Best Blu-ray Deals

Best Blu-ray Deals, See All the Deals »
Top deals | Price drops  
 All countries United States United Kingdom Canada Germany France Spain Italy Japan
The Dick Van Dyke Show: The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
$49.99
 
Let's Be Cops (Blu-ray)
$9.96
23 hrs ago
X-Men: Days of Future Past (Blu-ray)
$9.96
 
The Complete Jacques Tati (Blu-ray)
$59.99
 
The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Seventh Season (Blu-ray)
$19.99
 
Harry Potter: Complete 8-Film Collection (Blu-ray)
$44.99
 
True Detective (Blu-ray)
$24.99
 
Sleeping Beauty (Blu-ray)
$18.99
 
Homeland: The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
$19.99
 
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (Blu-ray)
$11.99
 
Batman: The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
$149.99
 
Vikings: The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray)
$19.99
 
True Blood: The Complete Sixth Season (Blu-ray)
$17.99
 
COLLECT WATCH TRACK RATE REVIEW APP
Manage your own movie collection and always keep it with you with our Apps. Price track movies and get price drop notifications instantly. Become a member to take full advantage of all site features.
GET STARTED
Old 07-16-2008, 11:05 PM   #1
Johk Johk is offline
Blu-ray Guru
 
Johk's Avatar
 
Jul 2007
645
1
2
Default Speaker cable sleeving DIY

As requested, here is a quick guide to help people make good-looking speaker cables (in my opinion at least).

Here are the tools needed:

- Cutter (knife)
- Wire cutter
- Wire stripper (or you can use the cutter)
- Scissor and lighter (or heated scissors if you have some)
- Heat gun
- Ruler, tape measure
- Marker if needed



And here are the supplies I used:

- 12 AWG in wall CL3 speaker cable
- Techflex PET 3/8 sleeve Carbon
- Heat Shrink Flexible Clear
- Open-screw banana plugs from monoprice






Naturally, you can use any cable, sleeve, heat shrink and banana plugs you want. Sleeves come in many colors and are manufactured by companies like Techflex . By the way, the F6 Flexo Wrap is really great to organize you cables (you just unwrap, hold it, pass the cables, let it go and and it’s done and it looks really great! Way better than the plastic one I used in my other setups (which I will probably upgrade).

I got the sleeves and heat shrink from Audiyo since I’m from Canada… In the US, you can try Cableorganizer.com. The only thing you have to figure out is the color and the diameter that you need for your cables.

1 - The first step is to measure the length of wire that you need for a particular spot (you can use a string if it’s easier for you). Then cut the required amount of cable with the wire cutter (a sharp one will make a nice effortless clean cut without damaging the copper strands). I recommend that you start with doing one small cable for your first time so if you mess something up you won’t be throwing away a big length of wire.

2 - Then you need to cut the sleeve. If you purchased the Techflex PET sleeve you must know that you need to seal the both ends of the cut if you don’t use heated scissors (you just use a lighter to melt the end and it’s done). If you don’t seal the ends the cable will fray and you will end up with a big mess in the end.


You won’t have to do this if you get the Techflex cleancut, but it’s really not a big issue.

To cut the sleeve to the proper length, you will need to know how much wire clearance you need to make your connections (for me it was 2” to 2.5”) and to take into account the sleeve expansion required (for example a 3/8” will expand from 3/16” to 5/8”, this means that if you place this sleeve on a inch cable the length of the sleeve will shrink once you put it on the cable). This isn’t dramatic for short runs but for longer runs you could end up with a shorter sleeve.

The easiest way to determine the length that you need is to slide the sleeve on the cable. To slide it easily I recommend that you use the push-pull technique instead on just pulling on the sleeve to get it on (when you pull on the sleeve it will tighten on the wire and when you push it it will loosen up). So slide your sleeve on you cable and leave 2 times the required clearance to make your connections (and a bit more to make a clean cut) For me it was like 4”. Next pull a little bit on both part of the sleeve to tighten it on the cable. You can then mark when you need to cut the sleeve and cut it already! Use your scissors (or heated scissors it you have some) to cut it and remember to seal both cut ends with a lighter (do not burn the whole sleeve :P). Once you have the correct measure you can use it for cables of the same lengths. For short runs you don’t necessarily need to do this unless you want everything perfect.

