47 Labs OTA Stratos Wires

Anyone here ever try these? Basically a single strand of solid copper wrapped in a dielectric with plastic, very minimal, connectors. The idea is really bare wire interconnects with only a rudimentary connector to hold the wires in place.
"Sometimes I do what I want to do. The rest of the time, I do what I have to." - Cicero, in Gladiator

Regarding collectibles: "It's not who gets it. It's who gets stuck with it." - Jimmy Fallon

Comments

  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 22,941
    edited May 5
    jdjohn wrote: »
    Anyone here ever try these? Basically a single strand of solid copper wrapped in a dielectric with plastic, very minimal, connectors. The idea is really bare wire interconnects with only a rudimentary connector to hold the wires in place.

    Two strands in toto, I presume? Can't see how you could make a cable with only one. :)

    So... no but I have no real doubt they'd be decent.

    47 Labs was (is?) one of those less is more, Zen kinda outfits -- and their stuff generally delivered (or, at least, it had its fans). Their Gaincard chip amp started a fad for such things, which were known, in certain circles at least, as Gainclones.

    Slightly closer to on-topic: Way back when, I used DIY wires "interconnects" made from enamel-insulated 30 gauge magnet wire twisted pairs. Pretty minimalist. B)

    I liked 'em. They were flimsy, though.

    34292489984_d93c1585ae_b.jpgDSC_8363 (3) by Mark Hardy, on Flickr

    34292490444_f6fceb235c_b.jpgDSC_8361 (2) by Mark Hardy, on Flickr


    I kept meaning to add some Teflon tubing as 'jackets' to make 'em a little easier to handle (Teflon having at least some audiophile cachet). I did make one pair with a MacGyvered :) jacket made of Tygon tubing, but I can't really say I am proud of that.

    EDIT: Just to be clear, I'd never bet against a 47Labs product. :)

  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 22,941
    Pierre Sprey ("Mapleshade") used to make some - unusual - interconnects called "Clearview Double Helix" that were (again, if I understood the description of the 47Labs cables in the OP) kind of conceptually similar.

    8qgkvja4v2t0.png

    Looks like now his/their cables use copper ribbon conductors.
    https://shop.mapleshadestore.com/Analog-Interconnects/products/87/
  • jdjohnjdjohn Posts: 939
    mhardy6647 wrote: »
    jdjohn wrote: »
    Anyone here ever try these? Basically a single strand of solid copper wrapped in a dielectric with plastic, very minimal, connectors. The idea is really bare wire interconnects with only a rudimentary connector to hold the wires in place.

    Two strands in toto, I presume? Can't see how you could make a cable with only one. :)

    EDIT: Just to be clear, I'd never bet against a 47Labs product. :)
    Haha...indeed Mark, two wires per I/C - preferably with a bit of a twist :) Of course their speaker wire only has one conductor per connector, and looks a little fragile. But if you can truly "set it and forget it", it might be a good choice. Even if the wire were to break, you can just snip a bit off the end, and re-do.

    Yes, Jeff Day really gushed over them on Stereophile.

    I can have RFI issues at my house with inadequately-shielded cables (or components e.g., Schiit Mani), so I have to be careful in choosing audio chain items. I'm guessing that line-level I/Cs would not be a good idea for me with the Stratos...but would/should that only be with a phono I/C? Would an unshielded I/C between line-level pre-amp and power amp be safe from RFI? How about a digital coax cable? I know that phono signals are delicate and very susceptible to RFI, but how about other interfaces?

    Thanks for any insights!
    "Sometimes I do what I want to do. The rest of the time, I do what I have to." - Cicero, in Gladiator

    Regarding collectibles: "It's not who gets it. It's who gets stuck with it." - Jimmy Fallon
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 22,941
    edited May 5
    I think of line-level analog signals as very robust and my experience is that twisted pairs make pretty decent line-level unbalanced interconnects. Nowadays, we have so much local RFI hash in our environments from computers (i.e., microprocessor-operatred gizmos, which are everywhere), switchmode power supplies, Class D amp modules, cell phones, WiFi transceivers, etc., etc., that the old rules may not hold no mo'. :(

    In all seriousness (since it could be done for a few dollars), make a pair of I/Cs like the ones I described, try 'em and see if they work in your application & environment. If so, the 47Labs' product is only likely to be better.

