Jan 272017
 

This weekend I’m hoping to get in some more listening time with the various wire adventures I’ve got cooking, so hopefully I can share some more listening impressions with you before too long.

Cable adventures!

It’s already shaping up to be a busy weekend, but hopefully I’ll be able to get some writing in for you.

Keep checking in on this post over the next few days and I’ll add updates to it as I can.

Duelund DCA20GA tinned-copper tone-wire for the high-frequency speaker cables for my WRSE’s.

As I reported earlier, I made up a 2-meter set of Duelund speaker cables for my Westminster Royal SE loudspeakers that consist of Duelund DCA20GA tinned-copper tone-wire for the high-frequencies, and Duelund DCA16GA tinned-copper tone-wire for the low-frequencies.

Duelund DCA16GA tinned-copper wire for the low-frequency speaker cables for my WRSE’s.

I really liked what I was hearing when using the Duelund DCA16GA tinned-copper tone-wire for speaker cables with my Westminster’s. The DCA16GA was even better sounding and more musical than my Western Electric WE16GA as speaker cables, and has replaced them, which is saying a lot!

Adding dedicated high-frequency cables of Duelund DCA20GA tinned-copper tone-wire really made a nice difference in the high-frequency presentation of my Westminster’s.

Duelund DCA20GA (left HF binding posts) and Duelund DCA16GA (right binding posts).

In the photo above you can see the Duelund DCA20GA connected to the left (HF) binding posts of the outboard Duelund CAST crossovers of my Westminster’s, and on the right (LF) binding posts is the Duelund DCA16GA, which makes for a very complimentary speaker cable combination.

The red wire you see on the left with the Acoustic Revive cable lift is the vintage Western Electric WE16GA wire that I use to connect the Westminster’s driver ground to the ground on my vintage McIntosh MC30 monaural amplifier.

The red wire you see in the crossover is also vintage Western Electric WE16GA, which was my Tone Wire King until the Duelund DCA16GA showed up and bested it.

I’m so impressed with the Duelund DCA20GA for the high-frequency speaker cables on my Westminster’s, that first chance I get I’m going to replace all the Western Electric WE16GA in the HF portion of the crossovers with the Duelund DCA20GA, which I think will take my high-frequency performance to the next level.

I put my new Duelund DCA16GA/DCA20GA speaker cables on my Cable Cooker and let them condition for a couple of days, and put them back in the system last night. I played music from NPR on them in the background for a few hours to aid their settling back into the system. More about this in a bit.

Duelund DCA20GA interconnects.

As I mentioned earlier, I made up two pairs of 2-meter interconnects with the DCA20GA, the first with pair single runs of Duelund DCA20GA pin-to-pin and ground-to-ground (above), and a second pair with single runs of Duelund DCA20GA wire pin-to-pin, and two runs of DCA20GA ground-to-ground.

Closeup: DCA20GA ‘triplet’ IC (left), DCA20GA IC (middle), and DCA16GA IC (right).

While I was listening to the Duelund DCA20GA interconnects in my system I conditioned the ‘triplet’ Duelund DCA20GA interconnects on my Cable Cooker for a couple days, and then put them back in the system for some listening, while I conditioned the two-conductor version on the Cable Cooker for a couple of days.

On top is the Belden 8402’s connected in the method of Dominique, and on the bottom is the Belden 8402’s connected in the method of Yazaki-san.

I was also intrigued by Dominique’s praise for his results with the Belden 8402, which he built as a variation of Yazaki-san’s method. Dominique connected the shield to ground at both ends in the method of Yazaki-san, but instead of connecting one conductor to the pin and the other to the ground, Dominique connected both of the Belden 8402’s conductors to the pin, with just the shield doing ground duties.

My prediction is that the sound of the doubled conductors of the Belden 8402 on the pins of the Switchcraft 3502AAU RCA’s will be similar to the difference in performance I hear between the DCA20GA and the DCA16GA, where the additional tinned-copper in the conductor makes the sound more vivid and dramatic.

All of the interconnects have now received the same amount of conditioning on the Cable Cooker, so I’ll give them a listen and report back.

Update 1, Friday evening, January 27th: The work week is done, and it’s time to enjoy a Friday evening listening to music, feet up, glass of wine in hand, auditioning interconnects!

Yes, I am a nerd! 😉

Ray Charles and Betty Carter

It was 1997, and I was working at Congressional Research Service on a detail, when jazz enthusiast President Bill Clinton awarded Betty Carter a National Medal of Arts, which Betty considered to be one of the most important awards she received in her lifetime.

I’ve always loved the album Betty Carter did with Ray Charles, Ray Charles and Betty Carter, for its warm, intimate, and romantic – and occasionally comedic – vibe. Great musicians, great music, great jazz, and a whole lotta feeling – it doesn’t get much better than that!

I remember reading the Washington Post in 1998 when Betty Carter passed away, and they asked President Clinton to comment about Betty. Jazz enthusiast Bill Clinton was of course saddened at the loss of Betty Carter, praising her as a musician, and her accomplished musical career.

To my delight Bill Clinton mentioned how much he loved Betty’s album with Ray Charles, Ray Charles and Betty Carter, and in particular how much he loved the duet they did on the album, “Baby It’s Cold Outside”.

