A discussion about high end hook up wire

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by coffeecupman, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. Henry

    Henry Forum Resident

    Sorry for the delay in reporting on the Dueland signal wire. :shrug:

    I ordered Duelund 1.0 v.1 back in April. I was hoping to take advantage of the version 1's lower price but they ran out before filling my order.

    Finally, I have some Duelund 1.0 v.2 on the way and will let you guys know...
  2. thegage

    thegage Forum Currency Nerd

  3. Marty Milton

    Marty Milton Forum Resident

    Urbana, Illinois
    Back in the late 90s when I had a better paying job, I purchased a set of Nordost bi-wired speaker cables for $250. I definitely could hear a difference. More importantly, my wife could also hear a difference. That helped me justify the cost.
  4. coffeecupman

    coffeecupman Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Caterham, UK
    Awesome, Henry, looking forward to it.

    Marty, this isn't a thread about interconnects or speaker wire. It's about wire inside components.

  5. head_unit

    head_unit Forum Resident

    Los Angeles CA USA
    7 pages without getting shut down! Wow!

    I personally prefer oxidized copper stripped out of 1950s vintage lamp cord, the kind where the rubber coating has hardened. Gives a less "digital" sound. :righton:

    Actually as an engineer I can easily believe wire inside components matters. A friend designs PCBs, and says trace layout and material and thickness make significant performance differences. Stands to reason that cabling can as well.
  6. Robin L

    Robin L Musical Omnivore

    Fresno, California
    I just did one of those 'internal component wire replace mods' and it cost me nada. I had already bypassed the speaker connections on the Kenwood KR 9600 down to the 'A' speaker feed, 18 guage solid core. I stripped off about five inches of the plastic coat and sanded the tinned wire down to copper, then wrapped around the 10 gauge speaker wire [Blue Jeans/Belden multi-strand]. I also inserted power resistors into the mix to bring the combined impedance of the two 4-ohm speakers to around 7 ohms, running in parallel. Net result sounded better but curiously mid-range heavy. The AC wire on the KR 9600 was about as cheap as they could muster in 1978—18 gauge stranded, molded unpolarized plug. I replaced with some generic 12-gauge from a power strip, grounded the chassis and topped off with a Hubbell Hospital plug. Top and bottom return, background noise drops. Self-noise of the aux input is nada with your ear right up to the a/d/s L400e's tweeter. Not a mammoth difference but big enough.
  7. tubesandvinyl

    tubesandvinyl Forum Resident

    DH Labs Silver Revelation 18 AWG $25/ft

    I replaced the Cardas litz signal wires in my single ended tube amp and my tube phono pre amp with DH Labs Silver Revelation hook up wire. I did my amp first, listened, evaluated, then did my pre amp. In total, I have over 100 hours of listening time on the new hook up wire.

    Cardas litz is excellent hook up wire, and I've been very pleased having it in my amps for about 1,000 hours of listening time. I first used Cardas litz when upgrading the hook up wire in existing tube amps from the usual off-the-reel wire. In short, Cardas litz vastly improved the sound of those amps.

    With DH Labs silver wire as the signal wire in my amp, I heard slightly more intimate vocals, slightly sweeter sounding stringed instruments, a bit more bite and brass in trumpets, a little more top end extension, and slightly more precise imaging. The DH Labs silver wire made my amp sound a bit thin and too fast for the first ten or so hours, then filled in nicely and sounded right thereafter. The change in my pre amp was similar.

    The change in sound was not night and day. Subtle, but meaningful and unmistakable. Cardas litz is about $2/ft, while the DH silver is $25/ft. Essentially, this amounted to about a $100 upgrade per amp; the improved sound justifies the investment, but from my experience there is bigger buck bang elsewhere. Having travelled the internal parts/components upgrade path for over a year now, if you have only $100 to invest in your tube amp (and you already have good hook up wire like Cardas litz), you'll likely get a bigger bang upgrading a pair of coupling caps, or about ten resistors. But if you've already done all that, try some silver as your signal wire. And if you've not upgraded anything yet, spending $20 on ten feet of Cardas litz will likely produce significant results, if your tube amp has low quality hook up wire.

