First attempt at making my own wires

So i recently decided i want try and make my own headphone cables (also im new to soldering so keep that in mind). So im looking for beginner supplies to practice on, something cheap but similar to the “real deal” that will allow me to work my way up slowly

Aside from the actual soldering supplies, im assuming i should be looking at 3 major things

  • Wires
  • connectors
  • the sleeve

If there is anything i missed or you have recommendations free to drop a “shopping list” and some helpful pointers :smiley:

Hm not exactly a soldering supply but some 1:2 shrink tube and 1:3 shrink tube with glue is always good to have and a decent tired hand is nearly a must have
If you want to solder some really tight connectors ( looking at you 4.4 :face_with_symbols_over_mouth: ) some conformal coating can save your ass against some shorts :wink:
Otherwise depending on the kind of cable you wanna make watching some braiding vids can help for single strand wires.
Best starting point for home made cable imo is some 2 conductor microphone wire and than simply twist it and slap some shrink tube on it as a splitter and you’re good to go :smiley:

Jason knows his stuff :+1:

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soldering is easy. buy a roll of 24 gauge wire and go to town practicing if your nervous. wire and solder are cheap. for small things, use low melt temp solder. small connections melt easy and you can melt the connection trying to solder it.

Ya ive been told repeatedly that it isnt rocket science but more of an art so that exactly what im mostly focused on practicing.

Is 24 gauge good for the real deal or just practice stuff? (lets say its a decent quality wire), im not used to the gauges on headphone wires i mostly know the standard in speaker cables :smiley:

22-24 is pretty standard for headphones.

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Alrighty, quick question if im making balanced cable, having 2 cables in the same paracord sleeve - is the shielding on the wire itself enough to prevent any interference from one cable to another or is there need for another layer of separation ?

the shielding should be enough, if your worried, shrink wrap is also cheap.

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if one day you get good and decide to go for braided, go 26 or 28. even 24 gets kinda chuncky when you start throwing 6-8 strands in.

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Take a look at what NSC DIY store and CEMA has in terms of wires.

Example.

And this one for the hardware:

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Cool thanks!
Though i think the braided ones are a little out of my level right now (as far i understand silver cables are somewhat harder to deal with). I probably go for the simple 2 and 4 core cable, though i hope the shielding isnt too stiff to make it flexible

The connectors seems great, got any recommendations for 4.4 / XLR ones?
Also any recommendations for paracord to use as sleeving?

This is the easiest wire imo in terms of flexibility and soldering.

That store I linked above is where u get all kinds of hardware.

Dont know much more, as I use semi-finished cables.

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The braided cable seem like a great deal for later once i practice, im just wondering do i get the “clean” ones or the 3.5 ones and try to desolder the 3.5 (since ill mostly be using 4.4 or XLR) and reuse them on the headphone side. Also the cable only is 1 meter, while the one with the jack is 1.2

If you want to go another easy route you can also buy microphone cable. There are shielded yet very flexible star quad cables from mogami or SommerCable or the likes. Usually even gives you specifications for the electrical characteristics, not that they matter that much tho

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Thanks but i think ill stick with “normal” audio cables, for 2 main reasons

  1. i plan on doing fancier cables so those should be a nicer stepping stone
  2. i prefer just the cable since i much prefer fabric/paracord sleeving over the plastic that that stuff for that kind of usage - the plastic jacket is obviously for durability but its stiffer and less suitable for headphone in my book

How ever you did give me an idea to cannibalize some of my old mic cables :smiley:

Hey each their own. I had my braided Litz cables but found the fairly microphonic and a bit stubborn. Paracording over the rubber sleeving is doable as is stripping the rubber and replacing it with the Paracord nylon.

This is what I had a good experience with. But I also cannot deny the appeal of braided silver litz

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Get the braided wire only then and if the lenght is a problem u can ask them about it. Dunno if u say, buy 10 of those 1 meter options, if they will send 10 separate 1 meter pieces or if it is a single 10 meter roll.

Ordered 5 of both, it will be a nice experiment :smiley:

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Another store I use, primarily actually, is this:
https://www.aliexpress.com/store/group/Repair-Cable-without-Jack/1960409_512362025.html

They got a lot of semi finished cables as well as wires.

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This seems slightly pricier - any actual differnece in the quality or just better service overall?