I chuckled. The context of the song “Baby It’s Cold Outside” is a man trying to convince his sweetheart to stay a little longer, because it’s cold outside, in hopes that a une liaison might develop. At the time the dust hadn’t even settled from Bill’s well publicized indiscretion with Monic Lewinsky. I chuckled again. Oh, Bill!

But I digress … as what I wanted to tell you about is my listening impressions between the ‘normal’ and ‘triplet’ Duelund DCA20GA interconnects I made.

Duelund DCA20GA interconnects.

The ‘normal’ DCA20GA interconnects I made, with single runs of Duelund DCA20GA pin-to-pin and ground-to-ground (above) on their Switchcraft 3502AAU RCA’s, sound absolutely fantastic on Ray Charles and Betty Carter, after coming off my Cable Cooker for a little conditioning: well-balanced top-to-bottom frequency wise, nuanced, rich, gorgeous presentation of overtones, natural tone color, no unnatural vocal sibilance, brass sounded perfectly burnished with not even a hint of unnatural forwardness, and strings sounded rich & rosiny. Beautiful!

Then I put on the ‘triplet’ pair of interconnects I built, with single runs of Duelund DCA20GA wire pin-to-pin, and two runs of DCA20GA ground-to-ground, on the Switchcraft 3502AAU RCA’s.

The ‘triplet’ version didn’t sound nearly as good. Not nearly as natural and musical. Ray’s and Betty’s vocals took on some unnatural sibilance, the brass became too forward and harsh, and the overall musicality was compromised.

I was a little bit amazed, as I wasn’t even sure if I’d be able to hear a difference between two versions. Both were the same length (2-meters), both had the same RCA’s (Switchcraft 3502AAU’s), both had the same solder (Kester ’44’ rosin core), and one sounded absolutely brilliant and one sounded bad. It’s amazing what adding another length of conductor on the ground run did to the sound.

I really, really, like the ‘normal’ version of the Duelund DCA20GA interconnects I built, they are ridiculously good, and extraordinarily fairly priced to build.

The Duelund DCA20GA is $6.75 a meter at Parts ConneXion, and the Switchcraft 3502AAU RCA’s are $3.94 each at Mouser. So, for example, you could build a one-meter pair of world-class DCA20GA interconnects for $42.76 USD, or you could really splurge and build a two-meter pair like I did for $69.76 USD.

What I recommend that you do is build both a pair of DCA16GA and DCA20GA interconnects to add to your cable stable, as  it will open up a world of exciting voicing possibilities for optimizing your system’s performance, and I predict you’ll have a blast comparing the two, at least I did. What fun!

Ok, that’s it for this cold January night, baby it’s cold outside. More to come over the next few days.

As always, thanks for stopping by, and may the tone be with you!

 Posted by at 4:16 pm

  82 Responses to “Coming Up: Duelund & Belden Tinned-Copper Interconnect & Speaker Cable Listening Impressions! Update 1.”

  1. Hi Jeff,

    Long time reader, first time commenter 😉

    Thanks for all the work you have done with the new Dueland wires. I put the DCA16GA in my system and was blown away by the results — it was like I got in the way-back machine and landed in the Village Vanguard. Everyone at my house now refers to the DCA16GA as the ‘magic wire’.

    I have the DCA20GA on order and plan to make some interconnects – first off is one from my streaming source to my amp. After that, from my analogue source to the amp. Just curious what your thoughts would be on shielding (and shielding materials) for these source-to-amp ICs?

    Thanks again!!

    • Hi Austin,

      Thanks for the kind words, appreciated!

      The Duelund tinned-copper tone-wire really is ‘magic wire’ in my systems, and I sure am glad Frederik is making it available, and at such a reasonable price.

      My thoughts on shielding are “don’t shield unless you have to” because of hum or too much noise. Shielding always diminishes performance somewhat in my experience.

      However, there are times that you just have to shield, like with the interconnects that go to my SUT, or with tonearm cables and such.

      I think that in my article about the Duelund DCA16GA for Positive Feedback I talked about doing shielded versions of the Duelund DCA16GA, but I don’t remember for sure. I’ll have to go back and look.

      But in any event, I asked Chris Johnson at Parts ConneXion for a recommendation on making shielded versions of the Duelund DCA20GA, what materials and such to use, and soon as I get a chance I’ll write that up, and hopefully be able to give it a try.

      Thanks for your comment, and hopefully I’ll have more info soon!

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

  2. Hi Jeff,
    ……….so, how did you hear the normal versions of DCA16GA vs DCA20GA , IC’s?? any differences??
    best regards
    john

    • Hi John,

      The DCA16GA and DCA20GA sound completely different.

      You can read my preliminary impressions between the two here.

      For a complete articulation of the differences you are a little bit ahead of me, as I haven’t had the DCA20GA for very long. The DCA20GA is just now starting on its run-in trajectory as high-frequency speaker cables for my West’s, but I like what I hear so far quite a lot.

      As interconnects they’re a little further along in the run-in process, but still everything I’m reporting is still very preliminary, but again, I really like what I’m hearing.

      I hope to have the DCA20GA fully characterized for an article at Positive Feedback in the next 90 days or so.

      I’ll keep posting my initial impressions as I go, and any changes I hear along the way.

      Stay tuned!

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

      • Hi Jeff,

        Any update on the difference between the DCA16GA and DCA20GA as interconnects (ie. from Dac to Amp)?

