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Old 25th December 2004, 07:47 PM   #1
phn is offline phn  Sweden
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Default MC phono cable questions (Long)

There are threads similar to this, but this newbie couldn't find any that gave the answers I seek. Also, this is all about cable resistance. Capacitance and inductance may make a difference as well, as everything does. But the resistance is said to be the deciding factor for low-output MCs. Also, capacitance and inductance I can play around with should I decide to make my own cable, whereas the resistance is constant. At least as far as this non-engineer understands it.

Anyway, I'm putting together this Garrard 301. Though I'll use a Denon DL-103, I'm asking about low-output MC cartridges in general (not that there's any difference whatsoever). I'm considering the (ready-made or not) Van Den Hull D-501 Hybrid (possibly silver) cable. Should I decide to buy the D-501 I would be over with it. I wouldn't need to ask. But I ask you guys because I want to learn. Not just for now, but for future references.

I also consider other alternatives. One alternative is the HMS Duetto MK-3. I like it because of its solid core leads. It's also attractively priced compared to the silver D-501. Another alternative is to buy silver (or gold alloy) wire and make my own cables. I found a cheapo microphone cable at Elfa that also looks interesting. As well as a pair of cheap Nagaoka phono cables, about 35 for a 1.5 m pair.

The problem with the HMS Duetto MK-3, the silver wire and the microphone cable is that I don't know about their resistance. (The D-501s have a resistance of 11.9 Ohm/100 m and the Nagaoka has 4 Ohm/100 m.) Now, I consider those other alternatives because I think they should have low enough resistance. The HMS looks to be at least 24 AWG. And the microphone cable is .3 sqmm, or about 22-23 AWG. I can choose whatever AWG I want for the silver wire, though I'm thinking 24 AWG or less. I don't think any of them should have a resistance exceeding the D-501. At least not by much. Of course, that's all assumptions on my part.

But my problem isn't the Ohms per se. The problem is that these figures don't say me anything. For example, Van Den Hul's tonearm wire MSS-7 has a resistance of 1.31 Ohm/m. The MCS-150 M has .907 Ohm/m. And the MCS-300 has a resistance of .225 Ohm/m. In other words, there's a huge difference between the MSC-300 and the two others if you only look at the figures. But nowhere do I learn what value is "sufficient."

So my questions are, is there any rule of thumb for wire size contra resistance? How low should I go? Would the HMS Duetto MK-3, the silver wire and the microphone cable do, if at all possible to answer?

Sorry for the length.
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Old 26th December 2004, 06:36 AM   #2
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The most significant sound improvement i've had recently was due to using a single piece of cable between cart clips and step-up transformer. It is cheap Discovery multistrand copper in teflon.

I really don't understand the preoccupation with resistance. Contact resistance seems to be more important at such short lengths.

The cables you mention sound so different anyway that advice based on resistance alone will be quite useless.
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Old 26th December 2004, 10:26 AM   #3
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Interesting,

I'm actually waiting for a SME compatible plug for my model 10 arm, I want to get rid of my D501 as soon as possible.
I used to have a Origin live arm with solid cored silver wired DIY phon cable. Much better IMO and very simple to make.
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Old 26th December 2004, 01:59 PM   #4
phn is offline phn  Sweden
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Thanks for your answers. Reading my own post I now realise it was TOO much. But my worries have to do with the fact that I always used a MM Goldring and, I guess, the stuff I have been reading about MC cartridges. Before posting my questions, I did a search here and found one guy saying 2-3 feet is too long for MCs. Now, I don't believe that at all. (Unless you use a really high resistance wire, like cotton.) But it still made me take note. In this case that low resistance is important. I just don't know how important. I also have to confess that this DIY, which is new to me, has made me something of a control freak. I want to know why I do things. And then there's the fact that I don't want to have to upgrade my stuff very often.

I don't know why the D-501 is bad. But I, too, am a solid core guy, even though I have nothing that backs that up. I guess the alternatives remain.
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Old 26th December 2004, 03:38 PM   #5
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Hi phn

I've had good results getting rid of all the connectors,
( exept the cartridge clips) and by putting the step-up right at the
pick-up arm. The arm-leads are soldered straight into the transformer.

cheers
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Old 26th December 2004, 03:44 PM   #6
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My single piece Discovery cable is about 3 feet long. Ideally it should be much shorter but for the time being i need it long. Plays great with Ortofon Kontra b, MC10 Supreme and MC20.
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Old 26th December 2004, 06:22 PM   #7
phn is offline phn  Sweden
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True. Connectors are junk. People buy expensive WBT spades when it would be so much better to just hooking up the bare wire to the binding posts. Of course, it doesn't look as nice. And I'm one of those people.

analog_sa, I think we're in a similar type of situation. I'm working on this Garrard 301 and you could say I'm in the middle of an upgrade. I want to build an amp and a MC stage. But right now I'm stuck with my Arcam Delta 290 and the built-in MC stage. It's far from ideal since I need that one meter cable. So for now resistance seems to be the key. But being that I still have to get a plinth, I still have time to scout around.
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