solid vs. braided conductor cables

Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by Sebastien David, May 7, 2003.

  1. Sebastien David

    Sebastien David Second Unit

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    Hey guys... long time since I last posted.
    I wasn't sure where exactly to post this thread, but the sheer level of knowledge in this section prompted me to try here.
    So here is my question: I always thought solid conductor cables were as good or better than their braided counterparts, except of course they were much less flexible, especially in bigger gauge trim, and also more prone to ruptures after repeated twists and bends. Is that actually true?
    I'm starting to wonder whether this is true for all applications, such as speaker cables for examples, or even whether this is true at all...
    I thought about it the other day, and it seems a braided cable would have more surface area, isn't that an advantage?

    More specifically, I'm looking at building my own component cables. I would need a long run for my projector, and the traditional Monster et al. offerings are very expensive. So what if I took relatively high-quality RG6 cable, which has the required specs, and cut it to the proper length, then used an RCA-type connector to terminate everything?
    Would it also work with coax digital cabling?

    Thanks a bunch,

    -Seb
     
  2. Mark_E_Smith

    Mark_E_Smith Second Unit

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    For analog audio you need braided, for digital it may not matter.
     
  3. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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    I think it'll work great, and save you some money if you DIY.

    A problem some people have with solid conductors is the "skin" effect. Where the most current in the wire is near the surface area, while the core carries the least current. It is said that the change in current results in a "phase" shift and can smear the audio signal.

    That is why some companies say that their wires have multiple strands of wire as a conductor. While the more higher priced cables can even go as far as having different conductor diameters in their multiple strands.

    However, since you're making component cables, I think Skin Effect is the least of your worries because it is mainly associated with Audio signals.

    I found that another benefit of multiple strand braids, is the ability for some to flex like a wet noodle. About the cable durability... Yes, I'd say the wet noodle wire might be less prone to breakage, but this doesn't mean it's going to happen with your RG6.

    Relatively High quality RG6 can work well as a speaker wire. Take Jon Risch's design where he swares by using high quality Belden #89259 ($1-2 per foot) as a cable. Oh, and yes it will work great for both Audio, Video, and Digital coaxial.
     
  4. Sebastien David

    Sebastien David Second Unit

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    will it really work as well for analog audio?
    I thought it would probably work well for video and coax digital since the spec of 75ohm is respected...
    Anyways, I'm pretty much covered on the speaker cable and analog interconnects, I was really just wondering about the component video cable...
    And how high a quality is recommended? I can get some Monster RG6 for pretty darn cheap, here is the product description.
    Good enough?
    Is there a good source of info I could go to to get more precision on the matter? I'll try John Risch's website, seems chock-full of good DIY info...
    Thanks,

    -Seb
     

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