        Regards,

        Nikos

        • Hi Nikos,

          I haven’t tried the DCA20GA from a DAC to amp yet, but it works nicely from my MX110Z preamp to my MC30 monaural amps.

          I suspect the differences will be the same from a DAC to amp will be the same as I have described for preamp to amps, though.

          I’m using a combination of DCA16GA and DCA20GA in my system now with nice results, and I would recommend you try both to see which one you would prefer. Depending on what your system balance and personal tastes I could see either one being a favorite.

          Best,

          Jeff

          • Thanks Jeff.

            I have a Western Electric 13a big horn (with 555 / 597 field coil drivers), driving it with Kondo AN Neiro integrated amp. I have being using the DCA16GA as speaker wire and I am extremely happy, thanks for your investigations and the great product of Duelund! I will be getting now the DCA20GA to use it for my 597 tweeters.

            What are the of the advantages/disadvantages of each when you compare DCA16GA and DCA20GA as interconnects? Do you have this written in some blog entry/feedback-comment or you are still evaluating the 2?

            Regards,

            Nikos

          • Hi Nikos,

            I am still evaluating the two, but if you read my preliminary impressions in posts regarding the DCA20GA, you’ll see what my first impressions are.

            I hope that helps.

            Best,

            Jeff

          • OK, thanks.

            When do you think (approximately) you will be able to share your evaluation findings?

            Regards,

            Nikos

          • I don’t really know what my timeline is yet, Nikos.

            I have a number of other things in my review queue to listen to and write about before I’ll be able to fit the Belden in, so it just depends on when I’ll get an open window of time to properly listen to it and evaluate it.

            All the best,

            Jeff

  3. Waiting for my DCA20 to arrive and was thinking that I will try, based upon Mr. Yazaki’s recommendation of tying the shield and the ground wires together, three lengths of wire braided to mimic the double ground. This might offer some addtional advantages due to the braiding. Will have to find out.

    Could just as easily be a waste of wire. But I like the way the braid stabilizes the wires without having to bind them.

    • Hi Rick,

      I’ve found that Yazaki-san’s method of tying the ground & shield together works very well for the Belden 8402, but not for the Duelund DCA16GA, which sounds significantly better if you only tie the shield to ground at the source end. I suspect that it will be the same for the DCA20GA, but I have tried that yet.

      As far as multiple runs of DCA20GA for the ground goes, as in my update of last night, it sounds really bad with the DCA20GA.

      By far, a single run for +/- sounds way better, and I wouldn’t even waste your time with the multiple ground experiment, unless of course, you just want to experiment! 😉

      My recommendation is also to ditch the shielding unless you absolutely need it, as it always degrades the performance of the interconnects in my experience.

      I hope that helps!

      Best,

      Jeff

      • I hate shielding as much as you do. Using the BELDEN cable was first time I had had a shielded cable in my system in years and even then I subverted it by tying it into ground. I feel sorry for those who have to use shielding since it smothers the sound – one quick way to turn a big image into a smaller one.

        I was just thinking of using the third wire as another ground AND to give the benefit of stability that braiding allows. No shielding added!

        You can be assured: if you have found it to sound worse I will not waste my time!

        • I’m definitely with you on the shielding issue, Rick!

          Shielding can be a necessary evil, but I avoid shielding whenever possible. Somehow the Belden’s wired Yazaki-san style sound pretty wonderful even with shielding, but the Duelund DCA20GA with their very similar conductors, and without all the shielding, sound much better to me.

          I’d skip the ‘third wire’ experiment, unless of course you’re just curious about it, then go for it – I’m all for exploration! Adding in the 3rd DCA20GA wire to the ground seriously degraded their performance, so that will be an un-soldering experience one of these days!

          Cheers,

          Jeff

  4. Thanks Jeff…. don’t you just love it when the simplest options work the best…

  5. Jeff,

    Thanks for all the continuing exciting and great information. I’ve purchased the 16GA wire and Beldon ICs and now want to try the 20GA, however electricity is not my friend … don’t own a soldering gun or know the first thing about how to do it. Are any of the suppliers or others providing a finished IC as was done with the Beldon’s?

    Many thanks!!!

    Michael

    • Hi Michael,

      Chris Johnson of Parts ConneXion will make you up a pair of DCA20GA interconnects if you send him an email.

      It’s a more expensive way to go than the inexpensive DIY approach I use, as Chris likes the Duelund RCA’s, which to be fair are built to a much higher standard than the cheap Switchcraft’s I like to use, and then there’s a labor charge too.

      I can tell you from personal experience that the interconnects that Chris and his team at Parts ConneXion make are built extremely nicely, so you definitely get what you pay for.

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

      • Jeff,

        Many thanks. Have you had any experience with the sonic differences between the Dueland RCA’s and the Switchcraft?

        Best,

        Michael

        • I’ve got sets of interconnects here terminated with both the Duelund & Switchcraft, Michael, but I haven’t directly compared the sonic differences between the two brands of RCA’s.

          Best,

          Jeff

          • Thanks Jeff. Do you plan on doing that any time soon?

            Best,

            Michael

          • Hi Michael,

            Probably not for quite a while, I’ve got a lot of irons in the fire listening-wise, and that one’s pretty far down the list.

