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Mixed metals headphone cable
Mixed metals headphone cable
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Old 1st November 2017, 01:01 AM   #1
tizman is offline tizman  Canada
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Default Mixed metals headphone cable

Hi All.
Quick question. Has anyone tried mixing conductor types in a DIY headphone cable? I had the good fortune last summer to purchase a large quantity of mil spec wire bundles of many different types. Among these are many different AWG of silver plated copper stranded cable and silver plated solid copper cables. I also bought a variety of all copper wiring. All of these are sheathed in teflon. In addition, I have on hand 40 or so feet of 24 gauge 999 solid silver wire and 24 gauge copper wire covered in a cotton sheath. Riches! Anyway, I have been thinking about combining these types of wire to create a mixed metal headphone cable to go between my Aren van Waarde 5998 headphone amp and my HD600s. Any insight would be appreciated.
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Old 1st November 2017, 09:02 AM   #2
Idiosyncrasy is offline Idiosyncrasy  Netherlands
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Mixed metals headphone cable
Quote:
Originally Posted by tizman View Post
Among these are many different AWG of silver plated copper stranded cable and silver plated solid copper cables.
I'd imagine that the stranded wire is much more convenient for the application of a headphone cord than the solid core wire. I've never tried mixing different conductor materials like this, but I would expect the (measurable) differences to be swamped by characteristics of the headphones and amplifier themselves?
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Old 1st November 2017, 12:07 PM   #3
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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Headphone cables need to be light in weight and flexible, while maintaining sufficiently low resistance and avoiding unusual values for inductance and capacitance. Both copper and silver have sufficiently good conductance, so you are extremely unlikely to notice any difference. Cotton will be a poor insulator and poor dielectric, as its exact characteristics will depend on how damp the atmosphere is that day, but fortunately this should do little harm.
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Old 1st November 2017, 06:42 PM   #4
tizman is offline tizman  Canada
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There are many on the forums that report improvements in SQ with different headphone cables. To be honest, I am skeptical. but I do have some raw materials handy, and thought I would ask if anyone had a suggestion or opinion with respect to combining the different materials
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Old 1st November 2017, 10:18 PM   #5
wwenze is offline wwenze  Singapore
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Try some extreme materials; if you can't hear a difference with those, there is no need to experiment silver-plated copper vs nickel-plated copper

I recommend brass: The gold color helps to maximize placebo effect as well as feed the notion that knowledge is money. You can call it "zinc-infused copper alloy that minimizes corrosion and improves structural strength while maintaining conductivity."
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Old 1st November 2017, 11:35 PM   #6
tizman is offline tizman  Canada
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Is that idea patented?
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Old 1st November 2017, 11:55 PM   #7
tizman is offline tizman  Canada
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How about a multi metal interconnect/cable. Gold for the glowing golden midrange, silver for the fast shimmering highs, copper for solid chunky bass, aluminium for veil lifting, etc. All woven together in a special proprietary braid to reduce a bunch of bad stuff and increase a bunch of good stuff? No brass though, wwenze has a patent on that.
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Old 1st November 2017, 11:58 PM   #8
tizman is offline tizman  Canada
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Seriously though. Does anyone here think that there is point to replacing the cables that came with my HD600 with a set of DIY cables using the materials I have at hand?
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Old 2nd November 2017, 09:04 AM   #9
Idiosyncrasy is offline Idiosyncrasy  Netherlands
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Mixed metals headphone cable
Quote:
Originally Posted by tizman View Post
Seriously though. Does anyone here think that there is point to replacing the cables that came with my HD600 with a set of DIY cables using the materials I have at hand?
If I remember correctly, the HD6x0 default cable has relatively high capacitance which may be tricky to drive for less robust headphone amplifiers (for example, see this: https://www.ti.com/lit/an/slyt630/slyt630.pdf). So a lower capacitance cable might be an improvement then for stability's sake.
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Old 2nd November 2017, 05:56 PM   #10
tizman is offline tizman  Canada
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Thanks for the link Idiosyncrasy. I am using an DIY OTL 5998 headphone amp fed by a SMSL M8A or a Musical Fodelity V90-DAC. Neither of these DACs has a headphone output, and I don't think the amp has any issue driving the HD600s. That said I will have a look at some DIY low capacitance cable designs.
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