GR-Research Speaker Cables build by Rock Ball

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Hobbsmeerkat

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Re: GR-Research Speaker Cables build by Rock Ball
« Reply #100 on: 4 Jan 2021, 09:33 pm »
Any suggestions on the best connection for the amp side of the cables? Regular bananas seem to defeat the purpose of tube connectors.

Depends on your amp, & if you're willing to mod it..
Some people really like spades, others swear by bananas..

My little PS-Audio Sprout 100 only works with bananas, but the cable itself was still a big step up over my old zipcord with Tube connectors & low mass bananas.

Bigger amps can be modded to support tube connectors, but it will obviously void any warranty or support on the amp, but it should also add even more clarity to the setup.

Deano452

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Re: GR-Research Speaker Cables build by Rock Ball
« Reply #101 on: 28 Mar 2021, 12:55 pm »
Beautiful work! I'd love to hear them someday, but I've spent enough money for the time being.. :P
Ill stick to my cheap zipcord for now... :P
They look fantastic well done

DGoosen

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Re: GR-Research Speaker Cables build by Rock Ball
« Reply #102 on: 12 Apr 2021, 05:59 pm »
Just put together a pair of 24 strand cables w/ pin connectors and have another pair ready to solder. I have an LFD integrated amp that will accept pins, my Coda amp probably won't. Pins are kind of loose in my current speakers, (kind of obvious that it was dumb to order pins for both ends in hindsight... assumed they would work well w/ most binding posts). For the second set thinking it might be best to order 8 banana terminals from Danny. Hoping someone can weigh in on how pin connectors compare w/ bananas and maybe why one is better than the other.
« Last Edit: 12 Apr 2021, 09:01 pm by DGoosen »

Tyson

Re: GR-Research Speaker Cables build by Rock Ball
« Reply #103 on: 12 Apr 2021, 06:34 pm »
If you're going to do banana plugs, the best out there (IMO) are the KLEI you can get at Parts Connexion.  The fact that they are so inexpensive is just gravy:

https://www.partsconnexion.com/KLEI-83432.html

The second best are the low mass banana plugs from ETI that you can get at VH Audio.  The only downside is they are less robust (the plastic is prone to bending if you are not careful):

https://www.vhaudio.com/bayonet.html

DGoosen

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Re: GR-Research Speaker Cables build by Rock Ball
« Reply #104 on: 12 Apr 2021, 08:56 pm »
Thanks Tyson!
After seeing this,  http://www.image99.net/blog/files/f6ae775e30339e2b0375b739988237b7-77.html   The KLEI bananas look pretty good. The 12 strands of copper wire that each male end will get soldered to is in total an 8 gauge conductor. Not sure if the KLEI bananas can take that much wire. It seems like maybe six strands can go into one barrel and the other six can go into the second barrel (the second one that would usually be used to allow for bi-wiring). Do you know if this is a viable option?

Tyson

Re: GR-Research Speaker Cables build by Rock Ball
« Reply #105 on: 12 Apr 2021, 09:19 pm »
I just twisted my speaker wire so that it sort of came to a point (was thinner at the top) and then used that and soldered the rest.

kenfx

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Re: GR-Research Speaker Cables build by Rock Ball
« Reply #106 on: 13 Apr 2021, 04:09 am »
I'm constructing a pair of 24 strand cables w/tube connectors and ran into a soldering gun tip issue.  I have a Weller 9400PKS that came with some cheapo tips, one of which broke after my second soldering job.  Luckily the kit came with a couple other tips but they're not really the right tool for the job.  Soldering iron needs to get HOT quickly to do this right or the polyethylene jackets can get too hot, discolor, and ultimately become brittle.

I'm considering upgrading to a better soldering iron now.

Any recommendations on a good quality 200W or higher soldering iron/gun?

subsonic1050

Re: GR-Research Speaker Cables build by Rock Ball
« Reply #107 on: 19 May 2021, 09:11 pm »
I just got my set of cables done. Overall I'm very impressed with the quality for the price! I haven't been able to listen to them yet because I don't have my NX-treme's built yet and don't have any other speakers with tube connectors.

