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Seeking car audio RCA cable with good shielding...

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  • Seeking car audio RCA cable with good shielding...

    ...that isn't stupid expensive.

    The shielding is important because I want to everything I can to avoid ground loop noise.

    Any recommendations?

    Thanks
    Form does not follow function
    Form is simultaneous to function

  • #2
    Re: Seeking car audio RCA cable with good shielding...

    I would build your own with some gepco cable and any cheap rca connectors. Cable is about $.10-.12/ft plus about $1 per connector. I cant remember the model number for the cable off hand but it is foil shielded. Ground one end to eliminate any ground loops and run it opposite of your power cables and you should have a pretty noise free cable. Pm me, i can make you some.

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    • #3
      Re: Seeking car audio RCA cable with good shielding...

      In my experience, ground loop noise in car audio is more a function of getting a really good ground for the amp power return path. I have found that running it to a rear seat seat-belt mount works very well (assuming the amp will go in the trunk)... it's guaranteed to be a heavy duty structural area with good cross-sectional area for a low-resistance return path to the rest of the ground plane. Just make sure the deck in the dash has a good ground as well - may need to run a braided ground strap (or a 14awg+) to engine block.

      Unibody construction doesn't make it easy to find a low-resistance gnd path... :(

      RCA wire preamp shielding doesn't have to be very good as long as run the high current 12V power for the amps on one side of the car, and the low-levels on the other. It's a lot more work up front, but worth it.

      Regards,
      Scott
      SEC DIY 2014 Speaker Show is on! *November 8th*
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      • #4
        Re: Seeking car audio RCA cable with good shielding...

        If you are running "good" gear you should not have any ground loop problems, and you should not need any fancy rca cable to hold noise out.....that is my opinion from about 7 years of installing in the 90's- pioneer, clarion, sony, rockford.

        Here is the quick and dirty of what I used to do when I installed car stereo's.... I ran two 18 gauge wires along with the rca cables on one side of the car (sometimes the middle). One of the wires was for remote turn on and the other was hooked up to the deck ground wire, and grounded at the same point as the amp. Running this extra ground all the way to the deck eliminates any ground loops.We always picked a nice fresh solid piece of metal to drill a nice hole in and scrape the paint for a ground point. Run the power wire on the other side of the car. Bam no noise....

        Every now and then we had problems, but there was always something else wrong with the car- bad plug wires, loose battery terminals, ect.

        There is my two cents worth!!


        Cliff

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        • #5
          Re: Seeking car audio RCA cable with good shielding...

          I ended up buying a 4-channel RCA from darvex.com for $20 (I decided I wanted 2 pairs coming from the head unit).

          Not shielded, but twisted at least.

          Wish me luck.

          Thanks guys.
          Form does not follow function
          Form is simultaneous to function

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          • #6
            Re: Seeking car audio RCA cable with good shielding...

            Some good points posted here regardless of the cable. I always ran signal cables down the middle to avoid factory wire loom paths, power cables on one side & speaker cables on the other. The other good point was to ground the head unit at the same location as the ground cable. I liked to use a brass distribution block that had multiple size gauge openings and ground everything at that point.
            Audiophiles listen to the equipment, not the music.

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            • #7
              Re: Seeking car audio RCA cable with good shielding...

              Yeah, I'm aware of all these tricks, and have already practiced them... amp and head unit grounded to a common thick, sanded, seat-belt anchor region, RCA's run separate from the power cable, etc...

              I'm pretty sure the problems lies with the stock head unit, which I'm replacing because of other malfunctions... it's junk.

              New aftermarket head unit on the way, thus the need for new RCA's.

              If the noise persists, I'll try the trick of grounding the RCA's at one end etc etc...

              Thanks all.
              Form does not follow function
              Form is simultaneous to function

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              • #8
                Re: Seeking car audio RCA cable with good shielding...

                I am a big fan of these. Cheap, twisted pair plus shielding, not so big around they become a PITA to route, and attractive.
                Don't listen to me - I have not sold any $150,000 speakers.

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                • #9
                  Re: Seeking car audio RCA cable with good shielding...

                  Thanks Johnny. The ones I ordered are similar I think, only 4 channel instead of 2... really wanted to keep the two pairs together to make the install tidy.
                  Form does not follow function
                  Form is simultaneous to function

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                  • #10
                    Re: Seeking car audio RCA cable with good shielding...

                    Are you running differential signals in your install? I am curious about these unshielded twisted pair RCA interconnects. Typically for single ended signals coaxial cable is used with shielding connected to ground at one side to reject RF.

                    It seems to me like unshielded twisted pair is the worst of both worlds for single ended signals. Anyone have any insight?

                    -David

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                    • #11
                      Re: Seeking car audio RCA cable with good shielding...

                      lunchmoney, if you want the best shielding for an unbalanced cable, you should look at instrument cable. Guitar cable is made to keep a really high impedance signal as noise free as possible, and will do a really good job on a line level signal.

                      Canare GS-6 is my favorite...

                      http://www.performanceaudio.com/buy/Canare/GS_6/10386

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                      • #12
                        Re: Seeking car audio RCA cable with good shielding...

                        Originally posted by cliffburge View Post
                        I ran two 18 gauge wires along with the rca cables on one side of the car (sometimes the middle). One of the wires was for remote turn on and the other was hooked up to the deck ground wire, and grounded at the same point as the amp. Running this extra ground all the way to the deck eliminates any ground loops.
                        One should be careful doing this. If the deck is just running in a low power mode (line level outs only), probably not a big deal. But if the deck is being used to run the door/dash speakers and just using the low levels for a sub, one could get in trouble. Return current down that relatively small 18awg wire over a 20ft run (from dash to trunk) could create enough voltage to create ground loop noise to breach the SNR of the equipment. So, this could be inviting trouble rather than preventing it. The concept in principle is good (wanting to tie the grounds of all the audio equipment together) - just need to make sure take into account the real-world losses (that the wire is big enough for a low resistance link).

                        For some rough perspective:
                        "Commercial-grade" 18awg is about 7 milliOhms/ft resistance.
                        20 ft = 0.140 Ohms
                        10 Amps returning down that line generates 1.4V across that wire.

                        Regards,
                        Scott
                        SEC DIY 2014 Speaker Show is on! *November 8th*
                        Wanna win a set of Newform Research R30 ribbons?!?!
                        SEC DIY 2014 Thread

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