Feb 192017
 

There’s so many good audio things happening right now I thought I’d better write a quick survey for you about all the things that are in play, and my ‘roadmap’ for writing about it all in the near future.

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As you know, the last year or so has resulted in a significant revelation for me in audio, and that is the life-like tone & vivid musicality of tinned-copper wire used as speaker cables, interconnects, and internal loudspeaker wiring.

Spool of Western Electric WE16GA tinned-copper wire.

This tinned-copper wire revelation began to unfold for me when Yazaki-san introduced me to his his ‘real sound’ choice for speaker cables (Western Electric WE16GA) and interconnects (Belden 8402 microphone cable).

Belden 8402 microphone cable RCA interconnects.

My tinned-copper adventure continued when I built a USB tinned-copper interconnect for my USB DAC with some tinned-copper ‘pushback wire’ that guitarists like to use for rewiring their guitars to achieve ‘vintage tone’.

My DIY ‘pushback wire’ USB interconnect has outperformed every USB interconnect I’ve tried and it cost less than $10 to build.

It turned out that my humble DIY pushback wire USB interconnect significantly outperformed all of the spendy USB interconnects I had on hand, and it is still doing duty in my Stokowski A7 Voice of the Theatre system.

That glimpse into the electric guitarist paradigm of ‘vintage tone’ was an aha moment for me as I realized that the guitarists ‘vintage tone’ paradigm had a significant Venn diagram overlap with Yazaki-san’s ‘real sound’ paradigm for audio.

‘Vintage tone’ is an important topic among guitarists, both acoustic and electric guitarists. The term ‘vintage tone’ refers to the tone & musicality of the best guitars from history, the Stradivari of the guitar world.

The traits that produced those guitars with ‘vintage tone’ differ between the parallel universes of the acoustic and electric guitar worlds, but the light went on when I was reading the electric guitarists ‘vintage tone’ descriptions involving the types of wood involved, the vacuum tube amplification, the tinned-copper ‘vintage tone’ wire, ‘vintage tone’ capacitors like Black Beauties or Bumblebees, and ‘vintage tone’ resistors like carbon comp Allen Bradleys and wirewound resistors.

At about that same time I noticed that all my vintage McIntosh vacuum tube electronics were wired internally with various kinds of vintage tinned-copper Western Electric wire.

Voilà! The worlds of the electric guitarist’s ‘vintage tone’ and the Yazaki-san’s ‘real sound’ merged for me and I began to imagine Stradivari-like audio equipment with wood chassis, vacuum tubes, tinned-copper wire, Allen Bradley carbon comp & wirewound resistors, and Black Beauty & Bumblebee capacitors – what a vision!

This merging of musical cultures emphasizing the wonderful tonal & musical properties of tinned-copper wire made a big impression on me as I continued to explore their use in hi-fi.

My conclusion over time was that I enjoyed music reproduction from my stereo more when using tinned-copper speaker cable, interconnects, and internal wiring, than I did from the copper, silver, or gold, wiring that I had tried in the past.

It seems to me that tinned-copper conductors have the best traits of copper, silver, and gold conductors, and even add a few unique traits of their own that the others just don’t have.

The best tinned-copper conductors deliver an extremely vivid tone color, superb dynamic response, melodic sophistication, harmonic complexity, live-like timbral complexity, spooky imaging presence, natural live-like level of resolution, generous portrayal of soundstage & soundspace, a presentation so breathtakingly musical, and with such high level of intensity of emotional engagement, that I think is completely unique in the world of conductors.

Duelund DCA16GA tinned-copper wire.

Then the very astute Frederik Carøe of Duelund Coherent Audio recognized that something special was going on with this vintage Western Electric WE16GA tinned-copper wire I was using, and set out to produce a better version of it, the Duelund Coherent Audio DCA16GA.

WE16GA (left), DCA16GA (middle), and DCA20GA (right).

Frederik worked closely with a specialty manufacturer to develop the 26-strand, 0.25mm diameter, copper conductors tinned with elemental tin that are used in the Duelund Coherent Audio DCA16GA wire.

Frederik’s interpretation of the vintage WE16GA wire improved upon its performance by going even more vintage and eschewing the Western Electric’s use of plastic dielectric, and covering his elemental-tin coated conductors with a natural materials oil-soaked and baked cotton dielectric, which harkens back to Western Electric’s earliest days of wire production before plastics were common place.

