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  1. #1

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    Arrow DIY $30 Speaker Cables



    Hi Folks,

    Everyone here has been very helpful and I've been a dork, so thought I'd contribute something back for once.

    Made my very first pair of DIY high quality speaker cables and thought I'd share.

    Cost: $30 approx
    Time: 1 to 2 hours tops


    Tools Needed:
    Measuring tape
    scissors
    pocket knife (or wire stripper, less time, don't own one though)
    locking pliers(or large wire crimpers, maybe less time, don't own one though)
    stove

    Optional tools:
    Solder
    Soldering iron


    Materials:
    Carol 14 AWG 2C SJ Power Cable 25 ft. $20.17
    Gold Spade 8 AWG 1/4" 4 Pair $4.78
    Heat Shrink Tubing: 8 inches of colored and 8 inches of black, with a width of of 5/8" or 3/4" max, from Home Depot, RS or Ace $4.99



    Measure how much length you'll need for each channel in a simple 2 channel setup. I needed 5 feet per side.
    I used 2 wires for each channel though. One wire for Positive and the other for Negative to TRULY separate any crosstalk interference. Ending up with 4 wires total.

    That's 10 feet per side, total 20 feet needed. Leaving me with 5 feet extra just in case.

    Measure out the wires and cut them.

    Cut the outer black wire jacket back about one and a quarter inch.

    Strip each copper wire back with knife or wire strippers, about one quarter inch back and twist the two together.

    Crimp twisted wire onto spade pretty hard with locking pliers or crimper. It's a perfect fit and the spade clamps down very well.

    Optional: Solder the bare copper wire peeping at the top to help prevent oxidization/corrosion. Completely optional though and the heat shrink tubing will help with this also.

    Cut heat shrink tubing into 2" pieces. 8 cut pieces total.

    Place over spade and keep as far to the top to cover up the copper as much as possible.

    Turn on stove low heat and gently waft and roll the cable with tubing over the stove till it shrinks down. You COULD also use a lighter but the burn marks from the flames mars the heat shrink, done it before, looks crap.

    Complete for all eight ends, and you're done! Congrats!

    Now hook all four cables, 2 each side and enjoy! :D












    Last edited by Echosphere; 05-29-2010 at 08:40 AM.

  2. #2

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    Good post--I've used the Carol cable,,got it Home Depot IIRC,, I replaced the captive power cord on my Wright with it-good stuff,, how are yours sounding.

    We need more posts like this--keep em coming--nice work sir,,thanks for sharing that--a nice Memorial day project for not alot of money,,good dividends.
    JC approves....he told me so. (F-1 nut)

  3. #3

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    Nice job! I built some from canare S411 cable.
    Attached Images  
    Last edited by Radridd; 05-29-2010 at 09:00 AM.
    Sony KDL-46XBR6, Onkyo 886, Emotiva XPA-5, Oppo BDP-83, HR22 HD-DVR, Polk RTi A9s, PolK CSi A6, Polk RTi A3s, SVS PB12-NSD, Monster HTS2500 Reference PowerCenter, Logitech Harmony 1.

  4. #4

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    Radridd, you're picture is too small to click on.

    FYI, I also use Canare 4S11 all the time, it's a great cable for the money.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by george daniel View Post
    Good post--I've used the Carol cable,,got it Home Depot IIRC,, I replaced the captive power cord on my Wright with it-good stuff,, how are yours sounding.

    We need more posts like this--keep em coming--nice work sir,,thanks for sharing that--a nice Memorial day project for not alot of money,,good dividends.
    Actually bought the cable from Home Depot too but couldn't find it on their website. Cable has Carol written on it just in case folks want to make sure.

    I love it with my Mark Levinson and KEF's!!!!! I had some cryo aerospace engineer designed cables prior that cost me $300 and this sounds so much better after break in.

    The best I can say is: It doesn't sound like anything at all. Not tinny, nasally and bight like the cryo's, not muddy, boomy or slow like lamp cord.

