Excellent value mains cable for audio use.
This high temperature rated mains cable (3 x 1.5mm sq.) is both insulated and sleeved with silicone rubber, which we have found to make a real difference to the sound quality of mains cable v. the normal PVC insulation used on most cables, even some ‘audiophile’ types.
Whilst far more expensive mains cables made specifically for audio use may use super pure copper, this silicon rubber insulated cable is manufactured from a high quality commercial grade copper and ‘works’ as well as some ‘specialist audio’ cable costing much more. We put that down to the silicon rubber compound insulation; it is known that the dielectric properties of silicon approach that of quartz, which is excellent (ref: http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/656331.pdf) and the less impact the insulating sleeve has on the conductor the better for audio use.
This cable is priced per meter length (cut length), up to 25m long.
About the cable:
This silicone rubber compound insulated cable is used commercially where resistance to high temperature is required e.g. in steel and casting works, ships and aircraft; and large electric motors; where a mains voltage cable is required to withstand up to 180°C and silicon rubber insulation can withstand these difficult conditions. The cable is rated at 11.5 amps x 450VAC and is constructed with 3 x 1.5mm sq. stranded copper cores, colour coded. It is a nice flexible cable to work with and comes with black colour outer insulation sheath.
The 9.2mm outer diameter means its a just fits into a ‘standard’ UK mains 13amp plug (see our mains plugs in DIY). We do however recommend the use of a higher quality mains plug designed for larger diameter cables and audio use, they do impart their own increased quality to the proceedings.
Where and how to use?
This cable can be used to replace all ‘standard’ cables supplied with audio equipment, that are usually made from PVC insulated 0.5mm or 0.75mm sq. copper cores. You will need to fit a UK mains plug and an IEC plug for the other end (check your equipment socket to confirm this). You may be tempted to buy ready made audio quality mains cables, but find them too expensive. We can highly recommend this low cost cable over many other cables, simply on cost v. ‘sound quality’. If you know how to wire a 3 pin 13amp UK plug, you can save yourself a packet!
As with all DIY projects, you MUST know what you are doing, be able to wire a mains plug correctly (plenty of advice on the internet) and we cannot be held responsible for your poor or faulty workmanship, or consequential loss, damage or death! If you are unsure, ask a qualified electrician to wire your cables for you. Remember – mains can kill.
We have found that the treating of mains cables and plugs cryogenically is beneficial in higher quality audio systems. It is not as clear cut audibly as treating audio signal cables cryogenically, but there is some improvement in dynamics and ‘speed’ and it seems to impart a lower noise floor to the proceedings; but this is subjective and system dependant. Ask us if you wish to have your cables and plugs cryogenically treated, it takes 2-3 weeks and we will quote on your project by email.
Remember, this cable is priced per 1m unit (cut length), the maximum uncut length is 25m.
- Cable Shape – Round section
- Conductor Material – Copper
- Conductor Resistance – 13.7 Ω/km
- Conductor Strand Type – Stranded
- Core Strands – 30/0.25 mm
- Cross Sectional Area – 1.5 mm
- Current Rating – 11.5 A
- Insulation Material – Silicone Rubber
- Maximum Operating Temperature – +180°C
- Minimum Operating Temperature – -40°C
- Number of Cores – 3
- Number of Strands – 30
- Outer Diameter – 9.2 mm
- Sheath Colour – Black
- Sheath Material – Silicone Rubber
- Size of Strands – 0.25 mm
- Voltage Rating – 450 V
Sound Fidelity say:
“Have been using this cable for some time, to replace standard cables supplied with my home audio gear. I was recommended this cable by an ‘industry insider’ who let me into the secret! We like it so much, we decided it was something we had to offer to our customers, as it represents something of a bargain frankly; and you will have to spend a great deal more to appreciate any further improvements in our opinion.
Tinned copper seems not to ‘sound’ a lot different from untinned. As to whether your mains cables ought to be shielded, the jury is out on this point frankly – some audiophiles say yes, others no. Our take on this is that unshielded mains cables are fine to use, unless you have really bad interference issues (your home is underneath an electricity pylon or mobile phone mast!).”