The resulting Duelund Coherent Audio DCA16GA was simply spectacular, both sonically & musically, and I thought it bettered the already superb WE16GA in every way.

I like the way the legendary Jim Smith put it in his Quarter Notes Newsletter:

“Jeff Day is a trouble-maker! He keeps finding things that I have to try. I loved the Western Electric 16 GA speaker cable that he recommended. Then he announced that the Duelund 16 GA is even better!

So I had to try it. The good news is that both cables are very inexpensive. In fact, my 10’ bi-wire runs to each channel of my Duelund outboard crossovers (that’s 40’ of wire plus wire for the crossovers and the leads into the Tannoys), plus the interconnects cost me under $300 TOTAL! Was it worth doing?

I’d say with complete confidence that it is the most musically engaging sound I have ever heard. The caveat may be that this is only because I have 96dB efficient loudspeakers. Jeff’s are even more efficient. So I cannot say with any certainty that they will be as good with low efficiency loudspeakers.

On the other hand, it’s not too costly to give them a try…

BTW – trouble maker or not, Jeff’s blog is always a source of useful info, and always from a musical involvement standpoint.”

First, thanks to Jim Smith for his kind words about my labors here at Jeff’s Place, and his astute observations about the Western Electric and now Duelund Coherent Audio tinned-copper DCA16GA.

You can read my review of the Duelund Coherent Audio DCA16GA tinned-copper tone-wire as speaker cables, interconnects, and loudspeaker wiring, at Positive Feedback here.

Owing in part to the enormous popularity of the Duelund DCA16GA with hi-fi enthusiasts & music lovers around the world, Frederik didn’t stop with the DCA16GA, he went on to produce the Duelund Coherent Audio DCA20GA tinned-copper wire using the same proven natural materials formula of an oil-soaked & baked cotton dielectric wrapped around the twenty-six strands of 0.15mm diameter copper conductors coated with elemental tin.

The new Duelund Coherent Audio DCA20GA tinned-copper tone-wire.

I’m now using the DCA20GA as high-frequency speaker cables on the Duelund CAST crossovers of my Tannoy Westminster Royal SE loudspeakers, and as RCA interconnects between my vintage McIntosh MX110Z tuner-preamplifier and my vintage McIntosh MC30 monaural amplifiers.

Duelund DCA20GA interconnects.

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

My results are so good with the combination of Duelund DCA16GA & DCA20GA speaker cables & interconnects that I’m using, that I haven’t touched them since putting them in place.

I’ll tell you what, Duelund Coherent Audio DCA16GA and DCA20GA are tinned-copper cables done right!

The tinned-copper conductors of the Duelund DCA16GA wire.

But there’s more tone-wire news, because Frederik has developed the DCA12GA, which has a lot more tinned-wired conductor in it that will come in handy for lower efficiency speakers. The Duelund DCA12GA has 65 strands of 0.25mm tinned-copper conductors, compared to the DCA16GA’s 26 strands of 0.25mm tinned-copper conductors, giving more than double the amount of conductors of the DCA16GA, and following the successful formula of the DCA16GA & DCA20GA, the DCA12GA is wrapped with the same oil-soaked & baked cotton dielectric, and should be available from Parts ConneXion in the March 2017 timeframe.

I have a two data-point theory about tinned-copper wire with the DCA16GA & DCA20GA that the greater amount of tinned-copper metal in the wire the greater its vividness, and I’m really looking forward to giving the DCA12GA ‘shotgun’ tone-wire a listen to see if a third data-point will help confirm my theory.

Here’s what’s so cool about that: Having DCA12GA, DCA16GA, and DCA20GA tinned-copper tone-wires will allow for a tremendous palette of sonic & musical traits that will allow one to dial in the vividness of tone color, dynamic response, melodic sophistication, harmonic complexity, timbral complexity, imaging presence, level of resolution, soundstage & soundspace, and overall musicality & emotional engagement, exactly the way that is best for you with your associated equipment, listening room character, and personal tastes.

After I’ve had a chance to get more experience with the DCA20GA – and the coming DCA12GA – so that I can fully characterize its performance in terms of their sonics and musical prowess, I’m going to write a survey article for Positive Feedback of the DCA12GA, DCA16GA, and DCA20GA.

