FFRC Cable Speaker Cables

Cable

DIY speaker cables

User Reviews (7)

Showing 1-7 of 7  
Ian Callier   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 15, 2008]
Strength:

Transparency, accuracy, immense and holographic soundstage, eliminates bass boom and brightens a dull and lifeless system . Wonderful.

Weakness:

Absolutely none, but not for those with already bright sounding systems and probably not for those with metal tweeters.

I felt that my hi-fi equipment, although modest by today's standards, had more to give in terms of transparency and depth of soundstage. I could hear it's potential, it was there but it was locked away. I needed a key. I needed better speaker cables!
My music seemed veiled and because of the warmness of the main components, (Pioneer A400 GTE amp, almost analogue sounding Meridian 203 DAC with Meridian 200 transport and very warm Wharfedale Diamond 8.4 floorstanders with fabric dome tweeters) it all sounded, well......as though the music was being sat on. In a word - dull!
I was also suffering from bass-boom deafness because I couldn't get far enough away from those mighty Wharfedales in my relatively small listening space and I couldn't get THEM far enough from the back wall which compounded the problem, they need lots of space around them. So in my search for second-hand, (I'm poor) higher-end cables to replace my QED Mk.2 original bi-wires, I came across the FFRCs and some rave reviews on the net. So I thought for the sake of £30 and 3 hours labour I'd give them a go. Mine are a 4 meter pair in a very fetching and cool-looking pinkish-orange.
The effect was immediate. They were initially very bright in comparison to all previous cables but not harsh and the boominess had completely disappeared. The veil had been lifted, giving astonishing clarity, greatly improved depth, width and even height of soundstage. Now there's loads of space around all the instruments and vocalists and they appear in a holographic soundstage as though I'm witnessing the event as it happened. The bass is more tuneful, even faster than before and very tight. The highs are much higher and cymbals shimmer like never before.
They took what seemed to be 20 to 30 hours to burn in, improving all the time and now I'm in Hi-Fi heaven, sitting in the sweet-spot with a great big smile on my face.
I listen to mostly 60's and 70's music, from Steely Dan to Beefheart, from Donovan to Rory Gallagher and even on the early, more primitive recordings, there's only the slightest hint of harshness. A very small price to pay for the advantages of this fantastic cable!
Even my dated and lowly Technics FM Radio sounds amazing.
I think that anyone who remarks that the bass in their system has diminished when switching to this cable, must previously have been using cable which highlighted the bass frequencies. This cable offers a flat response, more or less from top to bottom and so does not emphasise any particular part of the sound spectrum.
My advice is, save yourself a fortune and GET SOME!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
alnug   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 29, 2004]
Strength:

cheap! very clear and transparent, good separation beat all other cables below the £10/m mark and maybe some more expensive ones...buti've not actually spent money on such so can't compare

Weakness:

braiding....but you get better ;-) nothing else

I’d like to give my opinion of the FFRC (solid core and stranded core) and do a comparison of this with the Cable Talk 3.1 and QED mk2. My system is a Denon UD-m31 and Quad 11L speakers. Ok so my system may not be top end but even with a modest system such as this the FFRC made a huge difference. Having hooked up the system with Cable talk 3.1, I immediately knew something was amiss…u know the felling where you know that the system just does not sound right! The vocals were recessed and lacking in depth, bass was murky and it seemed as if everything was swished around. I was quite disappointed as I bought the Quads because they were a VERY nice and natural sounding speaker. Here began my quest to find speaker cable! I decided to go out and buy some QED original mk2 about 2m just to see if I could hear any difference and sure enough there was….although not much. The bass was now not as boomy and vocals were slightly more pronounced and generally there was not as much ‘murkyness’. Looking at the 2 cables although both stranded core with a similar cross sectional area, I noticed that the individual stranded of the QED used smaller and more individual stranded and maybe this was why they differ. This led me to look for a radically different design as I knew that the cable was altering my sound! Searching the NET I found reference to the FFRC. Big things were said of the FFRC about clarity, transparency, separation etc…….I just HAD to have a go. Knocking up some FFRC with standard patch LAN cable, the difference gave me a right shock! Vocals now seems to come out of the speakers now and gave the feeling of being there, all the murkyness cleared up and you get a nice clarity to the sound…..you can tell this immediately with piano solos, the notes now can be heard as individual as opposed to being intermixed with the next note. The difference was amazing but all was not excellent. I noticed that the highs were very high and I guess would cause some people fatigue and bass was very reduced. This I guess was down to the strands of copper being very small…..incidentally stranded patch cable is a big NO NO for FFRC in some American forums. I then made up the FFRC with the Belden 1583Enh with LSZH jacket which had a solid core. The highs were now tamed and bass returned but not to the levels of the QED or cable talk, the transparency, clarity and separation was still there and the sound seemed a lot wider? (dunno if that’s how it’s expressed!! Lol). My explanation for this clarity and separation is down to the insulated strands of copper used in LAN cable, maybe this causes less mixing of the signal…I don’t know…and maybe the thickness of the individual strands affect bass performace. Certainly this is exactly the same as what Kimber use for their cables i.e individually insulated strands and some of their cables even have variable individual strand size, which they say is to extend bass response……so I guess I’m not far off with the explanation. The Kimbers are highly regarded and have won many awards, so you could either spend megabuck on Kimber or try the FFRC which costs fractions less! All I know is that I can now enjoy my music, which in the end is all that matters, I’ve been told that this cable rivals the likes of more expensive cable in the £10-20 range..and I can’t disagree to that, it really does bring out the response in your system. If you like your music to be clear with a fast edge and generally involving you should try the FFRC…if you’re a bass junky then I guess the cable is not for you…but then again if you’re a bass junky there’s no need for special cable anyway lol. Hope this has been helpful, I know I won’t be buying anymore cable as this is the sound I want, maybe you should try it! Incidently I have more of the Belden cable and I can sell you some for a cheap price or I can even make up some of the cable for you, if you can’t be bothered lol I am in the UK, message me or post back on the forum and I will respond. Thanks…….maybe someone else can finally be satisfied!

Similar Products Used: cable Talk 3.1, QED mk2
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
DrDan Ducellier   AudioPhile [Feb 22, 2002]
Strength:

Cheap, sexy, great sounding

Weakness:

Can be tricky to braid.

This cable is probably representative of the most bang for you buck you will ever encounter if hifi land. Strongly recommended. Ah, and my wife, an audio luddite who just happens to spend all her time in the kitchen, occasionaly calling through random comments and four word sentences with no adjectives in them, blurted out ''great imagery and focus, real depth of timbre !'' What further proof do you need, go out and make yourself a set ? Best terminated with banana plugs as well. Remember to ask an adult before using wire cutters if under 16. DDD

Similar Products Used: Other mediums for carrying signals to and from speakers.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
cjross   AudioPhile [Feb 11, 2002]
Strength:

Cost £15 for a 5m biwire pair

Weakness:

Plugs cost more than the cable did : Ixos 204 banana plugs : £20

Cant add much more than the guys above have said, it is really one of the hidden gems in hifi this cable a ‘must do’ if you want to upgrade your cabling for a very small amount of cash and were talking here of upgrading current cabling price by 10X to achieve the same level of performance IMHO. It has it all : effortless mid-range performance very good bass performance, delivery and power capabilities are phenominal. It’s performance I find to be in perfect synergy with DIY pure silver IC’s IMHO. Needs 100+ hours minimum for running in. I’ve upgraded my system 3 or 4 times with new kit and the FFRC has never been found wanting – which makes me wonder what it can really do. As my system does’nt do it justice I reckon. !! System Pioneer DV-717 DVD Player Transport (24/96 PCM) Musical Fidelity X-24K DAC Linn Sondek LP12, Valhalla, Akito, K9. Sony TAF-3000-ES Amplifier Sony MDJ-510 Minidisc Ash Design - Cosmic Classic 4 Hi-Fi Rack Castle Richmond Speakers - Partington A4 Stands Cabling : DIY "Great White" Shark Silver IC (Insert Audio Phono Plugs) - DAC to Amp Van Den Hul - The Source Hybrid Coaxial Cable - DVD Transport to DAC Ixos 106 Optical Cable - MD to DAC (Playback) QED Digital Cable - DAC to MD (Coax recording) Russ Andrews Yello 4-way Power Extension fitted with SuperClamp. DIY TNT - FFRC (3 x CAT5) speaker cable (Ixos 204 Banana plugs) http://www.tnt-audio.com/clinica/ffrc_e.html Here are some cool DIY link for pictures of the FFRC – courtesy of EvilD’s DIY HIFI homepage. http://www.ifrance.com/evildonut/hifi/ - now if these pic’s don’t convince you to make this stuff I don’t lnow what will. Good luck dudes. CJ

