Mar 192017

It’s always a treat to hear from Jim Smith, and as many of you know, I have the greatest respect for Jim and his many contributions to the worlds of music & audio, and am just generally a big fan of Jim’s!

Jim Smith of Get Better Sound fame!

Jim’s demos at CES over the years have always been impressive, and you have to really know your stuff to get those kind of results at CES!

Jim has been awesome in teaching others about his methods as well, which you can learn more about at his Get Better Sound website. If you haven’t had a chance to read Jim’s books and watch his DVD’s about room and system setup, it could be one of the most import things you can do for your audio experience.

But I digress, as what I really wanted to tell you about was Jim’s email to me today about his experiences with the Duelund DCA20GA tinned-copper interconnects he had Chris at Parts ConneXion make for him:

Hi Jeff,

I wanted to send along this brief report regarding the Duelund DCA20GA when used as single-ended interconnects, unshielded.

First, I have been using the Belden 8402 for some time now.  I thought it very musically engaging. I had switched speaker cables from WE to Duelund DCA16GA and appreciated the improvement, though in my system, it wasn’t as huge as I had hoped.

Recently, I wanted to see what the DCA20GA would do, especially at its very affordable price. Chris Johnson & Co. at Parts ConneXion were amazingly prompt, as my assembled 2M IC cables arrived from Canada in about three days from placing the order!

Lacking the patience to wait on burning the cable in on my Audiodharma cable cooker, I simply inserted the new cables into the system, removing the Belden (which was constructed exactly as suggested by Yazaki-san).  My system only uses one pair of ICs, so this was too simple to wait … 🙂

This time, going to a Duelund cable was not somewhat better – as it had been when changing speakers cables from the WE.  It was tremendously better!  Better bass, mids & trebles, but especially noticeable were the improvements in Presence & Tone!  Unexpectedly – but most welcome – dynamic contrasts stood out in greater relief.

The sound was simply more alive, more immersive, more engaging.  The difference was amazing, even before considering the price/performance ratio!

I used the Duelund rca connectors, instead of the Switchcraft that I used on the Belden.  I thought I would try the Switchcraft afterwards, but if it ain’t broke… 🙂

All of the usual audiophile-approved descriptions apply in this report.  But I’ll just say this – In my audio career, I have never heard such a musically engaging improvement from simply swapping out a pair of ICs.  And this is pre-burn-in …

Thanks to you for telling us about them, to Chris at Parts ConneXion for being so helpful, and especially to Frederik Carøe at Duelund.

Wishing You All the Best in Music & Sound,

Jim Smith

A photo Jim’s system from a couple of years back.

As you can imagine, I found it really gratifying to read Jim’s email, and I’m sure Frederik will be thrilled at the response his DCA20GA is receiving.

Duelund DCA20GA interconnects.

I’m using the Duelund DCA20GA interconnects (above) in my main music system from my vintage McIntosh MX110Z preamp to my vintage McIntosh MC30 monaural amplifiers, and as high-frequency speaker cables from my MC30’s to my Westminsters’ Duelund CAST crossovers, with excellent results.

System photo as of March 2017.

Next I want to make a shielded pair of Duelund DCA20GA interconnects to use for my SUT to preamp connection, as well as rewiring the high-frequency sections of my Duelund CAST crossovers with DCA20GA.

I also want to make another unshielded pair of Duelund DCA20GA’s for my Altec A5 Voice of the Theatre system … I just have a hunch it would be superb.

A huge thank-you to Jim Smith for his update on the performance of the Duelund DCA20GA in his system, and for allowing me to share it with you all. Thanks, Jim!

There will be lots more Duelund DCA20GA adventures coming, so stay tuned, and as always, thanks for stopping by!

 Posted by at 4:55 pm

  24 Responses to “Jim Smith Checking In: “Unexpected results from the Duelund DCA20GA Interconnects””

  1. Hi Jeff & Jim ,

    I’m very impressive with the Jim’s audio results as for the Duelund DCA20GA IC’s .!!

    ( Anyway is something that I expect it ..) , but ..just out of the box !!! No way !!

    Jeff, yours comments ??

    I am ready for an order to Parts Connexion…..!!

    I have the Duelund DCA16GA as speakers cables ( 120h now….) with extremely good results ..!!

    ( Analysis Audio magneplanar speakers + EAR ..etc )
    ( I’ll let you know soon with more about it….)

    How is your cold, Jeff ??

    best regards from GREECE

    • Hi John,

      The Duelund DCA20GA makes for a very nice pair of interconnects, and as Jim says, the affordable price makes them an unparalleled bargain!

      Let me know how the DCA20GA interconnects work out for you, I always appreciate the feedback.

      The cold is slowly getting better, and I’m on the road to full recovery (I hope!).

      All the best!

      Kind regards,


  2. A comparison of IC with swichcraft connectosr woudl still be welcomed.

    • Hi Thomas,

      It’s a comparison I’ve wanted to do, but it hasn’t made it to the top of the ‘to do’ list yet. One of these days, I hope!

