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New Interconnects....couldn't help myself...

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Ray
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New Interconnects....couldn't help myself...

Post by Ray » Thu Jun 27, 2013 7:00 pm

Had a bit of free time last week, idle hands and all, it hit me I needed to build a couple custom-length interconnect pairs.

Ordered 10' of DH Labs Pro Studio cable. (Shielded, dual conductor, teflon, around $11 a foot)
I had a 4 WBT O144 Locking RCA's laying around from a couple years ago. way too expensive in most realms, but there they were and they are nice.

Still needed more RCAs, so ordered 4 DH Labs Locking RCAs still a bit pricy, but not as bad as the WBTs.

I had an old 15' optical cable laying around collecting dust, it had some nice black tech-flex on it, so, I sacrificed the optical cable and had 15 feet of tech-flex.
On to the next project. :)


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Re: New Interconnects....couldn't help myself...

Post by pstrisik » Thu Jun 27, 2013 7:55 pm

Very pretty!
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Re: New Interconnects....couldn't help myself...

Post by admin » Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:27 pm

Very nice. I love locking plugs,.. this is very similar to the ones I made. However, I could not afford the WBT plugs! :)

Have you noticed any changes in the sound?
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Ray
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Re: New Interconnects....couldn't help myself...

Post by Ray » Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:29 pm

yea those WBTs are nuts, and those are the cheapo WBTs! The DH Labs are quite a bit less $$ and seem every bit as high in quality. I'm not sure the Locking RCAs really buy you anything, but, they are at least high quality and look nice.

As far as sound goes.... the most expensive interconnects I've ever owned were a pair of silver - unshielded cables that cost almost $1k. These latest home-made even with the expensive ends are around $250 a pair. (ProStudio cable is around $11 a foot) So going from $1k cables down to some $100ish cables, I'd say in general yes, I can detect subtle differences. Can I pick these cables in my sleep? identify specific subtle miniscule details like "true audiophiles" can? Not on your life. I don't have a megabuck system like the true high-enders, but heck, my system is darn revealing, so I assume the fault lies within me, or, maybe as some other heretics claim, there is a lot of voodoo mumbo jumbo going on in the "high end" audio. In the end, I don't really care, or need to care what the real answer is. I like listening to music, and do like tweaking things for subtle changes. end of story. Am I picking cables with eyes closed in A/B comparisons? no way I could.

I do also realize that my hearing perception is affected by a host of outside influences. On many occasions I've done some subtle tweak where I'd swear it made some wondrous improvement, but in the vast majority of cases, it's only imagination and these do not stand the test of time.

I'm absolutely convinced that Teflon is the only acceptable insulation for wire. I'd not use any that didn't use Teflon. And I'd imagine right off that installing a pair of plastic insulated wires in my system would make it sound like crap. Would it be true? and would I really be able to tell the difference? maybe, maybe, or maybe not. but expectation bias is alive and well here. Only one of a few dozen other factors. So the short answer is, yea, cables can make a subtle tweak difference here and there in my opinion. Maybe I just need to spend a few $k per cable to identify a real good cable!.. and that ain't gonna happen any time soon. and I think these $250 cables sound every bit as good as the $1k cables.
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Re: New Interconnects....couldn't help myself...

Post by camusmuse » Mon Nov 04, 2013 6:27 am

Very pretty indeed. Gotta love DIY cables. I think that the locking helps with respect to having a good solid connection, even the best non locking connectors "wear out" and get loose....and really the same goes for the other end. My CJ PV1 has almost all of the rear jacks worn down from so many different and overly tight non locking RCA connector. Additionally those really tight non locking have actually bent the jack panel in from where a previous owner had to push that hard to get the connector on. Something I am still debating repairing, with locking connectors they can still cinch down, and I dont have to rebuild the back of my preamp, and can still keep it original....for now....lol. I have those same connectors I think, but they were Apature branded with silver wire, VERY stiff, and just plain grey....might have to rebuild with some new skin to keep up.....:P

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Re: New Interconnects....couldn't help myself...

Post by Ray » Mon Nov 04, 2013 2:30 pm

I recently changed out my power amps, and, as luck would have it, my custom length RCAs used with the JC-1s, were not long enough for the ARTs.
..I guess this is a downside of building custom length cables that are -just the right length. :D

I used my same basic design.. DH Labs ProStudio cable with outside braid.
Only this time I went for the newer NexGen WBTs. I do still prefer locking, so that was a must.
The Nexgen seem to adhere to the "less mass the better". The original WBTs were solid, these Nexgen are composite mostly with a bare minimum of metal.

whether one believes in larger conducting masses suffering from "eddy currents" or not, is I'm sure subject of debate. I just figured since I'm building my own, I could buy and or waste as much $$ as I wanted to on my own DIY cables. To each his own, I have no dog in the fight.

Here are a few pix of my own "nextgen" DIY RCAs :)



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Re: New Interconnects....couldn't help myself...

Post by camusmuse » Mon Nov 04, 2013 2:47 pm

Love the anodized blue, again very pretty. May I ask how much they cost, or if you get a deal, how much they cost "the public". I worked in the business several years ago and know the mark up can be down right ridiculous. Seeing yours makes me wanna go dig up a pair of my old plain jane Apatures to see what you think. I havent really needed to upgrade from those since then, but your interconnects do have me a bit inspired....now just got to count some pennies....lol.

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Re: New Interconnects....couldn't help myself...

Post by camusmuse » Mon Nov 04, 2013 3:30 pm

Ok, had to show off some of my old school "lockers"
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Re: New Interconnects....couldn't help myself...

Post by Ray » Mon Nov 04, 2013 4:35 pm

I WISH i could find a deal somewhere! :)

the DH Labs cable is $11/foot.... which helps then the killer cost on those Blue WBTs which are $70 each!
I get the connectors from Parts Express, The DH Labs ProStudio cable is available from various sources as is the braid/shrink tubing etc.

All told though, they are still cheap compared to what the big-boys spend for those ultra-fancy-high-tech cables!
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Re: New Interconnects....couldn't help myself...

Post by camusmuse » Mon Nov 04, 2013 4:48 pm

Yeah, even as a dealer the shop I worked for would of had to buy like $5k worth of WBT before the discount was worth it. I was willing to throw up a thousand, but the owner wasnt interested. This was a mom and pop shop, literally. They went out of business shortly after due to the internet. I was going to do a wire start up, had all the connections(bad pun intended), but not nearly enough capital. Probably for the best. FWIW...the connectors I posted cost "me" around $60 for four of them(yeah....markup was silly, that was also pre year 2000 too), I had a spool of the wire.....used the rest in custom speakers, now long gone. All were one off designs specific to the customer. Have several of the interconnects though. In the end it was a wash, the custom speakers paid for what I had to put out....and then some. But they were ALOT of work. Audiophiles can be VERY picky.....lol.

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