            Best,

            Jeff

  6. Thanks Jeff!

  7. Jeff,

    One more question. Could you describe the sonic differences between the gold plated and rhodium plated Dueland RCAs?

    Again, many thanks!

    Michael

    • Hi Jeff

      Am a bit curious. Are there any areas where you found the WE 16 ga speaker cable superior to the Duelund 16 ga speaker cable?

      • Hi Premnath,

        I’v liked the Duelund wire better than the WE in every application I’ve tried it in so far: interconnects, speaker cables, crossover and speaker wiring. In fact I’m getting ready to replaced the WE16GA in the high-frequency portion of my WRSE’s crossovers with the Duelund DCA20GA as well.

        There is one caveat though, as the plastic dielectric in the WE allows for the use of higher voltages than the Duelund does, so if I was going to do some wiring inside a preamp or amp, or as a power cord, I would probably not use the Duelund for safety reasons, but would then use the WE.

        For example, in my vintage McIntosh MX110Z I used some WE16GA for some wire leads on a capacitor modification, before I got the Duelund, and then I also tried WE16GA as power cords for my MC30’s, but I didn’t like the WE16GA performance in that application and went back to the stock power cords.

        I hope that helps.

        Best,

        Jeff

    • Hi Michael,

      When Chris built the interconnects for me to try he put rhodium on the silver ones and gold on the non-silver ones. I have interconnects made with both the Duelund rhodium & gold plated RCA’s, but not the same interconnect, so I haven’t been able to compare them directly.

      Best,

      Jeff

  8. Jeff,

    So you have the 20ga wire now hooked up from your crossover to speakers internal driver? Also all Duelund there now not WE? Update: I’m about 460 hours on my internal driver wire run in. I barely even think of it now. 🙂 I have thought of hearing the WE again, but am feeling less about that. My IC which I have no idea what its got on it keeps getting better and better on my cd player. It started out great then I started hearing things that were missing I was used too. The tone got to me at first now a lot of what I was missing is coming back yet with the Duelund tone I love.

    • Hi Bill,

      I have DCA16GA hooked up from my amps to the LF connection of my crossovers, and DCA20GA hooked up from my amps to the HF connections of my crossovers.

      I’m still using WE16GA in my crossovers and as internal wiring in my WRSE’s as I just haven’t had enough time to do a complete re-wire yet.

      My next step is to rewire the HF section of my crossovers with DCA20GA, which I think will make for a nice improvement.

      Keep me posted on your tone adventures!

      Cheers,

      Jeff

      • Hi Jeff

        Since I use balanced cable, would it make sense to just stick to Belden 8402 and not try the Duelund 20ga since I will have to use it shielded if going balanced?

        • Hi Jeff

          How many twists per foot is recommended for the Duelund 16 ga speaker cable?

          • Hi Premnath,

            On my speaker cables I twisted my Duelund DCA16GA about every three inches or so. I don’t know that there’s an optimum number of twists per foot, so there’s room for a little experimentation.

            Best,

            Jeff

        • Hi Premnath,

          I haven’t really done anything with balanced cables, so I’m not much help on that topic. My only recommendation is to only use shielded cables when you absolutely have to, because shielding always seems to degrade the sonic and musicality.

          My guess would be that even when shielded, the Duelund DCA20GA built as a balanced IC, would sound better than the Belden built as a balanced IC, but probably the only way to know for sure is to give both a try.

          Let me know how it works out!

          Kind regards,

          Jeff

          • Thanks Jeff. So you suggest I first try unshielded balanced cable with 3 Duelund 20 ga wires?

          • Hi Premnath,

            Yes, that’s what I’d do first, if you don’t need shielding for that connection.

            Let me know how it works out for you.

            Best,

            Jeff

  9. Hi Jeff,
    if I read your post right, you recommend the duelund DCA20GA for interconnects, but for speaker cables you’re using the DCA16GA for low freq and DCA20GA for high freq.
    What would you recommend for a single pair of speakercables (when low and high freqs aren’t separated)?
    I tried the WE16GA with getting slightly compressed/cut high freqs (but with a good controlled low end). But the compressed highs killed the details.

    • Hi Ale,

      In my main system I use a mix of DCA20GA and DCA16GA to get the combination of musicality & sonics I like. I use shielded DCA16GA as interconnects from my SUT to my preamp, and DCA20GA interconnects from preamp to my amps. From my amps I use DCA16GA for the low-frequency speaker cables, and I use DCA20GA for the high-frequency speaker cables.

      I hope that helps!

      Best,

      Jeff

  10. Hi Jeff,
    Have you ever tried Duelund Premiun Oil Impregnated Silver/Cotton Audio Cable, or Silver Foil/Silk Oil Hook Wire as ICs?
    If so, what are your comments comparing to copper wires?
    Danny

    • Hi Danny,

      I have tried both of the Duelund silver interconnects, and I like them, but I prefer the DCA20GA & DCA16GA tinned-copper tone-wire in my systems here at Jeff’s Place for its more dramatic presentation, more deeply saturated tone colors, it’s natural timbral complexity, and just overall more ‘real’ sound.

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

      • Hi Jeff,
        I bought a pair 16GA to run my electrostatic panel yesterday. I can really tell that it will outperform my transparent and WE speaker cable very much.
        I value your comment 100%. Thank you for the kind sharing.
        Danny

        • Hi Danny,

          That’s great news! Keep me posted as you get some more time on them, and if you can let me know what you think at about the 100 hour mark.

