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Skinny is in! - Thin wire audio cables
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Author:  mwhouston [ 11 Dec 2010, 02:17 ]
Post subject:  Skinny is in! - Thin wire audio cables

Skinny is in!

You have no doubt taken a look at the diy audio project blog lately to see a review of the cable building book SuperCables CookBook. Of the few cables i built I did make a short pair of WWW (wire wrap wire) cables using loose WWW and cheap RCA plugs.

Here are the blog posts:

I found that after a few connections and disconnections the RCA plugs got very lose. So I have re-made similar short WWW interconnects using a much better gold plated all metal plug and silver solder. Not only do the connections feel a lot tighter I think the sound has brightened up a fair bit.

These short interconnects run between CD player (in my case Oppo BDP-83SE) and preamp (BoZSE). One sits on top of the other so the cables need only be short. All good.

Author:  mwhouston [ 11 Dec 2010, 13:11 ]
Post subject:  Upgrading the #6, Air-spaced Finewire Speaker Cables

Upgrading the WWW Speaker Cables
I made a comment in the Summary of the Air-spaced FineWire Audio Cables that the WWW speaker cables were very fragile and that with repeated connects and disconnects the very thin wire would soon break. This happened on about the second connect / disconnect.
Attachment:
WWW-speaker-cable-with-silver-wire-termination-end.jpg

To help give a better connection and to stop the thin delicate wire from breaking, I silver soldered short lengths of 1 mm thick pure silver wire to the end of my WWW speaker wires. The silver wire was cleaned and highly polished first. These were then partially covered with heat shrink to give support where the thin wire meets the heavier silver wire. I am yet to have a listen to them. I have, however, bound them under the binding posts of my Fostex speakers and did find it a much better connection and easier to handle.
Attachment:
Solid-Silver-Wire-End-for-Thin-Wire-Speaker-Cables.jpg

Author:  Gio [ 12 Dec 2010, 11:10 ]
Post subject:  Re: Skinny is in! - Thin wire audio cables

Hi Mark, thanks for the book review and your experience with some of the cables design.

They have me interested and I ordered two 100 feet reels of 30AWG silver plated copper wire with a teflon jacket from eBay. I got just two reels as I wanted to check the quality.

If the wire is good I'll for sure give the RCA cables a try.

For speakers cables I had a slightly different idea. Check out Adam's Low-Inductance DIY Speaker Cables. I was thinking one could use the 30AWG wire instead of 16AWG wire that Adam used. Four 30AWG cables would result in a aggregate gauge of 24. That is likely a more practical size for speaker cables.

Cheers

Author:  mwhouston [ 12 Dec 2010, 15:48 ]
Post subject:  Re: Skinny is in! - Thin wire audio cables

I'm going to convert my speaker cables to WWW but double runs then bi-wired to keep resistance down. WWW for speaker wire will only work with low power amps. High current amps may fry it!

Author:  Gio [ 13 Dec 2010, 11:11 ]
Post subject:  Re: Skinny is in! - Thin wire audio cables

Hi Mark, two runs of 30AWG will be the equivalent of about 27AWG.

BTW - here is some data on American Wire Gauge (AWG) Conductor Sizes and ratings.

Author:  mwhouston [ 13 Dec 2010, 17:03 ]
Post subject:  Re: Skinny is in! - Thin wire audio cables

Gio wrote:
Hi Mark, two runs of 30AWG will be the equivalent of about 27AWG.

BTW - here is some data on American Wire Gauge (AWG) Conductor Sizes and ratings.

Thanks Gio. I'm yet to try it.

Author:  cheap-Jack [ 22 Dec 2010, 21:37 ]
Post subject:  Re: Skinny is in! - Thin wire audio cables

Gio wrote:
two runs of 30AWG will be the equivalent of about 27AWG
Gio wrote:

Hi.
AWG #27 can handle max 0.288A = 2.304W on 8R resistive load. For a small SET amp, it may be still OK. But for realworld reactive (resistive+inductive+capacitive) loudspeaker load, it will be a different story.

For loudspeaker load, I'd definitely use min AWG #12 cable which can handle max 9.3A = 74.4W, a realistic power level for many tube/SS amps. FYI, my bi-wired loudspeaker cables are all #12 oxygen-free high-conductivity pure copper.

AWG #27 may be good to carry interstages small signals. Mine is always AWG #30 oxygen-free HC pure copper in LOOSE teflon tubing for internal wiring.

But I am using AWG #22 solid 4N pure silver wires to build all my 6 pairs of interconnects. I like the sound - so elegant, so fast & so transparent. Besides, thicker conductors can resist damage due to
cable flexing & bending.

c-J

Author:  cheap-Jack [ 22 Dec 2010, 21:54 ]
Post subject:  Re: Skinny is in! - Thin wire audio cables

Gio wrote:
I ordered two 100 feet reels of 30AWG silver plated copper wire with a teflon jacket from eBay.

Hi,

If you ask me, I'd recommend you to go for bare silver plated copper wire (without any jacket). Any solid material stuck to a conductor only deteriorates its performance, e.g. propagation velocity of sound waves travelling along it, adding interconductor capacitance, etc.

For interwiring wires, I strip off the insulation jacket & insert the wire into a loose flexible teflon tubing.

c-J

Author:  mwhouston [ 23 Dec 2010, 01:13 ]
Post subject:  Re: Skinny is in! - Thin wire audio cables

Cheap-jack: good to see you believe. Yes thin is in.

Author:  Gio [ 23 Dec 2010, 13:20 ]
Post subject:  Re: Skinny is in! - Thin wire audio cables

cheap-Jack wrote:
AWG #27 can handle max 0.288A = 2.304W on 8R resistive load. For a small SET amp, it may be still OK. But for realworld reactive (resistive+inductive+capacitive) loudspeaker load, it will be a different story.

For sure. The book warns that the 30AWG approach will only work for short runs and flea power amplifiers. The low inductance braided approach with multiple conductors could be a good approach with could be used for longer runs and higher power amps.
cheap-Jack wrote:
If you ask me, I'd recommend you to go for bare silver plated copper wire (without any jacket). Any solid material stuck to a conductor only deteriorates its performance

Sure, like capacitors the best sounding insulation is none at all. However, for metals like silver and copper which tend to oxidize easily it may not be that simple. Then there is the potential for a short which could be disastrous to equipment down the audio chain.
Cheers

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