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Old 27th January 2010, 05:30 PM   #31
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Cat5 can not only be a good cable, but with a little work, it can be a great cable. Read the Cat5 shootout earlier in the thread. There was also a TNT review a few years back? After years of trying mega dollar esoteric cables, I fell upon the Cat5 craze and began experimenting of different configurations. First and most importantly…loose the outer jacket, it only smears the sound and makes it harder to prepare (yea I know it is a little work to remove, but well worth it). Secondly take the time to braid the inner wires. You can decide how many conductors you want to use and how much time you want to spend braiding, but a good mix seems to be 8 to 12 pairs of wires. For the 8 or 12 pair version, first braid the four twisted pairs together into one set. Do this for all sets (each Cat5 cable has 4 twisted pairs). Then twist the 2 sets (8 pair version) or braid the 3 sets (12 pair version) together. It takes a little time to do, but not as bad as trying to braid all 8 or 12 pairs at one time (tried it, never again). Next and just as important, when you terminate the braided cable, connect all solid color wires together and all stripped color wires together, rather than just 2 or 3 pair sets, it does make a difference.
I have tried both 8 and 12 pair twist/ braid and 8 pair fully braided cable (ala Kimber Kable) and happened to have the 8TC Kimber Kable on hand to compare the outcome, for the money the Cat5 held its own (I sold the Kimber). You can choose either the 8 pair or 12 pair, made the same way (twisted/ braided pairs) with the 12 pair having a little better base and better for longer runs. The last step is to get the cable off the floor (especially if you have carpet or vinyl floor) with little cardboard or aluminum pyramids (no plastic).
Currently using the 12 pair version, only bettered (different) by a pair of 1” copper foil/Teflon sandwich cables (ala Allen Wright’s Super Cable Cookbook- a must read), but they cost more to build. Also built a 1” Silver foil version for a friend, but $$$$. I use XLO solid 24awg copper/Teflon twisted interconnects, and 40awg solid Silver/Teflon in the phono stage. I like sound of solid core cables a lot. My reference system is vinyl, MC, Fet/Tube, DHT tube, SET300b, FE167 in ML-TQWT
BTW the 12 pair cable makes one heck of an AC cord.
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Old 27th January 2010, 06:48 PM   #32
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I was following you until i reached...

"The last step is to get the cable off the floor (especially if you have carpet or vinyl floor) with little cardboard or aluminum pyramids (no plastic)."

Explain how this has any affect, how wood floor might be better than carpet or vinyl, and how cardboard would be better than plastic. Sounds like gibberish to me.
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Old 27th January 2010, 07:06 PM   #33
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Belief engine to a large extent, not that that's necessarily a negative all the time. If you believe it works for you, then it's done its job, even if it hasn't had any physical effect. It's when the wire companies flog them on the back of a bunch of outright marketing lies & pseudo-science that I get irritated. OTOH, most of the commercial examples are bought by people with huge amounts of disposible income, who want something simply for the sake of having it, so whether it makes any difference from that POV is another story.

Hell's bollocks, but I'd be very careful about using Cat5 as a power lead...

Yes, there was a load of stuff on TNT a few years back. Started off with what they called the 'FFRC' about a decade ago, which was based on all sorts of quackery masquarading as 'truth' in a related article. They published the double-sized 'Triple-T' a short time afterward. Since then, elsewhere, there's been the Venhaus Cat5 reciept, the 'Gomer' variation (run for the hills, the VC are coming!) and goodness knows how many others. Most should do a decent job, although in many cases, such as the FFRC, an awful lot of rubbish is drooled about skin effect, dilectrics, 'strand-jumping' (give me strength) & other such nonsense. It's a reasonable speaker wire, although best for shorter lengths due to the bulk involved in making something substantial enough to keep voltage-drop minimal for longer-runs on the end of a high DF amp. Doesn't need dressing up with a load of pseudo-science. I prefer zip cord or ring-mains wire myself, but it's OK, aside from the more extreme types partnered with amps liable to oscilation if presented with too high a capacitance.
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Last edited by Scottmoose; 27th January 2010 at 07:25 PM.
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Old 27th January 2010, 08:12 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottmoose View Post

