Author Options:

How to solder newer thick cables and new 3.55 jack for Vintage headphone Mod? Answered

I purchased a set of crystal radio headphones on ebay which I wish to remod into working headphones.

Instead of using the same cableing that is already on a set of regular headphones I wish to install in the old ones, I wish to solder new, thicker wireing onto the crystal radio cups and solder a new 3.55 mm gold jack onto the ends.

To help you understand there are 2 good tutorials online , but they dont explain what type of new wire to get or how to solder a new jack on. I am not 100% sure what type of audio wire to purchase. All the wire I see at the electronics store is the red or black kind, with the one solid copper wire or the regular gold speaker wire.. but headphone wire is different because it has multiple colored strands that I need to twist into 3 for Left/Right/Ground




I like the look of re-wireing new cable to the outside of the cups, instead of just running the same cable straight through the cups. New, thicker wire will stand up better and the new jack would last longer as well. I was thinking wire between size 18-22 maybe?

4 Replies

bassbindevil (author)2010-07-18

Salvage the wires off a cheap set of headphones or earbuds. There must be millions of those airline freebie phones. Try thrift stores and yard sales if you don't have any. Or just buy a headphone extension cable from a dollar store. Be warned that real vintage headphones were mainly intended for reproducing speech or AM radio at best, so they may not sound great for music.

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

NachoMahma (author)2010-07-16

. If you are talking about piezoelectric headphones, they don't work well with modern amplifiers (the headphone impedance is way too high) and they sound terrible (heavy on the treble, almost no bass).
.  That said, "headphone wire" is just two coax cables in the same jacket. Usually multi-strand wire is used for the extra flexibility. It will help a lot if you tin the wires before trying to solder to each other or the plug.
.   IMNSHO, 18 AWG wire would be much too big. I'd go with something closer to 24.

PS: it's usually a plug, not a jack, on the end of a headphone cable.

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

remission (author)NachoMahma2010-07-16

Whats the best place to buy this type of wire? I went to radio shack and all they had was regular speaker wire, or the single strand wire for doing things like car speakers and such.

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer

NachoMahma (author)remission2010-07-16

. Searching for "headphone wire" or "headphone cable" turns up a lot of good info.

Select as Best AnswerUndo Best Answer