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Thursday 19 March 2015

Terminating K400 (and K600) Speaker Cable

A few people have asked,  so here are some step by step instructions.  These assume the ability to solder and cut cables without hurting yourself...

  • First, cut to equal lengths (some think this is necessary, others don't but heck, make 'em equal then it doesn't matter if its necessary or not) using a hack saw
  • Then, you will notice there are dotted lines down the centre rib - these are the cut lines to use when separating the 2 pairs of cables at each end
  • Use a Stanley knife to cut approximately 120mm along these dotted lines at each end of your cable lengths. Make sure the knife goes through the rib at 90 degrees, otherwise its easy to damage the inner insulation.  Using a knife like this gives a smoothish finish on the cut edge but it is very tricky to control and keep moving in the direction you want.  An alternative is to put the cable vertical in a vice (line the vice with cloth to reduce damage to the cable sheath) and cut downwards with a very fine toothed hacksaw.  Not quite such a smooth finish, but much easier to control and make for a neat even width result.  You can add heatshrink later to tidy up completely if required.
  • Now you have, at both ends of the cables a pair of 120mm long individual cables pairs
  • For each one of these, you need to remove the thick black outer insulation - approximately 70 to 80mm long. This is the point at which it is easiest to damage the cables. at the 70-80mm point, use the Stanley knife to cut about 3/4 of the way through the thickest part of the black insulation (the bit that was once part of the central rib) and about 1/2 way through the rest of the black insulation. Then gently bend the cable through 90 deg in 4 different directions several times - this will eventually cause the black insulation to tear through, hence removing it without damaging the inner insulation.
  • Now strip about 8-10 mm from the end of each of the inner cables, and solder into z-plugs (like these). They work with BFA and standard 4mm sockets so are good with many different amp / speaker combinations
  • Use red and black shrink wrap about 25mm in length, half of which covers the inner cable and the rest covers the z-plug up to the speaker end of the bit that sticks out from the plug. Shrink wrap available on ebay.
  • Then use black shrink wrap to cover the joint between the outer sheath and the inner cables. This needs to be 4:1 shrink wrap which is a bit more expensive.
  • If you want to follow Linn guidance on direction, the triangle in the Linn logo should point towards the speakers.  Or you could experiment with both directions and see if you can hear a difference then choose.

  • Heat shrink around the z-plugs must cover the half of the plug that will remain projecting from the rear of the speaker or amp

    4:1 heatshrink is used for the outer sheath ends
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