    It's like turning off a crappy equalizer, it just sounds, well normal to me. :)

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Face View Post
    Radridd, you're picture is too small to click on.

    FYI, I also use Canare 4S11 all the time, it's a great cable for the money.
    Sorry, Think the new picture will work now.
    Sony KDL-46XBR6, Onkyo 886, Emotiva XPA-5, Oppo BDP-83, HR22 HD-DVR, Polk RTi A9s, PolK CSi A6, Polk RTi A3s, SVS PB12-NSD, Monster HTS2500 Reference PowerCenter, Logitech Harmony 1.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Radridd View Post
    Nice job! I built some from canare S411 cable.
    Damn. Those are nice! What kind of mesh jacket did you use?

    I've heard folks talk about Canare wire. Where you buy yours from?

  8. #8

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    Bought the wire from Blue Jeans Cable. The jacket is techflex. I just used the standard/low cost techflex. If you cut it with a soldering iron or heatknife it will not fray too bad. Its one of those jobs that is alot less difficult the second time. So buy more than you need for practice. I actually built a 2' prototype cable and it was a complete disaster. Wish I had a picture you guys would get a laugh.
    Sony KDL-46XBR6, Onkyo 886, Emotiva XPA-5, Oppo BDP-83, HR22 HD-DVR, Polk RTi A9s, PolK CSi A6, Polk RTi A3s, SVS PB12-NSD, Monster HTS2500 Reference PowerCenter, Logitech Harmony 1.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Radridd View Post
    Bought the wire from Blue Jeans Cable. The jacket is techflex. I just used the standard/low cost techflex. If you cut it with a soldering iron or heatknife it will not fray too bad. Its one of those jobs that is alot less difficult the second time. So buy more than you need for practice. I actually built a 2' prototype cable and it was a complete disaster. Wish I had a picture you guys would get a laugh.
    Thanks, the Canare cable looks good and not too expensive with 4 strands each for $33 for 25 feet. Plus they are in Seattle! :) Just wish the jacket was black not gray.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Echosphere View Post
    Thanks, the Canare cable looks good and not too expensive with 4 strands each for $33 for 25 feet. Plus they are in Seattle! :) Just wish the jacket was black not gray.
    I buy all my cable from Blue Jeans.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Echosphere View Post
    Thanks, the Canare cable looks good and not too expensive with 4 strands each for $33 for 25 feet. Plus they are in Seattle! :) Just wish the jacket was black not gray.
    You can buy techflex in just about any color you want.
    Sony KDL-46XBR6, Onkyo 886, Emotiva XPA-5, Oppo BDP-83, HR22 HD-DVR, Polk RTi A9s, PolK CSi A6, Polk RTi A3s, SVS PB12-NSD, Monster HTS2500 Reference PowerCenter, Logitech Harmony 1.

  12. #12

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    looks good.
    Living Room Rig:D
    Rotel RSP-1069/Rotel RMB-1095/Rotel-1072/Polk lsI15's W/modded xoverW/DBsubs/Polk LsiC/lsI7's/Klipsch sub-12"the weak link"/DLP Mitsubishi 65"
    Xbox360/PS3/WII
    M.Br. setup:)
    Emotiva MMC-1/Rotel RMB-1075/Polk BlackStone TL350's/Velodyne SPL1000/Samsung 51" Plasma
    Computer Rig:
    Rotel RB1050/Tannoy DC4's/Klipsch RW-10d/ImodIpod/HK AVR230 for now....
    Headphones-Ultrasone-HFI780's w/LittleDot MK Vamp Portables Panasonic HJE-900's

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Radridd View Post
    You can buy techflex in just about any color you want.
    Does the tex flex help with RF?

