DIY Interconnect Cooker

I have been experimenting with making DIY interconnects with different types of wires and plugs. One potential problem is that most people say you should burn in new interconnects "about 200 hours" before they sound best. Having made 3 new interconnects in the last few weeks I didn't want to wait 600+ hours before I could even start to compare them. And to make matters worse I have an interconnect that needed 500 hours to burn in and it is probably still not done after a year!!

That got me thinking about cable cookers. At least till I saw the price! They are handy but I am not paying $1000. Reading there FAQ they started saying how even line lever output only puts out 2V at 200 microamps. Their cookers put 600x the current thru and you can hear results in a day.

So that got me thinking about how to put a more powerful audio signal into the cable to shorten burn in times. I decided to use the amp speaker output (same audio signals, just amplified). I looked in my scrap parts bin (I strip components before tossing anything in the trash) and found some old RCA input jacks and speaker outputs for bananas. Then it was just a matter of wiring the output from your amp to one set of RCA jacks and the connections to your speakers to the other RCA jacks. By plugging in the RCA cable in between it completes the circuit. Then when you play your stereo the current goes thru the interconnect as well as your speaker cables. I plugged everything in, turned on my stereo and left the radio on for a couple days, it should be done. You don't need to play it loud to get 100x-1000x more power than you can get from a line level CD player output. I played it VERY low (so you can just hear it in the room) for 48 hours. By my calculations that should be equivalent to 500+ hours (maybe 5000 if you believe The Cable Cookers link)

Here are some pics (notice the expert craftsmanship)



Now for a BIG word of caution! Interconnects can use very small gauge wire (22-26AWG). If you turn up your stereo these small gauge wires will no longer be acting like a speaker cable. They will act like a FUSE!

ONLY play at low volume and make sure everyone knows not to turn it up and jam. Even at the lowest level you will still be delivering more power to your interconnects than you could get from a component.


  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 17,091
  • DaveHoDaveHo Posts: 2,779
    I wonder how most amps will respond to the added capacitance?
  • delkaldelkal Posts: 704
    pitdogg2 wrote: »
    I smell smoke

    I am being very conservative with my warning but I don't want anyone cranking up their stereo, blowing something, and blaming me. They do sell 24 gauge speaker wire and AFAIK it doesn't catch fire. The smallest gauge interconnect wire I have heard of is 22-30 AWG and I have been using 22-26 ga solid core wires (FYI, they use smaller gauges in the speakers coil)

    The point is you don't have to turn it up. You can cook your interconnects just fine giving it 0.001 watt and it will still put out many times what your source can.
    DaveHo wrote: »
    I wonder how most amps will respond to the added capacitance?

    An interconnect shouldn't add any more capacitance or inductance than a similarly constructed speaker cable. Where amps get in trouble is when the inductance drops low. This is determined by your speaker, adding another cable (or using a long speaker cable) can only increase inductance.

  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 17,091
    I'm just yanking your chain lol .. My father's stereo speaker cables (1970) were tiny like 20-22ga and were RCA on the end. I remember he went out and bought extensions to take the speakers out to the garage some 100' away. I can't fathom what the resistance was at the end of that cable.
  • delkaldelkal Posts: 704
    edited July 2019
    Well I cooked all the interconnects I had for a few days so they should be done. Now it is time to compare the various types of wires and see which ones I like. I got tired of hooking the interconnects up one at a time so I bought some cheap male to male RCA adapters, hooked all of my interconnects together, and let them play. Here is a pic of burning in 6 cables at a time.

    I started out being very conservative with the volume. Even though this setup was still sending 10-100x the power of a CD player on occasion i would turn it up (to ~60 dbs) and listen. No Smoke and everything was fine. One thing i did notice was even with 5 small gauge interconnects and 25 cent Chinese adapters it sounded surprisingly good. I didn't play it to my usual listening level for some critical listening but I didn't hear anything obviously "off" about using 10-15 feet of small ga wire inline (but I am sure if I turned it up and gave it a closer listen i would have).

    Now to see what I can hear comparing the different designs.


  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 26,112
    edited July 2019
Sign In or Register to comment.

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!