    I do have a pair here, still, I could mail 'em to you if you want to play with them
    (assuming you're in the US 'lower 48' someplace). I am assuming they'd survive a trip in the US Mail :#

  • VR3VR3 Posts: 23,422
    Off topic - you are running a Stratos now??
    - Not Tom

    Vr3Mods.com ///// Version3Audio.com

    "No, that's silly talk. Dude, you can't possibly be this audio dumb so quit the act." - Doro
  • jdjohnjdjohn Posts: 939
    @mhardy6647 Is it a "break it and you buy it" situation? :p Not sure I can afford your hourly labor price ;)
    "Sometimes I do what I want to do. The rest of the time, I do what I have to." - Cicero, in Gladiator

    Regarding collectibles: "It's not who gets it. It's who gets stuck with it." - Jimmy Fallon
  • jdjohnjdjohn Posts: 939
    VR3 wrote: »
    Off topic - you are running a Stratos now??
    Nooo...just ran across their product while doing some researching.
    "Sometimes I do what I want to do. The rest of the time, I do what I have to." - Cicero, in Gladiator

    Regarding collectibles: "It's not who gets it. It's who gets stuck with it." - Jimmy Fallon
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 22,941
    jdjohn wrote: »
    @mhardy6647 Is it a "break it and you buy it" situation? :p Not sure I can afford your hourly labor price ;)

    I work cheap because I am so slow... ask, e.g., @mrbiron :|
  • jdjohnjdjohn Posts: 939
    PM sent B)
    "Sometimes I do what I want to do. The rest of the time, I do what I have to." - Cicero, in Gladiator

    Regarding collectibles: "It's not who gets it. It's who gets stuck with it." - Jimmy Fallon
  • delkaldelkal Posts: 568
    edited May 6
    Looks like a similar idea to some DIY silver interconnects I made. Pure 999 silver wire placed in a teflon tube. Then solder on your RCA. I made a short unshielded pair and it was an immediate improvement to some mid level ($50-100) interconnects I had. These made the upper mids and up a little brighter and are very lively. You can tell you have that silver thing going........

    I also made an identical pair with using mil spec teflon jacketed silver plated hookup wire. These sounded about the same as the commercial interconnects (maybe a little better) but in my system the pure silver interconnects sounded better.

    dif7ty70tafu.jpg

    laventure.net/tourist/cables.htm
  • jdjohnjdjohn Posts: 939
    Cool, thanks for sharing.

    For reference, below is a pic of the 47 Labs I/C. You can see it is just bare wire that actually touches the RCA sockets, and the plastic connectors are only a vehicle to keep the wires in place.
    t38ns979qpa7.jpg
    "Sometimes I do what I want to do. The rest of the time, I do what I have to." - Cicero, in Gladiator

    Regarding collectibles: "It's not who gets it. It's who gets stuck with it." - Jimmy Fallon
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 22,941
    Needless to say, I am down with the minimalist philosophy, but...
    Of course, I still feel that the ultimate fi involves clip leads.

    B)

  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 14,294
    Had to find some way to use all those "roach" clips didn't ya Doc :D :D :D
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 22,941
    they're versatile!

    B)
  • delkaldelkal Posts: 568
    mhardy6647 wrote: »
    jdjohn wrote: »
    Anyone here ever try these? Basically a single strand of solid copper wrapped in a dielectric with plastic, very minimal, connectors. The idea is really bare wire interconnects with only a rudimentary connector to hold the wires in place.

    Two strands in toto, I presume? Can't see how you could make a cable with only one. :)

    So... no but I have no real doubt they'd be decent.

    47 Labs was (is?) one of those less is more, Zen kinda outfits -- and their stuff generally delivered (or, at least, it had its fans). Their Gaincard chip amp started a fad for such things, which were known, in certain circles at least, as Gainclones.

    Slightly closer to on-topic: Way back when, I used DIY wires "interconnects" made from enamel-insulated 30 gauge magnet wire twisted pairs. Pretty minimalist. B)

    I liked 'em. They were flimsy, though.

