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Twisted and platted Cat5e for speakers cables
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Author:  bobc47 [ 31 Jul 2012, 15:49 ]
Post subject:  Re: Twisted and platted Cat5e for speakers cables

I built a pair of CAT-3 speaker cables because I had a lot of it in my basement. I used 4 CAT-3 cables per speaker and used all the white wires for the low connection and all the colored wire for the high connection. I just sleeved the four cat-3 cables with expandable sleeving and use some 1/4" shrink on the resulting twisted cable ends. the resulting cables are equivalent to about a #13 wire. As i understand it the capacitance cancels out the wire inductance to a large degree. Im using a pair of BK 200w monoblocks to drive a pair of DynaAudio stand mounted speakers (6-1/2 woofers and 1" tweeters) and i get bass in spades.

I prefer these new cables to my old #12 twisted stranded wire cables. the mids and highs sound better and the bass seems about the same as it was. By not braiding the Cat-3 wires you save a ton of time and effort and you can build them for next to nothing.

I tried it to see if it would improve my system and it did.

YMMV. . .

Author:  mwhouston [ 01 Aug 2012, 14:12 ]
Post subject:  Re: Twisted and platted Cat5e for speakers cables

Bobc47: Good to hear you got improvement. I am using Cat6 in my 2.5W 2 channel theater system but have not A/B it against anything else.Possibly I should just be using wire wrap wire as the wattage is very low and speaker wire length is under 2M. I'll change one day but not sure I'll detect an improvement.

I am yet to try Cat6 on my main system. A little more power at 5W but greater wire length required. A good friend, in the Melbourne Audio Club, who has trialed a number of speaker wire types claims Cat 5 or Cat 6 is the way to go. He groups the mates and the colours to form the two connections. He does and I do bi-wire which I think is essential. I have made up quite long Cat6 speaker wires for another Audio Club member who runs a huge theater system. He has made no report about sound quality but after the first lot of cables I made he ordered another complete pair for rears. So must be OK.

I'm about to make up another 4M length for a tube amp demo. I'm doing at the Club in a few weeks. Usually I use wire warp wire but one of the amps can deliver 15W (6C33C) and wire warp wire is only good for 2M low wattage use.

Author:  mwhouston [ 17 Feb 2013, 05:34 ]
Post subject:  Re: Twisted and platted Cat5e for speakers cables

This post maybe slightly off thread but it is still about Cat5e cable. On recently finishing a pair of speakers which are wired in Cat5e cable and the Xovers the same and using split pairs and mates throughout I decided to replace all speaker cables with Cat5e.

BUT there are two ways you can configure the pairs within the cables. First way is to split the mates and pairs (colours) and twist them together at each end. The other is to pick to pairs (mates and colours) and twist them together (see image).

What I found was under test that separating the mates (whites) and pairs (colours) produced about 1.2nf of capacitance for 6m or cables. Leaving the pairs as is but twisting two pairs together to form two conductors of four wires each only produced 400pf. Not hard to see that separating and the twisting together of mates and pairs produced a four times greater increase of capacitance. Do you need to be concerned. 400pf of capacitance in a an interconnect is excessive but in a speakers cables??

When you consider that the size of a Xover cap is about 2uf 1.2nf is absurdly small. So here is the rub: try both ways and see which sounds better in YOUR system. My bet is you can't pick the difference.
Attachment:
Cables.jpg

Author:  gofar99 [ 18 Feb 2013, 10:01 ]
Post subject:  Re: Twisted and platted Cat5e for speakers cables

Hi Mark, I have a very large quantity of the 5e. What are your thoughts on on lengths of 15-20 feet? Right now I am bi-wiring with some bulk twisted pair 14 ga with a supposed to be magnetic flux jacket (likely hype), "time corrected" (likely hype) Oxy Free copper cables rated for in wall use. Seems fine compared to everything else I tried. At one point I even tried some 26 pair phone cable. Really fat and looked cool but didn't seem to be better than anything else. I even tried the one that used some of the AC mains 3 wire cords that were in vogue a few years back. They didn't sound nice on my system.

Good listening
Bruce

Author:  mwhouston [ 18 Feb 2013, 17:22 ]
Post subject:  Re: Twisted and platted Cat5e for speakers cables

Bruce: my working lengths in my system are just over 5m. That is about 15 feet plus in the old money. I would give them a go.

Bruce would you think the low capacitance of 1.2nf for speaker leads (5m) in view of what I previously posted would effect performance? Of course this level of capacity would excessive for interconnects but speakers cable?

Author:  Gio [ 19 Feb 2013, 13:13 ]
Post subject:  Re: Twisted and platted Cat5e for speakers cables

I personally stopped using network cabling for carrying signal. I feel the quality of the cables detract from the sound. The nice thing about them is that the wire is cheap. I would not use them at all for interconnections, but for speakers you should be able to make a decent speaker cables.

You will have to play with the pairs to come up with a good low inductance pattern. Capacitance will not affect the response of speaker cables - inductance is the parameter that you should focus on. You can find some typical cables properties near the bottom of the low-inductance DIY speaker cables project page. Use the 12 Ga zip cord as your bottom reference cable. The Inductance and Capacitance of the cable is inversely proportional. As one goes up, the other goes down.

Cheers

Author:  gofar99 [ 19 Feb 2013, 14:10 ]
Post subject:  Re: Twisted and platted Cat5e for speakers cables

Hi, I guess what I should do then is measure the ones I have and see how they rate.

Good listening
Bruce

Author:  mwhouston [ 19 Feb 2013, 16:54 ]
Post subject:  Re: Twisted and platted Cat5e for speakers cables

I couldn't read the inductance my meter is not sensitive enough but from what I'm told by splitting colours and mates then twisting them together produces the lowest inductance. The capacitance is higher though than keeping pairs together. But we are talking 450pf for 5m!!

If you are saying inductance is the key issue then splitting colours and mates is the way to go. Gio from what I understand they use only the highest grade copper in network cable.

Author:  gofar99 [ 20 Feb 2013, 11:28 ]
Post subject:  Re: Twisted and platted Cat5e for speakers cables

Hi, I guess the wire I'm using is fairly good as it has 280 pf, 250 uh, and 0.15 ohms resistance for a 15 foot length. Considering that my speakers act like capacitors at high frequencies. I understand they look like about a 1uf at 20K the capacitance is no factor. I doubt that 250 uh would matter as well. The 0.15 ohms will interfere a little with damping, but since I bi-wire it is probably OK as well. I guess I'm not going to fool with it for now.

Good listening
Bruce

Author:  mwhouston [ 22 Feb 2013, 18:13 ]
Post subject:  Re: Twisted and platted Cat5e for speakers cables

gofar99 wrote:
Hi, I guess the wire I'm using is fairly good as it has 280 pf, 250 uh, and 0.15 ohms resistance for a 15 foot length. Considering that my speakers act like capacitors at high frequencies. I understand they look like about a 1uf at 20K the capacitance is no factor. I doubt that 250 uh would matter as well. The 0.15 ohms will interfere a little with damping, but since I bi-wire it is probably OK as well. I guess I'm not going to fool with it for now.

Good listening
Bruce

What is the resistance of the secondaries of your OPTs Bruce?

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