I did want to just mention a few things that I think could improve this kit if Danny or someone else at GR research is reading this. First, the solder I received was only about half as much solder as I needed to do both of my cables. Not a big deal, but it would have been nice since it's included to have enough to finish the job. Second, and this is the important one to me, the red and white heat shrink tubing included in the kit is just too small. It just barely fits over the separated strands. I ended up lubing my wires with wire pulling lubricant in an attempt to pull the heat shrink down as far as possible, but it just didn't go far enough. I spent almost as long trying to pull heat shrink as I did on the rest of the cables! Some slightly larger heat shrink would make these a breeze to build.

Can't wait to listen to them!

E-Zee

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Re: GR-Research Speaker Cables build by Rock Ball
« Reply #108 on: 23 May 2021, 11:30 pm »
I posted some assembly tips for this same speaker cable kit on an outside page at the link below. I also posted a little bit of overview and some basic specifications.  I figure i'd share those tips here in case they can be of assistance to anyone assembling these.




https://ezeescrossovers.com/braided-speaker-cable-assembly
« Last Edit: 27 May 2021, 02:38 am by E-Zee »

Cheytak.408

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Re: GR-Research Speaker Cables build by Rock Ball
« Reply #109 on: 24 May 2021, 02:38 am »
I'm constructing a pair of 24 strand cables w/tube connectors and ran into a soldering gun tip issue.  I have a Weller 9400PKS that came with some cheapo tips, one of which broke after my second soldering job.  Luckily the kit came with a couple other tips but they're not really the right tool for the job.  Soldering iron needs to get HOT quickly to do this right or the polyethylene jackets can get too hot, discolor, and ultimately become brittle.

I'm considering upgrading to a better soldering iron now.

Any recommendations on a good quality 200W or higher soldering iron/gun?
Just go and get a good one: 

https://www.zoro.com/weller-solder-gun-300200-watts-120v-d650/i/G0934744/?msclkid=0c92ca06a92610e18b77aaadb97643b9&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=PLA_US_Bing_SSC&utm_term=4586131721909142&utm_content=All%20Products&gclid=0c92ca06a92610e18b77aaadb97643b9&gclsrc=3p.ds

They last for years when used as most non-pros will use a soldering gun. Having used them in an industrial application 3 - 4 years is the average life expectancy.  They are good ones.  Make sure to buy some extra elements.

kenfx

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Re: GR-Research Speaker Cables build by Rock Ball
« Reply #110 on: 27 May 2021, 06:29 am »
Well, I didn't buy a new soldering iron but rather followed an excellent tech tip from "Mr Carlson's Lab" channel on YouTube: https://youtu.be/79uD6XwBg5E

Basically, I took a 3" piece of 14 gauge copper from some extra electrical in-wall wiring (Romex) and hooked up to my Weller 9400PKS as described in the video.  It turned out to be an outstanding tip (no pun intended) for this soldering gun and I was able to achieve high heat and phenomenal results with my 24-strand speaker cable project.  The bundle of 12 wires wedged into/wrapped around the tube connector as described in this thread was heated very quickly and melted solder traveled through the entire inner diameter of the tube connectors all the way to the tip.  This ensures positive contact through the entire length of the tube connector and made my project go much faster! This tip should work for any gun-type soldering device as outlined in the video.

