Oct 202018
 

I couldn’t stand it. As I looked up from playing my guitar and saw that lovely spool of the new 600V Duelund DCA12GA PolyCAST tinned-copper tone wire, I just had to do something!

The new 600VDC Duelund DCA12GA tinned-copper tone wire!

I decided I really needed to cut a set of 2.5 meter speaker cables off the spool, and then try them as speaker cables connecting my vintage MC30 monaural amplifiers to the Stokowski Altec’s.

I have been using the original Duelund DCA12GA Sn-Cu wire with the baked oiled-cotton dielectric as speaker cables ever since it arrived here (first with the Westminster’s and now with the Altec’s), so I thought it would make for an excellent comparison to drop the new 600V Duelund DCA12GA into the system in their place.

The new Duelund PolyCAST dielectric of the 600V DCA12GA Sn-Cu wire is to the soft and pliable side of life, so it’s easy to imagine it would have effective damping properties on the Sn-Cu conductors, and as a side benefit it makes it flexible and easy to route.

The casing is a little more challenging to strip than the baked oiled-cotton dielectric of the DCA12GA signal wire (which slides off easily), as the PolyCAST hangs on pretty tight. The trick to getting it off without drama is to cut it around its circumference with an X-Acto knife where you want to strip it, then cut the section you want to strip down its length, which makes it easy to peel off.

It’s a little hard to see, but along the side of the casing in gold lettering it says “Duelund Coherent Audio DCA12GA 600VDC CAST Dielectricum Tinned Copper” – a classy touch.

When I hooked up the new 600V Duelund DCA12GA Sn-Cu tone wire between my hot-rodded vintage McIntosh MC30 monaural amplifiers and the Stokowski Altec’s, I oriented the wire so that the way you read the lettering flowed towards the loudspeakers so I could keep the directionality consistent.

The new 600V Duelund DCA12GA Sn-Cu tone wire as speaker cables.

As is my custom, I put the 600V Duelund DCA12GA Sn-Cu tone wire up on Acoustic Revive cable lifts (above).

The new 600V Duelund DCA12GA Sn-Cu tone wire as speaker cables.

Then it was time to warm the vintage McIntosh gear up and listen to a little music. It takes about an hour for the vintage Mac gear to settle in for its full tone, so I caught up on a few things while everything was warming up.

For the first few hours or so the 600V DCA12GA Sn-Cu wire sounded a little rough, which I’ve come to recognize as typical with Sn-Cu wire when it’s fresh off the roll, and then it smoothed out, just as with the other Sn-Cu cables in my experience.

Now fast forward through a few days of listening time. In my Positive Feedback review of the Duelund DCA series of tinned-copper wires in Issue 92 I described the Duelund DCA12GA as … “having a big, rich, smooth, and nuanced presentation” and that’s pretty much what the new 600V version of the DCA12GA sounds like as well, which I would sort of expect given they both use the same 65 strands of 0.25mm diameter tinned-copper wires. 

At the moment, the 600V Duelund DCA12GA Sn-Cu wire sounds a little less airy and spacious than its baked oiled-cotton dielectric brethren, but it’s still early in the run-in period, so that may change as I get more hours on them.

I’m not sure my comparison of the two Duelund DCA12GA wires as speaker cables is all that relevant for the 600V Duelund DCA12GA Sn-Cu wire’s intended purpose, which is higher voltage applications like power cords where you really can’t use the Duelund DCA12GA baked oiled-cotton dielectric wire for reasons of safety, but it’s nice to know that the 600V Duelund DCA12GA Sn-Cu wire still has that great big, rich, smooth, and nuanced presentation of the original DCA12GA with its baked oiled-cotton dielectric .

Depending on your personal aural tastes and the components in your system, you might even prefer the voicing option you get with the 600V DCA12GA Sn-Cu wire as speaker cables, and given it’s about half the cost of the baked oiled-cotton dielectric DCA12GA you might want to order up enough of both to do your own comparisons. 

