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Cat 5 speaker cable
Cat 5 speaker cable
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Old 22nd February 2007, 08:16 AM   #1
Puffin is offline Puffin  United Kingdom
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Default Cat 5 speaker cable

I have searched for a thread on Cat 5 as a speaker cable. Nothing came up. Is there any information anywhere on the forum as to how the cable shoudl be made up ?

I seem to remember seing a twisted cable which I believe was Cat 5.

What I need to know is :-

1. What is the best Cat 5 cable to use i.e what gauge.
2. How many strands should be twisted together for each conductor (if twisting is what you do)
3. Any other tips on making a good CHEAP Cat 5 cable.

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Old 22nd February 2007, 10:00 AM   #2
pinkmouse is offline pinkmouse  Europe
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Cat 5 speaker cable

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Old 22nd February 2007, 12:57 PM   #3
theAnonymous1 is offline theAnonymous1  United States
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Making CAT5 speaker cables is a pain in the you know what. IMHO it's not worth the sore fingers, but if you really want to make them you could do something like the pic below.

There are 9 twisted pairs total. 3 twisted pairs braided + 3 braids braided = 1 speaker cable of around 15 AWG. If you use all the solid colors for one connection and all the striped for the other; you will retain the benefits of the twisted pairs.

In theory the twisted pairs have lower inductance, but I'm not sure if that is negated in any way by braiding multiple pairs together. Another benefit to the twisted pairs would be lower radiated noise from the cables. Possibly a good thing when used with class-d amps.

The three braids in the pic are actually for interconnects I'm making. I braided three of them together so I could take the pic. I haven't tried them as speaker cables.

I guess the easiest way to make cables would be to take 10-20 twisted pairs and just run them through some sleeving. Simple, quick, and it would look good.


Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 22nd February 2007, 01:18 PM   #4
JC Fardo is offline JC Fardo  Brazil
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Default Cat 5

Welcome to the league.

Oyvind“s Hifi Page

I“ve read this and many others pages in the web. At the end I made mine with four braided whole (not stripped) Cat6, same as TNT Audio. Cheap.

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Old 22nd February 2007, 03:55 PM   #5
Scottmoose is offline Scottmoose  United Kingdom
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Cat5 works fine. But there is no single one size fits all solution here -which will be best depends on your system.
"'That'll do", comes the cry of the perfectionist down the ages.' James May -The Reassembler
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Old 22nd February 2007, 07:01 PM   #6
DSP_Geek is offline DSP_Geek  Canada
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CAT5 speaker cable works by paralleling a lot of twisted pairs and reducing series inductance at the price of higher parallel capacitance. I'm not a huge fan because of the PITA (pain in the tuchus) factor.

I prefer using four parallel runs of mini RG-8, with all the cores tied together and all the shields together. You end up with a series L of about 0.02 uH/foot at about 10 gauge equivalent. It's not quite the beefy 6 gauge equivalent of quad full-size RG-8, but it's a damn sight more tractable. I tried the Risch crossfeed, but I liked the straight parallel configuration better.
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Old 22nd February 2007, 10:05 PM   #7
I_Forgot is offline I_Forgot  United States
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This is really easy:

No twisting to do. Just crimp on a couple PCB/ribbon connectors, insert a couple double sided PCB pieces, solder on some short leads and the connector of your choice and you're done.

Lays flat under carpet!

Verly low inductance and resistance, high capacitance.

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Old 23rd February 2007, 07:21 AM   #8
Puffin is offline Puffin  United Kingdom
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Thanks guys for all your replies. In the U.K I can get Cat5 cable from Maplin Electronics. However there are lots to chose from. Whihc one shoudl I start with ?Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 23rd February 2007, 08:30 AM   #9
Bas Horneman is offline Bas Horneman  Netherlands
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Most important is that you use the solid core versions.
If you can see the speaker cone move...it's not hifi.
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Old 23rd February 2007, 12:03 PM   #10
SY is offline SY  United States
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Cat 5 speaker cable
Dumb question-what's the DC withstanding voltage on CAT-5? Is it part of the standard or is it different from manufacturer to manufacturer?
"You tell me whar a man gits his corn pone, en I'll tell you what his 'pinions is."
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