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Author Topic: IC's made from Belden 8402 mic wire  (Read 4608 times)
Henry
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« on: August 26, 2016, 12:23:49 AM »

Some guys have been raving about interconnects made from relatively inexpensive Belden 8402 mic wire so I ordered a pair to see what the buzz is about.  I don't have much time right now, so I got some finished product and if they're good, I'll just get the RCAs and wire to save some money.  They employ inexpensive Switchcraft plugs.  Looks like a simple build.

I'm out of town, so I can't comment on how they sound, but I'm looking forward to trying them between the Truth and ACAs.  I'll let y'all know how it goes soon.

Here's a link to Jeff Day's blog and the place that sells the wire/plugs if you guys/womens are interested.  Smiley

https://btpa.com/home.php  (look under "bulk product" for the wire and connectors)

https://btpa.com/IC8402-XX.html  (finished IC's - note you need to put "2" in the quantity field for a pair)

http://jeffsplace.me/wordpress/?p=7325  (Jeff Day's blog)



« Last Edit: August 26, 2016, 12:40:51 AM by Henry » Logged
sonic
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« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2016, 07:55:52 AM »

how they sound
If IC cable causes the sound to change in audible level then either the new or existing cable is defective or very poor design.  Typical audio IC cables are already good enough for carrying audio band and making the cable even better won't help the audible performance.  If one needs IC cable and can find Belden 8402 cheaply, then sure, why not.  But if one already has normal IC cables and expects to hear improvement by spending money on Belden, that money will be wasted.
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Magidrakee
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« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2016, 11:14:30 AM »

Looking forward to your impressions Henry. I've never been able to hear differences between ICs and Speaker cables myself... but they look tough and I'm actually in need of a few more ICs. Might give them a try.

Cheers
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Henry
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« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2016, 01:59:10 PM »

Looking forward to your impressions Henry. I've never been able to hear differences between ICs and Speaker cables myself... but they look tough and I'm actually in need of a few more ICs. Might give them a try.

Cheers

I'll be home on Wed. and should be able to give them a whirl.  I'll post a verdict.  Smiley
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Henry
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« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2016, 03:14:36 AM »

I have listened to the ICs and they are good.  There's a big but up in here.  After several minutes, a 120hz (estimate) hum appears.  I'll do some continuity checking today.  It seems to create a ground loop that could be a result of connecting the shield to both terminations.  That's how the Japanese guy was making them and it may have been carried on to these US assembled versions.  I hate to take these apart to see, but I'm okay with that.  I should have gotten the bulk product and made my own.

On the good side is that these are fine ICs and well constructed.  The downside is that I have a damn ground loop.  Seriously, from what I heard, they are worth the effort to make some pairs.  For $98 they will send enough wire and connectors shipped to your house to make (3) pairs of three foot long ICs.

I'll take a look at the construction and post what I find.
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vrod
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« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2016, 08:40:00 AM »

Hey Henry: do you know anything about Blue Jeans Cable. I have been using some AR cable which got good play in Stereophile. Its hard for me to hear the difference compared to some expensive MIT Cable I borrowed in the past. The prices of some advertised cable reaches the ridiculous. I've always been leery about expensive cables.
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Henry
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« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2016, 09:33:22 AM »

Hey Vrod, I have some Blue Jeans cables and they are good and affordable.  Also, check out Signal Cable, they have similar products.

Fortunately, the Belden ICs were easily dismantled where the RCA plug bodies simply screw off (the heat shrink runs beneath the body).  They did a good job making these ICs.  It does appear that the shield is connected to both ends.  So if you order the prefab product, specify for them to connect one end and somehow indicate that end.  It's counter intuitive to me, but the shield connection should be the source end (upstream).

I'll let y'all know if severing one shield makes the gremlins disappear...
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sonic
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« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2016, 07:28:50 PM »

Hey Henry: do you know anything about Blue Jeans Cable. I have been using some AR cable which got good play in Stereophile. Its hard for me to hear the difference compared to some expensive MIT Cable I borrowed in the past. The prices of some advertised cable reaches the ridiculous. I've always been leery about expensive cables.
Blue Jeans cables are good quality and value.  Canare coax cable they use for IC is one of the industry standards in pro audio.

As for the over priced boutique cables, they are snake oil.  You don't want to fall for their marketing tactics.
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Henry
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« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2016, 12:17:05 AM »

Look at DH Labs for high quality bulk cable and consider making some.  Ebay can be your friend as you can pick up some good used buys on finished products and bulk wire.  I use a set of Q-10 speaker cables that I bought used and they slightly bettered the Woods extension cord.  Also, the DH T-14 are good, but not worth the effort over the Walmart $7.88 cords.

I haven't tried DH Labs ICs.

I once was wire mad and made many different speaker cables and ICs.  If you are going for good and cheap, the Woods speaker cables and Musilux mic cord ICs are great.  I think the Switchcraft IC RCA connectors are well made and inexpensive.  As sonic said, Canare makes good wire and their star quad speaker cable is a good and affordable way to try something different.  

I have a pair of Oyaide ICs I made years ago that still stay in use. Much of the Oyaide stuff is pricey, but the PA-02 IC wire isn't crazy money and works well.

As Ed says, choices are bad.

Buying used or getting bulk product is the way to go.  Wink
« Last Edit: September 02, 2016, 01:06:53 AM by Henry » Logged
Henry
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« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2017, 06:55:26 PM »

Just an update...  It's hard to believe a year has passed since I've messed around with these Belden ICs.

Over the past few months I've made some Belden 8402 and 8412 ICs using the Switchcraft black/gold RCAs and I can't tell a difference in the two cables.  I really do like these ICs and have found them to provide good imaging, detail and frequency extension.  Clarity is a word that comes to mind when I use them.  They seem to sort out complex music passages very well.  They are flexible, robust and quiet. The RCA connectors are well made and fit their respective jacks perfectly.  So far, I can't find a reason to fault them.

I got the Switchcraft connectors at Best-Tronics and have found the Belden 8412 cable at Parts Express by the foot.  The Belden 8402/8412 are identical on the inside; the outer jackets consist of different materials.  The 8412 is much less expensive, so guess what I go for.  Wink 

Best-Tronics still sells the 8402 cable in bulk or assembled into ICs.  I do have a pair of the finished 8402 ICs from Best-Tronics and they are well done.  I was able unscrew the plug covers and look at the construction.

The Belden ICs better the Oyaide PA02 with copper Eichmann connectors IMO... and do it for less money.  So after a year of living with these Beldens, I'm making more.  I guess that makes them keepers.

Next up are Bob Crump's Belden 19364 power cables.  The cable appears similar to the Volex cables many of us have been using, but have a definite twist in the three conductors within the jacket.  Bob recommends certain inexpensive IECs and plugs for cobbling these together.  We'll see what happens when following the recipe, just waiting on the IECs to arrive.  I'm trying to be faithful to his recipe before commenting on how good or lame they are.
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