  14. 3DSonics

    3DSonics away working hard on "it"

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    Hi,

    That is an interesting comparison because it is highly illustrative. The easily quantifiable parts of a cars performance which can be tested objectively (Horse Power, 0-50MPh, MPg and the like) relate to the actual driving experience of a given car about as much as the conventionaly qualified and quantified audio parameters relate to the listening experience. Maybe the correlation is a little higher with cars, but I doubt it from my experience, but I'm not much of a car-nut, so I cannot really comment from a position of authority.

    I happen to like DNM Cables as value for money and at least their interconnects are close in philosophy to my own, their speaker cables are a little less easy an option, they tend to work badly with speakers requiring a lot of power and damping factor.

    I reviewed the interconnects in '98:

    TNT-Audio - Interconnect Potpourri

    I do mention DNM as well in my "Freakzoid Tweekaloid" Article in Enjoy The Music:

    The Freakzoid Tweekaloid Strikes Again

    Warning, serious heavy duty esothericism in the second reference, read at your own risk.

    Ciao T
     
    3DSonics, Oct 28, 2004
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  15. 3DSonics

    Robbo

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    Its interesting to see how peoples opinions differ. I have heard DNM cables a few times and in my humble opinion they were dire (dull, undynamic and suppressing detail). OK, they are cheap, but I'd rather pay more for something better.

    I'm a cable gnostic btw.
     
    Robbo, Oct 28, 2004
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  16. 3DSonics

    michaelab desafinado

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    Well, as they're so cheap I can try them out for not much cost and just sell them on again if they aren't an improvement. They certainly seem to designed with a particular scientific philosphy in mind and the bullshit content on their website is minimal.

    By Thorsten's definition I think everyone would define themselves as a cable gnostic so it's not particularly helpful in determining which camp people are in coz you have:

    "I'm a cable gnostic, as I KNOW they make no difference".
    "I'm a cable gnostic, as I KNOW they do make a difference".

    One group must be wrong (or deaf, or have a vivid imagination) ;)

    Michael.
     
    michaelab, Oct 28, 2004
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  17. 3DSonics

    wadia-miester Mighty Rearranger

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    Call me Cynical here :D

    :bs: :knight: :notworthy
     
    wadia-miester, Oct 28, 2004
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  18. 3DSonics

    3DSonics away working hard on "it"

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    Hi,

    Nope, you can KNOW something ONLY if you have actually attained significant experience of it. Most of those arguing loudest have not made enough comparisons to allow them to make any call.

    Actually, given that reality to the point humans can percieve it is rather subjective it is likely that both groups are right, however they inhabit realities that are broadly identical but differ in certain points materially.

    Ciao T
     
    3DSonics, Oct 28, 2004
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  19. 3DSonics

    michaelab desafinado

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    Tone - you know aswell as I do that any comments I may have made about any cables prior to realising how easy it was to be fooled into thinking you're hearing a change when you aren't are null and void, and that quote above falls well into that category - and I'm quite happy for you to call it bullshit. It is :) .

    My change in viewpoint came when I realised:

    a) that the overwhelming scientific evidence points to the fact that differences in audio cables are largely inaudible and,
    b) as I just mentioned, that it it's very easy to think you're hearing a change when you aren't.

    At that point I decided I would start again with cables, assuming nothing, and ignoring as tainted evidence any previous cable experiences of mine. First I re-evaluated the Eupen mains leads I was using and did an honest comparison against stock leads (on all components) and came to the conclusion that I could discern no difference between the Eupens and the stock power leads so I sold the Eupens. Then I re-evaluated my expensive (Townshend Isolda DCT) speaker cable against the Dynaudio OCOS cable that came with my speakers. Again, I could hear no difference so the Isolda was sold. As for interconnects, I stuck with what I had as they were cheap (MF NuVista cable I got for free terminated with Bullet plugs which I did myself). When I got my new pre and power amp and could use balanced ICs between the DAC64 and pre and pre and power I bought 2 sets of VDH D102MkIII as that was the cheapest balanced IC that was easily available at the time in sensible lengths.

    From time to time I will try new cables on an honest basis. If they make a difference I won't have any problem admitting they do and keeping them.

    Michael.
     
    michaelab, Oct 28, 2004
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  20. 3DSonics

    3DSonics away working hard on "it"

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    Hi,

    Hmm, but do you realise how easy it is to be fooled into thinking you are hearing no change when one is in fact present?

    Hmmmmm. Could you qualify what "scientific evidence" you are refering to? Have you personally checked the way this evidence was arrived at? I have yet to be provided with convincing data that would be acceptable in the classical academic/scientific approach to allow a reasonable judgement to be made.

    You know what you should try one of these days? Take a "Cable non believer" and suggest to this person to participate in a double blind test testing different cables. It helps if you are presenting yourself to the person as strong believer. On the day actually instead of testing small differences between cables, test something really, really obvious, like polarity inversion in one channel only. I can alrady tell you what outcome the disbelievers test will show. I have actually done the above described.... The person I did this to ( a strong advocate of ABX testing was furious at me when I explained what he had actually been tested for. :devil:

    And equally easy to think you are hearing no change when one that is at least POTENTIALLY audible is present.

    The question you need to ask yourself is if you perhaps have swung to the other extreme and whereas you earlier heard differences where actually non where audible you now fail to hear actually existing differences....

    Hmmm. How would you define "honest"? The only way you would be able to evaluate them in a fashion that is Honest would completely blind, not just not knowing which cable you are listening to, but instead thinking you are actually evaluating something you feel is (potentially at least) audible and to which you have no strong emotional reaction.

    Otherwise you will hear whatever you expect to hear. If you expect differences you will hear them all over and you will mark changes where non occured and no difference was audible and you expect no difference you will hear no difference even if one exists and will mark accordingly. The net will be a "random" score for both believer and sceptic.

    Ciao T
     
    3DSonics, Oct 29, 2004
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