      Kind regards,


  3. Jim Smith’s comments regarding the Duelund DCA20GA Tinned Copper wire perfectly describe what I hear using the same wire as internal hook-up wire in my Texas Instruments TPA3118 Class D amplifier. I also installed the Duelund DCA16GA wire connecting the amplifier’s outputs to the speaker binding posts. Since the amplifier runs off 14VDC, it outputs about 11 watts per channel into my efficient Klipsch Forte II speakers. The wire really transformed the amplifier into a very natural sounding amplifier with some vibe.

    I also have a vintage Sony TA3060 solid state amplifier that I would like to re-wire with the Duelund wire. This little obscure gem was the first generation of Sony’s solid state amps that were voiced like tube amplifiers made in the late 1960’s. It’s one of the better sounding solid state amps I’ve heard.

    This also has me convinced to explore the DCA16GA wire to replace the Western Electric AIW 16ga wire I use for speaker wire and a pair of DIY DCA20GA interconnects using the Switchcraft 3502AAU RCA connectors.

    I highly recommend Jim Smith’s book. It helped me a lot in setting up my man cave and get the most out of my system.

    • Hi Rich,

      I was impressed by the similarity of your report and Jim’s, and it certainly validates my own impressions.

      To hear both yours and Jim’s reports is particularly exciting for me, and I continue to look forward to more Duelund DCA20GA experiments of my own!

      Keep me posted on your adventures!

      Kind regards,


      • Hi Jeff

        I too have ordered the Duelund 20 ga tinned copper cable today for my balanced ic.

        I was also wondering how one strand of the Duelund 16 ga which is 30 ga sound as an ic. There are a few people who use one strand of 30 ga as an ic and are very happy with the sound. 30 ga will have a lower capacitance which is considered good for an ic

  4. Guys thanks so much for the responses – learning alot-Since I just reconfigured my system and now will need a 4 meter run from my new Joule -Electra LA-450 Platinum edition pre to my Metronome C8+ DAC which both are balanced- Should I use the 16 or 20 gauge- I am using the 16 from the Joule electra VZN-100’s to my speakers-thanks for the advice- gary

  5. Also for Connectors- do you rec. the Duelund rhodium or should I go for the Furutech Rhod.- again thanks for the advice!!!!

  6. I just got a pair of pre-made Duelund 20ga interconnects w/ Switchcrafts from USAudioMart. I was really impressed by the quality – but, oh my gosh – the tone of the DCA20GA is amazing. I’ve been using the Duelund 16GA for a while now as my speaker wire, and Belden 8402/Switchcrafts for interconnects.  The Duelund 20GA does what the Belden does, but it just does it better!  Jeff, I so appreciate your blog and the work you’ve done with Duelund.  Thank you!

    • Hi Tysen,

      That’s fantastic! You’re right on, the Duelund DCA20GA is like Super Belden 8402 microphone cable interconnects, but better in every way.

      Thanks for the kind words, appreciated!

      Kind regards,


  7. Hi Jeff.
    Thanks for your comments.
    I have been using the Duelund 16ga as speaker cable and Belden 8402 for ics.
    and I was wondering about Duelund 16ga or 20ga as an ic for my tube power(el34) to tube pre amp and power cord for other sources.

    Kind regards

    • Hi Henry,

      Both Duelund DCA16GA and DCA20GA work great as interconnects. I urge you to try pairs of interconnects out of both so you can compare the two, it is really quite the inexpensive audio adventure!

      The Duelund DCA16GA & DCA20GA is intended only to be used as signal wire, and it should not be used in AC power cords. The lack of an inner plastic sheath on the Duelund wire means that it could actually catch fire if used in a power cord, burn down your home, and kill you.

      The missing plastic sleeving in the Duelund wire means it sounds a lot better as signal wire in interconnects and speaker cables than wire with plastic sleeving, but it makes it ineligible for use in power cables.

      Let me know how you like the interconnects!

      Kind regards,


      • Jeff – I am using the Duelund 16 ga for the runs from the crossover to both the midrange and tweeter. I have some 20 ga I am going to try for the tweeter runs. Have you listened to the 20 ga in that configuration long enough to determine whether it is better than the 16 ga?

        Regarding use for a power cord (12 ga), couldn’t you wrap the wire in teflon tape or use a teflon tube?


        • Hi David,

          I like the DCA20GA better for tweeter runs & my high-frequency crossovers’ wiring.

          The Duelund DCA tinned-copper wire is designed for signal use, not power cords. I don’t recommend you use it for AC power cords, given it has an oil-soaked & baked dielectric next to the conductors, which could catch on fire, burn your house down, and kill you.

          Use something different for power cords, as I want to make sure you’re alive and can still send me comments in the future! 😉

          Kind regards,


  8. Hey Jeff –

    long time reader here – I really appreciate you sharing your experimentation and discoveries with us here.

    I have been riding the tinned copper magic with you for the past year or so. I’ve been using Belden 8402, WE16GA, WE18GA, DCA16GA, and DCA20GA for interconnects. I find it very exciting and rewarding to see how each of these different interconnects work in different positions in my signal chain. It is amazing to hear different details depending on which cable is in which position. To me its as fun as tube rolling!