Similar Products Used: N-A performs with cables in the £20/m territory IMHO.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Jon Jin   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 02, 2002]
Strength:

Excellent soundstaging with air around instruments and extra extra detail. Ridiculously cheap for what it''s worth as well.

Weakness:

Sound might not be suitable for everyone

I was definitely very sceptical about DIY cables and how they could be so much better than commercial cables at a fraction of the cost. But having had the satisfaction of handmaking my very own cables and burning them in for about 200 hours, I must say it is very rewarding. The cables were made with plenum wires shipped from the states but the LSZH ones you can get from Maplins in UK is very recommended as well. The design of course is FFRC on the tnt-audio site but there are other reviews on this site which uses other formats. The link is LAN Network Cables (IIRC). The first thing I noticed when I changed my cables from the QED Mk IIs was an increase in detail and soundstaging. The frequencies were more extended as well. Suddenly, the musicians popped into my room and everything had a better definition detail wise but also definition in the way of space around the instruments. String instruments in an orchestra sounded more individual like rather than a mass of musicians and the bowing motion became clearer. I began to hear more subtle sounds from CDs as well. But having said all that, I don''t think this cable is for everyone. There has been some issues about siblance on the top end as things can sound a little too shrill. I must admit, these cables are abit biased to the midrange and treble. It will project the midrange really well, but maybe too direct for some tastes or for people who would like their music more warm and are utterly prone to listening fatigue. The lower frequencies went a bit deeper like I said previously, but somehow there seems to be some loss in the upper bass frequencies. Go figure. You can''t have everything I suppose. The bottom line is, these are very good speaker cables that will bring out the detail from your CDs and improve the soundstage but in the end it''s the system synergy that counts. But for a fun day doing your own DIY project, the end results were very good, satisfying and these cables are staying on my system!

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Jamie Mckie   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 09, 2000]
Strength:

Clear and solid. Instruments sound better separated.

Weakness:

Zero for the price

When I discovered the web page that describes how to make this cable (tnt-audio.com) I had to give it a try as I work with computer networks and I had access to stacks of "free" CAT 5 cable that is used in the construction of it. As it is the materials for it would only have cost me about £15 (3m pair) and I would happily pay 5 times for the improvement it made. Everything sounded so much clearer and tighter than the 2 other cables I have used. I instantly noticed a big difference with the cables improving considerably with use. Instruments were better separated, treble was less sibilant than the IXOS and more pronounced than the QED and the bass was tight, full and defined.

It is an absolute sinch to make so if you aren't DIY minded don't worry. The instructions actually complicate things slightly and can be modified to suit your specific needs so just use some common sense. By what I have read from users of the FFRC cable the make of CAT 5 cable can make a difference but make sure it is solid core and is CAT 5 which has a far higher data capacity than say CAT 3 which looks similar.

Considering the price and how much better it was than what I had used previously (both of which are regarded as the best at their price of £5/m) you would have to spend considerably more to get any better. You can also pick up a 100m roll of the stuff for about £50 if you require very long lengths.

Excellent stuff!!!