  14. #14

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    No...
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

  15. #15

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    Yeah, techflex is more so for looks.
    It made my cables look classy
    Receiver
    Harman Kardon HK 3490
    Speakers
    Polk Audio Monitor 50s
    Subwoofer
    Polk Audio PSW 505
    Cables
    AudioQuest Rocket 33s 10ft
    AudioQuest Optilink1 2m
    AudioQuest Alpha-Snake 25ft
    AudioQuest HDMI-1 2m

    PS3
    Samsung 42" 450 Series.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by PerfectCreature View Post
    Yeah, techflex is more so for looks.
    It made my cables look classy
    :)

    I just asked because a seller said the mesh techflex is an RF shield.

    Thank you for clarifying.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Echosphere View Post
    :)

    I just asked because a seller said the mesh techflex is an RF shield.

    Thank you for clarifying.
    The seller didn't know what he was talking about (he must be in the snake oil business ;))

  18. #18

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    I am pretty sure that techflex is just nylon strands that are weaved together in a way to make things look pretty.
    Just like that paint on your house. Makes it look pretty. :P
    Receiver
    Harman Kardon HK 3490
    Speakers
    Polk Audio Monitor 50s
    Subwoofer
    Polk Audio PSW 505
    Cables
    AudioQuest Rocket 33s 10ft
    AudioQuest Optilink1 2m
    AudioQuest Alpha-Snake 25ft
    AudioQuest HDMI-1 2m

    PS3
    Samsung 42" 450 Series.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by PerfectCreature View Post
    I am pretty sure that techflex is just nylon strands that are weaved together in a way to make things look pretty.
    Just like that paint on your house. Makes it look pretty. :P
    PC, you rock.

    I somehow equated the mesh to shielding. I do think that part is snake oil, so I thank you!

    Adam Sandler - I Feel Pretty - Anger Management

  20. #20

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    While you could say that is is shielding....that is not entirely wrong.
    What it does, from what I have found, is when it is pulled tightly and severed with a hot knife to prevent the fraying it actually protects the speaker cable, providing like a second defense against say a slice, or maybe a movement that could put a kink in the cable. It not only makes you look good but is its like your pants, would you go out digging in dirt without pants? No way, you could get cut or even dirty heh, non red necks. Anyway. If I had a choice, I would techflex them just because it looks nice, and it has its perks.
    Get what I mean?
    I mean, it is not 100% snake oil...maybe only 99.99%.
    Receiver
    Harman Kardon HK 3490
    Speakers
    Polk Audio Monitor 50s
    Subwoofer
    Polk Audio PSW 505
    Cables
    AudioQuest Rocket 33s 10ft
    AudioQuest Optilink1 2m
    AudioQuest Alpha-Snake 25ft
    AudioQuest HDMI-1 2m

    PS3
    Samsung 42" 450 Series.

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by PerfectCreature View Post
    While you could say that is is shielding....that is not entirely wrong.
    What it does, from what I have found, is when it is pulled tightly and severed with a hot knife to prevent the fraying it actually protects the speaker cable, providing like a second defense against say a slice, or maybe a movement that could put a kink in the cable. It not only makes you look good but is its like your pants, would you go out digging in dirt without pants? No way, you could get cut or even dirty heh, non red necks. Anyway. If I had a choice, I would techflex them just because it looks nice, and it has its perks.
    Get what I mean?
    I mean, it is not 100% snake oil...maybe only 99.99%.
    I garden in boxers. But I get your drift! :)

  22. #22

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    You are a true man. You know what your calling is.
    You belong in Maine where we wear t-shirts in 40 degree weather and where we go swimming in mud pits.
    But yeah, you can pick from any color, and parts express has them cheap.
    I would go with 1/4 inch or even 1/8 inch techflex, the 1/2 will be way to big for you.
    Receiver
    Harman Kardon HK 3490
    Speakers
    Polk Audio Monitor 50s
    Subwoofer
    Polk Audio PSW 505
    Cables
    AudioQuest Rocket 33s 10ft
    AudioQuest Optilink1 2m
    AudioQuest Alpha-Snake 25ft
    AudioQuest HDMI-1 2m

    PS3
    Samsung 42" 450 Series.