    My system is basically all copper, with a trace of silver in some of the coupling caps I use. As well, I'm closer to the end of the upgrade path for internal components/parts. In that context, adding a bit of silver hook up wire produced a little more speed, intimacy, and clarity. I'm happy with the result, though I don't intend to change my power supply wiring to silver from copper Cardas litz. It seems beneficial to have a mix of copper and silver wiring in a tube amp, based on some of the ultra premium tube amps in the market.
  8. coffeecupman

    coffeecupman Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Caterham, UK
    An excellent and well balanced review as always, tubesandvinyl. Thanks.

  9. hvbias

    hvbias Forum Resident

    What resistors are you using? Try out the Vishay nude Z-Foils if you have a chance.

    They are the only resistors I will use for phono loading (or on the balanced input attenuation of my future Vacuum State RTP3D preamp).
  10. tubesandvinyl

    tubesandvinyl Forum Resident

    Hybias, that was my most recent upgrade in resistors. I installed ten pairs of Vishay nude (Texas Corp 2575) in my amp and phono pre amp. They replaced the decent sounding Takman metal film resistors I first installed.

    I agree with you; the nude resistors are the only ones I will use for phono loading, and in other parts of my circuit. I was happily surprised how much better my amps sound with the nude resistors. I would use more, but their low wattage rating precludes using them in other parts of my circuit. Great resistors. Well worth the premium price.
  11. tubesandvinyl

    tubesandvinyl Forum Resident

    You're welcome ccm! :cheers:
  12. hvbias

    hvbias Forum Resident

    Glad to hear you had good success with them. I'm really floored when I see $10k-20k++ gear using 20 cent resistors in critical audio circuitry when we have these exceptional Vishay Z-Foils available to us.

    I can see how a $15 resistor isn't economical in all parts of a circuit, but they are well worth it in signal critical areas... and yet manufacturers still skimp on resistors/caps/etc...
  13. tubesandvinyl

    tubesandvinyl Forum Resident

    Yes, I'm with you. I can't understand how expensive gear has cheap resistors, caps, and hook up wire.
  14. Henry

    Henry Forum Resident

    I installed short runs of Duelund 1.0 v.2 silver for signal wire in a small 300b amp. Prior to now, I have tried Jupiter silver/cotton and Neotech copper. So, with a huge salt grain, here's my experience:

    The Duelund wire claims to have an 18ga. equivalency and it sure looks it. The wire is configured in a slender ribbon wrapped in a thick, oil-impregnated woven silk. This wire can be a little challenging to use for signal connections since it is flat and physically wider than most of the terminals that would receive it.

    My impression of the Duelund wire is positive. It's the most un-silver, silver wire I've used to date. All the negatives about silver wire don't apply here (too bright, fatiguing, tonally thin). All the good things silver wire can provide, this wire does (frequency extension, detail resolution).

    The highs were more extended than when using the superb Neotech copper, but there was no sense of fatigue. The bass was as strong as with the Neotech, but seems more controlled and low frequency nuances are conveyed better with the Duelund.

    Compared to the cotton insulated Jupiter wire, the Duelund was similar, but maybe a little more reserved in the mids and highs. The Jupiter presented a dynamic, punchy feel that was endearing and fun at first, but became a little unnatural sounding on some material, especially female vocals. I can think of other amps I own that would work well with the Jupiter.

    And as usual, I got what I paid for. The Duelund wire is pricey, but certainly feasible for limited use in critical areas. I'll be using it in the future on some projects. Hope this helps a little. :)
  15. e630940

    e630940 Well-Known Member

    Music sounds just about right to my ears through this silver plated copper SPC wire (actually - wire wrap!) by Alpha Wire, found here
  16. e630940

    e630940 Well-Known Member

  17. tubesandvinyl

    tubesandvinyl Forum Resident

    Thanks for the review Henry. Your positive comments about the Dueland silver wire are similar to my findings with the DH Labs--all good stuff without causing listener fatigue.

    How long did it take for the Dueland wire to settle and start sounding optimal?
  18. Henry

    Henry Forum Resident

    I thought things settled down by the 8-12 hour mark. I'll be looking into the DH Labs wire as well sometime. :righton:
  19. tubesandvinyl

    tubesandvinyl Forum Resident

    That's what I found with the DH Labs; around ten hours for the wire to settle.
  20. Odyno

    Odyno New Member

    Any one else tried the Duelund ?
    I was told once by an engineer from Mission UK that because of price point marketing necessity they actualy had to give up on stuff like wireing on equipment.
    he actually encouraged the people to experiment.
  21. Burt

    Burt Forum Resident

    Kirkwood, MO
    There is a group of people who actually believe that wire made from the late nineties-I mean the 1890s-to about 1935 or thereabouts is superior sounding.. And yes, by 1890 the selection of wire types available was already pretty amazing. They believe that, despite spectrometric analysis, the old copper was somehow purer and the natural rubber insulation somehow better too.

