Cat-5 Speaker Cables

cat5 speaker cable

Braiding 108 individual copper strands together is not my idea of fun, blistering my hands in the process isn’t a bonus either. If you’ve spent enough money on your audio system to even begin to think that the cables are the weak link in the chain, this is the project for you. Chris VenHaus starts with 14 lengths of Cat-5, strips off the jackets, and then braids the twisted pairs three at a time until the whole mess becomes one cable. That’s just one though, you’re going to have to do another one for the negative side. It does take some time, but it will get you out of paying the huge premium on audiophile quality cables and you’ll end up with very competitive sounding cables. I would try this, but my Aiwa shelf system with the masking tape across the changer tray probably wouldn’t benefit that much from an upgrade. Of course if someone makes a DIY braiding machine I’d be all over this.

[thanks sine~language]

59 thoughts on “Cat-5 Speaker Cables

  1. So, I don’t consider myself an audiophile or your average Joe, but I’m getting rather tired of hearing the same old comments whenever there is some post on speaker cable or high end audio equipment. One side says, “rar, rar, rar, there isn’t a cable great enough to let me listen to my music on my quadruple high definition audio system.” And the other side says, “rar,rar,rar, I usually just use whatever metal I can find as long as sound comes out.” You know what, you both are probably right. The reason for that is that each of us isn’t the same in that we hear differently. Some people can hear (or at least think they can hear) all the way down to 4Hz and all the way up to 35KHz. My point in this post is, lets leave the bashing of either side out of this and just admire this guy that braids his cables better than a lot of woman can braid their hair. -flaming commence-

  2. Also, I totally agree with ee’s post above. Coming from my electrical engineering degrees, he is basically giving you all the simple textbook answer. I’m with you ee.

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  4. I am sick of hearing people say insulting things about Best Buy employees. I have worked part-time for Best Buy for five years. Our store is staffed with knowledgeable salesmen. There may or may not be a difference between the cheap audio cable and the higher priced stuff when used on the average home system. Sometimes the cheap stuff will suffice. Best buy employees, unlike those at H.H. Gregg, DO NOT work on commission. The store wants a salesman to add accessories to a sale of equipment but a simple purchase of cable will not encourage a Best Buy employee to sell you a higher priced item for the sake of store profit. Just the opposite is the case. I discourage shoppers from the buying higher priced cable if it will do their system no good. You have been watching too many episodes of “Chuck”. Don’t confuse “Buy More” with BEST BUY. Go aheads and diss us but with Circuit City gone, where are you going to buy your cables and widgets? Radio Shack? There is a fine example of unqualified sales people. If it isn’t on there computer then no one makes it!
    If you are using audio equipment that is higher end than what they are selling in Best Buy, why are you buying cable there?

  5. All bashing aside, if expensive cables allow you to hear more clearly, then use those cables. The probability that what you are listening to was actually recorded in a studio that paid as much attention to cabling as some audiophiles out there is pretty slim.

    The signal path runs from the instrument/vocalist through a ton of cables (that can be purchased for around $20/ea) to a console. Most of those cables are pretty standard in the recording industry.

    The song is then mixed down and shipped off to someone else to master it. They may have an expensive, well thought out studio with runs of very expensive and important cable OR they may have more of those standard cables that can be bought from music and pro-audio stores.

    Almost everyone listens to their music through equipment that colors the sound in one way or another. How much do you want to pay for it?

  6. obviously, the mention of cables that are $20/ea is meant as an estimated average.

    also, a studio would probably be an audiophiles worst nightmare. there are so many bundled wires, shared power sources, and cable junctions to make one’s head spin!

  7. In a Word, Induction, the transfer of electrons to place you do not want. Twisting copper dose have an effect on electrons, however in this application your all right and your all wrong. braid a bunch of copper wires together, and you will just have a larger gauge copper wire. Yes less resistance. but you could have achieved that by going and purchasing a larger gauge wire.

    Now, to the Twist, and this is what is interesting, as i started off in a word Induction. and this is hard to explain, but think of your wire as a force-field generator that require a touch of power, the electrons do not travel through the wire, rather with in the the force field generated by the wire. So if we lay two wires right next to each other and we run a current through one wire, you will see the second wire charge up with it. not much and it also depends on the voltage, and length of the run. to reduce this induction or if you would like interference, independent wires are twisted, simply because it reduces the the interference or the unwanted electron leakage. So yes twisting will help, but only when your twisting the – and + (and yes each wire needs to be shielded so it does not short) However whether or not you can tell a difference hZ wise, I seriously doubt it. you need to keep in mind the human ear can only handle 20hZ to 20,000hZ

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