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by PerfectCreature View Post
    You are a true man. You know what your calling is.
    You belong in Maine where we wear t-shirts in 40 degree weather and where we go swimming in mud pits.
    But yeah, you can pick from any color, and parts express has them cheap.
    I would go with 1/4 inch or even 1/8 inch techflex, the 1/2 will be way to big for you.
    As I said before Maine is a wonderful place. I loved visiting there. If you ever come to Seattle please let me know.

    I love snow and the change of the seasons. Spring there yet?

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Echosphere View Post
    As I said before Maine is a wonderful place. I loved visiting there. If you ever come to Seattle please let me know.

    I love snow and the change of the seasons. Spring there yet?
    I don't probably because I lived through too many winters ;)

  25. #25

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    Btw, we stopped by the LL Bean store at 3AM on our way back from Acadia. It was so much fun! :D

    (she had to work in the morning, I just slept!)

  26. #26

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    Been and gone my friend. We are now entering an early summer. A very warm early summer at that. I remember a few years back I had a birthday around may 2nd and there was still a foot or so of snow on the ground, this year I enjoyed a BBQ and 80 degree weather.
    As for Seattle...I don;t travle much, I am however going to Florida next month to visit with my uncle. He puts my audio setup to shame. Along with my car. He has one of those Cobras all prettied up with all the goods.
    Im exited, I havn't seen them in years.
    And yeah its absolutely gorgeous here,
    Receiver
    Harman Kardon HK 3490
    Speakers
    Polk Audio Monitor 50s
    Subwoofer
    Polk Audio PSW 505
    Cables
    AudioQuest Rocket 33s 10ft
    AudioQuest Optilink1 2m
    AudioQuest Alpha-Snake 25ft
    AudioQuest HDMI-1 2m

    PS3
    Samsung 42" 450 Series.

  27. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by TECHNOKID View Post
    I don't probably because I lived through too many winters ;)
    Then come to the Pacific Northwest. Mild winters. You'll love it! :)

  28. #28

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    Oh toughen up, you havn't lived until your car runs out of gas in blizzard like conditions and you have to flag down a monster plow truck.
    Or even, get locked out of your car on christmas eve, and call you gf, my now wife at 2 in the morning after working late and have her drive half an hour to your house, then another 20 minutes to your work then back home so she can go to work for 4 in the morning.
    I was in the dog house for that one.
    Receiver
    Harman Kardon HK 3490
    Speakers
    Polk Audio Monitor 50s
    Subwoofer
    Polk Audio PSW 505
    Cables
    AudioQuest Rocket 33s 10ft
    AudioQuest Optilink1 2m
    AudioQuest Alpha-Snake 25ft
    AudioQuest HDMI-1 2m

    PS3
    Samsung 42" 450 Series.

  29. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by PerfectCreature View Post
    Been and gone my friend. We are now entering an early summer. A very warm early summer at that. I remember a few years back I had a birthday around may 2nd and there was still a foot or so of snow on the ground, this year I enjoyed a BBQ and 80 degree weather.
    As for Seattle...I don;t travle much, I am however going to Florida next month to visit with my uncle. He puts my audio setup to shame. Along with my car. He has one of those Cobras all prettied up with all the goods.
    Im exited, I havn't seen them in years.
    And yeah its absolutely gorgeous here,
    It's getting warmer. I don't care what folks say. I buy more clothes with with less sleeves.. I remember perma-frost around here, not anymore.

    Anyhoo, take care. Have fun in FL!

    Night!

  30. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Echosphere View Post
    Then come to the Pacific Northwest. Mild winters. You'll love it! :)
    I love British Colombia because of this. You get rain NOT snow. If there are any snow fall usually the snow is gone by the end of the day. Some people wear shorts all year around (I used to call B"C" the mini Bermuda). Florida has to be nice at this time of the year, right?

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