GaryPC

Re: GR-Research Speaker Cables build by Rock Ball
« Reply #111 on: 28 Jun 2021, 07:16 pm »
Whoa. You can get a thermal wire stripper from eBay in good used condition for around $100 that should do the trick as well.
Home Depot has 8-20 AWG Solid /10-22 AWG Stranded wire stripper for $30.  I've used this and older version for years and no problems they are both like new. This newer one has wire cutter in the center.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Klein-Tools-Katapult-Wire-Stripper-and-Cutter-for-8-20-AWG-Solid-and-10-22-AWG-Stranded-Wire-11063W/204660476?MERCH=REC-_-PLP_Browse-_-NA-_-204660476-_-N&
I just completed my GR cable build with spade/banana connectors and ended up using the Vise-Grip Wire Stripping Tool/Wire Cutter, 8-Inch (2078309) amazon $10.98 https://www.amazon.com/VISE-GRIP-Stripping-Cutter-8-Inch-2078309/dp/B095KJV33D/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=irwin%2Bwire%2Bstripper&qid=1626632564&sr=8-3&th=1.
Because with the Klein auto stripper (same as the Ideal but 1/8th the cost) I started cutting the odd strand.  On the Irwin I ended up using the smallest hole to just cut the insulation with one squeeze on the handles, then I used the next smallest hole #18 to push the insulation off.  Sometimes I would do the pushing with a thumb nail.
As much as I absolutely appreciate the build attention to detail and photos here by Rock Ball I stuck with GR's recommendation on the 24-strand cable to simply grab the first 6 conductors to insert them into the connector, rather than separate out the larger individual strands. Doing the separation does give a nicer build for sure, but that's where I drew the line. 

The spade connectors have a slightly larger hole that the bananas or tubes. I was able to spiral all 24-conductors together, then after soldering used the knarly teeth on electricians pliers to gently taper the end, clip to the right length, insert, crimp and final solder.
The bananas came with single set-screws. I tossed these and used solder to fill - this seems to work nicely. To do this again I would insert 9 conductors instead of 6, and wrap the remaining 3, as I believe 8 or 9 conductors will fit snugly. As discussed above I also ran out of solder, fortunately I had some Cardas on hand which is likely the same stuff. Cardas Soldering Wire Quad Eutectic Silver Solder with rosin flux 1/4 lbs $32 at Amazon
https://www.amazon.com/Cardas-Soldering-Eutectic-Silver-Solder/dp/B015X68HXW/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?dchild=1&gclid=CjwKCAjwos-HBhB3EiwAe4xM9xnMsUSEmOZJqsfo0iXTqUHdRZiKgJXqInzTzvxlUnJX8V_CklAqmBoC79cQAvD_BwE&hvadid=410003278523&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=9032587&hvnetw=g&hvqmt=e&hvrand=2556977277036610102&hvtargid=kwd-3660914565&hydadcr=24662_11410883&keywords=cardas+solder&qid=1626635814&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1&smid=A1O44Z2C3OZAM9&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUFTVFYySzhSTldFVDQmZW5jcnlwdGVkSWQ9QTAxODkxMTkyS0pRNTZRTVRQWkIzJmVuY3J5cHRlZEFkSWQ9QTA0ODgxNzIxVEZRUTdQVDVCTUlLJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfYXRmJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==

I am not sure why, but unlike Danny's video where the ESR tape wrapped around the cable more than once, mine barely went around once.  I assume I should have wrapped it past where the rope ended where the overall diameter is smaller. I wonder what the impact might be on RFI/EMI and if I need to move it.  I just bought a Rigol DS1054X scope and am very curious if it can measure the differences.
I had the same problem covered above with the heat shrink tube barely fitting over the joints. I did not resort to lube but it took a lot of coaxing. 

At the end of the day if I were to do it again I would probably go with the 16-strand.  With 16-strands they would all fit into the connectors.  No doubt going with the 24-strand is an expression of my own OCD  :D  I do have a 12-ft cables (closer to 11'-1" with large cotton rope installed) and what I understand is a high-current speaker/amp setup, but I bet the 16-strand would be fine.   
Total time spent was 3 hours on the first cable and and 2 on the second.  After this learning curve I reckon I could do them both in under 2 hours the next time  :roll:
« Last Edit: 19 Jul 2021, 04:56 am by GaryPC »

LouM5

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Re: GR-Research Speaker Cables build by Rock Ball
« Reply #112 on: 16 Jul 2021, 04:36 pm »
Hi All,
 Any thoughts on using this cable for bi-wiring?
 6 strands each?

nrenter

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Re: GR-Research Speaker Cables build by Rock Ball
« Reply #113 on: 16 Jul 2021, 04:47 pm »
The wire itself is so aesthetically pleasing, these builds deserve an attractive splitter and/or pants.