How to Make Your Own DIY Speaker Cables

gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
bob.jpg
Contrary to audio cable marketing; anyone can cut, strip, and install banana plugs on speaker wire. The following is a step-by-step guide on how to do exactly that. Our recently added YouTube video supports this article and also gives examples of how to make more advanced cable designs or purchase pre-terminated cables. Save thousands of dollars with our tips and make the right speaker cables and lengths to meet your needs.


Read the DIY Speaker Cable article.

Tell us what type of DIY cables are your favorite and what you are using.
 
Last edited:
rojo

rojo

Audioholic Samurai
Necessary information: See http://www.audioholics.com/audio-video-cables/speaker-cable-gauge for the minimum wire gauge that should be used for a given length of wire to connect speakers of a given impedance. Also note that ultra low price speaker wire (such as Amazon Basics) is copper-clad aluminum, and is only about 2/3 as efficient as oxygen-free copper. When you shop for speaker wire, make sure what you're buying is oxygen-free copper. Monoprice typically has good quality OFC lamp cord for a reasonable price.

Also, a bit of heat shrink tubing, cable pants, and mesh wire sleeve can really dress up your cables and make them look expensive.

Examples:
http://forums.audioholics.com/forums/threads/fit-and-finish-on-diy-cables.28608/
http://forums.audioholics.com/forums/threads/diy-pretty-speaker-cables.89766/
 
Last edited:
gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
Necessary information: See http://www.audioholics.com/audio-video-cables/speaker-cable-gauge for the minimum wire gauge that should be used for a given length of wire to connect speakers of a given impedance. Also note that ultra low price speaker wire (such as Amazon Basics) is copper-clad aluminum, and is only about 2/3 as efficient as oxygen-free copper. When you shop for speaker wire, make sure what you're buying is oxygen-free copper. Monoprice typically has good quality OFC lamp cord for a reasonable price.

Also, a bit of heat shrink tubing, cable pants, and mesh wire sleeve can really dress up your cables and make them look expensive.

Examples:
http://forums.audioholics.com/forums/threads/fit-and-finish-on-diy-cables.28608/
http://forums.audioholics.com/forums/threads/diy-pretty-speaker-cables.89766/
Great tip. I will add this to the article.
 
L

Leroy Jenkins

Audioholic Intern
I have belden wire which you can buy in bulk for about $1 a foot, works fine for my application. I have to say I never had a problem with bare wire but I think it is rather nice to have banana plugs to make it easy to switch things out quickly and this article is very good for showing how to do that.
 
A

Alain Singapore

Audioholic Intern
This type of banana plug has a tendency to unscrew. Also if the bare wire is cut too short it could get dislodged from the plug quite easily. Too long and it can short to other nearby plugs. I find that leaving some length of bare wire that is folded back to the side of the plug than wrapped with heat shrink offers durable connection and a nice finish.
 
S

Speedskater

Audioholic Chief
On Copper Clad Aluminum (CCA) conductors. We are seeing much more of this type of wire. The big-box stores have it the audio/video/phone department. With impressive brand names, including 'RCA'. Some of the major on-line vendors also have it.
 
H

Henry Belk

Audiophyte
I have been doing this for years, even before Home Theater became a mainstay in the market. I started out purchasing Monster cable by the roll from my local store and just used bare wire when the receivers had only clips on the back. Then came 5 way binding posts and banana plugs and spades, I now purchase wire from Monoprice by the roll (white, in-wall 12 gauge) and vola I have great sound on my system. The system consists of Yamaha RX-v475 receiver, Polk Audio TSi200's, CS20, OM3's (rear), Fluance AVBP2 (Surrounds), and a Sunfire SDS8 subwoofer on a Auralex Grandma pad. I listen mostly to Jazz recorded in FLAC Lossless format from the master recordings, or from LP on a U-Turn Orbit table. This works for most anything out there, from movies and TV shows in 5.1 or 7.1, to music in any format from mp3 to AAC and Flac. I have a Yamaha BD-S71 Blu-ray player but have not used it much due to all my files are stored on an external 3tb WD Cloud, using an ACER Tower computer with JRiver 20 to run all files.
 
C

corey

Senior Audioholic
For my front 3 speakers I made cables with a four strand braid. I don't think it makes a sonic difference, but it looks kinda cool. With braided cables it's a good idea to check continuity with an ohm meter before using them.
4StrandBraid-1.jpg
 
D

Deep Ear

Audiophyte
When I started out my loudspeaker design career at Marantz (Sony-Superscope) in 1971 we had rolls of twisted 14 gauge (which lowers inductance vs. non-twisted) we used to wire our loudspeaker prototypes internally. So 44 years later Gene's advocacy of dual twisted pairs is very good advice indeed. Another relatively inexpensive trick I've used is to buy 12 or 14-gauge extension cord wire (at a Lowe's or Home Depot) which is already twisted and cut the ends off. Then attach to banana plugs as Dan shows.
 
D

DaleAV

Full Audioholic
I've been playing around with different speaker cable schemes for decades. I can also recommend Blue Jeans Cable for many cable applications. I think they about as high end as anyone needs to go, regardless of your available budget.
In the last few years I have gone with KnuKonceptz Kord Ultraflex speaker cable for a couple of important reasons.
The main one being the flexibility of their cable. They lay flat no kinking at all. The 2nd reason is they use a very high strand count of tinned soft copper wire. (Another reason for the flex quality). What this does is reduce the overall cable diameter compared to most other cables of the same gauge.

Unless you need to impress folks looking at your system with boa constrictor or car battery sized leads coming from your speakers, I think they are one of the best cables around.
At first glance look like ordinary 16 or 18 ga lamp cord when in fact they are 14 ga. That is the gauge I used for my 12' pair. They have 10, 12, 14 and 16 gauge cable running 27 to 79 cents a foot.
They also carry more esoteric and bi wire cables as well auto wiring and connectors.
 
J

johndoav

Audiophyte
I am starting out.
16G in wall wiring
gold plated banana plug types.
 
Pandaman617

Pandaman617

Audioholic
I’ve also been using KnuKonceptz since the beginning of my first “high end” home theater. I use their 12/4 cable, their 12/2 and 14/2 and have had great results, it’s very affordable and the one time I had an issue with very late delivery they sent me a free 25’ length of 12/4 cable!
 

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