Preferred Hookup Wire?

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Peter J

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Preferred Hookup Wire?
« on: 15 Nov 2014, 09:05 am »
At the risk of opening  a can of worms, I'm wondering what people are using to wire from NC400 module to speaker terminals? Wire gauge? Solid conductors? Stranded?  Do you consider it critical? Am I splitting hairs?

I searched but perhaps wasn't using correct keywords. Gotta be other assemblers wondering same thing.

Julf

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Re: Preferred Hookup Wire?
« Reply #1 on: 15 Nov 2014, 09:20 am »
At the risk of opening  a can of worms, I'm wondering what people are using to wire from NC400 module to speaker terminals? Wire gauge? Solid conductors? Stranded?  Do you consider it critical? Am I splitting hairs?

I searched but perhaps wasn't using correct keywords. Gotta be other assemblers wondering same thing.

I use 4mm stranded wire. As long as the wire has low inductance and resistance and can carry the required current, the actual wire doesn't matter much - stay away from exotic stuff like litz wire.

The way you actually use the wire is much more important. Make sure it is twisted properly, especially at the nc400 end (a lot of people seem to get the exit direction of the wire wrong at the screw terminals).

Peter J

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Re: Preferred Hookup Wire?
« Reply #2 on: 15 Nov 2014, 09:42 am »


The way you actually use the wire is much more important. Make sure it is twisted properly, especially at the nc400 end (a lot of people seem to get the exit direction of the wire wrong at the screw terminals).

Thanks for the input, Julf. I've read a bit on wire orientation. Both wires exiting terminals towards nearest edge of module...correct?

Julf

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Re: Preferred Hookup Wire?
« Reply #3 on: 15 Nov 2014, 10:20 am »
Thanks for the input, Julf. I've read a bit on wire orientation. Both wires exiting terminals towards nearest edge of module...correct?

As in going "outwards"? In that case no, not quite. They should go towards each other. So the one from the "inner" screw terminal, J5, goes outwards towards the edge, while the one from the "outer" terminal, J6, goes inwards, towards J5 - but making sure you don't short them!

The point is to make the twisting start as soon as possible, minimizing the area of the circle/loop formed in the space between the wires.

Unfortunately I can't get to my amps this weekend to take a picture, maybe someone else can post a pic?

clpetersen

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Re: Preferred Hookup Wire?
« Reply #4 on: 15 Nov 2014, 12:34 pm »
I use 4mm stranded wire. As long as the wire has low inductance and resistance and can carry the required current, the actual wire doesn't matter much - stay away from exotic stuff like litz wire.

The way you actually use the wire is much more important. Make sure it is twisted properly, especially at the nc400 end (a lot of people seem to get the exit direction of the wire wrong at the screw terminals).

Agreed. See the attached table. The leftmost column is rated amps for chassis wiring, which is very conservative (i.e. safe). It is a combination of length and diameter - short lengths require less diameter. Get a flexible cable, avoid very heavy insulation as it is not required (don't use automotive cable for example). If you want the most flexible cable and thinnest effective insulation, go for teflon (also known as PTFE). But harder to work with (i.e. strip) and more expensive.

For reference, the NCore400 can put out 24 amps, maximum.



Nick77

Re: Preferred Hookup Wire?
« Reply #5 on: 15 Nov 2014, 12:47 pm »
I used Cardas litz wire for both power and speakers with excellent results but it is difficult to work with. I stole the idea from the 10k Veritas NC1200 build, I believe they did lots of testing finding the Cardas to synergize best.

Julf

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Re: Preferred Hookup Wire?
« Reply #6 on: 15 Nov 2014, 01:18 pm »
I used Cardas litz wire for both power and speakers with excellent results but it is difficult to work with. I stole the idea from the 10k Veritas NC1200 build, I believe they did lots of testing finding the Cardas to synergize best.

Litz wire is a good idea when you want to minimize transmission loss due to skin effect for moderately high frequencies (100 kHz-1MHz), but it does not really make sense for normal AC cables or audio frequencies.