This will help give you some ideas on how I’ve used it to maximize the performance of my various test hi-fi’s here at Jeff’s Place, like my Westminster Royale SE & vintage McIntosh based system; my Altec A5 Voice of the Theatre, vintage McIntosh, and Leben based system; my Altec A7 Voice of Theatre and SPEC based system; and my Harbeth Super HL5 and Leben CS600 based system, which should give a fairly broad set of test systems to fully characterize the Duelund family of tinned-copper tone-wires.

In the mean time I also have plans to rewire the high-frequency section of my Westminster’s Duelund CAST crossovers with the Duelund DCA20GA, to build a pair of shielded Duelund DCA20GA interconnects to try on my Intact Audio SUT, and a tonearm rewire project for my Schick tonearm using the DCA20GA. It should be fun!

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Duelund CAST tinned-copper prototype capacitor.

For those new to Jeff’s Place, a little background is in order. Frederik had been teasing me for a while with the promise of a Duelund surprise that he had cooked up that he thought that I would like, and when the surprise arrived – the prototype 0.22uF Duelund CAST tinned-copper capacitors – Frederik’s surprise completely blew my mind!

Inspired by the tone & musicality of the Duelund DCA16GA tinned-copper tone-wire, Frederik secretly built up a set of prototype 0.22uF Duelund CAST tinned-copper capacitors using the same labor intensive, hand-crafted, natural materials philosophy that he uses for all of his Duelund CAST capacitors.

Modification B for the MX110.

I got busy with the prototype Duelund CAST tinned-copper capacitors and used them in Modification B for my MX110Z (above), where I made changes to the first stage cathode follower of the high level input, by replacing two key pairs of 0.1uF capacitors at C93 & C95 and C94 & C96 with a pair of the 0.22 uF prototype Duelund CAST tinned-copper capacitors (see schematic above).

A pair of prototype 0.22uF Duelund CAST Sn-Cu capacitors that I’ve soldered into my vintage MX110Z McIntosh tuner-preamplifier.

The performance of the prototype Duelund CAST tinned-copper capacitors in Modification B was so mind-blowing that I was really quite beside myself with the results. The prototype Duelund CAST tinned-copper capacitors bested every capacitor I have tried in Modification B, both vintage and modern, and by no small margin, it was a complete slap down!

The prototype Duelund CAST tinned-copper capacitors were a revelation for me, and pretty much were the embodiment of every musical & sonic trait I desire in a capacitor. They Duelund’s have the rich musicality of such mythic capacitors as the Bumblebees and Black Beauties of yore, but are worlds more advanced in their sonic capabilities compared to modern production capacitors I’ve had experience with, some of which were extremely good.

C3 0.88uF bundle of 4 paralleled prototype Duelund CAST tinned-copper capacitors.

I also tried the prototype 0.22uF Duelund CAST tinned-copper capacitors in my Altec A5 Voice of the Theatre crossover project with the same stellar results, and it made me dream of what Westminster-sized 6.8uF Duelund CAST tinned-copper capacitors might perform like in the C1 positions of my Westminster’s Duelund CAST crossovers.

After my little experiment, I pulled the prototype 0.22uF Duelund CAST tinned-copper capacitors out of the my Altec A5 Voice of the Theatre project crossovers, because I have other plans for them.

I want to try the prototype 0.22uF Duelund CAST tinned-copper capacitors in the MX110Z power supply mod’s at C2 and C3 (below) that Yazaki-san had suggested earlier in our MX110Z capacitor adventure, but just didn’t work out with the other capacitors we had tried.

MX110Z Modification C to the power supply.

I have to pop the bottom off my MX110Z to see if the jumbo-sized prototype 0.22uF Duelund CAST tinned-copper capacitors will even fit in the available space in for Mod C, but if they do, I want to give Modification C another try!

By the way, Frederik now has the Duelund CAST tinned-copper capacitors in production, and they are available in North America from Parts ConneXion in limited quantities.

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I realized as I was writing this last part about the prototype0.22uF Duelund CAST tinned-copper capacitors that if I tried to incorporate all the news I have to tell you about into one post it would be way to long, so I’m breaking it up into parts, with this being Part 1.

