twisted pair vs coax IC

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Well-known member
Jan 6, 2005
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Cloverdale, BC
this might be better in the off-topic area, that's Tom's call.

i need to make some long IC to feed from the front of my room to the back of my room, the longest will be about 37 feet. that's real long for unbalanced.

i've been reading the arguments between twisted pair and coax with regards to hum interference and sound quality. i've read some articles that state coax is better, but i know that cat5 and cat6 network twisted pair runs for long lengths with minimul hum interference. of course that article was from a company that didn't understand why only one end of the shield drain would be attached and was recommended by he whose name shall not be spoken (that is hwnsnbs which when pronounced is the sound of a hairball being dealt with by your cat...)

the big advantage of the twisted pair is the price. canare star-quad is about 40 cents a foot while belden's 89259 or the canare equivelent is about 4 times that price.

any input or experience that people have with twisted pair interconnects versus coax would be appreciated.

I get the best of both with my DIY cables. I use Belden 9397, which is sold as microphone cable. It has a green and white twisted pair on the inside, and a double spiral wrapped sheild on the outside. It is also made of extremely fine stranded wire (each wire is 144 strands of 44 guage wire), so it is VERY flixible and has rubber, not plastic insulation, so it lays nice and limply.
I use the white as the signal wire, the green as the 'ground' wire, and connect the sheild to the green wire at ONE end only (and mark that end). That end goes to the transmitting end of the connection. Several of my interconnects are 30+ feet long, and they sound great, with no hum or background noise. For best results keep signal and AC wiring seperated as far as possible. I have my sources, pre/processor and rear channel amps back near the seating position, while the active crossover, front channel amps, and sub are in front with the front speakers.

cool. that's the sort of wire that i'm looking at excpet that the star-quad is four conductors and the 9397 has 97% coverage instead of 95% in the braid.

but the basic architecture is the same, twisted pair in a copper braid, and your build is the same as mine is planned to be, connect the braid at the source end.

canare also has a single twisted pair product, but i'm looking at the quads to double up the amount of wire by joining one of each pair for the signal and the other of each pair for the ground. perhaps this is not needed.

thanks for sharing what you did.