    34292489984_d93c1585ae_b.jpgDSC_8363 (3) by Mark Hardy, on Flickr

    34292490444_f6fceb235c_b.jpgDSC_8361 (2) by Mark Hardy, on Flickr


    I kept meaning to add some Teflon tubing as 'jackets' to make 'em a little easier to handle (Teflon having at least some audiophile cachet). I did make one pair with a MacGyvered :) jacket made of Tygon tubing, but I can't really say I am proud of that.

    EDIT: Just to be clear, I'd never bet against a 47Labs product. :)

    Nothing wrong with simple if it works. The 47 lab and your post has finally inspired me to make a pair of interconnects I have always thought about experimenting with. Keep it simple.......

    I will take the left over mil spec teflon coated wire I have and braid it like a PBJ interconnect. Then solder on some RCAs. The interconnect should have all of the buzz words. Teflon, braided, and silver.

    But first I will have to see how much wire I have left and what else is in my parts bin.
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 14,294
    Been there done that on the braiding and many others. It can get addicting. :p
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 22,941
    delkal wrote: »
    mhardy6647 wrote: »
    jdjohn wrote: »
    Anyone here ever try these? Basically a single strand of solid copper wrapped in a dielectric with plastic, very minimal, connectors. The idea is really bare wire interconnects with only a rudimentary connector to hold the wires in place.

    Two strands in toto, I presume? Can't see how you could make a cable with only one. :)

    So... no but I have no real doubt they'd be decent.

    47 Labs was (is?) one of those less is more, Zen kinda outfits -- and their stuff generally delivered (or, at least, it had its fans). Their Gaincard chip amp started a fad for such things, which were known, in certain circles at least, as Gainclones.

    Slightly closer to on-topic: Way back when, I used DIY wires "interconnects" made from enamel-insulated 30 gauge magnet wire twisted pairs. Pretty minimalist. B)

    I liked 'em. They were flimsy, though.

    34292489984_d93c1585ae_b.jpgDSC_8363 (3) by Mark Hardy, on Flickr

    34292490444_f6fceb235c_b.jpgDSC_8361 (2) by Mark Hardy, on Flickr


    I kept meaning to add some Teflon tubing as 'jackets' to make 'em a little easier to handle (Teflon having at least some audiophile cachet). I did make one pair with a MacGyvered :) jacket made of Tygon tubing, but I can't really say I am proud of that.

    EDIT: Just to be clear, I'd never bet against a 47Labs product. :)

    Nothing wrong with simple if it works. The 47 lab and your post has finally inspired me to make a pair of interconnects I have always thought about experimenting with. Keep it simple.......

    I will take the left over mil spec teflon coated wire I have and braid it like a PBJ interconnect. Then solder on some RCAs. The interconnect should have all of the buzz words. Teflon, braided, and silver.

    But first I will have to see how much wire I have left and what else is in my parts bin.

    Heh. buzz words. I see what you did there.

    B)
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 22,941
    beta test -- after all of these years :)
    Today's word, boys and girls, is minimalist. :)

    47746468312_36df9a431a_h.jpgDSC_4533 (3) by Mark Hardy, on Flickr

    Analog stereo output from a Rotel CD changer (via a completely generic pair of "Sony" branded I/Cs) into an extremely minimalist :p "passive preamplifier" (attenuator). The attenuator is then connected to a power amp (@ALL212's famous single-chassis morph of Nelson Pass' minimalist single-ended, Class A "Amp Camp Amp") via the aforementioned 30 ga magnet wire TP (twisted pair) minimalist I/Cs. B)

    Speakers are the ELAC Debut B6.2 whatever,whatever, whatever designed by Quincy Spike Mrs. Andrew Jones. Speaker wires are Canare cable, whupped up, come to think of it, by the aforementioned @ALL212. :)

    Listenin' to Van Morrison and he is soundin' mighty fine.

    One RCA plug on one of the magnet wire is wonky :( It's not my expert solder joint, either! It's the plug itself -- so it'll have to be replaced. It's fiddly right now. FWIW, the balky plug is the end plugged into the ACA.

