Introduction: High-End Audio Cables
Making high-end RCA Audio interconnect cables is not very difficult and doesn't have to cost a lot of money if you follow the steps below.
Step 1: Cutting Your Cable to Length
The first step was to cut two lengths of wire to approximately 2 meters in length.
For this project, I decided to use this copper-braided shielded cable from Helukable. It has a pair of stranded cores 0.25mm in diameter or approximately 23 AWG.
Some companies such as Blue Jeans cable use coaxial cabling for their audio interconnect cables. Coax cable has the added benefit of also having an Aluminium shield that wraps the dielectric as well as having a Copper braid. However, for my needs, I find coaxial cable to be much too heavy and not sufficiently flexible.
Step 2: Braided Polyester Sleeving
With the cable cut to dimension, it was time to get started on the polyester sleeve. This braided polyester sleeve will add an extra layer of protection and durability as well as giving the cables a professional premium feel. When making cables, it is sometimes confusing to have to work backwards. However, once the connectors get soldered in place, we can’t add anything else to the cable.
Step 3: Using Amphenol (or Equivalent) High Quality RCA Connectors
With the sleeve put on, I moved on to the RCA connectors I got from Amphenol. These high quality Australian connectors are made from durable brass which is then gold plated.
Step 4: Stripping Insulation to Size
With the connectors inserted over the sleeve and the cable, it was time to strip the isolation on one end by measuring the length required.
Step 5: Pre-Tinning the Stranded Core Wires and the Copper Braid
I then stripped the interior stranded pair of cables and the copper braid and tinned them with solder.
Step 6: Soldering the Connector to the Wire
The pair of stranded wires was soldered together to carry the audio signal while the copper braid was soldered to the connector case to carry the negative or return signal.
Step 7: A Properly Crimped Audio Connector
With the soldering complete, I crimped the connector to the outside insulation and sleeve. In this close-up picture, you can see how the connector should crimp and grab the outside insulation.
Step 8: Checking Continuity and Cable Resistance
With one end of the cable complete, I proceeded to trim the other end of the sleeve. When working with polyester sleeve, try to cut it with a sharp side cutter or utility knife and burn the end with a lighter so that the braid doesn’t start unraveling.
When working with polyester sleeve, try to cut it with a sharp side cutter or utility knife and burn the end with a lighter so that the braid doesn’t start unraveling. With the first cable complete, I checked for continuity as well as the resistance.
Step 9: Testing the Completed RCA Audio Interconnect Pair
With this step complete, as on the other end, I stripped the outside insulation and the interior stranded pair and proceeded to solder the wire to the connector. After I followed all the same steps to make the second cable and complete the pair, I removed my old RCA interconnect cables and plugged in my new audio cables. And, as you can tell, the work fine as I recorded the voice over using my new cables.
Step 10: Total Cost of High-end Premium Audio Cables
Those premium Amphenol connectors cost around 3 Euros each, or about 12 Euros for all four. The length of wire used totaled just under 3 Euros. And finally, the polyester sleeve length was just 1.50 Euro. Therefore, the grand total of a pair of High quality, professional RCA Audio interconnect cables… 16.50 Euro. Or almost 100 times less expensive than the “audiophile” cables I joked about reviewing.
This is proof that high quality audio cables do not need to be expensive. If you don’t believe me, send me your high end audiophile cables and I will review them against my cables.