Jul 082016
 

I’ve been traveling in England the last couple weeks and got home last night at 1 a.m., and am now trying to get caught back up on everything, including some sleep and some music listening.

Jeff being a dopey tourist at Stonehenge.

Jeff being a dopey tourist at Stonehenge.

I was on a tour with Rick Steves’ Europe that was a lot of fun. Rick is a cultural treasure here in Washington State where I live, and you can see his escapades around the world on his television program and web site. Our group was a fantastic collection of fun and adventuresome people that I really enjoyed traveling with and getting to know.

I immensely enjoyed my visit to England, but I didn’t get a chance to connect with audio pals in the UK like I had hoped to, like Mark Coles of Sablon Audio, Howard (a fellow WRSE enthusiast), Ray at CTC, and Paul Mills at Tannoy, to mention a few. The dynamics of group travel ended up limiting what I could do time-wise, so I was bummed at not to be able to see you guys for some audio fun & games! Next time I hope!

The first thing I want to tell you about is the update I got from Frederik Carøe (Duelund Coherent Audio) about the DCA16GA wire that is a modern (and perhaps improved) interpretation of the vintage Western Electric WE16GA wire that many of us have been immensely enjoying, thanks to the tip about its musical qualities from Yazaki-san.

The Duelund Coherent Audio DCA16GA is almost ready!

Tin plated copper conductors awaiting to be wound with their cotton casing.

Tin-plated copper conductors of the Duelund Coherent Audio DCA16GA awaiting to be wound with their cotton casing.

In the photo above you can see a spool of the tin-plated copper wire at Duelund Coherent Audio waiting to be wound with a cotton casing followed by Duelund’s oil impregnation & curing process.

In case you’re just tuning into this important and exciting story, let me do a quick recap for you.

Western Electric WE16GA wiring in Duelund CAST external crossovers for WRSE.

Western Electric WE16GA wiring in Duelund CAST external crossovers for WRSE.

Yazaki-san sent me a sample of the rather rare vintage Western Electric WE16GA wire to try as a pair of speaker cables with my Duelund CAST crossovered Tannoy Westminster Royal SE loudspeakers.

The Western Electric WE16GA wire took a while to settle in, but once it did it was extremely musical, and gave the music a very ‘real sound’ feel that was extremely enjoyable.

Vintage Western Electric WE16GA wire.

Vintage Western Electric WE16GA wire.

Ron, Leo, and I went in together and bought a spool of the rare WE16GA that Yazaki-san was so kind as to get for us, and I proceeded to wire my Duelund CAST crossovers with it, and then the internal wiring of my Westminsters, with similarly musical results all around.

WRSE with WE16GA internal wiring.

WRSE with WE16GA internal wiring.

But for all practical purposes, the vintage Western Electric WE16GA wire is essentially extinct, and what’s passing as Western Electric in the wilds of eBay doesn’t look much like authentic Western Electric wire to me.

I think it’s likely sellers are trying to capitalize on the fame my blog posts imbued onto Western Electric WE16GA wire, and what you’d hear from the wire being sold as Western Electric might very well be significantly different from what I’m hearing from the authentic WE16GA wire I have been using and you have been reading about here at Jeff’s Place.

Western Electric WE16GA has that desirable ‘vintage tone’ that you keep seeing me talk about here at Jeff’s Place, which is to say, I think it possesses special tonal properties that enhances the beauty, meaning, spirit, artistic intent, emotional connection, etc., of reproduced music when used as speaker cables, or as internal speaker and/or crossover wiring applications, or in other electronics applications.

Initial crossover breadboard attached to A5 VOTT with WE16GA.

Initial crossover breadboard attached to A5 VOTT with WE16GA.

I have slowly come to the conclusion that it might only be possible to experience the full musical & acoustical palette vintage gear is capable of with the Western Electric WE16GA and its desirable vintage tone. My vintage McIntosh amplification is wired with it internally stock from the factory way back when, and I’ve been using it as speaker cables for my Altec Lansing A5 and A7 Voice of the Theatre loudspeakers, and the crossovers I’m building for them, as well.

Western Electric WE16GA

Western Electric WE16GA wire is used as speaker cables in my horn systems from Tannoy and Altec Lansing.

So a lot of you (and me) have been lamenting that the superb Western Electric WE16GA wire has become extinct, and in fact I am down to the last little bit of WE16GA I have left, which is what I am using to wire my new crossovers for my Altec A5 Voice of the Theatre loudspeakers project. Knowing that I am almost out of WE16GA has made me feel a bit panicky!