Ok, I’ve got to go, but check back tomorrow for a bunch more news I want to share with you!

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

 Posted by at 11:06 am

  15 Responses to “A look into the future through the audio crystal ball! Part 1 – Duelund!”

  1. Jeff,
    Thanks for this post which helps bring us up to date with the vintage wire saga.
    I don’t want to confuse things, but I’d like to add another Dueland Wire to the mix.
    Here’s the story:
    When I first installed the DCA16GA wire as speaker cables in my system I was rightfully blown away (and told you so). It replaced some very expensive cable that had previously beat all on comers. I also told an audiophile friend of mine, who installed the 16GA and was similarly impressed. But knowing silver had always sounded best in his system, he then ordered the Dueland 2.0, silver foil & silk/oil cable Version 2 wire. He let it burn in for 100+ hours before telling me that it categorically beat the DCA16GA (but that it needed every hour of that break in time). So, of course I had to try it. (We both run high efficiency speakers BTW, his driven by tubes mine by SS). Long story short I am at 60 hours of break in on the 2.0 Silver wire and now prefer it to the DCA16GA. It keeps getting better but right now has all the tonality of the 16GA with the addition of added transparency and air–especially depth–with a sweetness to highs that is addicting. I find, going back to the 16GA, that it sounds a little more forward in the mid base (so maybe in some systems that’s a worthwhile trade off) and not as open with as much ambient air around instruments. Overall the Silver 2.0 sounds like something you never want to take out of your system. I think I’ve followed your wire journey pretty thoroughly and don’t recall that you’ve tried the Silver 2.0 as speaker wire. I would love to see you try it (and maybe even the 3.0 for good measure). Yes, it is several times more expensive, but still incredibly reasonable considering that it is the best I’ve heard at any price.
    Once again, thanks again for taking me down this road that has brought such wonderful improvement to my enjoyment of music.
    Best regards,
    Steve

    • Howdy Steve,

      Thanks for the great comment on your Duelund experiences, appreciated!

      I haven’t tried the Duelund 2.0 or 3.0 silver wire as speaker cables, only as interconnects, and for interconnects I preferred the DCA16GA & DCA20GA as it was a better match to the overall system voicing I am trying to achieve.

      Prior to going to the tinned-copper wiring in my Westminster’s, I was using silver wiring internally and as speaker cables, and I preferred the voicing of the Western Electric WE16GA tinned-copper wire to the silver wire I was using.

      I haven’t tried the Duelund 3.0 and 2.0 internally in my WRSE’s, or as speaker cables, so I can’t say much about that.

      The great thing is that for whatever style of musicality & voicing we’re after in our systems, Duelund Coherent Audio has it covered with relatively affordable wiring compared to the commercial ‘high-end’ offerings.

      Thanks for the report, and keep me posted on your audio adventures!

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

  2. Hi Jeff,

    I’m using the Duelund DCA16GA wire for speaker cables and have some DCA20GA in the pipeline from Parts Connexion to use to make interconnects. I ran across a new Canadian cable company, Luna Cables, also using multistrand tinned-copper wire for audio cables and thought you’d be interested. (They also use Switchcraft RCA plugs for their interconnects, btw.) Their AC cord in particular got a rave review from Stereophile.

    Stereophile writer Art Dudley reviewed their line of tinned-copper, cotton-sheathed audio cables inspired by vintage Western Electric materials and designs and in particular was extremely impressed by their entry level Orange AC cable. That power cable later made Stereophile’s Fall 2016 Recommended Components list and I understand that AD now uses it in his home system. Luna Cables is planning to announce a new line of less-expensive cables at the next Montreal Audio Fest in March.

    But I wonder if a wire gauge appropriate for power cords might possibly be a logical next step for Duelund to manufacture, for you to investigate and, if successful, for Parts Connexion in the USA. to carry, along with appropriate shielding and connectors for DIY AC cable makers (Luna Cables use Wattgate connectors, I believe). Here are some of the intriguing quotes from Stereophile’s reportage on these cables.

    In his report on Montreal Salon Audio, Day One, Part One, Dudley wrote, “Danny Labrecque’s new company, Luna Cables, designs and manufactures interconnects, speaker cables, AC cables, and USB cables that eschew plastics in favor of cotton and other natural materials. Luna’s products, the designs of which are influenced by vintage Western Electric cables are offered in four levels, beginning with Luna Orange, their most affordable line ($CDN600/1m pair for interconnects, $CDN900/2.5m pair for speaker cables.)”

