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Hey my fellow speaker tinkers....

so, i finally got off my lazy butt and made my Cat 5/6 speaker cables.  i will say i was surprised at the results.  don't get too excited though, i was comparing them to Mil Spec wire (12awg, twisted, shielded).  the difference between these two were night and day.  i am happy to say that even my wife could hear a drastic difference.  the volume seemed to be "louder", clarity was through the roof, and even the bass was kicked up.  all this could be heard during an HT demo! usually cable upgrades have to be tested through a 2ch A/B to really hear a difference.  most of you know this through my "Power Cable Test Kit" post.  

anyways, i used 4 pairs of twisted Cat 5 pairs to make 1 leg.  then i took 4 legs and twisted them into a Star Quad design.  so that's 16 pairs or 12awg.  i also did the same thing with Cat 6 23awg and that comes to 11awg.  i am going to switch out my Cat 5 cables for Cat 6 because of a few OCD reasons.  i like the Teflon jacket more, i like how  the colors look (over all appearance), all 4 pairs are twisted the same (cat 5 has 2 pairs twisted more tightly).  i highly double there is an audible difference, and i won't even do an A/B test. 

i used a vice and a drill.  took about 1 hour to make the cable, comb out the ends, strip them, and install banana plugs.  so, much quicker than braiding them!

the final design is pretty cool because the 4 legs twisted together open up a touch and make an air gab in the center.  i've read that's a good thing, but i don't know the science behind the answer. 

again, super cheap, easy, quick, and there is a noticeable sound difference between Cat 5/6 and cheaper speaker cables.

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wow, using Linux Mint and reducing the image kicked my butt! lmao! never had too! i'm so use to "Paint" at work. 

Cable on top:

Cat 6, 11awg

Cable on bottom:

Cat 5, 12 awg

 

the Cat 6 seems to twist better and stay together a little bit better.

speakercable.jpg

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I'm intrigued.  Since when has Cat5/6 been a thing for DIY cables?  And you say there is an audible improvement in clarity?  How much per meter or foot per cable?

 

Can you show some pics of how they are terminated with the banana plugs?  Is there a Youtube vid anywhere of this technique?

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29 minutes ago, wvu80 said:

I'm intrigued.  Since when has Cat5/6 been a thing for DIY cables?  And you say there is an audible improvement in clarity?  How much per meter or foot per cable?

 

Can you show some pics of how they are terminated with the banana plugs?  Is there a Youtube vid anywhere of this technique?

Quite a long while.

 

https://www.venhaus1.com/diycatfivecables.html

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Thaddeus,

that was the exact link i was going to post! lol!

WVU80,

so as you can tell, VhAudio braided his wire, where as i just stuck them in a vice and a drill.  i don't know which way is better or really care, it didn't take me that long to build these and they sound better than what i had.

i have 2 pics, the one with banana plugs is with the Cat 5 cable, and the unterminated pic is the Cat 6 cable.  you put a small piece of heat shrink at the end, divide up pairs, twist them together, and done.

i don't know what the price per foot is, because one of the benefits of building with Cat 5, you can get it for free.  i personally only need about 125' to build all 3 front speakers (8' for mains, 4' for center). it's really the labor and time that makes having Cat 5/6 cables a pain.

bananaplugs.jpg

untterminated.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

quick update...i sold ALL my left over cables and included my spare Cat 6 speaker cable.  so if i contacted you and said i'd let you borrow it, um....well...i can't now! sorry! almost a little sad all my extra stuff is gone! oh well, i'll use the little money i got to buy cycling stuff!!!!

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I made these in 1999.  Could not detect any difference through my La Scalas over old monster cable, but it did change the sound of my KLF-C7.  Three twisted pairs braided.  Solids are + and stripes are -.  Ends are separated and color coded with heat shrink and the last 12 inches of the braid are held together with heat shrink. 

 

Braided CAT5.jpg

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  • 7 months later...

ditto.  the high frequency performance (inductive and capacitive specs) are due to the tight winding of each par.  If you just take a complete cable and connect it as one conductor you dont get any of that benefit.  Curious to understand what the theoretical reason for any change you hear.  

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