Ok, that’s it for now, and I’ll report back as I get more time on the 600V DCA12GA as speaker cables, and eventually I’ll try the 600V DCA12GA in power cords, but that may be a while because I’ve got quite a few other things in the queue ahead of it that I have to get done first.

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

 Posted by at 5:56 am

  12 Responses to “First listen: Duelund 600V DCA12GA tinned-copper tone wire!”

  1. Hi Jeff;

    Thank you for update.. Hope to see your comments soon to use 600V Duelund DCA12GA cable as power cable.

    Regards..

    Caglar

    • Hi Caglar,

      It might be a while before I get to the 600V DCA12GA as a power cable, as I have quite a few items in my review queue ahead of it, but I will eventually get there.

      If you get a chance to build power cables with it before I do, please let me know how you like them!

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

  2. Hello Jeff and a very good day from The Netherlands,
    I know this site for a while now, and aleays loved it, Always interesting to visit, thank you for that.
    I have a leben cs600 integrated and Harbeth c7 es3 as speakers , with d.i.y stands, I have just gotten today the duelund dca 16 by mail , connected them (as speaker cables) and..you can be shure i was not expecting what i have heard, what beautiful cables they are,
    this having in account that i already had cables that are also seen as a bit of giant killers, ( the anticable reference 3.1 improved) the anticables are indeed very, very, good for the price and far above, so i wa not expecting a big improvement,, well,….. i have got it .
    must say i tought now for a while that the anticables were less good with the texture and timbre of music , especially in the mid to high region ,where they can sound a bit congested and hard (like a metallic haze), well that’s all gone with the duelund,
    In fact i do found it so good, that i will be ordering some dca12 and build some interconnects with the dca16 , well first i have to compare them in my rig of course, it can happens that in my system the 16 turns to be a better match then the 12.
    thank you for the tips, and for the site. cheers .

    • Hi Francisco,

      Thank you for your kind words about Jeff’s Place, I really appreciate it, and I’m happy to hear you’ve found it to be helpful.

      I had really good results with my Harbeth’s and CS600 with the DCA16GA as speaker cables. The DCA16GA worked so well for me with my Harbeth & CS600 system that I never got around to trying the DCA12GA with them, but I imagine it will be a nice match, just as it was with my Westminster’s, and now the Altec’s.

      Let me know how it works out for you!

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

      • Hi Jeff, Hi Francisco

        I am using DCA12GA with my Harbeth 40.1 and Gryphon Diablo 300. Amazing match.. Now doing 0.4 mm Duelund silver ınterconnects and will test them as well. And last will build the power cables

        All the best..

        Caglar

        • Hi Calgar,

          That’s excellent, thank you for sharing your results with us!

          Be sure to let us know how the power cables turn out!

          Kind regards,

          Jeff

          • Hi Jeff;

            I made XLR cable with Duelund DCA AC0.4 and a Shielded RCA cable for my phono amp. i used Neutrik Neutrik NC3MXX-B and NC3FXX-B socket for XLR interconnect and Switchcraft 3502AAU RCA both solder them with Kester solder. It was a bit difficult to working with the cable because its a really thin cable. But it’s simply amazing.. Very detailed, crystal clear highs.. Without disturbing you even after several hours listening…What i immediately realize the sound become very musical, open, forward… I dont have a cable cooker. So maybe not so tru to make final conclusion, but i am sure after burn in process, it will much better..
            For Phono RCA its same results as the balanced cable.

            Will update after i recieve 600V DCA12GA and make the power cable as well..

            All the best 🙂

          • Hi Caglar,

            Thanks for the excellent report on your Duelund cables!

            I have found that a cable cooker is not really necessary for the Duelund DCA cables, and they sound best if allowed to run-in naturally.

            Let me know how your other DCA experiments work out!