3 – The third step is to cut your heatshrink tubing. I used 1” cuts for both ends. Try to cut it straight since you don’t want to do an ugly looking job… Also if you use closed screw banana plugs or pins or some other termination, you can put another heatshrink for the connector this will provide a nice look and a more solid connections. Since I used open screw banana plugs, I couldn’t really put heat shrink on it (when I placed my order they were out of closed screw banana plugs). As a side not I think that the closed screw banana plugs are better for the connection to the speaker but the closed screw ones are better for connections to wall plates and to you receiver / amp.

4 – Next you need to slide the sleeve on the speaker cable (using the push-pull technique described before) at the proper position on the cable with your required clearance on both sides. Be sure to pull on both ends of the sleeve to remove the slack.

Then if the speaker has already a plastic sleeve like mine you will need to remove the end parts for your connection clearance. You have to be careful to not cut the sleeve on your conductors when you do this. I found out that doing a slight incision with a cutter only at the surface of the sleeve (not perforating through) allowed me to remove the sleeve without risking damaging the conductors and I was doing one incision are the wire and one incision to the end of the wire.







Then you can remove the insulation if any.

If you use standard cable in most cases you would only need to separate the cables for the clearance length.

In the end you should end up with something like this at both ends.



5 – Then you can put the heatshrink 1” section that you cut at one end of the sleeve.



If you use clear heatshrink like me you will notice that it’s better to cut everything straight and clean so you don’t have any defects showing.

Then you can start your heat gun (put it in the vertical position). I used a Jobmate heat gun (25$) at the low temperature setting 250C (482F). Be sure to use a low temperature setting since PET starts melting at 230C (446F) therefore if you use a high temperature (like 450C (842F)) you will melt for sure the sleeve. So adjust the temperature to a low setting (if you can use a temperature below 230C then go ahead).



Once it is hot (about a minute), pass the shrink tube above it (be careful not to displace it from the correct position) and turn it around so you get the heatshrink tight around the sleeve and the cables everywhere.



At 250C, it’s instantaneous and it doesn’t melt the sleeve unless you really want it!

Do the other end the same way.

6 – The next part is to remove the sleeve at the end of the conductors without damaging the cooper strands. I had two wire strippers at my disposal and both did a crappy job at doing this (one had difficulty to cut the conductor sleeve and the other one cut through the sleeve and a part of the strands) so I ended up using a cutter to cut around the circumference and then removing the plastic by pulling it. This worked well for my part but if your wire stripper is better than mine than it will probably be easier and faster.



7 – And finally you can put the connector if any, I used open-screw banana plugs so I didn’t put heatshrink at the junction of the wire and the plug but with other connectors you could use heatshrink to get a cleaner and even more solid connection.



In the end it should look like something like this:



It may take a bit of patience for the first one but after you made a couple of cables and figure out exactly how you want yours, you will be able to make them pretty easily!

Let me know if you need more explanations or if I made an error somewhere!

Also as a side note, you could use this for other cables. There are a lot of parts available that will help you make great custom cables!

Check out other great DIY guides for sleeved cables that help me get started for my cables!

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=776636
http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/w...moonshine.html

Last edited by Johk; 12-02-2010 at 03:21 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2008, 11:27 PM   #2
hagar852 hagar852 is offline
Senior Member
 
hagar852's Avatar
 
Aug 2007
5
107
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johk View Post
As requested, here is a quick guide to help people make good-looking speaker cables (in my opinion at least).
Great DIY... Nice read and great walkthrough... I just prefer the other banana plugs, but that is just me.. .Great job!!