As I’ve reported earlier, Frederik Carøe of Duelund Coherent Audio had been observing our reaction to the vintage Western Electric WE16GA wire, and our dismay at having it become extinct, and became intrigued enough with the Western Electric WE16GA wire that he decided he wanted to investigate producing a contemporary Duelund Coherent Audio version that is very similar to the Western Electric WE16GA in concept, but utilizing Mr. Steen Duelund’s original axiom of a natural materials philosophy.

Western Electric WE16GA wire.

Western Electric WE16GA wire.

Frederik has worked closely with a specialty manufacturer to provide the 26-strand, 0.25mm diameter, tinned-copper conductors that are the heart & soul of the Western Electric WE16GA wire, but has eschewed its plastic inner sleeve in favor of a black cotton dielectric that is impregnated in oil, whose fully organic nature Frederik believes will imbue an even more natural tone than the use of plastics in the vintage WE16GA could allow for.

Tin plated copper conductors awaiting to be wound with their cotton casing.

Tin-plated copper conductors of Duelund Coherent Audio DCA16GA awaiting to be wound with their cotton casing.

Frederik says the oil impregnated cotton dielectric is then baked “so people won’t get a messy cable” and that “its main role is to make the dielectric anti-static, and the cotton more durable.”

Like all Duelund products the wire is all hand-assembled with meticulous care and attention to details.

The photo below is what it will look like when it is all finished.

This isn't a photo of the new DCA16GA, but another type of Duelund wire, but the DCA16GA will look very similar.

This isn’t a photo of the new DCA16GA, but another type of Duelund wire, but the DCA16GA will look very similar.

The Western Electric WE16GA inspired Duelund Coherent Audio DCA16GA wire should be ready to ship in about a week, so distributors may want to get their orders in ASAP, and those of you who want to order the DCA16GA wire for your own use may want to check with your current Duelund source so you can get your name on the list to reserve some, that way you can get some as early as possible after it comes out.

Frederik will announce final pricing as soon as manufacturing costs are fully accounted for, but Frederik tells me that he hopes to be able to provide the DCA16GA wire in the range of what I paid for Western Electric WE16GA back when I bought the spool you see in the photos here at Jeff’s Place from Yazaki-san (approximately $25.23 USD per meter of twisted pair wire, which translates to about $12.62 USD per meter for single-run wire).

For a custom DCA16GA wire handmade by Duelund Coherent Audio to their lofty standards, I’d say that’s a bargain if Frederik can get anywhere close to that kind of pricing.

The new Duelund Coherent Audio DCA16GA wire is cause for celebration here at Jeff’s Place, and here’s a big “Thank you!” to Frederik for taking on this project of developing a new ‘vintage tone’ Western Electric WE16GA style of wire, and I am thrilled about it.

Frederik will be sending me some Duelund Coherent Audio DCA16GA to compare against my Western Electric WE16GA, so that should be really exciting, and you can expect to read all about it in detail in the not too distant future.

July 14, 2016 Update!

Duelund DCA16GA is ready and shipping in the next few days!

Duelund DCA16GA is ready and shipping in the next few days!

I just got a message from Frederik saying that the Duelund Coherent Audio DCA16GA wire received its cotton wrapping and has completed the oil impregnation & baking process and is ready to ship. That’s the finished DCA16GA in the photo above.

Frederik told me that DCA16GA will be shipping here to Jeff’s Place in the next few days, and it should be shipping to Parts Connexion by next week.

These are exciting times, stayed tuned!

Thanks for stopping by, and may the tone be with you!

 Posted by at 11:11 am

  12 Responses to “Frederik Carøe DCA16GA update x 2!”

  1. Now all I have to do is find a distributor here in the Tacoma area as soon as I get off of here,
    Thanks,
    Joe

    • Parts Connexxion in Canada will stock it as soon as it is released, Joe, so that’s an option as well.

      • If you order from them – and they are great – I’d definitely opt for the expedited shipping with tracking. It only costs $5 more at the most and you have it literally within about 2 days. Pretty much Amazon Prime fast.

  2. Jeff; great way to recover after your adventure on the other side of the pond

    • Hi George,

      I find it takes me about a day per hour of time zone difference to get back in sync when I return home from travel, so for this trip 9 days should be the magic number. For some reason I sync right up when I travel to a destination, it’s always the return that bites me!