    47746468002_46dfd29faf_h.jpgDSC_4534 (2) by Mark Hardy, on Flickr

    47746467802_6c7155371e_h.jpgDSC_4537 (3) by Mark Hardy, on Flickr
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 22,941
    I guess I could drag out an integrated amp and have nothing but the minimalist I/Cs in the signal chain 'twixt source and amp. :)

    Let me get back to y'all on that...

  • jdjohnjdjohn Posts: 939
    Thanks @mhardy6647 for sending me those DIY minimalist I/Cs. Tonight I first used one as a digital coax SPDIF, and then used the pair to connect my pre-amp and power amp. Results were mixed.

    As a digital coax, I found it serviceable, but fairly easily ousted. I used it to connect a Logitech Squeezebox Touch to my PS Audio Gain Cell Stellar Preamp/DAC. The minimalist cable surprised me with strong and accurate mids, even up into the lower register of the highs. Upper highs and the lower frequencies had a bit of roll-off in volume. It actually sounded okay for what it is. My "reference" digital coax cable is not really "reference" at all. I got it at an electronics surplus store, so nothing special. It's made by a company called Accell, and it's actually labeled as a digital video cable. I bought it when in a pinch a while ago, and have just never replaced it; it has good shielding and tight gold-plated connectors, so not bad for what I paid. Compared to the thin cable, the sound of the thicker one had more strength, air, extension, and separation in the highs, and the lows were more defined and discernible. There was more balance overall with the thicker cable, and a wider stage. But the thin DIY cable did play the meaty mids admirably. I experienced no RFI/EMI with either cable - both were quiet in that regard.

    Speaking of EMI, when I used the minimalist cables as I/Cs to connect my PSA Preamp/DAC to its S300 power amp sibling, there was definite noise. This may not be a surprise to anyone, but I did want to try. Perhaps some re-positioning of other cables, and components, may have reduced the noise a bit, but I didn't go there. I think those little wires just make too good of an antenna for noise to pass up. Even with the pre-amp turned OFF, the wires would pick up noise and send through the power amp. I did not hear RFI (e.g., the nearby FM transmitter), but just plain EMI. I was able to play music and cover the noise, but with no signal or volume, the noise could be heard within a couple of feet of the mid driver and tweeter. My reference I/C cables are the Bravo DIY kit from Doug - Furutech cables and DC locking connectors. These have the shunt configuration with the braided shielding. This experiment did reveal to me that even though my daily cables are quiet, they are not DEAD quiet.

    I'll probably move on with some phonostage experiments next. Any predictions there? :p

    Thanks again to Mark for letting me experiment!
    "Sometimes I do what I want to do. The rest of the time, I do what I have to." - Cicero, in Gladiator

    Regarding collectibles: "It's not who gets it. It's who gets stuck with it." - Jimmy Fallon
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 22,941
    I never tried them on a phono preamp output, that I can recall.

    Try turning off all of the digital [email protected] (as much of it as you can) when you try the phono preamp experiment. It might help (?).

    I never would've thought of trying them for a digital signal -- they're not 75 ohm, so I wouldn't expect 'em to be great in that application, FWIW.

    FWIW^2 I doubt that the high-zoot 47Labs' minimalist cables would be much (any?) better in terms of noise rejection -- i.e., I reckon the experiment is worthwhile ;)
  • jdjohnjdjohn Posts: 939
    I'll report back on the phono preamp connection results. Maybe even try tt-to-phono-pre...I have a couple of tt with RCA sockets on the back.

    Agreed, I wouldn't expect the teflon jacket on the 47Labs to provide adequate shielding, so this experiment has been helpful, and money-saving B)

    I guess using 47Labs as speaker cables will be the only unknown in the end, but I don't see myself paying the mucho dinero on the kit just to scratch that itch.
    "Sometimes I do what I want to do. The rest of the time, I do what I have to." - Cicero, in Gladiator

    Regarding collectibles: "It's not who gets it. It's who gets stuck with it." - Jimmy Fallon
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 22,941
    Oh, and it was my pleasure to send you something to try/play with @jdjohn! Forgot to mention that before :/
  • VR3VR3 Posts: 23,422
    Over The Air wire would make a good antenna right?? 😂
    - Not Tom

    Vr3Mods.com ///// Version3Audio.com

    "No, that's silly talk. Dude, you can't possibly be this audio dumb so quit the act." - Doro
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