    You just can't make stuff like this up.

    At any rate, designing PCB layouts for characteristic impedance is big business both for RF and digital. The big guru in the business is Howard Johnson.

    Dr. Howard Johnson, Ph.D. Again.......you can't make this stuff up.

  22. Paul Lo

    Paul Lo New Member

    I have used Mundorf silver/gold wire in the following applications over two years.

    1. Tube power amp. Used Mundorf 15.5 AWG silver/gold from output transformer to speaker binding post (WBT AG). Sound wouldn't open up after 44 days. But there is a distinctive quality change in piano sound. A piano chord sounds distinctive. I could hear the different keys distintively of a piano chord. Strings ( on vinyl record ) had bite. Very satifying. But everything else was bad. I had to changed back to Furutech wire. Normal sound returned. Gone was the distinctive improvement in piano. I missed that sound.

    2. Same Tube power amp. The Mundorf's improvement on piano was too special not to give it another try. Same application as in 1. This time I used Mundorf 18 AWG instead of 15.5. I thought 15.5 was too thick. I also did a 70-day break in on a cable cooker before use. Paired up this Mundorf with Furutech copper wire. Immediate listening told me that I was heading the right way. Sound was open immediately; mostly likely because of the pre-break in. Improvements continued for the next 40 days. I typically left the units on for 10 hours a day to continue the break in. I used the same CDs for listening test for the past 8 years. They are classical solo piano, soprano with violin and Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 (SACD). I also brought these test CDs to CES and RMAF. Of all improvements, the realism and transparency in piano is stunning.

    3. Same tube power amp. I changed the stock wires ( power inlet-fuse-toggle switch-input transformer) with Mundorf+Furutech. This time I went back to Mundorf 15.5 AWG with a 70-day break in before putting to use. Same type of improvements as in 2. Again, improvements kept coming for about 40 days. I usually stopped the "improvement monitoring" when every test CD sounds their best ever.

    4. By now I was quite confident about Mundorf. Next I replaced ( power inlet-fuse-toggle switch-input transformer) wires inside the separate power supply of a tube preamp. At first I did it with Furutech 14 AWG alone without Mundorf. It was excellent but I knew that by adding Mundorf, it will bring improvements of another dimension . So I did. The distinctive improvement ( definitely not a sound signature in the negative sense) was immediate. Now that unit is still breaking in with the new wires.

    5. Did the same with the separate power supply of a tube phono stage. Full result will be known a month from now.

    To recap:
    - Must break in Mundorf before use.
    - Paired with copper wire.
    - Needs more break in on unit. Expect many pleasent suprises.
    - No sound signature if used with copper wire.
    - Much bigger improvements with 15.5 AWG but must be broken in before use. I recommend a pre break in of 60 days minimum.
    - What does it do? Most of what you want plus some unexpected OMGs, again and again.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2015
  23. Khamakhazee

    Khamakhazee Forum Resident

    Love it, haha. I have an old pair of Sennheiser headphones and the connectors are very poorly made but the headphones themselves sound great. I took them apart and to my amazement the wiring inside was about as thin as a hair.
  24. The Pinhead


    Turquoise and Monster have worked out fine for me throughout the years. Well-built and aesthetically-pleasing. Not sure whether they've been an improvement over standard Q in sonical terms but they provide me the peace of mind that I have good interconnects that didn't break the bank.

    As for exotic, if I ever upgrade my equipment and had the dough, why not ?
  25. DaveC113

    DaveC113 Forum Resident

    Front Range CO
    The best wire for audio is made by Neotech, who supplies dozens of high end cable companies including my own. They are the only company that has a current license to produce wire using the patented OCC method. I have them custom make wire for me, but their standard DIY offerings are excellent. If all you had was 26g UPOCC silver/teflon wire you could make cables that approach the best available at any price if you put it together right.

    I would not buy stranded wire, or wire heavier than 24 gauge unless it's litz wire, which is made of many strands of individually insulated wire. Neotech's 20g UPOCC copper litz wire is probably the best copper wire available, but it's not available in silver. You can combine smaller gauge silver wire into a larger wire using the principles that apply to litz wire construction.

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