Similar Products Used: QED Qudos Silver, IXOS Gamma 6006
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Phil Bowery   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 09, 2001]
Strength:

Stunning Clarity and Seperation, Treble Quality, Price, Terrific Punch, Astounding Bargain

Weakness:

Sligntly Lacking in Bass Depth (If you follow the Instructions Exactly)

One Day I decided to find out what the Cheapest Speaker Cable was that had a review on Audioreview.com. This is it. I read the review and decided to venture into the world of http://www.tnt-audio.com and find out how to make this cable.
First of all, I bought enough CAT5 UTP cable to make the recommended configuration. Instad of using heat-shrink or a cloth braid to cover the three runs between Amp and speaker, I decided to Plait them instead...
5 hours later I'd plaited and terminated one (1) 3m length. I probably shouldn't have watched the TV at the same time, but Hey.
4 Hours later I'd finished the two 3m lengths needed to connect my amp to my speakers...
I plugged the banana plugs into my amp, then into my speakers and sat down to listen some CDs.
I was instantly blown away... Not only had This cable cost less than The Gale, It was more rhythmic, it had more punch and I had gained a Sound-Stage! I was amazed...
Also, the Cable is Purple, Hoe cool is it to have a purple Speaker cable that looks like it's cost me about £200 for the two lengths? Very cool... People listening to my hifi Remarked on three things; The Silky smooth Treble, the palpable sound stage & the purple cables.

After awhile, I started noticing that my system had a little less bass extension that I had wanted... So i bought a Quad 405 II power amp from E-Bay for £200 and suddenly realised, I'd need to get more speaker cable to connect it up... Friends recommended I look at Van Den Hul or QED or Nordost or whatever else they were using at that moment in time...
I auditioned cables recommended to me and wasn't very impressed...
Suddenly while lying in bed, waiting to drift off to sleep, It hit me. I could make some more FFRC for the woofers, But the bass extension wasn't superb. I know, I thought, I'll plait it with 4 runs of CAT5 instead of 3 and use the previously made lengths to power the tweeters.

If anyone has ever seen an old telephone (Before the Coiled wire was invented) and noticed the rather odd looking braid goin to the earpiece, That's what my new improved FFRC looks like.
The trick is to plait the 4 lengths of CAT5 so the end result is not flat, But round. Tricky it was, Took more time than previously it did.
I ran the lengths to my speakers and from my newly acquired (And modified [I'm an Electronics Engineer]) Quad and sat down.
Whilst trying to think hat CD to listen to first, I decided that (Since i was on holiday) i'd listen to everything i own. Drastic it may have been. But terrific fun... Ranging from Purcells 'Dido and AEneas' to Roni Size, Everything sounded more realistic and timing was more propulsive than I'd ever heard... Not only tighter, but deeper bass than previously. Again, it blew away ALL speaker cablse I'd auditioned.
The only problem is that the new terminated lengths I've made are Grey, Not purple. Ahh well, It sounds Sooo goood.

I'd recommend this cable to anyone with a little time on their hands, an afternoon should suffice. Also to anyone on a budget. This is the cheapest Speaker cable that won't strangle your system. I'd also recommend this cable to anyone who wants to get new speaker cable. Even people who spend silly money on equipment. The way I see it, If you can afford a hifi worth more than a house, you can afford £50 to try some cable. If you don't like them, it doesn't matter: YOUR STUPIDLY RICH! if you do like them, Pass them off as some obscure make that nobody will have heard of. If your friends want some, tell them to give you the money and you will get it for them. Make up some and sell at a profit.

This cable is the Business. I love it, Anyone who asked me what cable to buy, I've pointed them at http://www.tnt-audio.com and told them to look for the FFRC.

It is amazing...

I have;
Marantz CD50se
Musical Fidelity X-DAC
Cambridge Audio C500 Pre
QUAD 405 II Power (Woofers)
Cambridge Audio P500 Power (Tweeters)
Ariston Pro 1500 TT with ortofon Concorde Pro S Cart.
Pro-Ject Phono Box
Cambridge Audio Studio Reference Interconnects

And I love it.

Similar Products Used: Gale XL 315-2
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-7 of 7  

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