Last edited by gearyt; 01-20-2009 at 11:30 PM. Reason: remove quote
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2008, 12:04 AM   #3
cembros cembros is online now
Power Member
 
cembros's Avatar
 
Jan 2008
430
4
Default

so how much does this cost to do for a 5.1 system
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2008, 12:14 AM   #4
cembros cembros is online now
Power Member
 
cembros's Avatar
 
Jan 2008
430
4
Default

you know you made that look so easy, im confident now that i can do it myself
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2008, 03:06 PM   #5
Johk Johk is offline
Blu-ray Guru
 
Johk's Avatar
 
Jul 2007
645
1
2
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cembros View Post
so how much does this cost to do for a 5.1 system
It all depends on how long you need...

The sleeve cost 0.56$cdn/ft and the heat shrink 0.69$cdn/ft... So it's relatively cheap.

And yes it's really easy!
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2008, 06:39 AM   #6
Clark Kent Clark Kent is offline
Blu-ray Duke
 
Clark Kent's Avatar
 
Oct 2007
Metropolis
2
131
Default

Excellent writeup, JOHK. Maybe this could be made a sticky or rolled into a speaker wire sticky. Mods?
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2009, 06:46 PM   #7
GunZenBomZ GunZenBomZ is offline
Senior Member
 
GunZenBomZ's Avatar
 
Nov 2008
Warwickshire, UK
1
156
Default

I really wish people wouldn't quote a long well made thoughtout guide.

Anyhow double-thumbs up your way johk
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2009, 07:42 PM   #8
aramis109 aramis109 is offline
Blu-ray Ninja
 
aramis109's Avatar
 
Mar 2008
Milwaukee, WI
10
355
18
Default

Two questions as I'm going to do this for my bi-amped fronts:

1. Can you get away with a lighter if you hold it far enough away? Don't know that I want to invest in a heatgun just for this.

2. Where did you purchase the PET/heatshrink from? I've looked at cableorganizer.com, but was curious if that was the best price.

Panasonic TC-P50G10 1080p Plasma | Onkyo 805 | PS3 Slim | Xbox360 | Wii | APC H10 | Harmony One
Def Tech BP6B Fronts | Def Tech CLR 2002 Center| Def Tech BP2X Surrounds | PA-120 Subwoofer
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2009, 08:33 PM   #9
mdabb mdabb is offline
Power Member
 
mdabb's Avatar
 
Jan 2008
1
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by aramis109 View Post
Two questions as I'm going to do this for my bi-amped fronts:

1. Can you get away with a lighter if you hold it far enough away? Don't know that I want to invest in a heatgun just for this.

2. Where did you purchase the PET/heatshrink from? I've looked at cableorganizer.com, but was curious if that was the best price.
I'm sure you can get away with using a lighter, but it will be less forgiving. Techflex (braided cable sleeving) melts pretty quick even with a heat gun. Try not to blast the Techflex with heat and quickly focus on the heat shrink tubing.


Here is a place where I ordered my Techflex and heat shrink tubing they have all kinds of different color and patterns of cable sleeving. Try the "clean cut techflex". Also try the 3:1 or 4:1 heat shrink tubing as you can get multiple use out of it. You can always go bigger to smaller and not smaller to bigger.

https://www.wirecare.com/index.asp

Hope this helps !!!

P.S. Order more cable sleeving than you think you will need. As the sleeving expands the length of it shortens, depends on what size you go with though.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2009, 08:56 PM   #10
Johk Johk is offline
Blu-ray Guru
 
Johk's Avatar
 
Jul 2007
645
1
2
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by aramis109 View Post
1. Can you get away with a lighter if you hold it far enough away? Don't know that I want to invest in a heatgun just for this.
You could try using a lighter but I wouldn't recommend it to shrink the tube. Like mdabb said, the techflex melts rather rapidly. You can find a suitable heatgun for 15-20$.

You can always try one and if it works out for you great. If not you can get the heatgun later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aramis109 View Post
2. Where did you purchase the PET/heatshrink from? I've looked at cableorganizer.com, but was curious if that was the best price.
I'm from Canada, so I bought my supplies from Canadian online stores (Audiyo and TakeFiveAudio) but I'm pretty sure that the prices and selection will be better from a US retailer.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2009, 08:58 PM   #11
aramis109 aramis109 is offline
Blu-ray Ninja
 
aramis109's Avatar
 
Mar 2008
Milwaukee, WI
10
355
18
Default

Nice! I think I'll give that Clean Cut a go. Thanks for the suggestions! *edit* Ugh, they want to add $12.97 in "handling" charges on top of the shipping. Time to keep shopping.

