Cat5 Speaker Cable

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by TonyWright, Aug 25, 2004.

  1. TonyWright

    TonyWright Second Unit

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    Hello all,

    I have just recently finished a project building Cat5 speaker cables. I was absolutely astounded at the difference in the sound. Those cables opened a midrange that I was totally unaware of. I was a little skeptical at first, wondering how these cables could really make any difference. I couldn't have been more wrong. Eating crow here! I don't know what others experiences have been like, but I have had great success.

    I would definitely recommend these cables, especially since they don't cost much to make.

    Tony
     
  2. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    I'm glad to hear this, I use Cat5 wires too, but it makes me think there was something wrong with the connections you had before. [​IMG]
     
  3. TonyWright

    TonyWright Second Unit

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    I'm not sure what could have been wrong. Phase was correct and I had solid connections ( made sure of that ). I don't know what else I could have done incorrectly with my previous cables.

    Tony
     
  4. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    Interesting. I mean, I thought the Cat5 sounded better and I'm glad that I am using it, but the difference was minor, not really big, or astounding. I only compared this a while ago when my electronics were relatively crappy. The amplifiers I'm using now have short braided Cat5 cables soldered directly to the PCBs, though I still have 16 gauge copper wires inside my speakers.
     
  5. Philip_T

    Philip_T Supporting Actor

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    When I 1st plugged in my home-braided cat-5 cables, my wife even noticed a difference, and she could care less about that kinda stuff. I love my 'hippie-cable'! But my fingers were blistered for about a week after all of that braiding.
     
  6. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Why would you braid by hand? Clamp one end down, use a drill.
     
  7. Tim Stumpf

    Tim Stumpf Stunt Coordinator

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    Can someone tell me what a cat5 cable is and what is the suppossed advantage of braiding a cable?
     
  8. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Category 5 (network) cable. Braiding theoretically would reduce minute electrical interactions between strands, but in individually jacketed wires, I don't see that being an issue. Kimber is known for making this type of cable.
     
  9. PaulT

    PaulT Supporting Actor

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  10. Philip_T

    Philip_T Supporting Actor

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    Hmm, I can't picture how a drill could braid 3 strands of cable. How does it work?
     
  11. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Start the braid, clamp them in the dril, put the drill on a slow speed, it will twist the wires for you.
     
  12. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Now, now, Martha would never do it that way. So what characteristic changes to a signal would result in an open midrange since somehow the signal must've been affected?
     
  13. TonyWright

    TonyWright Second Unit

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    Chu,

    Good question! I am still a green horn when dealing with audio so I can't express exactly what I mean regarding "open midrange". I guess I am just refering to my ability to hear a range of sound that was previously either maksed or missing.


    Hopefully one day I'll be able to spew out audio descriptors and actually say something meaningful. [​IMG]

    Tony
     
  14. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Is braiding the cable actually necessary? Is the issue keeping the wires together? Just get some flexible nylon cover and heat shrink.
     
  15. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    You're doing OK Tony. When or if the point in your life comes that you start talking and thinking like the reviewers in The Absolute Sound or EnjoyTheMusic, that's the point where you'll have gone off the deep end. Think back carefully to how you did things and answer if, during the course of attaching and reattaching things, you moved the speakers or if the volume was changed.

    Look, I know you're happy. You survived the braiding and your fingers aren't so bad off that you can still go take a whizz and not have the bathroom look like the Lawn Genie went insane. What I'd like you to do, is to sit back this evening and think about a couple of things like
    1. The FR through the wires, braided and not, is off maybe 0.1 dB at 20 kHz. That's inaudible.
    2. The overall gauge is such that power losses through either cable are insignifcant enough to not result in a level change.
    3. Over 20-20KHz, wire behaves essentially in a linear fashion and there is no distortion.

    Don't be so quick to eat or not eat crow. Give the matter some thought. What could have changed?
     
  16. TonyWright

    TonyWright Second Unit

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    I was careful to make sure there was no change. I definitely did not move the speakers. I was listening to the main speakers in 2 channel mode. I used 3 tracks in a before and after test. The volume adjusted 3 times in the before and after test. I tested at -35, -25 and -15 with my old wires first and then with my new wires. I thought I had a pretty solid testing environment.

    Was there something I missed? I thought the sound was quite good. I may have been a little over zealous when posting about the "phenominal" quality of the sound. My speakers sounded amazing to begin with.

    I guess you are right in that I was excited to have completed them.


    Tony
     
  17. Ronneil Camara

    Ronneil Camara Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Tony,

    I am saving some bucks to buy the Swan 2.1 and C3 this year. Based from your experience, where have you compared these speakers? And is it really better?

    Thanks.
     
  18. TonyWright

    TonyWright Second Unit

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    Ronneil,

    Sorry I'm not quite sure what you're asking. Do you mean what other speakers have I compared my Swans to? Or are you speaking of the Cat5 cables?


    Thanks.

    Tony
     
  19. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    Moderator

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    For one thing, Tony didn’t give any indication what his point of reference was. For instance, if he was previously using 22ga. zip cord anything would have been an improvement.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  20. TonyWright

    TonyWright Second Unit

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    Wayne, that is a good point. I left out the fact that I was previoulsy using 12AWG Phoenix Gold cable with Dayton banana plugs. I am still using the Dayton plugs (although I'd like some WBT plugs [​IMG]) I believe the new speaker cable is effectively 9AWG.

    Sorry I left that part out.


    Tony
     

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