Speedskater

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Re: Preferred Hookup Wire?
« Reply #7 on: 15 Nov 2014, 03:09 pm »
With wire, the things that may affect sound are:
a] Gauge/diameter
b] Dress/placement (like twisting)

Things that do not affect sound but can have other reasons to affect your choice:
a] Solid/stranded
b] Insulation material, size
c] Conductor material (copper, silver)

barrows

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Re: Preferred Hookup Wire?
« Reply #8 on: 15 Nov 2014, 03:34 pm »
I use Cardas Litz as well.  Some people do not believe wire type makes a difference, very well, belief systems differ though, and my beliefs are based on listening.
I used 15.5 AWG Cardas Litz for the AC power wire to the SMPS 600, 21.5 AWG Cardas Litz for the signal input wiring, and 11.5 AWG Cardas Litz for the speaker binding posts.
I also removed the (brass with steel screw) speaker terminals from the board and soldered the speaker wiring directly into the board.  It is really a shame that Hypex did not specify a copper part here with a brass screw-I would have been fine with tin plated copper terminals which are very standard parts, but brass, and then gold plate to make it pretty and "audiophile", come on, poor choice. 
If you use the stock terminals, then I would l recommend good quality silver plater copper in teflon wire (lots of mil spec wire like this out there) for the speaker wiring, as the screw contact terminals like this will not make a really good connection to the tinned ends necessary when using the Cardas wire.  12 AWG will be plenty big, twisted as recommended, and routed away from he output inductor.

DaveC113

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Re: Preferred Hookup Wire?
« Reply #9 on: 15 Nov 2014, 03:54 pm »
Litz wire is a good idea when you want to minimize transmission loss due to skin effect for moderately high frequencies (100 kHz-1MHz), but it does not really make sense for normal AC cables or audio frequencies.

I understand the reasoning behind the litz wire design, you'd think it wouldn't be applicable to audio but it is cleaner sounding than regular wire. The largest conventional wire I find sounds ok for the high frequencies in audio is 24g, multiple runs can be combined as necessary, but litz wire is still cleaner sounding than 24g wire.

The biggest issue using it for speaker output in an amp or speaker cable is it can be effected by back EMF in negative ways depending on the speaker it is used with resulting in dull, rolled off highs. It shouldn't be used in between an amp's outputs and a passive crossover unless you know it is compatible with the particular speaker/xo it will be used with. Single drivers never have a problem with it so using it active or from passive xo to drivers should be no problem. I have absolutely no explanation for this but am open to hearing opinions if anyone has any... so far I have not been able to explain exactly why Litz wire can have this issue. It works fine for most speakers but every once in a while it produces rolled off, dull sounding highs. Anyway, I mention it because I can see it causing headaches for some, it could be hard to track down why the amp just doesn't sound right.




Peter J

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Re: Preferred Hookup Wire?
« Reply #10 on: 15 Nov 2014, 07:07 pm »
I use 4mm stranded wire. As long as the wire has low inductance and resistance and can carry the required current, the actual wire doesn't matter much - stay away from exotic stuff like litz wire.

The way you actually use the wire is much more important. Make sure it is twisted properly, especially at the nc400 end (a lot of people seem to get the exit direction of the wire wrong at the screw terminals).

Julf, out of curiosity, is the 4mm wire you're using the conductor size or overall wire diameter? If conductor size, that seems huge to me and eyeballing the chart that clpeterson posted that's equivalent to 6 ga. wire...mighty big. Would really appreciate photos if it's possible, just to get an idea of how you did it.

Concerning wire orientation in your other post, I get it now. Glad you brought it up and makes perfect sense.

Julf

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Re: Preferred Hookup Wire?
« Reply #11 on: 15 Nov 2014, 08:28 pm »
Julf, out of curiosity, is the 4mm wire you're using the conductor size or overall wire diameter?

My apologies, I was being too casual - over here I am used to talking about wires with reference to their actual area, and referring to that (incorrectly) as "mm", when it should be "mm2".