    And under Recommended Components: Fall 2016 Edition Powerline Accessories,
    “A new company from Quebec, Luna Cables designs and manufactures four lines of cables: in order of ascending cost, Luna Orange, Luna Mauve, Luna Red, and Luna Black. In all Luna cables, the conductors are old-style tinned copper—in some, the conductors are actual new-old stock tinned copper from decades ago—and Luna eschews polymers in favor of natural materials, such as the hand-dyed cotton used as an outer sheath on all of their models. Designer Danny Labrecque is a tube-and-vinyl aficionado and a longtime Shindo Laboratory dealer, and Luna’s résumé suggests that, while not specifically intended as such, their interconnects, speaker cables, and AC cords will jell with systems influenced by vintage-audio values. That’s what attracted the attention of AD, who was impressed by what he heard. In particular, AD flipped over Luna’s humblest power cord—remarkable, since he seldom has much use for aftermarket AC cords, period. From the Luna Orange series, it sells for $900 CAD for a 2m cord. When he tried the Luna Orange AC cord on his Shindo Haut-Brion power amplifier, it was, he said, ‘as if I’d found, somewhere in my system, a theretofore undiscovered knob labeled Vividness, and had goosed it up a couple of clicks.'” (Vol.39 No.8 WWW)

    Especially I nteresting to me was to note that, although all Luna’s various cable offerings were reviewed positively by Art, it was the AC cord that made the most spectacular impression and made Stereophile’s Fall 2016 Recommended Components list.

    Regards,

    Marshall

    • Howdy Marshall,

      Thanks for the great comment, appreciated.

      It was only a matter of time that word got out about the musical wonders of tinned-copper conductors, and they went more mainstream, so kudos to Art Dudley and Danny Labrecque for breaking the story and getting the word out via Stereophile to their readers.

      I think the ‘vividness’ dial Art describes may be directly related to the amount of tinned-copper that is used in a particular application. More metal equals more vividness I suspect, and less metal equals less vividness. I hope to be able to test this hypothesis in the future!

      I had tried the Western Electric WE16GA in power cords for my vintage MC30 monaural amplifiers, but it didn’t work out well. Yazaki-san has sent me some reproduction Western Electric WE18GA to try as power cords for my MC30’s, so we’ll see how that works out.

      I think there’s a very good likelihood that a very well executed version of a tinned-copper power cord would be extraordinary, so kudos to Luna Cables, as it sounds like they’ve done just that!

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

  3. Hi again, Jeff,

    In Art Dudley’s Luna Cables review, he first tried their Orange (entry level) AC cable on his pre-amp and heard “modest improvements.” It was when he tried the same cable on his Shindo Haut-Brion power amp that he heard the really spectacular results he reported, so maybe a larger gauge wire I(more metal, as you say) possibly used in the Luna Cables (I have no idea what gauge they actually use), in combination with the larger power draw of AD’s power amp was what made the magic happen?

    I know just about enough about electricity to get myself in serious trouble, but for a mains or AC cable to supply a power amplifier, wouldn’t a heavier gauge wire (and therefore a smaller AWG number) than the WE18GA you mention, be better, in order to provide less resistance? Maybe 14, 12, 10 or even 8 AWG gauge?

    Please correct me if I’m wrong!

    Marshall

    • Hi Marshall,

      Your AWG wire size question is a completely reasonable one. There is a trend in modern audio to use very large power cords (smaller AWG) in the belief that bigger is always better.

      Our friend, Yazaki-san, is a proponent of choosing the right-size of power cord for the application. What does right-size mean for a power cord?

      For example, in the past I have tried various power cables on my vintage MC30 monaural amplifiers, which is a bit of a chore because they have to be soldered in place, but still worth the effort from an educational & adventure standpoint.

      For example, Yves Beauvais at Vintage Vacuum Audio uses either 16AWG or 18AWG power cords when he restores vintage McIntosh MC30
      monaural amplifiers. When I tried the WE16GA as power cords for my MC30’s I didn’t care for the result, it just sounded too forward and direct with my WRSE’s. Then I tried the 14AWG Belden 19364 wire for power cables, and I didn’t like that either. I went back to the stock skinny cords Yves used on my MC30’s as the best sounding of the three attempts.