          Kind regards,

          Jeff

  11. Hello Heff,

    Any comment on the Belden connected as I suggested ?

    Take your time but don’t forget please to give it a listen to check if it will confirm your thoughts about its sound.

    Thanks. 🙂

    Dominique

    • Hi Dom,

      I’ve built up the interconnects, but I haven’t had a chance to listen to them yet, just been too busy with company the last couple of weekends.

      Hopefully I’ll get a chance to give them a listen this weekend!

      Best,

      Jeff

  12. Sorry, Jeff, not Heff ! typing mistake. :-))
    Have a nice day.

    Dom

    • Not to worry, Dom, no one will confuse my blog with Heff’s magazine! 😉

      • Hi Jeff

        I want to experiment with Duelund for balanced. I do not want to use a shield. So am planning 3 wires of Duelund instead without any shield.

        Should I braid all 3 wires or just twist + and – wires and run the ground as a separate wire?

        Would really appreciate your thoughts on the same

        • Hi Premnath,

          I like to braid the wires together. Let me know how the Duelund works for you as a balanced interconnect, as that’s something I haven’t tried.

          Kind regards,

          Jeff

  13. Jeff. I would also like to here your comments about using both signal wires of the 8402 to the center pins and just using the shield for negative/ground duty at both ends as mentioned by Dominique. I have some Belden 9207 Twinax that I thinking of wiring this way. Thank, Steve.

    • Hi Steve,

      I have made up Belden 8402 IC’s wired in the method of Dom, but I haven’t had a chance to give them a good listen yet. I’ll write about it when I do.

      As Dom noted in his response, it is worthwhile giving the various methods of constructing Belden 8402 IC’s a try to see which one matches your tastes and system needs the best.

      So far I’ve like Yazaki-san’s method the best, but I have given Dom’s method a good listen yet.

      Best,

      Jeff

  14. Steve, though I like to read Jeff’s opinion about this Belden, I am sure that, as every cable and audio component, the result is a matter of good coherence and blending with the other components in the system and also depends greatly of the listener’s taste. For me, connected this way, the Belden is far better to my ears. Not sure you will agree. Why don’t you give it a try and report then? 🙂

  15. Jeff, I read in a blog, http://guneytuncer.blogspot.com, where author likes to separate the 16ga speaker cables instead of braiding them where he says:

    “I like separated pair design over twisted pair especially for low frequencies. Separating means lowering the wire capacitance as much as possible which is the key point for true “uncolored” bass.”

    Any thoughts on this?

    • Hi Will,

      Nope, no thoughts on this. Give it a try and let me know how you like it.

      Best,

      Jeff

    • I wasn’t sure whether to twist or not twist, here’s what I did…

      I learned a long time ago from an old friend of my father’s that if you collect and loop long lengths of power cable (thick extension chords) in the natural direction it wants to go, you will never get random twisting and have to fight it. This is why you see some power chords in a random mess when forced in a direction they don’t want to go in. With that precept in mind, I didn’t want to twist the dca16ga speaker cables and 20ga interconnects I made so that the cable would be relaxed – of course guiding them slightly farther away from power chord sources where necessary to reduce any potential issues.

      I let everything burn in for a bit. BTW i first replaced interconnects then speaker cable to do an independent test of effect. Interconnects had a very positive immediate effect, speaker cables not so much. In tweaking I then twisted the interconnects slightly, and speaker cables next. Mind you, before soldering the interconnects, I did put the wires together and try and line up their internal wound natural flow. This makes it easier to twist after the fact.

      Results: Interconnects were better slightly twisted – fuller presentation, speaker cables sounded thinner twisted and I wasn’t as engaged in the music, so I untwisted them, let them settle overnight with a looping CD and in the morning I was in my happy place.

      For interest sake, I emailed Frederik to get his thoughts as I haven’t worked with unshielded cable to date, he doesn’t twist but also said to try twisting – doesn’t hurt anything to try.

      Either way best cables I have had in my system to date and it’s worth taking your time to tweak to get the best sound out of them.

      Thanks for steering me towards the Duelund experience Jeff (and contributors),

      Tom.

      • Hi Tom,

        Thank you so much for the feedback, greatly appreciated!

        I’ll have to experiment with twisting & not-twisting the Duelund, I’m intrigued by your results.

        I definitely go for the fuller presentation myself, so I’ll untwist my speaker cables and see what happens.

        Kind regards,

        Jeff

  16. I did make 1 Belden 9207 Twinax interconnect wired the way DOM mentioned but I need time to burn it in.
    I really like Beldens 89259 coax cable for interconnects. My system uses 7 pairs of these and it’s sounding really good.

    Has anyone tried Beldens 9463 Twinax “Blue Hose” cable as an interconnect?
    I talked to a Belden Rep a month ago and he said they sell TONS of this cable. It’s they’re most popular cable he stated.

