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Old 1st March 2008, 12:54 AM   #1
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Default DIY turntable headshell leads

Hi. One of the 4 headshell leads, those very thin and cheap ones, has broken. Instead of getting a new set, I'm thinking of the possibility of making a better set myself, hoping to save some bucks and maybe to have some improvement. Is this possible? I did a number of DIY interconnects before. Would appreciate ideas and advices. I'm using ADC MkII improved MM cartridge on a Thorens TD160. Thanks.
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Old 1st March 2008, 03:37 AM   #2
KP11520 is offline KP11520  United States
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Hi,

The whole headshell leads subject is a sore spot as far as I am concerned. You can search here at DIY for my previous thread about my experience with manufactured ones.

Let me know how you make out. I would think that stripping and soldering fine quality wire to the tiny clips might cause baldness! If it works out rather easily for you I might risk the rest of my hair and try as well!

Just be warned that the pins on the headshell are 1.0 mm in diameter and the pins on your cartridge and just about every other are 1.2 mm, so buy the according clips (4 of each or more for mistakes) and use high quality wire. Try finding reasonable manufactured quality headshell leads with the right sized clips! Ha!

Van den Hul has a nice set with proper sized clips at about $70.00 USD or maybe higher! Cardas over $110. Audioquest has a set for $20 but both ends are 1.2 mm and you have to crimp or squeeze that end onto the headshell pins. Why spend $20 to have a less than intended connection and pay that much or more to make a weak connection, degrading everything from the cartridge (weakest link is the best it will sound) to the input of your Preamp or Phono Stage.

Good luck!

Regards//Keith
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Old 3rd March 2008, 09:43 PM   #3
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I was thinking of using maybe some thin silver wires (I've heard that silver performs better than copper in terms of audio signal transmission) and re-use the tiny clips of the existing headshell leads. I'm concerned about the type of wires to be used because I don't know if there are restrictions on the type of wires so as not to negatively affect performance. I expect that soldering the used clips to the leads would be a challenge.
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Old 5th March 2008, 01:28 AM   #4
Nanook is offline Nanook  Canada
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Default headshell leads...

are a PITA, but, there are very good inexpensive ones out there.

Even mini "D" computer plugs are very good and REALLY cheap...

There are Cardas "budget" connectors in the neighbourhood of $5 a set....

http://www.musicdirect.com/product/73251


sorry can't get the link to work directly ion the post....


stew
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Old 6th March 2008, 02:57 PM   #5
KP11520 is offline KP11520  United States
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Hi Stew,

If you can recommend a set of reasonable, quality Headshell leads WITH the appropriate clips for the cartridge and headshell, I would GREATLY APPRECIATE it!

The budget Cardas clips are very delicate and fatigue and break easily! YIKES! Good thing I have hemostats to work on these things!

Thanks!

Regards//Keith
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Old 8th March 2008, 06:53 PM   #6
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Not so dificult as you might think.When you solder put a toothpick in the clip,put something heavy on the toothpick to keep it steady,and shoot....Use the thinnest solder you can get.
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Old 8th March 2008, 09:15 PM   #7
bulgin is offline bulgin  South Africa
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Default DIY turntable...

Hi

I think diyaudio member ErnieL has recently made up some for himself and kindly sent me a few of the clips he used.

If he sees this post, he may be able to fill you in.

Cheers

bulgin
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Old 8th March 2008, 10:34 PM   #8
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Hi. I've checked out the Cardas site and a set of 4 clips costs $5. I hesitate to risk $10 on 2 sets (required for both ends of the 4 headshell leads) and eventually end up breaking them. By the way, I'm still looking forward to hearing ideas on the appropriate type of wires for the leads and am eargerly looking forward to seeing ErnieL's diy leads.

Cheers

patknk939
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Old 8th March 2008, 11:25 PM   #9
YNWOAN is offline YNWOAN  United Kingdom
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You don't want to spend $10 - blimey! I've soldered headshell tags back onto wires before and it's not that difficult if you have a steady hand - the toothpick or cocktail stick idea is a good one.

To be honest I would be very, very surprisd if you could hear the difference between copper and silver headshell wires. If you wan't to save money just solder the broken cable back onto the connector.
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Old 9th March 2008, 07:07 AM   #10
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patknk939,I have some short lengths of van den hul mss7 silver plated teflon insulated left after a rega rewiring I did for a friend.If you are not ina hurry I can send them to you.I will strip and tin the ends so you only need to solder and put some shrinkable sleeves.
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