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Old 30th July 2008, 01:43 PM   #1
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Exclamation Cable Chemistry

Alright folks?

I just thought i would share with you all my findings in my first gainclone amp build. As you might have guessed, its about cables! yes, i never thought that cables could make such a huge difference. No we are not talking about speaker cables here, but the tiny small cables/wires we use for internal wiring. That can determine how your gainclone is going to sound, to a sunstantial extent. Story goes as below..

I built my first gainclone, by recycling a faulty amplifier. I used PD's premium kit and a high quality airlink transformer. All others parts, including the volume pot and wires came from the cheap faulty amp. I used the shielded signal wire from amp to connect RCAs to volume pot and from pot to amp. To connect speakers binding posts, i used a cut peice of mains cable from a faulty iron, with multilayered insulated coating still on. Well, looking at the ordinary volume pot and wires, i did not have big expectations, but when i listened to it the first time, i knew it was special. i wont go into detail of how it sounds, but to summarise i would say i can listen to it for hours without a slightest feeling of annoyance or fatigue and it has phenomenal bass performance with amazing grip on bass line.

So, after a few days of enjoying it, i felt that it was bit short of trebel and i thought that upgrading internal wiring and volume pot (Noble) may help a bit. So i bought some decent quality 'silver coated' wires and Noble pot from a well reputed seller of audio kits and components in the UK(lets not name it as thats not the point). I changed the signal wire (about a feet long in total) and speaker wire (about 6cm in length) with these high quality ones and also the volume pot. Now, with a lot of excitement, i crank up the amp and i immediately notice that there is something wrong. The sound changed to an extent that i could not believe that it was the same amp. it was ear piercing bright with weak bass. I could not listen to it for more than 15min however hard i tried. It was aimply annoying. I could not believe that such short length of wires could make such a huge difference. At the same time, i was feeling lucky to have used those ordinary wires at first. What if i would have used these premium wires at first? i wouldnt have even known how great the GC sounds and i would be simply thinking that probably the amp was mediocre!

Now i have replaced the wires back with ordinary ones and it has become natural again. Smooth, meaningful sound which is a pleasure to lsiten to. Noble pot has made some noticable difference, for good. I have not owned expensive audio gears, but i have heard them and i appreciate good music. I can bet that my current GC can beat commercial amps of, say 15-20 times its value I dont feel it as an exaggeration as i know now with right equipment and synergy how good it is.

I would like to advise all GC beginners to experiment with wires, specially if you have larger cases where you have more than 4cm of wire interconnect. They do make HUGE difference. You never know what you might be missing. May be, your GC can sound much better with right set of wires, not necessarily expensive.

Please share your experiences or views.

Cheers!
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Old 30th July 2008, 01:50 PM   #2
owen is offline owen  United Kingdom
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You can hear the difference between the circuits built on PCBs and those built 'dead bug' style too.

Cables have a huge impact.

Enjoy



Owen
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Old 30th July 2008, 02:06 PM   #3
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Yes everything contributes to sonic difference, to be able to hear it or not is another problem, and if the difference is in a good way or a bad way is also another matter.

Thus there's a fun factor of DIYing.

Doug
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Old 30th July 2008, 02:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by owen
You can hear the difference between the circuits built on PCBs and those built 'dead bug' style too.


You are right. i can imagine, avoiding those copper tracks can further enhance the sound. So that effectively plants the idea of next DIY build in my mind - point-to-point assemply GC!
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Old 31st July 2008, 02:25 AM   #5
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Thank you mubeen1983 for your post!.and yes this GC can sound really good.The last one I build was a LM3875 integrated amp.but this time I used a strong power supply 10000uf per channel after bridge rectifier and the sound changed completely...now you can feel the bass and the sound went from good to excellent.Some people like the sound with "small" caps in the power supply,but I like the sound better with "BIG" caps.I encourage people to try different values.You can try and try until you get the best sound you can.
"A well build GC can beat many commercial amplifiers for sure"
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Old 3rd August 2008, 01:18 PM   #6
joka22 is offline joka22  United Kingdom
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big caps did you say i got big caps 6800uf at 80vdc well they size of a red bull well slightly smaller. i will give them a try when i recive my gainclone package from peter.
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Old 3rd August 2008, 02:50 PM   #7
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Default Re: Cable Chemistry

Quote:
Originally posted by mubeen1983
So i bought some decent quality 'silver coated' wires

Where are the cable sceptics when you need them. They would explain that your high expectations coupled to the high price made you like these cables. Oh, wait a second. You didn't


Seriously, have you never heard that silver plated multistrand copper is usually intolerably bright and annoying?
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Old 3rd August 2008, 09:51 PM   #8
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Default Re: Re: Cable Chemistry

Quote:
Originally posted by analog_sa

Seriously, have you never heard that silver plated multistrand copper is usually intolerably bright and annoying?

I had, but at the same time i had also heard praise for them.. so there was no other way to find out than to see it myself. And now i know for sure, without any doubt silver cables are ' intolerably bright and annoying'
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