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DIY cable gallery and discussion

doctorjuggles

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I'm surprised this thread doesn't already exist here at ASR, but if not, someone has to start it, right?

I've just started learning to make cables, mostly for my IEMs and headphones, and I've found that I really enjoy it.
So after a couple of little repair jobs, some practising of soldering small cables onto tiny nails, and one re-purposing of an old, unused cable into a usable one, today I made my first ever cable from scratch. It was the first project I've done with the goal of a nice cable being the main point, rather than a bit of playing around and learning. I wanted a balanced XLR with a right-angled connector for my ZMF Eikons

As with much of my learning, a few mistakes were made, but this time, while it’s not perfect, it’s a lot closer to where I want to be, so I thought I’d share…

I used:
Mogami 2893 cabling
Paracord and sleeving from Cosmic Cables in the UK
Cheap Gazechimp mini XLR connectors
The solder that came with my cheap soldering iron set
A Neutrik NC4MRX-B connector
No-name heatshrink
A medium carbon fibre y-splitter and cable cinch, also from Cosmic

DSC_0055.jpg
DSC_0053.jpg
DSC_0063.jpg



On top of this, though, I'm hoping other users will share their cable projects, recommendations for good cabling that can be bought, how each one affects the sound (as in resistance, not good for IEMs but good for headphones or vice versa, nice and soft for IEMs etc. - scientific reasoning and not "silver sounds bright" or other stuff like that which has a million other forums to argue that kind of stuff on please).

I'm enjoying the feeling of making something, and I'd like to learn more, so tips on soldering, heatshrink, all is fair game in this thread - do we have any other enthusiasts on the board?
 

Speedskater

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From a sound perspective, it's hard to mess up headphone cable conductors. All reasonable cables will sound the same. The silver sound is total nonsense. It's the mechanical perspective that has the challenges.
 
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doctorjuggles

doctorjuggles

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It's the mechanical perspective that has the challenges.

As I said, not really interested in those esoteric arguments, more in what might adversely affect it. When you're learning something new like this, it's possibly you (meaning "I" in this instance) might make a mistake to worsen the sound.
However, you mention the mechanical challenges - anything you want to elaborate on? I'm keen to learn more :)
 

Doodski

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Nice work for a newbie at cable production. What was the expense for such a custom cable?
 
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doctorjuggles

doctorjuggles

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Nice work for a newbie at cable production. What was the expense for such a custom cable?

Thanks for the kind words Doodski

I haven’t actually calculated it. Off the top of my head I would guess around £35 or so (not including the equipment I’ve bought to learn like soldering irons, helping hands etc., and not including the stuff I’ve ruined in the process of learning too!) The main “expense” is the time it takes to learn and do, but when one is isolating suddenly time becomes that much more available. Yesterday was repairing the bathroom window, today was making my first cable ;)
 

Doodski

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Thanks for the kind words Doodski

I haven’t actually calculated it. Off the top of my head I would guess around £35 or so (not including the equipment I’ve bought to learn like soldering irons, helping hands etc., and not including the stuff I’ve ruined in the process of learning too!) The main “expense” is the time it takes to learn and do, but when one is isolating suddenly time becomes that much more available. Yesterday was repairing the bathroom window, today was making my first cable ;)
I can imagine with the complexity of your cable that it req'd several runs at the assembly.
 
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doctorjuggles

doctorjuggles

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I can imagine with the complexity of your cable that it req'd several runs at the assembly.

Actually this one wasn’t too bad. I had some issues with the y-splitter, but that ate up probably half of the total build time, the rest was fairly smooth and you can imagine my shock when I plugged it in and it worked perfectly first time :D
 

Doodski

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Actually this one wasn’t too bad. I had some issues with the y-splitter, but that ate up probably half of the total build time, the rest was fairly smooth and you can imagine my shock when I plugged it in and it worked perfectly first time :D
Yeah, I can imagine that Y-splitter is pretty busy inside. I've made thousands of interconnects and cables and your's is complicated. For a first cable that would be challenging.
 
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doctorjuggles

doctorjuggles

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Thousands? Wow. Feel free to share photos and tips! I assume it’s part of your trade then?
 