      How does one choose the AWG for a power cord for an amplifier? It’s based on the amperage of the device being used. For example, my vintage McIntosh MC30’s have a rating of 1.03 amps at 117 volts.

      Armed with that information we would check an AWG table in the Handbook of Electronic Tables and Formulas for American Wire Gauge that lists the ampacity for power transmission (the maximum current carrying ability of the wire in amps). There is also a different rating for using a give wire for internal wiring in a chassis. Here’s a link to a reference.

      There you find out that the lower limit for AWG range for a power cord for an amplifier with a rating of 1.03 amps is 21AWG, which works up to 1.2 amps. 18AWG works up to 2.3 amps, 16AWG works up to 3.7 amps, and 14AWG works up to 5.9 amps.

      So an 18AWG wire has double the ampacity needed for my MC30 amplifiers, 16AWG more than triple, and 14AWG has almost 6 times the ampacity needed.

      There is some belief in the audio community that the lower the resistance the better, and resistance decreases with decreasing AWG, so the big fat power cords you see are banking on that.

      One might also look at the maximum frequency for 100% skin depth for a particular application, which drops off with decreasing AWG.

      Anyways, I hope that gives some insight into choosing an appropriate AWG for an amplifier.

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

  4. Very thorough explanation, Jeff. Thanks much!

    Marshall

  5. My pair of MC30s have brought much pleasure since I bought them in 1970, as you would know. As you also know, the RCA inputs are different from now-standard plug size. So, on your MC30s, do the interconnects from your preamp connect at the screw-type inputs or do you have a “fix” for the MC30’s RCA inputs? I’m in the process of DIY building interconnects from my Conrad Johnson preamp, using standard RCA plugs, to my MC30s, using mini spades for the screw connector inputs. Any advice will be appreciated.
    By the way, my original Klipsch Fortes offer the most musical stage yet for my simple system. Other speakers could offer more, I suspect, but the economy and straightforward purity of my system pleases me.
    Thanks,
    Jim

    • Hi Jim,

      I haven’t seen a pair of MC30’s with the type of RCA inputs you describe. My MC30’s have screw terminals for speaker cables, but for RCA inputs they have normal, albeit vintage, RCA inputs. They are a little looser than modern RCA inputs, but seem to accept RCA’s just fine, although it does help the connection to treat them with a little Caig.

      If I were you I think I’d just put some regular ol’ RCA inputs into your MC30’s. It might be worth asking Yves at Vintage Vacuum Audio for a recommendation, as he has a ton of experience rebuilding MC30’s.

      I hope that helps!

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

  6. The crossover upgrade using the DCA16GA is delivering great results – music! – and now I’ve got both full speaker runs using the wire, and one pair of RCA interconnects using the Belden 8402. Still settling in, but all sound fantastic after only a few days in the system. Thank you again for all the work you do here.

    • Hi Darren,

      That’s fantastic about your Duelund DCA16GA & Belden 8402 results, and thanks for the report!

      It’s nice to know that such terrific performance is available for such a fair price, and they take musicality into deeper dimension for sure!

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

  7. Hi Jeff,

    Have you tried the Duelund DCA20GA as speaker cables? I did so just now and think I prefer it to the DCA16GA, even before the 20-gauge wire is broken in.

    Last night I was really enjoying my system with the DCA16GA wires as speaker cables and waiting for some RCA plugs I’d ordered to arrive today so I could make two pairs of 1-meter interconnects with the 8 meters of Duelund DCA20GA wire that had just come from Parts Connexion.

    This morning I started dividing the wire into meter lengths to make the ICs, but decided on impulse to leave it in 2-meter lengths to try as speaker cables before making the final divisions. I didn’t think it would be be as good as the DC16GA I’ve been using and liking so well. Wow! I was quite surprised to hear it sounding really excellent, maybe better than the 16 AWG wire!

    Both wire gauges do sound quite fine in my system. The 20 AWG seems to have a lighter (but not thinner) sound, more transparent and clear with more detail; the 16 AWG has more body and might be better in some systems or for some tastes. But after listening to the 20-gauge wire for awhile and then putting the 16-gauge back in, the 16-gauge seemed thick and heavy in comparison, so I reinstalled the 20-gauge. I’ll probably do some more comparing later on, but for now the Duelund DCA20GA wire is staying in as speaker cables. BTW, my WLM Diva Mk II monitors are rated at 97 DB sensitivity.

