DIY speaker cables - is this what I want?

Discussion in 'The Workbench' started by Dave_11, Nov 27, 2021.

  1. Dave_11

    Dave_11 Member

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  2. fitz288

    fitz288 Well-Known Yinzer Gold Supporting Member

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    That would work., and look good also.
    I've seen some just use 2 conductor extension cord.
    I use lamp cord in my speaker cabs.
    Just don't use instrument cable, it only has one conductor and a shield.
     
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  3. Dave_11

    Dave_11 Member

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    Thanks much. I just got a Bugera PS1 and didn't think to order a speaker cable. I have some 2-conductor lamp cord and some 1/4" jacks, so I'll probably rig that up that until I can get some nice cable ordered.
     
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  4. Metroman

    Metroman Well-Known Member

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    I like the Belden 8473 14 gauge Speaker Wire
     
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  5. Gene Ballzz

    Gene Ballzz Well-Known Member

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    That will work just fine, but I try to shy away from round black cables that might get confused. Also, #14 is a little bit overkill and may be touh to fit into the barrels//handles/grips. Here's a pic of one of the #16 ones I make and is +35 of constant use years old and the plugs were actually salvaged units! $12, with your choice of brown or white wire (new plugs, of course). I can't find the yellow anymore although after the holidays, you can often find clearance sale deals on red and green! A tip for econonmics is to simply buy a VERY cheap extension cord and cut the ends off. There's even ribs or stripes of some sort to help keep positive and negative well sorted! If the holes in the barrels are too small, I drill 'em out and smooth the edges with a needle file. I then use hot glue between and around the solder lugs, slip a piece of shrink tubing over that, then screw on the barrel while the glue is still hot/molten and finally put on my label and a piece of shrink over the whole deal. As long as you use good plugs like the Switchcraft 184L, the connections/connectors will outlive the wire! Another huge plus is that you'll NEVER confuse it with a "robust" shielded signal wire, no matter how drunk (or other) you may be!

    That GFS label is my initials, but more realistically stands for "Great Fuckin' Sound!" :naughty:

    Just My :2c:,
    Gene

    IMG_0301.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2021
  6. Dave_11

    Dave_11 Member

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    Looks like nice stuff, and with the grey color I wouldn't confuse it with a guitar cable. I could only find it in large spools online though.
     
  7. Dave_11

    Dave_11 Member

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    Good point about making these out of something not easily confused. You can buy 16 ga extension cords in all sorts of bright colors. Maybe I'll go with something like that. I already have some switchcraft jacks and could pick up some cords locally.

    Nice job on your cable!
     
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  8. Gene Ballzz

    Gene Ballzz Well-Known Member

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    Dollar General, $.99 Only stores and even WalMart sell these in 6 ft and 9 ft for less than three bucks, in brown or white!


    image.jpeg
     
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  9. Pete Farrington

    Pete Farrington Well-Known Member

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    The next time you scrap off a mains electrical appliance, consider whether its power cable is suitable for this type of repurposing. Mother Earth will thank you :)
     
  10. fitz288

    fitz288 Well-Known Yinzer Gold Supporting Member

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    So, did you make a speaker cable?
    And on a side note, how do you like the PS-1, and what amp are you using it on?
    Curious, I just got one too...
     
  11. Guitar-Rocker

    Guitar-Rocker Well-Known Member

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  12. junk notes

    junk notes Well-Known Member

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    Grrreat attitude, Sir.!
    I think Jim recoomends a certain guage, but I cannot recall.
     
  13. junk notes

    junk notes Well-Known Member

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    I also like using either Switchcraft or Neutrik exclusively, because of their tip shape that fiit snug with old-school gear, but I also look for NOS D'Addario (Planet Waves) compression spring ends that prevent the cable from popping out of the jack, as I move a lot of air with my setup..
     
  14. Dave_11

    Dave_11 Member

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    Didn't have a chance to make the cable yet. Maybe tonight...

    I'll look around the house for a cord to repurpose. I have a spare short orange extension cord I thought about using, but I know if I cut it up I'll need it within the week.
     
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  15. Seanxk

    Seanxk Well-Known Member

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    Try a three core mains cable in preference, it will be directionaly conditioned, where as a two core flow direction can be altered every time in its previous life, use the positive and negative cores keeping in mind which was the plug end (amp end ) and which was the appliance end ( cab end ), I know it sounds a bit Hifi but give it a try you may be pleasantly surprised.
    This actually has only one aspect of Hifi in it, the rest is very bad Hifi, but we're talking guitars and they are two very different worlds in end results.
     
  16. Tatzmann

    Tatzmann Well-Known Member

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    You bought a power soak and now
    of course need another speakercable.

    A simple 1.5m fully confected speaker
    cable costs about 10 bux plus 4 bux
    shipping...i cant understand it.:shrug:

    I confect my own cables all the time
    but only if i have everything needed at hand,
    but as i understand correctly you would have
    to order or buy cable anyways.

    Just buy a finished speakercable.:p
     
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  17. AtomicRob

    AtomicRob Well-Known Member

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    Yeah. Unless you have a good soldering station and skills (and even if you do) it’s a lot harder than it seems to solder up plugs and have it be reliable long term. Been there done that, wouldn’t likely do again, not worth the time or cost.

    If something goes wrong with your speaker cable even a little bit, the magic smoke might escape from your amp…
     
  18. Dave_11

    Dave_11 Member

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    I had the parts in the house, so I soldered one up. Someone asked how I liked the PS1... I bought this with the intention of getting an Origin in the near future, but I hooked it up to my Pro Jr and an early 60s Gibson GA-8 to see what it would do. Both amps seemed to lose treble, but otherwise it worked as I expected. Both of these amps sound kind of farty when pushed (at least to me), so they're not my favorite for overdrive rock tone. Hopefully the Origin will sound better. cable.jpg
     
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  19. Gene Ballzz

    Gene Ballzz Well-Known Member

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    Cheap, crappy attenuators produce a cheap, crappy sound, just as you've described. The "build your own" @JohnH design (link below) does not do this. All the most important build info is in the first post of this VERY lengthy thread and if you read the last couple pages of rplies, you'll get an idea of gret the design is and how much many folks love them! If you can use a drill, simple hand tools and soldering iron, it's a piece of cake at a cost of between $75 & $125, depending on your sourcing of materials, choice of enclosure, etc. By far, the best and least tonallyinvasive/sucking passive attenuator design available. The rest of the thread is well worth the read also with lots of tips, testing results, build pics, etc. A bit of chaff along the way, but its easily skimmed past.

    I've tried nearly every passive attenuator brand and/or design since the mid '70s and I swear this is the absolute best piece of gear I own! Build one or have someone do it for you. You won't be sorry.

    Now, please don't get me wrong! Units like that PS1, Weber MiniMass and some others are OK for shedding some volume and have a place in the arsenal, but you'll find only two or three "sweet spots" in the sweep of the dial that sound just OK. Every setting on the JohnH is a "Sweet Spot!" It takes into consideration what both the amp sees from the load and what the load sees from the amp. The main key to the design is an inductive choke coil (inexpensive) and consistent balance between series and parallel resistance. The PS1 and others mentioned don't even address this factor.

    https://www.marshallforum.com/threads/simple-attenuators-design-and-testing.98285/

    Check It Out,
    Gene
     
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  20. Dave_11

    Dave_11 Member

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    Thanks much for the attenuator build link -- I bookmarked it. I definitely have enough skill to build one of these, and it looks like it would make a good winter project.
     

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