DIY audio interconnects

This is one of those things that has annoyed me for so long, that I’m putting it up. I have despised, no, I have friggin loathed the quality of 1/8″ (3.5mm) cables. Cables are pretty easy; just clip, strip and solder away, right? Right. If you grew up cursed with the junk that rat shack carries, you know my pain. So, if you hate those crappy cables as much as I do, go check out this lovely little write up on making quality interconnects. (Now if I could just find a 2.5mm connector like that switchcraft 3.5mm to fix this spare apple power supply)


  1. Elliott says:

    If you need a connector for an apple powersupply go to radio shack and if you are lucky you will find one… I did and it works great. just make sure you DONT get a mono one.

  2. mainfr4me says:

    I personally prefer Canare’s connector’s and cable. I like their ‘feel’, and yea, not much technical beyond that. That and their cable construction has been pretty good on the stage.

  3. ryan says:

    first hack i’ve liked in a long time…hopefully i’ll get to making these sometime soon

  4. ryan says:

    i just got a floating add from questionmaker or something as well…about taking a quiz or filling out a questionaire

  5. rmiller021 says:

    apple power jacks, at least for powerbook g4s and ibooks g4s and g3s are 2.5mm stereo jacks

  6. its-a-me_dewd says:

    I’ve been making stuff like these cables for a while now. My betst advicepick some high quality solder, as that may be a weak point in the cable.

  7. steelmaverick says:

    Needs a mirror, its suffered the hackaday effect.

    Since I have just coined that term, I shall call it HADE or HAD effect.

  8. TJ says:

    Clearly I must be a audio-noob…because I don’t know what is wrong with the 3.5 mm audio cables Radio Shack sells, I never had any problem with them. Beyond the price, anyway.

  9. bp says:

    @ 7
    Well depending on who you ask there isn’t anything nescessarily wrong with RS cables… beyond the rather huge markup.

    Cables are, of course, the most contentious issue in audiophilia. The debate over them is multifaceted and full of recrimination etc. I don’t really want to delve into it (esp. because I am one of those ambivalent inbetweeners about it) but there is a ton of stuff to be found out there if you are interested. However, if we presume that cables do create percievable changes to sound, you can bet that the RS ones (with their ultra cheap materials and shoddy construction) are some of the worst sounding around.

    But moving away from that land of controversy, there is little question that different cable arrangements can help with specific audio problems. For example, the star quad used in the above link is quite resistant to EMI. It also has superior crosstalk figures than most other cable. Will either of these things be audible? That depends on how long the cable is, what the environment around it is, what equipment it is connected to etc. etc.

    Plus they tend to be more attractive than the RS ones and, depending on configuration, to cost the same or less. Also, you can build them in just the right size and configuration. So why not?

  10. tuckie says:


    I actually had this thread opened up in another window when I decided to see what hacks were up today. I even have a shopping cart filled with $50 worth of diy interconnect stuff at, but I’m not sure if I want to spend the money now. I also reccomend for a thread filled with others completed cables.

  11. bp says:

    @ 9
    If your looking for a cheaper source of cable goods, check out . They tend to be a bit cheaper than markertek. Not much cheaper, but it might be cheap enough to get you to pull the trigger! ;)

  12. super_chris says:

    I hope he knows that a cheap multimeter is literally $1 at Harbor Freight when on sale. I mean, for $1, it’s well worth the money, and would work perfect for what he would need it for.

  13. strider_mt2k says:

    Rolling your own cables is a great way to go if you have the skill and the materials.
    In some custom applications you have little choice!

  14. grainfinder says:

    hey, the chuink that 3.5mm cables are is ANOOYING!!!

  15. LeJupp says:

    This cable is so thin and flimsy. Can’t somebody show me how to make a cable from a firehose? Maybe I can use railroad tracks as the conductors.


  16. Pocketbrain says:

    I have made my own stereo interconnects from various materials, including hacking apart a set of high-quality RCA-RCA to make a standard stereo 3.5mm. Zero crosstalk, as the L and R channels are independently shielded.
    p.s. hey grainfinder, no more shrooms for you!

  17. mr chips says:

    well what can i say except this is so easy and childish my hamster could do this next hack plz

  18. ivan256 says:

    $80 for a multimeter? Where does he shop?

    You should use thinner wire for short cables like the 8-incher that he is showing, otherwise bending the cable will put too much strain on the socket.

    Also, I like to twist a section of the metal braid and solder it to ground. The way he has it, it will sometimes be connected to ground and sometimes float depending on how the cable is bent. That’s bad. Also the soldering of the braid makes the connection stronger.

  19. Recently I’ve purchased most of my cables from Fantastic quality stuff and dirt cheap prices to boot. I’ve seen a few tests done up by home theater buffs and they typically come in ahead of the much higher priced brand name crap. I’m not sure how they are on audio interconnects but I know for video cables they’re topnotch, Also the 12 or optical cables I bought to outfit my home theater work lightyears better then the monster brand cables they replaced (and at $3 a pop instead of $35).

    Even still this is an awesome hack. It might be useful for making my own Video game AV adapters, since it’s pretty hard to find good quality cables with proprietary connectors.

  20. Lewis says:

    You can find a 2.5mm connector at Go there and enater this: TecNec AC122 in the part number search engine. That should be what you’re looking for. Best of luck and enjoy!

  21. steve says:

    another load of shite my hamster made one of these 2 years ago for fuck sake get some hacks on plz and buy the way we all havent got money to burn like some on here example] i bought a 300 $ DOLLER CAMERA AND PULLD IT TO BITS AND TOTALLY FUCKD IT TRYING TO HACK IT COME ON GROW UP YOU LOT

  22. Maxx says:

    . . . . . CALL THAT A HACK!?!?

    really, hackaday needs 2 sections
    The hacks, and the general things section

    that way when, tutorials for simple things like putting connectors on cables come up, they wont interfere with the interesting articles.

  23. maciarc says:

    Switchcraft makes a 2.5mm as well. 2.5mm = .097″. Here is the url to the actual item:

  24. HeavyWeightGeek says:

    application of hot glue from a hot glue gun just to keep everything secure would finish this off nice.

  25. Jack Wang says:

    manufacturer of XLR connectors,XLR adaptors,1/4″ phone plugs,1/4″ phone jacks,cabinet speakon,banana plugs,connector box and audio cables,best for your choice.

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