Custom Cable Making Guide

Honestly, I only hear the difference if there is something defective with a cable. Any reasonably made cable works, and cables are the last thing I would upgrade. Except perhaps for cartridge to phono pre-amp, which is very low level.

For anyone wondering, I finally managed to confirm the wiring for the stock HE-6SE V2 cable. Goes like this:

It seems that the rings for both left and right are there for laughs only or due to the limited availability of TS plugs on the market. Currently just waiting for the connectors to arrive and then finally try making my own.

7 Likes

Will it be a bad thing if the metal case on the 3.5 mm connector I will use has a connection with the sleeve? Like, will it negatively impact the sound or short the headphones and/or amplifier?

So did that materials thread linked in the first post get deleted?

I’m looking into to making a HE6se cable similar to this 8 wire braided design here. Does anyone know of good wire option (OFC or better)? Or Y split? The viablue SC4-2 seems like a good choice assuming my wire sizes fit.

@OmegaDoge did you ever finish your cable?

The common wire recommendations are Cardas Star Quad and Mogami 2893.

https://www.performanceaudio.com sells both by the foot. No affiliation, just satisfied customer.

4 Likes

Those are good options if I decide to not go the braided route. Otherwise I’m looking for a clear insulation design like in the image I posted

1 Like

Or find an affordable IEM cable and clip the ends. I bought some stuff from Ali-Express that I haven’t finished yet, so can’t comment on sound: pretty sure it was this: QUEYINFANG DIY 8 Core Earphone Upgrade Cable OFC Copper 8 core Earphone Wire Copper and Silver Mixed PVC Sheath 1.0mm per core|Earphone Accessories| - AliExpress but I can’t find my receipt to confirm.

3 Likes

I should have realized they’d sell pre-braided stuff somewhere. I can get 5 meters of the stuff you linked for $10 lol. I’ll give that one try since it’s low risk and will save me a bunch of time

2 Likes

Yup, I did. I used some cheap insulated cables from an online store in our country (Philippines) and did the braiding myself, although I only used 4 cores as the cables I used were around 2 mm thick. It was quite fun, though.

1 Like

Toxic Cables sells a lot of his wire by the foot.
Cosmic Cables too.
Norne sometimes.
Double Helix sometimes.
Aliexpress has heaps and heaps, but its hard to sift through the shit. And there is a lot of shit.

Nicest stuff I’ve got in so far is some 22awg litz (need a solder pot) pure copper. Its thick and super soft despite it being 22awg.

Also the grey jacket conductors inside the Cardas Clear cables are popular. Litz again. But is the base wire for some very very expensive IEM cables, the “1950s” .

4 Likes

Why don’t you like the switchcraft?

I like how they are thicker metal than the rean. Don’t feel as cheap.

Furutech has the nicest metal body, but same same inside.

The switchcraft button sucks, the connector is longer than it needs to be causing issues on some headphones where the strain relief hits your shoulder, and… ugly. Very much not good looking.

Rean/Neutrik have always been solid for me. I’m curious what thicker metal you’re referring to? The housing?

Yeah, the outer. Seems thicker/heavier. They make them without that strain relief too, just ends at the plastic shell.

Toxic cables sells knock off Furutech looking things. Yet to try them.

I want a cheaper furutech sized one. Ideally.

I’ve got about 10m of the same or very similar type (from the same seller). I’m planning on building some balanced cables for my DCA and some SE cables for my Moondrop IEMs.
The cable is very flexible and the coating looks of good quality. The braid is very nicely done.

I am a bit late to this conversation, but was reading through the previous conversation in this thread and thought I could give some help on the metal plating conversation, particularly rhodium.

Just a brief warning, I am going to be going into metallurgy and electro-chemistry / micro-in-organic chemistry. I will really try my best to explain things, but I might have issues at points.

So there is multiple reasons that rhodium is a really good plating material, and can be significantly better than that of gold, copper, silver. The same reasons that torq explained, it is an extremely stable metal, and is much less ductile.

Now to do into the parts that have not been explained yet, both rhodium and gold are part of a group of noble transition metals, with gold having an F block orbital and rhodium not having any F block orbitals.
Gold: Xe 4f14 5d10 6s1
Rhodium: Kr 3d8 5s1

There is a few interesting things to note about these elements that might seem strange gold has a smaller atomic radius at 136pm compared to rhodium’s 173pm. BUT they both have the same face-centered crystal structure.

Moving on to why this information is important, in the valence configuration both have high energy single electron s orbits. With Rhodium having an additional orbital vacancy in the d orbital. When plating a semi-reactive element you want the metal that can be partially fused into the existing metal, copper is a great example of a metal that can me partially fused.

OKAY BUT WHY RHODIUM?
Rhodium has the free empty d orbitals that will allow for physical and ‘chemical’ bonding between the copper. This is not actually a chemical bond, but for the sake of understanding, just believe it is a weak covalent interaction. This interaction allows for these metals at act as a single metal in physical-electronics. So, reducing chemical non-paired electrons and reducing any chance of an electrical potential.

Now on that side of the contact to the plug, why is this better? Simple try making an ambient rhodium thermocouple. Chances are you will get no voltage. Unless you use a reactive alloy, but that is not the case in audio.

So to close things up, Rhodium is normally a better plating material to use due to it being extremely stable metal, and is much less ductile. Allowing for much thinner platting over the connector. Reduced electrical potential across a single atomization layer. And the ability of rhodium to be nearly incapable of producing an thermocouple effect.

My last word on this. Is rhodium a better pure conductor? No
Is rhodium the best plating material in audio? Probably
Is it over priced for what you get? idk that is for you to decide, make your own choices
Is there better plating that could be coming? Absolutely, I particularly am hoping for nano-carbon sheets to be coming to wires and connectors in my lifetime.

Thank you for reading my puke of words

6 Likes

image

1 Like

This one goes out to @ProfFalkin for helping me start making cables last year. Took time to explain a few things, photos and all!

For my own set of Final D8000

11 Likes

That looks great!
What cable have you used? Did you do the quad braid yourself?

1 Like

It’s 22awg copper litz from Toxic Cables. Not on his website I don’t think. Fairly expensive, but for something with a OD of 1.9mm, its super super soft. I.e. Thick & Soft. And the jacket doesn’t melt away easily like some others when working on it.

And yes, braided myself. I prefer to use a thick 4 wire rather than 8 thinner ones.

6 Likes

Those braids look great. Well done!
I’m thinking about doing some braiding myself. I need to find some good litz cable first.
I live in Europe, so Toxic Cables is no option. Ever since the UK is outside the EU import would make it a very expensive cable.
I think I’m going to look at Sommer cable for options.

1 Like