  17. Hello Jeff, I want to thank you for the enthusiasm and excellent sharing about your journey with the Dueland and Belden cables / interconnects! As result I purchased and installed the Dueland DCA16GA cables to replace my Nordost Red Dawn cables which I knew were weak links in my chain. WOW! I’m bowled over with the increased reveal of subtlties, bloom, transparency, coherence, bass – I expected to lose some bass for some reason, but it only got better – Slam, attack, control – Nice! All, right out of the box! The only weakness I perceive so far is in sibilance when listening to symbols, the shimmer there does not seem as distinct as before but I only have about 8 hours listening time so far. I’m listening right now and the sound is glorius! Truly musical! Man, you made me feel like I won the lottery with discovery of these seriously performing cables at such a skinny purchase price!

    The rest of my cable interconnect stuff is Nordost TYR XLR & RCA with Nordost power chords. I’m planning to change all the interconnects next. My system is mostly ARC: Ref2 Phono and REF5 Line Stage with ARC VS115 Amp (KT-120’s) and Vienna Accoustics Beethoven Symphony Concert Grand speakers (90db rated). Originally you seemed to recommend the Belden’s for interconnects but talk more now about Dueland in the role, or was it that you did not have much time listening to the Duelends set as interconnects at the start? What do you think about Dueland DCA20GA XLR Unshielded (I need some more input about that if you don’t mind) for interconnects or is the Belden 8402 in XLR Unshielded a safer bet? I know I need to listen to make a determination for myself but you have not steered me wrong so far! Just point me in the right direction coach! Thank you again!

    Larry

    • Hi Larry,

      That’s a nice hi-fi you’ve got there!

      I know what you mean, the tinned-copper Duelund DCA16GA tonal signature and price-to-performance ratio is pretty hard to beat.

      Each of the cables is very recommendable in and of themselves as interconnects, and I like to use a mix of the Belden 8402, Duelund DCA16GA, and Duelund DCA20GA interconnects in my systems here. I don’t have any experience with building XLR interconnects with them, as all my systems only use interconnects terminated with RCA’s.

      Each of these cables has a different voicing within the realm of what I refer to as ‘vintage tone’, and I use their “artist’s palette” of voicings to achieve the overall voicing I want for a given system.

      The Duelund DCA16GA has the most vivid, colorful, and musically dramatic presentation of the three cables.

      The Belden 8402 is more laid back than the Duelund DCA16GA, but still has that nice tinned-copper ‘vintage tone’ thing going for it, with vivid tone color, nice timbral textures, and a very ‘real sound’ in terms of tempos, beat, dynamics, etc. The Belden 8402 is particularly handy for when a shielded interconnect is needed with it’s built-in shielding.

      The Duelund DCA20GA is like a very refined version of the Belden, having that same ‘real sound’ for a musical perspective, but is capable of more subtleties and tonal shadings than the Belden. I like to think of the Duelund DCA20GA as a purist high-performance version of the 8402 that gives you more of everything while still maintaining that gorgeous vintage tone musically & sonically.

      I should say that I’m still experimenting with all these cables, particularly the Duelund DCA20GA, to understand and articulate their full measure of performance.

      Tinned-copper conductors have a tonal signature that I like a lot, and they do things that I don’t hear pure copper or silver interconnects doing musically & sonically.

      Given the very affordable cost of making up interconnects using these various tinned-copper cables, I recommended you build a set of each and get a cable library going that you can experiment with. Try using them in combination in various locations in your system to achieve the type of musicality & sonics you’re after.

      I hope that helps!

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

      • Hello again Jeff, sorry for the late response. Thank you for your nice compliment of my system which remains a work in progress. Its not the most powerfull but it sure makes me happy and is fun to upgrade its performance like what these great cables are doing. My intent is to call Parts Connexion and see if they will make up several pairs of Balanced interconnects. One set of DCA20GA’s and a set of DCA16GA’s and a Belden 8402, all in XLR. Is there anything I should ask in the setup such as some special termination or braiding routine? Is there one termination make that you like over another? Any thoughts you might wish to share are welcomed.

        An update on the DCA16GA’s; I’m about at 12+ hours listening on the cables now. I am seeing slightly less definition at the moment but notice the sibilance may be improving. I understand its going to take a bit of run in before they get stabilized fully. I plan to give it a little more time then switch back to the old cables to see if the difference remains as vivid as first recognized. I’m hoping the remaining interconnects will have a cumulative effect and benefit.

        Again, thanks for sharing this outstanding find!

        Larry

        • Hi Larry,

          I don’t have any experience with balanced interconnects, all my work has been with RCA interconnects, so I’m not much help there. Sorry about that.

          Chris and his staff at Parts ConneXion do a beautiful job of building interconnects, and are immensely experienced, so I would rely on their recommendations and good judgement for your balanced interconnects.

          Thanks for the update, and be sure to keep me posted on the outcomes of your adventures!

          Kind regards,

          Jeff

  18. Jeff,

    Do you loose any width in soundstage and depth with the 20 vs. 16 wire? I like that you state that its pretty even from top to bottom. Depending who’s writing that could mean many things. If your to kind could mean leaner less bass thinner tone while being balanced. Is it a solid meaty balanced sound? You say it’s a “rich” sound so i’m guessing it is. Thanks,

    Bill

    • Hi Bill,

      You’re a little too early in the review process for me to provide detailed analysis between the DCA16GA and DCA20GA, as my listening sessions with the DCA20GA are still very preliminary at this point, and detailed commentary is still to come, with just snippets of behind-the-scenes moment-in-time listening impressions as the reviewing process proceeds. You’ll have to wait until my full review for Positive Feedback to get the complete detailed analysis of sonics & musicality of the DCA20GA.