Doodski

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Thousands? Wow. Feel free to share photos and tips! I assume it’s part of your trade then?
When I started as a electronic technician I worked contract for some companies. Some of the things I did was make thousands of MIT interconnect cables for a Canadian wholesaler, do mass modifications of ~5300 car audio head units for Alpine of Canada and thousands of mods for the wholesaler of Coustic and Soundstream car audio amps. After word got around I could be trusted they came to me for the work. One learns to work effectively, efficiently and clear their mind of all thoughts other than what is at hand. Surprisingly there is good money to be made in mass modifications and mass assembly if the tech can fully concentrate on the matters at hand.
 
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doctorjuggles

doctorjuggles

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Very cool/impressive. I'll be expecting lots of good advice and photos of your work when you're able to share! :)
 

hteavnafets

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Hi everybody,

I build a new NF Cable with RCA with smoked oak. I also love the look from cotton sleeves. for me it looks good and it also sounds good (balanced)

cable: RG142
sleeves: cotton sleeves in red, white and black
splitter: selfmade smoked oak
connectors: ELECAUDIO TE-RC85S


DSC_2305.JPG
 
Last edited:

Doodski

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Hi everybody,

I build a new NF Cable with RCA with smoked oak. I also love the look from cotton sleeves. for me it looks good and it also sounds good (balanced)

cable: RG142
sleeves: cotton sleeves in red, white and black
splitter: selfmade smoked oak
connectors: ELECAUDIO TE-RC85S


View attachment 58741
That's a true DIY. :D
 

Speedskater

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RG142 is an unusual coax cable:
central conductor: Silver-Coated Copper Clad Steel (SCCS)
2 braided shields: Silver Plated Copper
jacket: Extruded Solid Fluorinated Ethylene Propylene (FEP-IX)
dielectric: Extruded Solid Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)

shield resistance: 2.2 Ohm per 1000 feet (this is excellent)
capacitance: 29.4 pF per foot
* * * * * * * * * * *
but it's $4.50 per foot !
 
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doctorjuggles

doctorjuggles

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I've built loads of cables in the past few weeks while covid is doing its thing, but I thought I'd share today's build as it's a bit different

A modular termination with screw-on tips in 2.5mm/3.5mm/3.5mm SE/4.4mm. All balanced except the 3.5mm SE, obviously

No adapters needed for this little baby :)

20200510_193711.jpg
20200510_193722.jpg
20200510_193700.jpg
 

Jimbob54

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I'm surprised this thread doesn't already exist here at ASR, but if not, someone has to start it, right?

I've just started learning to make cables, mostly for my IEMs and headphones, and I've found that I really enjoy it.
So after a couple of little repair jobs, some practising of soldering small cables onto tiny nails, and one re-purposing of an old, unused cable into a usable one, today I made my first ever cable from scratch. It was the first project I've done with the goal of a nice cable being the main point, rather than a bit of playing around and learning. I wanted a balanced XLR with a right-angled connector for my ZMF Eikons

As with much of my learning, a few mistakes were made, but this time, while it’s not perfect, it’s a lot closer to where I want to be, so I thought I’d share…

I used:
Mogami 2893 cabling
Paracord and sleeving from Cosmic Cables in the UK
Cheap Gazechimp mini XLR connectors
The solder that came with my cheap soldering iron set
A Neutrik NC4MRX-B connector
No-name heatshrink
A medium carbon fibre y-splitter and cable cinch, also from Cosmic

View attachment 56190View attachment 56191View attachment 56192


On top of this, though, I'm hoping other users will share their cable projects, recommendations for good cabling that can be bought, how each one affects the sound (as in resistance, not good for IEMs but good for headphones or vice versa, nice and soft for IEMs etc. - scientific reasoning and not "silver sounds bright" or other stuff like that which has a million other forums to argue that kind of stuff on please).

I'm enjoying the feeling of making something, and I'd like to learn more, so tips on soldering, heatshrink, all is fair game in this thread - do we have any other enthusiasts on the board?
Looks good but is all that nylon (?) not microphonic as all hell? Just thinking about the horrid nylon cable on my Mr Speakers Ether CX.
 
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