Hell's bollocks, but I'd be very careful about using Cat5 as a power lead...
Damn right! As an E/EE im not even sure that Cat5 is rated for mains voltages(110 or 230 for that matter), and it most certainly would be insafe had the outer sheath been removed too....does double insulation mean anything to the OP? And what about the earth???? asking for a nasty shock if you ask me....lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottmoose View Post
I prefer zip cord or ring-mains wire myself, but it's OK, aside from the more extreme types partnered with amps liable to oscilation if presented with too high a capacitance.
I have always used twin core mains wire of the normal unsophisticated appliance flex type, 13amp or similar. Failing that i just buy cheap zip speaker cord of about 0.75mm≤ to 1.5mm≤ or just look for many strands as possible and rated about 15 - 20 amps. Never noticed a cable sounding better than ordinary cheapo cable. The most i ever spent on cable was £0.80/metre and now i can get the same stuff for £0.19/m i wont be doing that either.

seems a lot is dependent on the driving amplifier, and valve amps seem to be the major use. As they have poor damping factors anyway i doubt a resistive cable would ruin things much more...

also does any of the cat5 advocates realise that paralleling the cores will add their respective capacitances? sure cat5 is low in C to start with, but really.... 12 cores paralleled makes it much worse than most speaker cables, and surely it would be more inductive when twisted/braided.

so i guess alot of it is 'Belief engine' as you put it. pyschosematic. fooling ones-self. maybe using cable R to tune a poorly designed over damped or bassless speaker to give useful bass...
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Last edited by mondogenerator; 27th January 2010 at 08:17 PM.
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Old 27th January 2010, 09:34 PM   #35
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Quote:
Damn right! As an E/EE im not even sure that Cat5 is rated for mains voltages(110 or 230 for that matter), and it most certainly would be insafe had the outer sheath been removed too....does double insulation mean anything to the OP? And what about the earth???? asking for a nasty shock if you ask me...
Tell me about it. Cat5 is a low voltage cable & not designed for those kind of power / current demands. I can well imagine the insurance company declining to pay out in the (likely) event of a problem, and you could even leave yourself open to criminal prosecution if, God forbid, a fire broke out & it spread to other properties, someone was injured, or both. As far as I can see, using Cat5 as a power-lead IMO is begging for it at best, stark raving lunacy at worst.

Quote:
seems a lot is dependent on the driving amplifier, and valve amps seem to be the major use. As they have poor damping factors anyway i doubt a resistive cable would ruin things much more...
Not all valve amps have a high output impedance, just as not all SS amps have a low output impedance. Either way, assuming the amp in question is well designed to its particular criteria, it's not a 'poor' damping factor; merely a low one, & such designs are typically specifically intended to be partnered with very highly damped HE speakers.

Quote:
also does any of the cat5 advocates realise that paralleling the cores will add their respective capacitances? sure cat5 is low in C to start with, but really.... 12 cores paralleled makes it much worse than most speaker cables, and surely it would be more inductive when twisted/braided.
A main object of many of the fancy Cat5 reciepts is to reduce inductance compared to, say, a twin-feeder, with high capacitance being the price. Always considered that (and other types with that goal) OTT myself -it regularly causes more problems than anything else.
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Last edited by Scottmoose; 27th January 2010 at 09:46 PM.
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Old 28th January 2010, 12:16 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottmoose View Post
Cat5 is a low voltage cable
This PVC jacketed CAT5 is rated at 300V. I'd guess that plenum grade might be higher.

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Old 28th January 2010, 12:35 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuyler1 View Post
I was following you until i reached...

"The last step is to get the cable off the floor (especially if you have carpet or vinyl floor) with little cardboard or aluminum pyramids (no plastic)."

Explain how this has any affect, how wood floor might be better than carpet or vinyl, and how cardboard would be better than plastic. Sounds like gibberish to me.
The idea behind that is that the dielectric is a major player in how cables differ (in an ideal world the electric field is actually on the outside of the wire from the surface outwards) and that carpet and vinyl are not as nice a dielectric as air. Further raising the cables would create a physical environment where the dielectric is more closely symmetrical.

This is all just theory to me, but i do raise my cables... but the purpose is to keep the dog from chewing them.

dave
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Old 28th January 2010, 12:38 AM   #38
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How is cardboard better than plastic???? And having a conductive lift (aluminum) seems even worse, if you accept the (IMO) goofy hypothesis.
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Old 28th January 2010, 12:41 AM   #39
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Mondo, advise if this goes OT:

Can we terminate with RJ-45's (they are gold plated )and dispense with posts and jacks?

Last edited by Ed LaFontaine; 28th January 2010 at 12:43 AM.
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Old 28th January 2010, 12:44 AM   #40
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I'm not expousing the hypothesis, just elucidating what it is. I don't think aluminum would be a material of choice. Just like a metal staple holding a CAT5 network cable to the wall, i would expect it to cause a reflection (at what intensity or frequency or audibility i don't know)

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