            Kind regards,

            Jeff

  3. Hi Jeff, I started reading your blog since couple of month ago and was intrigued by your fascination with Duelund tinned copper cables. I made an interconnect for myself and it compared very well with some of the most expensive AN Sogon which cost a fortune. It wasn’t better than Sogon, but considering the price difference tinned copper wire is an amazing overlooked element in hiend. Two month ago I built the mains cable for fun buying a Chinese insulated tinned copper cable (maybe copied from Duelund low voltage one as it was 65 strand 0.25mm 12AWG). The effect was astonishing and it bet every good mains cable I had up to AN ISIS, again costing crazy money. Soon after I built several of them and they transformed my system (made cables invariably with silver plated or copper plated plugs). As always they need burn-in time – after about two weeks any excessive brightness or harshness is gone and you listen spacious, extended, musical sound. I will certainly make the mains cable from 12AWG Duelund when it becomes available for purchase, just to compare, but my gut feeling is it won’t be too different, because I strongly believe it is the tinned copper which matters, not specific manufacturer or insulator. However, Duelund should be commended and credited for starting the trend.

    • Hi Darius,

      Thanks for your report on the tinned-copper cables!

      You’re right, I am very impressed with the musical and sonic properties of tinned-copper cables, and kudos to Yazaki-san who made us all aware of that tinned-copper magic.

      I’ve really had fun experimenting with tinned-copper cabling in its various gauges, and it’s now in steady use in my various hifi systems.

      Frederik at Duelund has really made an enormous contribution to audio by making a variety of nuevo tinned-copper cables available to enthusiasts like us, and I for one truly appreciate his insights in bringing tinned-copper cables back to the hifi marketplace.

      Incidentally, while I was prepping my vintage Stokowski Altec’s I noticed that their N-500-D crossovers used tinned-copper. No doubt part of the reason they sound so terrific. Ditto with my vintage Mac MC30 monaural amplifiers.

      Tinned-copper as an audio conductor is back and making music “real” again!

      Keep me posted on your tinned-copper cable experiments!

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

  4. First, thank you for introducing/informing me to the magic of copper tinned conductors. I have just replaced my Duelund CAST/PIO-CU coupling caps in my 300b amplifiers with the tinned copper variant. Right from the first track of music it was apparent the effect these capacitors had on my system. Running Quad ESL 57s I tend to find myself intellectually enjoying music but not always emotionally. For whatever reason, these copper tinned caps have added much more emotion to the music. That’s the best way I can describe it.

    Getting back to the subject at hand, I suspect the organic (cotton) insulated wire will always sound better. Everything I own is built using anti-MDI practices (no synthetic insulators). Even the filter capacitors have their synthetic outer covers removed. All the wiring throughout my system is silver conductors with cotton insulation, every conductor.

    Unfortunately at 600V commercial/retail I suspect a more robust insulator is, legally and liability wise, required.

    So I think you are on the right track with your suspicion that the cotton insulated conductors may sound a little more natural. it may be the MDI effect of the synthetic insulator changing the sound.

    I’ll be experimenting with replacing various silver conductors with copper tinned Duelund wiring after hearing the change the caps made. We’ll see what kind of spice they add to the recipe!

    Thanks again for your work that others can benefit from!

    • Hi Ted,

      Tinned-copper wire is really great for hifi. In the old days companies like McIntosh and Altec – to name two – used a lot of tinned-copper wiring in their products, but as time went on the use of tinned-copper wire mostly disappeared, probably because of the extra cost involved.

      Your result using the Duelund CAST Sn-Cu cap’s pretty much mirrors my own with the trials I’ve done in the cathode follower of my MX110Z and my Altec A5 VoTT crossovers, and I can’t wait to get my Stokowski Altec’s up and running with their new Duelund CAST Sn-Cu crossovers as I think it should really be spectacular.

      I think it’s hard to beat the regular cotton dielectric, but if you need the 600V rating for power cords, it’s nice to know the 600V DCA12GA sounds pretty darn good too, which it really should given they both use identical conductors. That also suggests how much difference an insulator can make.

      Thanks for the kind words and keep me posted on your experiments!

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

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