      It was been nice just listening to music for the sake of enjoyment since I got back, without having to do any analysis. Been listening to the A5 VOTTs along with the Jupiter ‘Red Astron’ capacitors in the MX110Z and it’s a nicely musical combination. Been plowing through my 45 RPM jazz LP collection (Bill Evans at the moment) and just soaking it in.

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

  3. Hi Jeff, I am looking forward to hear/read your review. It is very exciting to read about this cable! An unique design philosophy that matches wonderful with my actual gained insights about the ‘ vintage sound’ I also admire so much. To realize this type of sound you have to use only natural materials such as cotton, copper, tin or gold and treat the cotton sleeve with special mineral oils for loudspeaker cables/interlinks etc. As I wrote before on your wonderful site my cables follow almost the same design philosophy. We only use solid core cables and gold-plated copper. It seems that tin is also very OK! The tin or gold does help to get the best emotions out of the cable. This materials have as a quality not to destroy the emotional message. As a lot of materials can do. Like plastics. About the mineral oil that can be used: different oils have different effect on the sound. It is indeed amazing to hear this! I am wondering what kind of oil Duelund/Frederic is using. First I am looking forward for your review!

    • Hi Siedy,

      It’s always great to hear from you! 🙂

      The tin-plated copper is a very traditional style of connecting wire with vintage gear in US-made electronics and loudspeakers back in the Golden Age of audio electronics here. I’m so glad that Yazaki-san made me aware of this and I’ve been able to hear it for myself.

      The Western Electric WE16GA tin-plated copper wire is very interesting in the way it works. It takes it a while to settle in, sounding a little brash and rough at first, then it settles down and sounds remarkably ‘live’ and musical. I’ve found it is best when it is left alone in the system, and if you take it out and put it back in it takes time for it to settle back down. I’m not sure I understand why it works like that, and it makes it tricky when reviewing system changes. I noticed the same thing with the tin-plated copper pushback wire that I made a USB connector for my DAC with. It started out a little brash & rough then transformed into a wonderfully musical USB interconnect that has never left my SPEC / A7 VOTT system.

      I’m very intrigued by your use of gold-plated copper conductors, and I would imagine it sounds wonderful. I listened to a pair of interconnects with solid gold conductors and it was impressive, being very rich & musical sounding. Where do you source your gold-plated copper wire? Have you tried making a USB IC with it yet? I’ll bet it would be exceptional in that application.

      I am really looking forward to hearing the Duelund DCA16GA wire, and with its use of natural materials it is my hope that it will even better the Western Electric WE16GA, but the proof will be in the listening. I think it is terrific that Frederik has produced this vintage-style tin-plated copper wire, and I hope that the Duelund DCA16GA wire will introduce this style of wire musicality to a whole new generation of music lovers.

      I did ask Frederik about the oils used, but it is a proprietary sort of thing that he wants to keep confidential.

      It is exciting times my friend!

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

  4. are they making the other gage wire too, like the 10 gage and 14 gage. Will they offer ends or terminate them?

    • Hi Kieran,

      The Duelund Coherent Audio DCA16GA wire is the only gauge being offered in a Western Electric style of tinned-copper wire at this time. Duelund does have several other wire choices in copper in silver as well should you desire something different.

      As far as the DCA16GA wire goes, I do not believe Duelund will be offering it in terminated versions. You might keep in mind that with the Western Electric WE16GA wire I found that terminating it resulted in a significant decrease in performance. I suspect it will be the same with the DCA16GA, and I would recommend you try it unterminated to see how that works for your needs, as I think it will offer you better performance.

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

      Best,

      Jeff

    • Hi Kieran,

      If our dealers see sufficient interest, other sizes would definitely be in the cards.

      At the moment, we do not offer termination for our hook up wires.

      Best regards,

      Frederik

  5. hello Jeff
    I will try the duelund as it is ready
    the cables that i use is diy solid gold plated pure copper in unbleached cotton and soaked in a brew of linseed oil turpentine oil
    (not white spirit but the tree oil)
    and colophonium (rosin resin)
    I made all my cables that way till now i like solid core better then anything else
    but still trying things out.
    regards Robert

    • Hi Robert,

      I’ll bet your cables sound great. I’ve only heard solid gold as interconnect cables, but not a gold-plated copper version. It’s an intriguing idea. When you treat the cotton with the oil & resin brew do you then bake it, or just press out the excess and use it as is?

      I’m really liking the Duelund DCA16GA as speaker cables. Since the conductors of the Western Electric & Duelund are nearly identical, I have to say I’m very impressed the transformation brought about by the baked oil-soaked cotton dielectric. A revelation for me!

      Thanks for telling me about your cables!

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

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