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Dec 08 2013

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Non-metallic IC photos

As a follow up of that earlier non-metallic interconnect idea of mine, I just wanted to share with you some photos of the ready DIY interconnect.

After some initial listening tests, I think that I prefer this version.

Till recently, I was using a pair of silver, 99,99% pure, solid core wires with a diameter of 0,4 mm, each in teflon tubing.  Not yet sure about the final comparison outcome, but I get the impression that the carbon stuff, as on the pictures below, has some added degree of reality associated with it.  It may not be so “transparent” as the pure silver solid core wires, but there seems to be a certain touch of additional reality.  Hard to define after a days worth of listening and comparisons.  Most probably, I will need a friend to help me out and to organize a quick blind listening test session.

To be honest, I did have some concerns as to a noise hazard.  The cable is not screened, well, OK, it is “partially” screened, but nonetheless this could have come up as a problem. Luckily, with the low output impedance of my DAC tubed buffer stage,  it turned out to be a non issue.

So here goes.   The photos:

P1090267 b P1090266 b

The “package” consists of a 5-way braid.  The individual members of the braid are as follows:

a). Twelve thousand filaments of pure carbon, each of 10 microns thick.
This, UNTWISTED, pulled into a teflon tube, of a diameter about 2,16 mm.
This lead serves as the “middle-pin signal”  (The “blueish” one).

b). A cord of pure cotton, with the relative dielectric constant equal to  ~ 1.05  (The grey one)

c). Twelve thousand filaments of pure carbon, each of 10 microns thick.
This, UNTWISTED, pulled into a teflon tube, of a diameter about 2,16 mm.
This lead serves as the “ground-pin signal”. (The “blueish” one).

d). A cord of pure cotton, with the relative dielectric constant equal to  ~ 1.05  (The grey one)

e). A cord of insulated stranded wire, serving as a quasi-screen.
This cable is connected to only one of the RCA interconnect plugs, and mainly to the “Source” interconnect plug. The other end of the wire is not connected electrically with the other RCA (the “destination”) plug.

P1090263 b

As for the black insulating tape at the ends – well – nobody is perfect.  I was in desperate need of a quick solution how to terminate the cable entry into the plug. There were some “technical” or rather “implementation” issues associated with that. Besides, I wanted to listen to the stuff as soon as reasonably possible.

The RCA plugs are from an american company called C.N.C.  or something like that.

They have central pins made of “amorphous” copper – so they say, at least.


P1090265 b



I herewith proclaim that this is the  ”Ugly Duckling” Interconnect cable, as designed by zjj_wwa of hiend-audio.com   (C) 2013-12-08.

Or maybe should I call it “Carbon Blue” ?

Funny thing about it, but the carbon fibers, as seen inside a teflon tube, seem to be blue, not black.

I think I will stick with the “Carbon Blue”.  {{{ yeah, yeah, ….. as designed by zjj_wwa of hiend-audio.com   (C) 2013-12-08. }}

It simply Sounds …. Better.    ( Pun – intended !).




The resistance of the cable is somewhere in the whereabouts of 35 ohms per carbon strand. That implies a 2x 35 = 70 ohms roundtrip resistance.   Super. This is exactly what I wanted.

A very reasonable value.

As for XLR:  There is no reason whatsoever, why you should not try this with XLR symmetrical plugs. The cable, in essence, IS fully symmetrical, if you look at it from a signal carrying perspective. The only difference that you would then need to incorporate is to connect that stranded wire, currently acting as a “screen”, to the XLR plug at the other end.  In such a configuration, this cable shall, in essence, constitute a real commons connection.

B.T.W. – I did check the capacitance of the cable.  It is just under 200 pF on a total length of about 2 meters.


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