For those that want more of it than I do, Monoprice does sell 40ft and up at pretty competitive prices. I'm looking for <20ft.

Panasonic TC-P50G10 1080p Plasma | Onkyo 805 | PS3 Slim | Xbox360 | Wii | APC H10 | Harmony One
Def Tech BP6B Fronts | Def Tech CLR 2002 Center| Def Tech BP2X Surrounds | PA-120 Subwoofer

Last edited by aramis109; 01-20-2009 at 09:37 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2009, 09:38 PM   #12
aramis109 aramis109 is offline
Blu-ray Ninja
 
aramis109's Avatar
 
Mar 2008
Milwaukee, WI
10
355
18
Default

Hrm, Amazon has a decent price on 25ft of Clean Cut, but it's 1/2" instead of 3/8". Johk or mdabb, do you think that'd make it too sloppy or is doable?

Panasonic TC-P50G10 1080p Plasma | Onkyo 805 | PS3 Slim | Xbox360 | Wii | APC H10 | Harmony One
Def Tech BP6B Fronts | Def Tech CLR 2002 Center| Def Tech BP2X Surrounds | PA-120 Subwoofer
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2009, 09:51 PM   #13
Johk Johk is offline
Blu-ray Guru
 
Johk's Avatar
 
Jul 2007
645
1
2
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by aramis109 View Post
Hrm, Amazon has a decent price on 25ft of Clean Cut, but it's 1/2" instead of 3/8". Johk or mdabb, do you think that'd make it too sloppy or is doable?
1/2" is good for 1/4" to 3/4".

It depends on the dimensions of your wires. Measure the diameter of the outside of the wire and get the Techflex size that fits (aim for the nominal diameter).



If you use the 1/2" sleeve on a 3/4" wire, you will need the techflex to be longer than the wire (always order a longer lenght than you need to be sure). In that situation you will see more the wire inside the sleeve. If you use the 1/2" sleeve on a 1/4" wire, then you will need to pull on the sleeve to contract it on the wire and you will cover a greater lenght.

By the way, the clean cut is nice but the standard Techflex will still work... You only need to seal the end with a lighter (don't use a heat gun at the same temperature as for shrink tube for that, it will do the opposite of what you want to do). It's fairly easy and since you will essential pass a wire with no termination on it and apply shrink tube on top of it, you shouldn't have a problem.

Last edited by Johk; 01-20-2009 at 10:06 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2009, 09:52 PM   #14
mdabb mdabb is offline
Power Member
 
mdabb's Avatar
 
Jan 2008
1
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by aramis109 View Post
Hrm, Amazon has a decent price on 25ft of Clean Cut, but it's 1/2" instead of 3/8". Johk or mdabb, do you think that'd make it too sloppy or is doable?

It depends on what speaker cable/wire you use ??? I used Canare Starquad speaker cable and it is roughly 3/8" inches in diameter and used 3/8" Techflex. I would bet 1/2" is too big for this purpose. In my case I didn't want the grey cable showing through the cable sleeving so I went with the 3/8 inch size black sleeving.

what look are you going for ???

EDIT: OOPS Johk posted before me.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2009, 10:02 PM   #15
aramis109 aramis109 is offline
Blu-ray Ninja
 
aramis109's Avatar
 
Mar 2008
Milwaukee, WI
10
355
18
Default

I'll be using Monoprice's 12AWG speaker wire. It's shipping now. What I want to do with my fronts is to have the two bi-amp wires bound together with PET to clean them up. It says the wire is 8mm which being an American sans metric system, is kind of meaningless to me.

I was going to try and order it all around the same time, but I may wait as recommended and measure once I get my speaker wire.

Appreciate the help guys.

