Silver Interconnects

 

* VH Audio *
DIY Silver Interconnects
By Chris VenHaus
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DIY Fine Silver Interconnects
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VH Audio (Cables & Parts)
V-Cap TeflonŽ Audio Capacitors
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My Stereo System
Reviews of My DIY Cables
DIY AC Mains Power Cables
DIY Cat5 Speaker Cable
DIY Fine Silver Interconnects
DIY AES/EBU Digital Cable
VH Audio (Cables & Parts)
V-Cap TeflonŽ Audio Capacitors
H/T Subwoofer Kit
Car Audio Parts
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Low-cost Film & New Equipment
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Audiophile Pages

My Stereo System
Reviews of My DIY Cables
DIY AC Mains Power Cables
DIY Cat5 Speaker Cable
DIY Fine Silver Interconnects
DIY AES/EBU Digital Cable
VH Audio (Cables & Parts)
V-Cap TeflonŽ Audio Capacitors
H/T Subwoofer Kit
Car Audio Parts
Audio Related Books

Photography Pages
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Aurora Photo Gallery
Ordering Prints
Photography Tips
Recommended Books
Low-cost Film & New Equipment
Where to Buy Used Equipment
My Equipment & Film Choices

Audiophile Pages

My Stereo System
Reviews of My DIY Cables
DIY AC Mains Power Cables
DIY Cat5 Speaker Cable
DIY Fine Silver Interconnects
DIY AES/EBU Digital Cable
VH Audio (Cables & Parts)
V-Cap TeflonŽ Audio Capacitors
H/T Subwoofer Kit
Car Audio Parts
Audio Related Books



Fine Silver Interconnect Wiring Diagram

These Fine Silver Interconnects recently bested a set of well known $800+ interconnects at "WADStock" in Maidenhead, U.K.

THIS RECIPE HAS BEEN UPDATED TO REFLECT NEW MATERIAL THAT HAS BECOME AVAILABLE! VH Audio has introduced a 28 AWG cotton-insulated silver wire of .9999 purity. This wire is the result of a new process that draws the wire to physical tolerances that are at least five times tighter than most wire manufacturers. In listening tests this was found to be every bit as important as wire purity, when used for interconnects, and outperformed the teflon and bare wire versions of this recipe. This high purity silver wire is insulated with four alternating layers of natural cotton insulation, which means minimal dielectric absorption. The individual fibers make minimal contact with the surface area of the silver. Cotton has a dielectric constant of 1.3 to 1.4, which is even LOWER than foamed PE (1.6) or FEP (1.5). Another significant advantage of cotton insulation is its dampening and non-resonant properties. The bottom line is this wire is about the same cost as teflon insulated silver, but sounds even better than the teflon or bare silver wire versions. Build your own IC with this wire and have a truly world-class IC... Another recent addition is the availability of VH Audio's new HyperFlex Teflon tubing. The days of using rigid solid teflon tubing that kinks and breaks your wire is OVER.

Although I found my (original) "caulk-backer" DIY Interconnect to sonically better anything else I have tried (virtually everything out there), I was not satisfied with the "durability" of the foam caulk backer- it just wouldn't pass the audiophile "durability" test (connecting/removing the IC many times). By using the HyperFlex Teflon tubing in lieu of the caulk backer, I believe this recipe comes closest to the "ideal" COST NO OBJECT interconnect, based on it's inherently low capacitance design and use of quality (and AFFORDABLE) materials. I have been contacted by a gentleman who made these IC's and he measured the capacitance at 3.5 pF per foot, and 200 mH of total inductance! The results wre obtained by using a 100k Ohm load on one end of the IC, and the reading taken at the other end.

If you follow the instructions EXACTLY as posted, you will have a world-class performing IC.

My construction parameters were as follows:

* Ultra-low capacitance (there is a direct correlation with capacitance and signal rise-time, with interconnects)

* Fine gauge (28 ga) cotton-insulated silver wire to minimize skin-effect/time-smear and dielectric absorption, and maximize vibration dampening.

* A dielectric as close to "air" as can be obtained, and yet be practical. Cotton has a dielectric constant of 1.3-1.4 vs. 2.0-2.1 for solid teflon.


