What cable to use for audio (phono) diy connections?

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I was going to point this out but going on the basis the OP seemed quite happy with 'reasonably loud music' on telephone cable, I took it he wasn't an audiophile as he would already know about quality OFC, gold plated etc interconnects if he was. And, quality aint cheap, but cheap was mentioned in the OP.

Ooops, I'll try again then. www.maplin.co.uk look this time for part no. XS39N. _Better quality!_

SJW A.C.S. Ltd.
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You're a bit lacking in experience, then.
--
*I don't suffer from insanity -- I'm a carrier

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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Dave Plowman wrote:

Is that a polite comment or one that I should take exception to? Maybe your tag says it all? ;-)
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Heh heh. This is a practical group - about DIY. Esoteric notions that adequate cables sound different is best kept for the loony audio groups. You may know that there's a standing challenge with a large cash prize for anyone who can tell the difference between adequately specified cables in a properly conducted test - and so far, no one has succeeded. And adequate cables for interconnects cost pennies per foot, not hundreds of dollars as do some on the market.
--
*The first rule of holes: If you are in one, stop digging!

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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Had to keep my face straight about 18 months ago when a guy in a hifi shop was telling me all about how coax digital interconnect gave a warmer sound than optical.
Aren't OFC cables claimed to be polarised so you have to connect them the right way round?
Saw a pig fly past yesterday.
-- Dr. Craig Graham, Software Engineer Advanced Analysis and Integration Limited, UK. http://www.aail.co.uk /
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wrote:
<snip>

LOL ... yes, you want to avoid anything that resembles two paper clips joined by wet string, but otherwise a cable is a cable is a cable. Those who would tell you otherwise are either (a) trying to con you into purchasing the latest 0.000000000001% oxygen with added snake-oil connects, or (b) have already been conned by (a) and want to disguise their embarrasment. Recording studios buy exactly the kind of generic screened cable and connectors available from RS, Maplin, etc., and get a spotty studio junior to make up cables - anyone with even a passing acquintance with a soldering iron can do the same.
Julian
--
Julian Fowler
julian (at) bellevue-barn (dot) org (dot) uk
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Have you heard the quality of UK DAB broadcasts? You don't need to spend much!
However, as the original poster has probably figured out already, he does need screened cable.

Usually - it depends. Which end you choose to connect can make a difference. Lots of fun!
UK wiring regulations mean you need to keep the audio cables at least 5cm away from any mains wiring.
Cheers, David.
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R3 & 4 are still ok. But even at reduced bitrate, the frequency response isn't affected. And frequency response is the only likely thing to be affected by the use of the wrong cable - it's unlikely to cause any other forms of distortion. Driving speakers with long cables is a different matter - some poorly designed amps can become unstable with the load this may present.
--
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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London SW 12

Yes, but if you're using Naim amps, you'll probably use Naim cables too, won't you?
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Yup - you've got more money than sense. ;-)
--
*No radio - Already stolen.

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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Julian Fowler wrote:

Quiet agree, when I was rattling on about lots of money I was thinking in terms of what is reasonably priced cable when considering performance over a few metres becoming (very) expensive over the distances mentioned by the OP. WRT gold plated connectors; some of the ones I've had from CPC seem to be made to a much higher spec than their non-gold counterparts for little increase in price. I've no doubt that what you say about the plating is true, but struggling with a (mechanically) cheap connector may not make sense for the OP in the long run (no pun intended).
Regards Richard
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While it's possible to make an interconnect that would affect the performance adversely, I'd say it would cost *more* than one which didn't. And by the nature of an interconnect, it works *before* the amplification you have control over, so how it can have an effect on distortion when you change that level, I'm not sure.
Cable parameters consist of three things - resistance, inductance and capacitance. If the output and input of two devices were a 'perfect' match these might have some effect under some circumstances. But on domestic gear, they aren't. You have a low impedance output feeding a high impedance input. The amounts of the three cable parameters would have to be *far* higher than any normal cable to have any audible effect on performance.
--
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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On Tue, 03 Feb 2004 01:05:33 +0000 (GMT), Dave Plowman

Basically, you're amplifying the noise with the audio source. It becomes more noticable at higher levels of amplification. I know this is right, I've done it when installing ICE, you can tell easily that the volume is the same but the background noise is louder when the source volume is turned up.

SJW A.C.S. Ltd.
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To all intents and purposes, cables don't have 'background noise' in the lengths we're talking about. Of course any subsequent amplifier will make a difference to the noise of the source, but that noise comes from the source electronics, etc, not the cables.
--
*Isn't it a bit unnerving that doctors call what they do "practice?"

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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On Tue, 03 Feb 2004 09:40:29 +0000 (GMT), Dave Plowman

succeptible to allowing noise into the source signal that can be amplified rather than actually introducing it into the source signal.
SJW A.C.S. Ltd.
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At the impedances and levels most interconnects work at, induction or whatever isn't usually a problem - just keep them a few inches away from other cables. Lighting cables with a dimmer somewhere tend to be the worst.
Different matter with an LP pickup wiring, though. ;-)
--
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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Places like Maplin sell audio co-ax designed for this purpose by the meter or drum - the same stuff as a phono lead is made of. However, when connecting two or more separate systems together, there's a possibility of an earth loop which will cause hum if they are all earthed through the mains plug, as your computer almost certainly is.
But the wrong cable shouldn't make the sound distorted - it's only likely to add hum. It could be that connecting the inputs of the computer and Hi-Fi together is via long lengths of wire is causing some instability - just a guess. Is it distorted on both, if you connect them individually?
The 'correct' way to do this job is with a distribution amplifier - same idea as you use with a TV aerial - but I'm not sure if domestic types are available at a reasonable price, they're more a pro thing at pro prices.
Unbalanced circuits - this is what you have - can work well over reasonable distances. I've got my STB in the front room fed to the kitchen TV via a SCART lead over 15 metres long, and it works well.
--
*A cubicle is just a padded cell without a door.

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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"James" wrote | I want to get unamplified sound between my computer & DAB radio (in | the kitchen) and my amplifier (in the sitting room). The cable route | is about 10-15m and goes through the cellar, so it would be nice to | have a socket there as well. | I have bought a couple of double phono sockets from nexxia | (http://www.nexxia.co.uk /) and linked them up with telephone wire | (which was what I had to hand). Not good. There's a hum, and | although reasonably loud music is worth listening to, speech is very | distorted. | Now I'm sure there are many things I have done wrong: using telephone | wire; maybe using solder (though the sockets have solder tags); I | should also mention that the cables connect through a telephone | junction box.
Hopefully one not used for telephone lines!
Actually, you can shove line-level audio down phone cable quite well provided that it's twisted-pair and you get the pairs right. You may also have some 'dry joints', so practice your soldering. Hum is usually caused by poor earthing and screening; distortion may be a sign of a bad joint.
| But I can't find any cable anywhere specified for this | purpose (as opposed to speaker cable). What should I use (looking | for something cheap, that I can buy by the metre, or in a 10 or 25m | reel, either over the net or on the UK high street)? Also advice | about a junction box if that's likely to make a difference.
Maplin order code XR21X at 49p/m or XS94C at 59p/m are figure-8 screened audio cable suitable for making audio leads. Per metre or 100m reel. (Those are last years prices, check in shops or www.maplin.co.uk ) If you want to join two phono leads end-end QT64U is a stereo phono-phono coupler. It's not audiophile stuff but you're only using it for DAB :-)
Maplin XS39N at 3.49/m is rather heftier but will need heftier plugs too.
Owain
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You can with video as well. ;-)
Ordinary telephone pair was used for distributing the signal to radio transmitters for years before digital came along, and a carefully equalised line was capable of giving excellent results over many, many miles.
I use telephone cable in my place to distribute audio - I've got 10 circuits in one cable, non of them screened, and the results are excellent. But it's a balanced system.
--
*Someday, we'll look back on this, laugh nervously and change the subject

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (James) wrote in message

Many thanks for the replies. To sum up:
1. Now I understand that each phono plug socket has two solder tags. Aha. Current set-up doesn't have the shielding connected at all. Ooops.
2. My original intention was to use the junction box as a sort of permanent patch panel. In a 3-socket pair connection I thought it would save me soldering two wires to each tag in the middle socket. My impression from all the posts is that this is probably not a good idea?
3. Connecting the shielding at both ends or at one end. Some divergent views.
Off to Maplins...
James
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