No announcement yet.

building speaker wires, these don't look great

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • building speaker wires, these don't look great

    I forget where I got these instructions for making speaker wires, but I'm using these parts:
    Banana plugs
    14/2 in wall speaker wire
    1/4in tekflex

    I enjoy soldering, so I wanted my connections to be solders. I think it's better. But the banana plugs I got, and the way to solder them, just seems janky to me. Any recommendations on other solder-banana plugs to use?

    Also, the TekFlex. This seems absolutely worthless other than changing the feel and look of the wire. It's plastic, and I'd think putting a layer of METAL on the outside of a wire would help with RF interference. This this aint metal!

    Any other guides, and parts list, you'd recommend for building wires?

  • #2
    I like the in-wall twisted pair like you're using, although I use spade or ring-tongue terminals so I can wrench them under a binding post or screw terminal, along with a copper crush washer. The Techflex is an odd addition. I guess someone liked the look.

    An RF termination, like Rod Elliott describes here, will help dissipate RF pickup:


    • #3
      thanks fpitas! The link you provided: holy smoke that's a lot of information. Can you direct me to something a bit more straight forward with that RF termination?


      • #4
        Speaker cables don't require shielding from RF. For that matter using shielding on speaker cables can introduce capacitance than can cause them to roll off high frequencies, and in worst case scenarios even cause ultra high frequency instability in amps. Speaker cables are an example of where the principle of KISS...keep it simple, stupid...applies. Even connectors don't serve a real purpose, other than in situations like pro-sound, where being able to regularly connect and disconnect them is required.


        • #5
          Originally posted by mrdrew View Post
          thanks fpitas! The link you provided: holy smoke that's a lot of information. Can you direct me to something a bit more straight forward with that RF termination?
          It's just a 10 ohm non-inductive resistor in series with a 0.1uF capacitor. When I made mine I used a 1/4W metal film resistor and a polypropylene cap. It goes across the speaker end of the cable as an RF termination. Like Rod says, it can't hurt. Most amplifiers have a similar network, across the speaker terminals, to help stabilize the amp at RF.


          • #6
            Watch this How to make your own HiFi Speaker Wire

            You cables need pants! PE 082-780
            The Techflex may serve purposes if you are running wires in a car engine, etc., but for speakers its just for looks.
            (I'm surprised that much of the white cable covering is showing through the Techflex. I've used the 1/4" Techflex on 14/2 in-wall wire and couldn't see through it.)
            Cut the Techflex with a soldering iron to prevent the horribly annoying fraying.
            I used Sewell Pro Maestro Banana Plugs because I could get 24 of them on Amazon for cheap.


            • #7
              10' of Audioquest type2, 14/2 heavy duty lamp cord, and diy cat5 braid.
              Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0053.jpg
Views:	317
Size:	859.9 KB
ID:	1424394

              AudioQuest is green, 14/2 lamp cord is purple, diy cat5 braid is blue.

              Click image for larger version

Name:	aq_mem1 zip_mem2 braid_mem3.JPG
Views:	326
Size:	109.0 KB
ID:	1424395

              Smaller cat5 braid for boy's dorm setup. Have not tested it for cap or resistance.

              Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20161002_132516.jpg
Views:	294
Size:	480.2 KB
ID:	1424396

              Low voltage, solid core bell wire. Two pairs of 14 and one pair of 16 twisted into one cable with triple banana pairs on both ends for active speaker. Have not tested rez or cap.

              Click image for larger version

Name:	photo 2 (4).JPG
Views:	287
Size:	279.9 KB
ID:	1424397


              • #8
                I've made a few.... Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_3829.JPG
Views:	302
Size:	108.9 KB
ID:	1424401

                The black ones on the right are 3x braided 9AWG (3/14AWG per) 9' pair, cut down from 35' 2/14 pairs. I recommend the Polycarbonate Bananas from here at PE, 9-tines or BFA styles.
                I also recommend straight Carol direct-burial cable or Belden Cable Brilliance wire. I have built with trailer-hitch wire for a flat-profile as well. Yes- that is a 10AWG 4-pole Speakon cable in the upper center. I had to bore out the jack collar to accept it with a forstner bit.

                "Wolf, you shall now be known as "King of the Zip ties." -Pete00t
                "Wolf and speakers equivalent to Picasso and 'Blue'" -dantheman
                "He is a true ambassador for this forum and speaker DIY in general." -Ed Froste
                "We're all in this together, so keep your stick on the ice!" - Red Green aka Steve Smith

                *InDIYana event website*

                Photobucket pages:

                My blog/writeups/thoughts here at PE:


                • #9
                  Kornbread did you twist up the wires yer self with a drill? I saw someone do that on the youtubes.

                  Wolf you have a lot of wires! Do you have any favorites for straight up speaker wires? Specific parts, and wires etc? Thanks everyone!


                  • #10
                    The solid core bell wire was twisted with the help of a cordless drill, quick and easy, very much unlike braiding the cat5. The twisted bell wire is fairly stiff, the braid wants to curl, and the lamp cord just lays there and does the job with no fuss.

                    IIIC, for the cat5 braid, I cut 4 runs of cat5 about 13' long for a total of 32 individual wires, leaving only the original twisted pairing intact. Then built a jig to help hold all those wires while braiding it together. Took about a week of tender fingers for each cable.

                    The weave is fairly loose so I don't think it could ever be considered litz wire but I think the weave may be tight enough to have some affect on capacitance and impedance depending on how the twisted pairs are connected. A tune-able wire?


                    • #11
                      Dirt cheap, AR buyout wire, PE set screw plugs. About as cheap as I have found. The PE set screw plugs can also be soldered, remove screw and wick solder in the cup.

                      Parts Express Gold Plated Screw Type Banana Plugs 18-12 AWG 16 Pcs.