Have you ever thought about trying a DIY audio project but shied away from it because of its level of difficultly? Well, here’s a power cable DIY project that just about anyone should be able to complete, even those that aren’t too handy. What’s the appeal of a DIY project you ask? You get to choose exactly the parts that you’d like to use and you can build a component that offers the same level of performance as a much higher priced ready-built product. But perhaps the biggest reason for building a DIY project is the self satisfaction that it will bring you.
Building a power cable is a perfect DIY starter because it can be done on a reasonable budget and requires only a few tools. I chose the following Furutech parts for this DIY power cable: one FI-28M(R) power connector ($132.30), one FI-28(R) IEC connector ($132.30) and 1.8 meters of the FP-Alpha3 bulk power cable ($162 per meter). The total cost of the project amounted to just over $550. Furutech offers many other connectors and cables in different price ranges but I decided to select Furutech’s newest AC plugs and their best available bulk Power cable. The tools required to build this cable included a Philips screwdriver, a utility knife and wire strippers.
Why Furutech? I chose all Furutech parts for this project simply because they are among the finest-quality audio parts out there. The fit and finish of these parts is second to none. Both the FI-28M(R) power connector and the FI-28(R) IEC connector have conductors that are made of pure copper. During the manufacturing process these conductors are directly plated with a thick layer of Rhodium. All the connectors’ metallic parts, including the screws, are treated using Furutech’s 2-stage Alpha Process. In the first part of the process all metal parts undergo a deep, conditioning cryogenic freeze. This bonds the molecules more tightly, making the structure more stable, and results in improved electrical conductivity. During the second stage, the same parts are exposed to the patented Ring Demagnetization treatment. The process completely eliminates magnetization and further enhances the conductivity of the materials. To round things out, both connectors use Furutech’s Floating Field Damper System which completely eliminates the floating magnetic fields created by current flow through the connector. The housing of each connector is made from nylon and fiberglass and incorporates carbon particles that absorb vibration and resonance. Both connectors are rated up to 15 amps and designed to fit a power cable with a diameter of 6 mm to 17.5 mm.
The FP-Alpha3 is a 12 AWG power cable with three ultra pure alpha-OCC copper conductors that are treated by the same Alpha Process as the metallic parts of the connectors. Each of the three conductors has an irradiated polyethylene insulation. The three conductors are then twisted together inside a flexible PVC sheath.
Ready for the DIY part?
Both Furutech connectors came with clear step by step illustrated instructions that show exactly how to install them. I began by cutting off a few centimeters of the external PVC sheath from both sides of the cable. Then I stripped the insulation from each of the cores to the length specified in the connector instructions.
After disassembling the power and the IEC connectors, I slipped their outer shells on to each side of the cable. Using the screwdriver, I secured the three conductors to the main body of each connector. Finally, I snapped together the two pieces of each connector and screwed them together.
The whole assembly process took only about half an hour – although I must admit that I probably spent half this time admiring the quality of the parts.
I built this power cable with the intent of using it to upgrade the stock cable that came with my Arcam A65 integrated amplifier. The newly built Furutech cable fit tightly into the power inlet on the back of the amplifier and unlike some other high end power cables that I’ve used in the past, this cable did not sag at all but sat firmly in place. While listening to “Apache” from the Drive to Survive album by Jimmy Thackery & the Drivers, I immediately noticed an improvement in two key areas – the background was much quieter and the bass notes sounded more tuneful. I listened to many various recordings during the next few weeks as the cable was burning in. Once the cable was burnt in, the improvements were even more evident. I later used the Furutech power cable with my Classé Audio CA-2100 amplifier and found that the improvements in the noise level and low frequencies were almost identical, if not more noticeable with this higher-end amplifier. As with any audio upgrade, your experience will be influenced by the audio components that are in your particular music system.
Building this Furutech cable was a simple yet enjoyable project. If you’ve been thinking about delving into the world of DIY audio, a power cable may be the perfect place to start.
For complete details about Furutech products, please visit www.furutech.com. DIY Furutech products are distributed in Canada by Audiyo Inc. For a complete list of authorized dealers that carry these products, please visit www.audiyo.com/dealers.php. A professional cable assembly service is available from some of the dealers.
Distributed in Canada by Audiyo Inc. (647) 448-2267 www.audiyo.com
Furutech DIY Power Cable Part List
• FI-28M(R) power connector x 1 ($132.30)
• FI-28(R) IEC connector x 1 ($132.30)
• 1.8 meters of the FP-Alpha3 bulk power cable ($162 per meter)
Project Price: $556.20 CDN