Here are the materials you need:

1/4" diameter HyperFlex Teflon tubing. Source: VH Audio Approx. Cost: $6 per running foot

1 roll (25 ft.) of 28 gauge cotton insulated .9999 fine fine-silver wireSource: VH Audio Cost: $60

4 quality RCA plugs. (Eichmann Silver Bullet Plugs, or WBT Silver NEXTGEN plugs get the best performance) Source: VH Audio. DON'T try to cut costs on the RCA plug, or you will be disappointed! Cost: $40-$107 for a set of Gold or Silver Bullet RCA plugs

Good solder (Wonder Solder or WBT silver). Cost: $5

3-4 rolls of Teflon tape (the stuff plumbers use) cost: about $6

1/4" Nylon Expandable Sleeving

3/4" 3:1 Heat Shrink Tubing

1/2" 3:1 Heat Shrink Tubing

**************************************************************

Construction:

Take 2 desired equal lengths of Teflon Tubing and mark-off in 2" increments (perpendicular to the length of the tubing). Cut 4 wires about 5" longer than the Tubing (this will vary depending on how long your IC is- allow for some "shrinkage"!)- you may want to practice with a piece of string first to determine the correct length . Tape one wire at the end of 1 Teflon Tube, and proceed to "spiral" the wire down the length of the tubing in such a manner as to "hit" your 2" marks. As soon as you reach the end of the tubing, secure the end of the wire with another piece of tape to that end of the tubing. Now, take the other wire and tape it onto the OPPOSITE side (but same end) of the tubing from which you started the first wire. Spiral it in the SAME direction so that it would be spaced BETWEEN the previous wire (imagine a 1" mark between your 2" marks). Secure the end, as with the first wire. You should now have a "DOUBLE HELIX" configuration around the tubing. Think of the stripes as they spiral down a candy-cane, the blue and red stripes on the old barber-shop "turn thingies" (what the heck are they called anyway?), or for the scientists out there- a strand of DNA. The wires should NEVER touch along the tubing, and should maintain a distance of about 1/4" from each other when compared to the perpendicular plane. You should have 1" spacing on the parallel plane (this is what gives us our ultra-low capacitance). Remove the tape and replace with about 1 1/4" of 1/2" heatshirnk. This will secure the wires, and provide a somewhat rigid "platform" for the RCA connectors to "bite" into the body of the IC without nicking the wire.

Secure/solder your RCA's to the tubing and wires (make sure that you know which wire is for center pin and which is for return/shield lead, you DO NOT want to short out your equipment!!!).

Now, for a bit of strain relief, and a really cool look, take the Teflon tape and wrap it around the back-end of the RCA and follow all the way to the other end (you want to overlap each turn around the interconnect and lay it on thicker (more turns) along the barrel of the RCA and the beginning of tubing).

You may also use some 3/4" Heatshrink around the RCA barrel and a few inches onto the Tubing for a nice, neat look. If you feel the need, you may also use Nylon expandable sleeving over the "whole works" for a neat, professional look, before you put the 3/4" heatshrink on.

That's it! You now have IC's that WILL rival ANY commercially-made, high-end, snake-oil IC's out there, and at a very reasonable cost.

Other options & comments:

*DO NOT use inferior grades of silver. It may be tempting to go with cheaper silver (.999 or .9995), but it will affect sonic quality. I have found interconnects to be the most sensitive to metal purity. With fine AWG wire it is also VERY important to have it drawn precisely in special dies to tight tolerances. Otherwise it is my experience the varied diameter of the wire will also affect sonics. You are making IC's that have been found to compare favorably to commercial IC's that are priced in the $500+ range- don't skimp on the materials!

* This cable design also works excellent for balanced ANALOG cables. It is not neccesary (Most of the time) to ground a balanced connection, so you only need to use pins 2 and 3 on the XLR's. In some systems, Pin 1 will need to be connected at both ends, but this is rare. Make sure to use Neutrik XLR's (silver pins) available from PARTS EXPRESS The part # for the male is 092-062. The part # for the female is 092-060. Parts Express has the wiring diagrams on their site when you get to the Neutrik part #. VH Audio carries Furutech Rhodium and Teflon XLR plugs if you want something even better...

* In some situations, you may experience problems with RF interference, due to the lack of shielding on this cable. If think you may have an RF problem, check out the VH Audio Pulsar double shielded interconnect here. This interconnect is available assembled, or the wire is available for you to DIY.

* Although they cost more, the Silver Bullet plugs represent a PERFECT match with my design philosophy and are the best RCA's I've tried with this recipe, as well as the new WBT silver NEXTGENS. The gold Bullets are also as good as any other RCA plug I've used on these IC's...

*** READ ABOUT MY NEW CABLES!!! ***

Good luck- and ENJOY THE TUNES!!!

Chris VenHaus

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All content on this site is property of Christopher J. VenHaus copyright 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002- all rights reserved. All images are copyright protected and may not be distributed in any manner without written permission. I do not endorse, and expressly forbid attempts to "commercialize" any of my cable designs for profit, without permission. 
 

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