    I guess I’ll have to get some more wire now for those ICs!

    Best,

    Marshall

    • Hi Marshall,

      Currently, I’m using shielded DCA16GA as interconnects from my SUT to my preamp, DCA20GA as a pair of interconnects from preamp to my amps, with DCA16GA for low-frequency speaker cables to my crossovers, and DCA20GA as high-frequency speaker cables to my crossovers.

      I have not yet tried the DCA20GA as speaker cables for the low-frequency connection to my crossovers, but it sounds like I should try that based on your results. Very interesting!

      The beauty of having the different gauges of the Duelund DCA tinned-copper cable available is mixing & matching wire gauges until I can get the tonal balance that best matches my individual rooms & systems to my tastes.

      When I get enough free time, my plan is to remove the Western Electric WE16GA from the high-frequency section of my Duelund CAST crossovers, then rewire them with DCA20GA, which I think will be a really nice match.

      After I do that I’ll have to give the DCA20GA a try as low-frequency speaker cables on the West’s – should be interesting!

      Thanks for your report and suggestions, appreciated!

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

  8. Hi,

    I have been reading your tinned wire posts with excitement, but wanted to point out another company that may be of interest in your vintage tone quest.
    Supra is a sweedish company that is known for budget cables. They use tinned copper wire and are DIY friendly.
    The Ply3.4/S speaker wire has multiple strands of wire woven into a rectangular section. Supra says that its rectangular geometry offers the performance advantages of a ribbon cable (low inductance and resistance) without the manufacturing and termination difficulties inherent in ribbon designs.

    Soundstage did a review almost ten years ago.
    http://www.soundstage.com/diwhy/diwhy200806.htmm

    Supra’s house signature is neutrality. They preffer banana terminations.
    Their power chord is a recommended budget deal.
    Other details and comparisons at the above link.
    concept for cleaner sound. The tin is of higher resistance than copper and also protects copper from bad sounding corrosion. It also mini-mises the current jumps from wire to wire over corroded copper sur-faces while more of the signal passes through the pure copper inside the wires. The tin layer also minimises the skin-effect, by acting as a semi-Litz.

    Supra sells their Solder, but notes ll loosen and create a short circuit.
    All SUPRA connectors are insulated with Teflon to withstand the correct soldering temperatures (300°- 400°C
    They also mark and have doen research into directionality of cables.
    each of the main wires shielded by tin-coated copper which reduces the permeation of EMI and RIF to better than 95%, according to this may imply less need for shielding?
    It seems they recommend grounding the speaker wire to the amp only.
    A stereo times review noted much improvement in the tinned speaker wire after a week of burn in. know you have noted the importance of burn in for some tinned copper wire.
    He also noted how much more bass the Supra speaker wire brought to his system.
    Supra just celebrated their 40th anniversary and put out a few cables to celebrate.
    I am not affiliated with anyone. I’m just a guy looking for great musical sound on a budget.
    I know that is a lot of info, but goes to show don’t overlook the Sweeds. Did you know they were behind pop artists from the Backstreet boys and Britany to Ke$ha? Don’t worry, supra voices for neutrality.
    I admit I have not tried any of their cables, but I’m surious. I so far have only tried a premade 8402.

    Maybe you or someone else would be curious to compare some of their offerings with the Duland cables?
    I wonder why they go for banana termination while you strongly state to go bare wire to speakers?
    Since Duelund has been so responsive to wire demands, maybe some could inspire a while new combination of strand count and diameter?
    Duelunds cable at parts connect is still the budget DIY choice. But Supra RCA’s could offer a budget premade option.

    Looking foreward to more discoveries,
    Thomas

  9. Dear Jeff,
    Like many others I have read with interest your Duelund musings and after a false start (lost package en route to China) finally wired up my Leben to Dynaudio speakers with some 16GA. Absolute tome and musicalty and instantly relegated the Audioquest cables to the spares drawer. Lovely timbral lifelike sound from the off – Bill Evans really live in my living room!
    Another audio revelation – many thanks!

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