      As far as the ‘top-to-bottom’ comment, what I mean is there is no overt emphasis at any one point in the frequency range as you move down in frequency from the high-frequencies to the low-frequencies – it’s well balanced with no particular frequency range being prominent and calling attention to itself.

      I hope that helps!

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

      • Ok thanks Jeff look forward to that, but in the mean time I ordered some. I am gonna try it in between my pre and amp right now I’m using the 16 with ridiculous amount of hours on it. Sounds really good, but always looking to improve “if” possible.

        • Hi Bill,

          I know the feeling, it’s always fun to try a new audio adventure!

          Let me know how it works out for you!

          Kind regards,

          Jeff

          • Hi Jeff,

            After some hours on its working out great. Nice added depth to the upper regions from the transparency with a good balance. Now i’m getting greedy want more of them lofty highs without sacrifice though. I’m thinking of the silver bypass caps, but not sure it would mess with my natural sound ( and balance) I have. I had Chris from Partsconexion make me up a shielded ( source end) 20 awg one for my turntable with swtichcrafts. I can’t comment on that to much it’s to early other than he does great work, and its more lively than I expected. Still very early no real burn in I can’t wait to hear it settle in. Even for me a cable burner would be nice right about now. Right now i’m pretty impressed with my digital sources with the 16awg, and the 20awg between my pre and amp. This gives me a beautiful combination of rich tone with a balanced sound like you said. Speaking of balance the 20awg between the pre and amp has really balanced out my 16awg from crossover to drivers with my digital sources.

            Tone on,

            Bill

            P.S. By the way for some this maybe a good way to get your Duelund to work with a lot of devices to play music. Working great with my airport till I find a better one if its even really needed.

            https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0146L3VDQ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

  19. Haven’t tried the DCA20GA but the DCA16GA is working very well for me as interconnects (from Parts ConneXion) between my Modwright Sony 5400ES SACD player and my Pathos TT RR integrated amp. I am using 89db efficient Merlin VSM’s which suggests that the wire is not just suited for very high efficiency speakers. Note that two weeks of listening and many hours with a system conditioning cd only opened up the sound moderately. However 48 hours on the Hagerman Fry Baby 2 resulted in a dramatic improvement.

    • Hello Cellerino, I’m intrigued by your burn in results. I just don’t have a resource to get to a Fry Baby 2. Are they affordable to buy and own or is there a source I can send the cables for burn in. I am assuming I can get the speaker cables and the interconnects done at the same time? Can you make suggestions to sourcing?

      Larry

      • Hi Larry,

        You can get the FryBaby2 from Hagerman Audio Lab who makes them, for $229 USD, and I believe they ship from their location in Hawaii to anywhere in the world.

        I hope that helps!

        Best,

        Jeff

    • Hi Cellerino,

      I’ve found the Duelund DCA16GA to work as well with my 87dB Harbeth Super HL5 loudspeakers, as with my 99dB Tannoy Westminster Royal SE loudspeakers, and as well with the somewhere around 115dB sensitivity of my Altec A5 Voice of the Theatre loudspeakers, with their 288C & 1005B HF combo, so I think the DCA16GA (& DCA20GA) works pretty well for most loudspeaker sensitivities.

      I always like to burn in my cables with my Cable Cooker too, it makes a really big difference. Everyone should have a Cable Cooker or FryBaby2 in their equipment stable so they can get the best out of their cables, capacitors, etc., they are a very worthwhile investment.

      Thanks for your report, and keep me posted on any other thoughts you have!

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

  20. Jeff- Thank you for all the hard work- I just received the 16 ga. wire for my Classic Audio T1.4 horns to use as speaker wire– question on the 20 Ga- If I need a 3 meter run to make an interconnect would that be to long a run for this cable??- Thanks again for all you do!!

    • Hi Gary,

      Thanks for the kind words, appreciated!

      You should be fine with a 3-meter interconnect. I routinely use 2-meter interconnects of the the Duelund DCA16GA & DCA20GA, and I get good reports about even longer lengths from the field.

      Let me know how your Duelund adventure works out!

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

  21. Hi Jeff and fellow audiophiles, a small update on my Duelands cable journey. The DGA16GA’s I put on my speakers seems to be breaking in nicely! My general sense is they are improving in most areas including the perception I had of slight sibilance issues when listening to cymbals. Its still early in the break in process and I estimate about 25 hours or so play time now for them. I made a change that I believe has made a solid difference and that was to unbraid the cables. They now seem a bit more alive compared to when braided.

    A week and a few days ago I contacted Chris and company at Parts Connexion to order two complete sets of XLR interconnects; one set of DGA16’s and one set of DGA20’s to support my entire front end from the CD/SACD, Phono Stage and Line Stage to Amp. They were fast and accommodating to get them put together. In one of the earlier reports by others who use the cables they mentioned burning them in and the big difference it made in sound. Having no resources for cable burners and not particularly being a “do it yourselfer,” buying my own burner did not make sense for me. Running an internet search found Take Five Audio who provides cable burn in services, oddly enough in Ontario, Canada too. I had Chris send them to Take Five for burn in early this week so I should have them back by mid week this week. Perhaps if someone else is looking for a cable burn service, they might give them a call. The price was certainly reasonable enough at $15 to $20 per set to burn in. Once I get them back, if the performance is good, I’ll ship the speaker cables off for burn in too. I’ll be sure to report on both the burn in and the XLR’s and having a complete cable and interconnect loom of Dueland’s. Thanks again for the guidance on the cables.