    My most recent adventure has been listening with my DCA20GA interconnects. Immediately when switching from my Belden 8402s + DCA16GA interconnects, I noticed a much more natural tonal balance across the frequency spectrum while still retaining the magical 3D sound stage that is so characteristic of tinned copper. I have made a few shielded DCA20GA ICs based on your recommendation a bit ago. I’m still in the preliminary listening stages (maybe 50-75 hours) but I am VERY happy with the added density to the midrange.

    cheers from Detroit!


    • Hi Chris!

      It really has been fun experimenting with tinned-copper wires, and dialing in the sound by “wire rolling” until you hit the magic combination is a blast!

      I ordered what I need to build some shielded versions of the DCA20GA this morning, and I’m really looking forward to giving that a try.

      Keep me posted on your results!

      Kind regards,


  9. Dear Jeff – I have been following the discussions with interest and switched my speaker connections to DCA16GA with amazing results. The Leben never sounded better – until thanks to Chris (above), who very kindly made me up some DCA20GA RCA interconects, both shielded and unshielded. Both are magical and bring all the sonice improvements others have outlined. I’m running the shielded versions now and really enjoying the vintage tone to the full. Chris and I have been in regular contact across the miles – Detriot to Beijing and its a real pleasure to meet a like minded adiophile with a shared interest. Finally Jeff – I bought the Leben unheard on your recommedation – best amplifier I have ever owned!!!

    • Hi Philip,

      Thank you so much for commenting on your results with the Duelund DCA16GA and DCA20GA! It really is gratifying to hear the positive results coming in.

      I’m glad you’re enjoying the Leben CS600, it is one honey of an integrated amplifier, and has been in my system playing music longer than any other audio component I have.

      All the best!

      Kind regards,


  10. All,

    I just ordered some Duelund 16GA for bi-wiring my MC30 to Tannoy Turnnerry speakers. It is going to be a fun project. Have any of you tired to twist or shield the wires in this application? Also, it made me wondering if Duelund makes a solid core version of 16GA and 20GA wires may even sound better!!??


    • Hi Griffin,

      I have been twisting the DCA for my interconnects & speaker cables, although I have had reports from the field that some prefer their sound when not twisted (linear runs), citing a slightly warmer and more natural sound.

      When I made my pair of shielded DCA20GA interconnects I did not twist the conductors, and they do sound good, but I haven’t compared them to my twisted & unshielded pair of DCA20GA IC’s yet.

      Duelund doesn’t make a solid core versions of the DCA16GA or DCA20GA, but I have been encouraging Frederik to try making a solid core DCA24GA with an oil-soaked & baked silk dielectric that could be used for interconnects as well as *headshell wires*.

      After hearing how fantastic the solid-core WE24GA tinned-copper silk-insulated wire sounded as headshell wires I was completely smitten. I had tried to buy more sets of them from a dealer in Japan, but was told they were not available for sale outside of Japan. Bummer.

      I suspect there’s a bunch of us that would like to have DCA24GA solid-core tinned-copper for headshell wires, but alas, unless the head magician at Duelund decides it’s a good idea …

      Anyways, let me know how the DCA works out for you!

      Kind regards,


  11. Hi Jeff, I have just made up some DCA 20GA interconnect and I must say they sound fantastic.
    One question I am experiencing a small amount of hum noise when there is no music, even if I turn the
    Volume right down I can still hear it through the speakers..
    I may have done so thing wrong as this is my first attempt at cables..
    I soldered one wire to the ‘pin’ and one to the base post of the plug and repeated this on each end of the length.
    Is this correct? I notice you mark one end of your cables up with a green tape and you said this is your source end, what have you done differently to the other end? Mine are identical both ends!
    Best regards

    • Hi Adam,

      It sounds to me like you constructed them exactly right. Mine are identical on both ends as well, I just use the green tape to mark the source end for consistency’s sake when I plug them in, so that I maintain directionality.

      Here’s my guess at what’s causing your hum. Sometime’s if interconnects are not shielded you’ll get some hum.

      For example, I have to run shielded versions from my SUT’s to my MX110Z preamp or I get hum, but it’s fine if I use unshielded IC’s between my MX110Z preamp & MC30 amps, and I get no hum.

      Between my Leben preamp and MC225 amp in my AV system, it will hum with unshielded interconnects. If I’m using shielded IC’s I also mark them with tape at the end where the shield is grounded, so I can remember to hook that end up to the source end connections.

      In my experience IC’s always sound better unshielded … unless … you get the dreaded hum, then you have to add shielding, and the hum will go away.

      I hope that helps!

      Kind regards,


  12. Thanks for the Reply Jeff
    I suppose it’s the trade off on unscreened cables..
    The sound is great though..and used in conjunction with DCA 16GA speaker cables
    amazing presentation..and at this money a no brainer. Thanks for your research into this and of course sharing.
    Best Regards from London

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