Panasonic TC-P50G10 1080p Plasma | Onkyo 805 | PS3 Slim | Xbox360 | Wii | APC H10 | Harmony One
Def Tech BP6B Fronts | Def Tech CLR 2002 Center| Def Tech BP2X Surrounds | PA-120 Subwoofer
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2009, 10:24 PM   #16
DrinkMore DrinkMore is offline
Banned
 
DrinkMore's Avatar
 
Apr 2007
That's What She Said!
140
7
3
Default

I think your thread title is suppose to say DIY instead of DYI.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2009, 10:40 PM   #17
Johk Johk is offline
Blu-ray Guru
 
Johk's Avatar
 
Jul 2007
645
1
2
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by aramis109 View Post
I'll be using Monoprice's 12AWG speaker wire. It's shipping now. What I want to do with my fronts is to have the two bi-amp wires bound together with PET to clean them up. It says the wire is 8mm which being an American sans metric system, is kind of meaningless to me.

I was going to try and order it all around the same time, but I may wait as recommended and measure once I get my speaker wire.

Appreciate the help guys.
8 mm is 3/10 inch. Now you're gonna put two of those wire together so you can estimate the resulting diameter with the wire diameter.

Wire OD: 8 mm
Wire area: 50.3 mm2
Total wire area for biwire: 100.5 mm2
Techflex nominal diameter: 11.3 mm => 0.4454 inch

Now, I just doubled the area for the two wire together in fact it's gonna be a be a bit more than that. So in the end you're gonna need a bit more than than. By the way, you will probably want to twist the wires together at a constant interval to get a more consistent look.

Oh another thing, check out the Mogami 2921 Biwire Speaker Cables DIY and TFA SB Solid Core UPOCC Bi-wire Speaker Cables DIY from Take Five audio... Those are some sweet cables!

Last edited by Johk; 01-20-2009 at 10:45 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2009, 10:40 PM   #18
Johk Johk is offline
Blu-ray Guru
 
Johk's Avatar
 
Jul 2007
645
1
2
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrinkMore View Post
I think your thread title is suppose to say DIY instead of DYI.
Yeah I know... But unfortunately I can't edit titles...
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2009, 11:31 PM   #19
gearyt gearyt is offline
Moderator
 
gearyt's Avatar
 
Aug 2007
Henderson, NV
8
33
Default

I can... done!

Mitisubshi WS-73903 73" Projection - 1080i ( Family Room )
Panasonic DMP-BD10AK
Onyko TH-SR705 w/ XM, AirPort(TX-NR905 Soon)
M&K THX series (7.1) S-5000 Fronts, S-150 Center, SUR-55T tripoles, LCR-550 Rears, MX-350 Sub

Panasonic TH-42PX60U Plasma - 1080i ( Master Bedroom )
Panasonic DMP-BD30
Yamaha DSP-A1 Amplifier
Polk LCiC Center, AB Series Fronts, Rears, Surr's, M&K 70B Sub
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2009, 11:34 PM   #20
aramis109 aramis109 is offline
Blu-ray Ninja
 
aramis109's Avatar
 
Mar 2008
Milwaukee, WI
10
355
18
Default

Thanks for the links and the math, Johk. My math-fu is weak.

Panasonic TC-P50G10 1080p Plasma | Onkyo 805 | PS3 Slim | Xbox360 | Wii | APC H10 | Harmony One
Def Tech BP6B Fronts | Def Tech CLR 2002 Center| Def Tech BP2X Surrounds | PA-120 Subwoofer
  Reply With Quote
Reply
Go Back   Blu-ray Forum > Home Theater > Home Theater Construction

Similar Threads
thread Forum Thread Starter Replies Last Post
DIY Speaker Building, Repairing, & Upgrading Speakers Big Daddy 432 06-12-2014 03:41 AM
Which speaker cable should I ........ Speakers DangeRuss 68 06-09-2010 10:27 PM
Audioquest Speaker Cable - Which side of cable is "red" Audio Theory and Discussion whippersnapper 3 04-13-2009 01:44 AM
DIY speaker forum? Feedback Forum Driver_King 3 05-18-2008 02:24 AM
2 pairs of speaker cable to 1 speaker? Home Theater General Discussion Phane 1 01-20-2008 03:47 PM


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 02:23 PM.