Are CAT 5 speaker cables really as good as I've read?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Billy Gainey, Jul 4, 2001.

  1. Billy Gainey

    Billy Gainey Auditioning

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    I'm a newbie to DIY cables and have just started researching the idea. It doesn't look like making these cables would be that hard, just time consuming. They do look like Kimber's too. Most of the posts I've read have been a year or so old. I'm wondering if any new recipes have came out and if anyone can help me with this. I would love to believe that these speaker cables are all that they have been made out to be. But, something just doesn't feel right about them. I don't know, I just would hate to go through all that trouble and it be for nothing. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. Eric S

    Eric S Agent

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    Billy: I've made a set of the CAT5 cables recently (recipe here. I used 3 lengths of CAT5 for each speaker (12 pairs per speaker ~ 13ga wire).
    I had been using a set of Tara Phase II wires that were 8 feet long. Then I had to move my equipment rack into a nearby closet away from my crawling child. My Tara's no longer reached, so I just wired up the speakers with some 12ga stranded wire (eosteric, monster, etc). A great deal of the treble and detail disappeared with the 12ga as compared to the Taras. The imaging and soundstage (while never outstanding due to my room arrangement) suffered as well.
    Then I came across the CAT5 recipes and decided to try some. One involved braiding, and takes a tremendous amount of time that I don't have. The other (link above) involved simple twisting with my drill. I was able to twist up 3 sets of 20ft wires (L, C, R) within about 2 hours. The hardest part was separating out the pos and neg conductors and preparing the ends for termination. I was able to build 3 cables and terminate them in an afternoon.
    When I hooked them up, all of my treble, detail, soundstage and imaging came back! They are noticable superior to 12ga stranded wire, and they equal (maybe a pinch better than) the taras. I think the Taras originally sold for $160/8ft pair, but I'm not sure - I bought mine on closeout.
    I used Belden 1583A (teflon insluated or plenum) for mine, found it surplus for $30 for 300ft! I don't know that I would claim that this is the best cable in the world (I haven't tried that many) but it is clearly better than 12ga stranded wire and very comparable to some more expensive wire.
     
  3. Will Ernst

    Will Ernst Agent

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    The braiding method takes a LOT of time, especially for longer runs. I've been working on a set off and on for a while, and have gotten unbelievably fast with braiding. They are a pain to work with as well, I need 12 foot runs, so I'm working with 18 foot of wire, and basically have to unbraid while braiding. The tail end braids while you braid the top. Luckily I can hang them off my second story balcony, if I had to work with them laying on the floor it would be impossible. No matter what, these are going to sound great when I'm done [​IMG]
    -will
     

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