    Larry

    • Hi Larry,

      Awesome update on the Duelund cables! It does seem like it takes quite a while for the tinned-copper cables to settle down in order to get the best out of them, but it’s worth the wait.

      Chris and the folks at Parts ConneXion are great, and they sure do a nice job on interconnects! They are right, burning them in makes a huge difference, and is well worth the effort.

      Interestingly enough, it still takes a while for everything to settle own after putting in a burned in set of cables, it’s like there’s an acclimatization period before full system synergy occurs with tinned-copper cables. Once settled in though … oh boy!

      Let me know how it works out when you get your cables back. (reminds me I need to get busy and build some shielded DCA20GA to try, and to rewire my WRSE’s HF crossovers!)

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

  22. Hi Jeff and all,

    You are all busy and nobody seems to have tried the Belden 8402 as interconnect but connected in my way? (both conductors soldered together to the signal / central pin + shield used as a ground conductor = connected on both sides ) see picture above. Note of course that such a cable is no more shielded. Weird but so much better in my opinion and my friends agree. So…let’s try it, no? 🙂

    • Hi Dominique,

      Actually, right after you told me about your results, I built a pair of Belden 8402 interconnects according to your method. They’ve been getting some time on them in my Leben/Harbeth system.

      They haven’t come to the top of my ‘to-do’ list yet to write about, but they will eventually.

      All the best,

      Jeff

    • Hi Dominique,

      I made a pair of Belden 8402 the way you described and I have to say I was blown away. They completely outperformed anything I had before in the system. I posted a short report about them here. Thank you for sharing with us your discoveries!

  23. Well, as you can see its late night and I’m writing to report my experiences with Dueland DGC20’s and DGC16’s setup as XLR interconnects. I received them today from the folks at Take Five Audio who burned them in for me after build by Parts Connexion, both companies in Ontario CA. I’ll be brief as this is my first listening session with the intercommects.

    First I listened to an album I knew well, The Rippington’s “Kilimanjaro.” I listened using my Nordost Tyr (series one) loom. After it played an entire side and was warmed I installed the DGC20’s first. The sound was initially somewhat bloated in the bass,
    attenuated in pressence and somewhat laid back. The soundstage was squeezed into a narrower space. After a bit of play it began to flesh itself out and sounded more normal and closer to what I anticipated hearing. Most play was vinyl but I switched to CD and the performance was a bit stronger and more full bodied although still a bit attenuated.

    After playing tunes with 20’s for about an hour I switched to the DGC16’s and the difference was immediatly improved, although I realized it still had a way to go for breakin, even though they were burned in. The stage opened up considerably. The sense of attenuation and presence, rhythm and pace was improved over the sound of the 20’s right out of the gate. What I term my “toe tap” (boogie) was fully engaged! Switching to one of my go to albums, Count Basie, “Basie Jam’s” on Pablo Records, the slam, transients were right on par with the performance provided by the Nordost Tyr interconnects. Quite a statement when I realized the Tyr’s represent an investment of more than ~ $3,000.00 for a complet set of used cables and the Dueland DGC16’s made up in XLR format was about $400 for a full set. I heard a few anomolies in this first session that I am hoping to attribute to the need for further break in. There were a couple of guitar rifts in the Basie Jam’s that seemed to almost go under ground which usually knock me over with their great Timbre and power as heard previously on the Tyr cables. Everything else was rock solid for the most part. At times, the cymbals, whcih I noted in earlier comments were a little laid back but still were much better than when presented only with the DGC16’s for speaker cables before getting the interconnects. I am ending the night playing the NAD CD player and jamming to Intuit. No complaints here! Really great news if the anticipation is that it will only get better as it settles in.

    Again, when I think a cable costing a 10th as much as my high end cables is performing right along with the big boys even before breakin is note worthy! There is stuff I hope not to hear after breakin but I wont be too dissapointed I’m sure based on what I hear now. I’ll report in after more listening time, but right now “Me like!”

    I may have a full set of Dueland’s DGC20’s in XLR and already burned in to sell in a few days. Stay tuned. Jeff can I post pictures? If so how?

    Thanks for reading.

    Larry

    • Hi Larry,

      Thanks for the update on your impressions – appreciated! If you email me your photos I think I can figure out how to add them to your comment, but I don’t know an easy way for you to add them.

      Best,

      Jeff

    • Hi Larry. Based on the glowing reviews here, I’m about to build out a set of Duelund based XLR interconnects to try out. And wanted to ask you a couple of questions about your setup before I dive in.

      On your cables, were your “shield” wires connected on both ends or just the source end? Also were they twisted at all or just straight runs? (I know, I can twist or untwist easy enough, just thought I would ask)

      John

  24. Hi Jeff,

    Try to disconnect one of two “cold” wires from destination side in your DCA20GA ‘triplet’ IC.
    My experience shows, this kind of connection should to improve low level detail and instrument separation but to leave good qualities of wisted pair connection.

    Regards,
    Alex.

  25. Did anyone compare Belden 9497 vs Duelund DCA16GA speaker cables?

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