So when I said "4 mm", the size I was referring to is 4 mm2 area, equivalent to 2 mm diameter, or close to AWG 12.

jonbee

Re: Preferred Hookup Wire?
« Reply #12 on: 1 Dec 2014, 05:16 pm »
For my output wire, I've been using a pure silver/teflon and PCOCC copper/teflon braid. It sounds very good to me.
I'd been thinking recently, after spending lots of $ this year on very good ICs (Zenwave D4s now) and speaker wires (Wywires Platinum) with good results, feeding that signal to the modules through the stock input wires is a sonic bottleneck.
So, this weekend I changed the signal input wires to the NC-400 from the wire provided  (each about 7 inches long in my build) to a 22 ga. shielded silver/copper alloy/teflon wire (Signal Cables Reference Silver) and it is quite a difference. Right off the bat, clarity and detail presentation is notably improved, bass is clearer and tighter, but just as powerful and deep. The top end is more prominent; a little too prominent at this point, but the wire is new, so I'll give it some time. If it doesn't moderate I may keep it in place and make other system adjustments to compensate (I really like the very focused, detailed presentation), or try others, such as the Cardas or other copper formulations.
One thing I can say is that I and others who have commented about this being a good candidate for upgrade were right- those stock signal input wires are a letdown in the context of the sonic clarity available from the modules. Upgrading them has an effect much like upgrading mediocre ICs to better quality, as might be expected when you think about it. Buying the Molex connectors and pins (from Mouser, in my case) and wiring them up is a bit of a pain (small parts!), but the change is certainly worth the trouble, IMO. Perhaps Ric Schultz or other modders could do the work of building them for those who don't want the bother.
FYI- Connector housings: Mouser 538-43025-0400, pins 538-43030-0008. Cheap, so buy extras.
« Last Edit: 12 Dec 2014, 05:02 pm by jonbee »

Julf

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Re: Preferred Hookup Wire?
« Reply #13 on: 2 Dec 2014, 10:56 am »
I guess I should start selling expensive audiophile molex connectors....

Nick77

Re: Preferred Hookup Wire?
« Reply #14 on: 2 Dec 2014, 11:27 am »
Quote
        I changed the input wires to the NC-400 from the wire provided  (each about 6 inches long in my build) to a 22 ga. shielded silver clad copper/teflon wire (Signal Cables) and it is quite a difference. Right off the bat, clarity and detail presentation is notably improved, bass is clearer and tighter, but just as powerful and deep.                                                                   

I also found a huge impact on changing out all stock harness wiring. I own UCD modules but use the same input harness as the Ncore. It would be the first thing I do when I upgrade to Ncore knowing firsthand what a bottle neck the stock wire harness is. Changing the power wires also had big impact on sonics. This should be the first order of business in any modding to UCD or Ncore in my book.

Of course wire is wire though and unbelievers need not apply.  :lol:

drmike

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Re: Preferred Hookup Wire?
« Reply #15 on: 2 Dec 2014, 12:02 pm »
jonbee,
which wire category is the signal cable product you use under?
thanks,
drmike

barrows

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Re: Preferred Hookup Wire?
« Reply #16 on: 2 Dec 2014, 03:50 pm »
I guess I should start selling expensive audiophile molex connectors....

Hahahaha!  Julf, I know you jest.  The stock Molex connectors are actually pretty good: copper contacts with tin plating.  If one is buying additional plugs (and their female internal pins) one can get these with gold flash on the connection points, the gold flash is a little more resistant to oxidation than the tin.
Of course, Furutech would be the right company to make the "audiophile" version, Alpha process copper with thick silver plate and rhodium flash: perhaps Julf should commission these!

I am glad the Molex connectors used have copper contacts, I really think it is wrong how many places one finds brass in these types of connections (pin headers and the like).  Molex still makes copper contact screw terminals as well, much better than most which are brass, or even steel sometimes...

mikeeastman

Re: Preferred Hookup Wire?
« Reply #17 on: 5 Dec 2014, 04:09 am »
Does anyone know the  Mouser parts # for 12 pin molex connector used from SMPS 600 to amp?

Occam

Re: Preferred Hookup Wire?
« Reply #18 on: 5 Dec 2014, 04:40 am »
Does anyone know the  Mouser parts # for 12 pin molex connector used from SMPS 600 to amp?

Molex 43025-1200
http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Molex/43025-1200/?qs=%2fha2pyFadujOP3eyp74bClDly04b3DzsaRPmj7Q7JXuxquUY1jTPcA%3d%3d

you still need the 43030 microfit 3 female crimp sockets for the housing above

mikeeastman

Re: Preferred Hookup Wire?
« Reply #19 on: 5 Dec 2014, 01:43 pm »
Thanks Paul  :thumb: