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Author Topic: Headphone cable conductors  (Read 4702 times)

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Offline Maxwell_E

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Headphone cable conductors
« on: April 10, 2011, 07:33:36 PM »
I'm making an upgrade cable for a friends HD600's. I'm planning on using Homebrew Audio bulk wire and the Sennheiser connectors from Cardas. I've come up with two questions so far. What is the max gauge for the Sennheiser headphone connectors? would 22 work? I can't find any data on their website, or Partsconnexion where I plan on buying them.

Also, the idea of using silver wire popped into my head briefly, then I did the mental math and figured it would cost about $300 for ten feet of two twisted-pairs. So then I thought "What if I only used silver for the signal and copper for the ground?" Would that bring a noticable benefit, or is one conductor material just as crucial as the other?
Max Tomlinson
SEX amp, Tode guitar amp

Offline dstrimbu

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Re: Headphone cable conductors
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2011, 09:49:31 AM »
Hey Max,

The bore diameter on the Cardas plug pins is about 0.075-0.080", and the holes are about 0.100" deep. That being said, they won't take a lot of heat - I melted a set before I figured it out.

As far as silver conductors - I wouldn't waste my money.  Good quality OFC copper will sound just fine - my Moon Blue Dragon is UP-OCC, 99.999%, 24awg x 4, Teflon insulated stranded wire.  It sounds great!

-Don




Offline Grainger49

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Re: Headphone cable conductors
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2011, 10:12:38 AM »
Just thinking out loud, as it were, I would say because audio signals are AC that both positive and negative conductors count equally.  If it were traveling one direction the common wouldn't be critical but since it is alternating back and forth then both are equally important.

Offline Maxwell_E

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Re: Headphone cable conductors
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2011, 10:54:07 AM »
Hmm, both very valid points. Thanks guys, you just saved me a ton of money.
Max Tomlinson
SEX amp, Tode guitar amp

Offline mrarroyo

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Re: Headphone cable conductors
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2011, 12:28:36 AM »
Actually I compared a bunch of after market cables, ranging from the stock HD650 up to $450 sets. In my case the two favorite cables for the HD600 were silver plated. Of these I chose the cheaper one of the two, the Blacksilver by Headphile. On a close/related observation I found that replacing the foam in front of the driver with an stretched lady's stocking opened up the sound as much as a fancy re-cable and it cost pennies.

Offline HF9

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Re: Headphone cable conductors
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2011, 04:16:17 PM »
24 gauge wire is usually the most ideal trade-off between gauge and flexibility. I've done a number of high-stranded 21 gauge as well which is perfectly fine. I've tried 19 gauge and that's pushing the envelope a bit. I've also done as you mentioned, a completely silver cable using wire from Homegrown, in this case it was someones pair of DT-880s. Since the DT-880s are already high in treble energy, it increased that much more-so with the silver cable in Teflon. The person that I made it for was very happy with it, but my ears being as sensitive as they are, I didn't care for it too much. I'm more of a Cardas copper man myself, but my ears tend to fatigue much more easily that other peoples.

I typically use silver plated copper, as Miguel suggested, or pure Cardas / UP-OCC copper for headphone recables.
My DIY Audio Electronics Blog: DIYAudioBlog.com

Offline mrarroyo

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Re: Headphone cable conductors
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2011, 01:07:33 PM »
Bryan, one day I will have the monies to both send back a cable for you to cut down and make two. Which will feed my K1000 in two different rigs as well as purchase a silver plated cable for my HD580. Your cables are so well made that they are a work of art, thanks.

Offline HF9

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Re: Headphone cable conductors
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2011, 04:28:04 PM »
Thanks Miguel, I really appreciate your compliments! Glad to see you here frequenting the Bottlehead forum ;)
My DIY Audio Electronics Blog: DIYAudioBlog.com