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Alright guys maybe a Noob question, maybe a can of worms...

I'm kinda confused on the 12v car audio scene way I see mostly twisted pair rcas. When from what I'm seeing most of the typical amps we have don't use differential inputs. Which would be the ones to benefit from them. Some do like JL. But most don't even list the rca input type. And should be unbalanced or shielded rca. Not to mention the whole field of cables and snake oil and directional sheilded twisted pair messes I see.

So what gives? Does it matter? Is it all unicorn farts?

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The problem is if you use single-ended rcas on differential inputs (which a lot of amps have, you WILL get noise, but not vise versa)
I think you might have it mixed up. Most amps out there are single ended. You also wont always get noise.
 

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I think you might have it mixed up. Most amps out there are single ended. You also wont always get noise.
Thats what I have understood...somewhat. It just gets blurred with all the info out there. Cutting to my case fatory HU to audiocontrol dsp (high level) to 2 amps (currently soundstream pn4.520d and pn1.650d) left over from old build. What type of rca should I have? Sheilded? I was planning on making some custom length runs out of gepco wire and rean connectors

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Most quality amps will have differential inputs. It's head-units are that mostly single-ended.



The problem is if you use single-ended rcas on differential inputs (which a lot of amps have, you WILL get noise, but not vise versa)
That's not really true. A single ended source into a diff input will simply put a zero volt ref on one of the diff inputs and signal on the other. The diff input won't care.
Where you run into trouble is a diff source into a single ended input. You are grounding half the signal chain.

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I have done RCA cables and its a mega-bitch to build them. They look sweet, though. I used Gepco shielded twisted pair (was more after the shield which went well), Switchcraft short RCA ends, covered in color-coded techflex and shrink. After doing them, I'm not sure I'll do it again. Cheap, quality RCA cables are abundant and even Amazon FOSPOWER or other brands of RCA are just fine these days.



Its been a while but these are the ones I did.



Markertek is where I got all my goods at the time.



I found it far more enjoyable to make my own passive crossovers, and if a project called for that again, I'd be more likely to take that one vs. make my own RCA's, unless it just had to happen. One thing I'd like to see in our industry is a move to HDMI. Just a dream.
 

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I have done RCA cables and its a mega-bitch to build them. They look sweet, though. I used Gepco shielded twisted pair (was more after the shield which went well), Switchcraft short RCA ends, covered in color-coded techflex and shrink. After doing them, I'm not sure I'll do it again. Cheap, quality RCA cables are abundant and even Amazon FOSPOWER or other brands of RCA are just fine these days.



Its been a while but these are the ones I did.



Markertek is where I got all my goods at the time.



I found it far more enjoyable to make my own passive crossovers, and if a project called for that again, I'd be more likely to take that one vs. make my own RCA's, unless it just had to happen. One thing I'd like to see in our industry is a move to HDMI. Just a dream.
Was it really that hard to make the RCAs? All the videos I've seen made it look so easy! I wanted to build my own cables since I didn't like having only between 3 and 6 feet cable options with nothing in between.
 

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Was it really that hard to make the RCAs? All the videos I've seen made it look so easy! I wanted to build my own cables since I didn't like having only between 3 and 6 feet cable options with nothing in between.
If you have a good quality soldering iron it's not hard. Just time consuming.

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If you have a good quality soldering iron it's not hard. Just time consuming.

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Gotcha. How long did it take approx per cable? All the Youtube vids I saw were like under a few minutes for each cable, but I'm not sure if that's just because they're experienced. I've got a nice Hakko iron so no issues there.
 

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Gotcha. How long did it take approx per cable? All the Youtube vids I saw were like under a few minutes for each cable, but I'm not sure if that's just because they're experienced. I've got a nice Hakko iron so no issues there.
I did mine. Took maybe 15 minutes for a single cable (need 2 for stereo)

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Got my snap-on industrial iron. Hope I'm good lol.

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As long as you can adjust temp and its a pencil tip, yes

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I think the time consuming part is the sheathing, perfect tech flex and heat shrink, etc.



15 min+ per cable x how many cables, though? In my most recent build there was like 18 cables, some were Y-splitters for bridged amp channels, some were Y-splitters for split signal from the processor to other amp channels for additional separation (for the D-pillars vs rear speakers.) Y-split cables take longer for sure.
 

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Gotcha. Yea shielding seems to be the most time consuming to tear apart. Soldering is otherwise simple. I only need to do 8 cables from my DSP to the amp so not too terrible. I am hoping that the cables I design will be able to support a change to a new 6 channel amp in the future though.
 

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I think the time consuming part is the sheathing, perfect tech flex and heat shrink, etc.



15 min+ per cable x how many cables, though? In my most recent build there was like 18 cables, some were Y-splitters for bridged amp channels, some were Y-splitters for split signal from the processor to other amp channels for additional separation (for the D-pillars vs rear speakers.) Y-split cables take longer for sure.
Ihad 5 sets (10 wires) i just did them while watching tv

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Ihad 5 sets (10 wires) i just did them while watching tv

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That's a great point. Sometimes doing work like that inside and relaxed beats spending 4+ hours out in a hot sweaty garage grinding cables.


I guess we could say that set and setting are important factors!
 

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I'm "in process" of building all of the cables needed to re-wire my current install. Many are already done and in place, but I have a few left to go. It is time consuming. And the more OCD coupled with the level of finish you are shooting for can greatly increase the amount of time it takes to build a set of cables. And if you aren't in the practice of doing it all the time, expect it to take WAY longer than you initially planned.

When I complete my RCAs for this car, I doubt I will ever build my own again. I'll either buy off the shelf, or if I need something special/custom I'll order from another DIYer who builds custom cables.

For reference, the cables I am making use Gepco 61801EZ cable, Rean ends, techflex sheathing, Parts Express Cable pants, heat shrinking and colored grommets for L/R identification.
 

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I'm "in process" of building all of the cables needed to re-wire my current install. Many are already done and in place, but I have a few left to go. It is time consuming. And the more OCD coupled with the level of finish you are shooting for can greatly increase the amount of time it takes to build a set of cables. And if you aren't in the practice of doing it all the time, expect it to take WAY longer than you initially planned.



When I complete my RCAs for this car, I doubt I will ever build my own again. I'll either buy off the shelf, or if I need something special/custom I'll order from another DIYer who builds custom cables.



For reference, the cables I am making use Gepco 61801EZ cable, Rean ends, techflex sheathing, Parts Express Cable pants, heat shrinking and colored grommets for L/R identification.
Pretty much my plan for components.

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