Belden 8402 microphone cable interconnects a la Dominique

Following the buzz around the Belden 8402 microphone cable used as interconnect that swirled around Jeff’s place I decided to build one myself. I decided also not to follow the classical convention of connecting conductors and shielding to RCA plugs suggested by Mr. Shirokazu Yazaki nor the contemporary norm of connecting the shielding only on one end to the ground, but to follow the methodology suggested by the french forumer and Jeff’s frequent visitor Dominique.

What he did is actually to connect both conductors to the hot pin of the RCA plugs and the shield alone to the ground (plug housings) on both sides. You can learn more on that topic here.

The starting point: Belden 8402 microphone cable and Switchcraft SWC-3502AAU RCA plugs
I really like Switchcraft SWC-3502AAU RCA plugs
Moving away the braided tinned copper outer shield
Removing the inner cotton wrap shield
Conductors nicely peeled off
Preparing the conductors tor tinning
Conductors and shieldnig has been tinned and prepared for soldering
Pin and ground of the RCA plugs has been tinned too

The cable has been successfully soldered to the plug

Belden 8402 tinned copper microphone cable interconnects a la Dominique are ready

It took me just a few bars to realise that this cable is special. It is incredible interconnect that outperformed my Goldkabel Profi stereo cinch cable. The most striking thing is how persuasive and believable it portrays the acoustical events. This cable is a revelation and I can only recommend it to those that strive for realism in the audio reproduction.

Update December 2017

I decided to rewire the Belden 8402 interconnect cables in the standard way with shield grounding at one end, thus no more using the shield for transferring the signal. It turned out that this way of wiring yields better results, dead silent background and stress free reproduction.

 

20 thoughts on “Belden 8402 microphone cable interconnects a la Dominique”

  1. Hi Dimitar,

    I haven’t done all test but i think it can be better to keep one interconnect cable on the two channel, connected at both end.

    In fact this depend how electric earth and signal ground are connected inside your elements.
    The aim is to avoid “ring” of signal ground and ring of electrical earth.

    One element connected at electrical earth on the electrical distributor from the wall is sufficient, only if the ground signal is linked to the electrical earth in each of your hifi equipement and that at least on interconnect cable is connected at both end to allow balancing of the little leak of current.

    This is free tweak.

    Also try plug your element in electrical phase, in general it’s better because normaly the current leak is less (so less stress for you equipement) Sometime hifi element are not sensible at this, but often yes.

  2. Hi Guys,i have just bought 2m of this belden cable and after reading various articals i am a little confused on what configuration on how to wire these cables to the plugs,which is going to sound the best,can you please help.
    Kind regards
    Mark

    1. Hi Mark, I am glad to help you.

      I find the contemporary way of connecting the shield at one end to the ground the best. So you have to solder the black cable to the hot pin (the central one) of the RCA plugs and the white to their ground pins, or the other way around, it doesn’t matter. Then you have to solder the shield to the ground pin of one of the RCA plugs and mark this cable end with a sticker or something, the other end of the shield you don’t solder, simply cut it. The RCA plug to which the shield is soldered should be plugged into the line output of the preamplifier or whatever component precedes the amplifier (DAC, CD, etc.) That’s it pretty much.

      Regards,
      Dimitar

      1. Hi Dimitar,thank you so much for all that,i will make up the cables tomorrow,its much appreciated that you have taken the time out to make it clearer and help me in my quest for better sound
        kind regards
        and thank-you again
        Mark

  3. Hi Dimitar, Hi everybody! I am the Dominique you are talking about who promoted the special and weird way of connecting the Belden.
    On the French audio forum I participate in, following my suggestion, many people have tried the Belden connected in many different ways and in many different systems.
    Now, what are the results…?
    You guess! No unanimity at all! Nobody agrees on one way of connecting the cable being better.
    I would say that, as for everything in HIFI (from speakers to accessories), it’s system dependent and I would add, it mostly depends also on the listener’s tastes.
    On the forum, some said “Waouh!!”while others almost said: “it’s bullshit” and this, whatever the type of connection they used…
    So, my advice is the followings:
    Try all the possibilities hereunder (see the schematics) and leave time i.e. listen for days to each of them to really appreciate which one immerses you the more into the music. It’s really a question of days or more…
    First method: the classic one:
    https://img.lght.pics/2MVn.jpg
    Second method: The japanese one (promoted at Jeff’s place):
    https://img.lght.pics/2MVb.jpg
    Third method: The weird one (à la Dominique):
    https://img.lght.pics/2MV1.jpg

    Hope I helped. 🙂

    1. Very glad to see you here Dominique!

      Thanks for sharing the schematics and throwing some light on the cable configuration. I completely agree with you and consider the choice of interconnect cables dependent on the overall system voicing and user preferences.

      Kind regards,
      Dimitar

    2. Hi. I think the link is broken. I would like to see the Japanese schematics as I am trying to set up a long set of these interconnects ( 4M)

      1. Hi Andrew, if you mean the link to the schematic Dominique has posted in his comment, I can’t help. You don’t really need schematic here, it is pretty clear, the so called Japanese way consist in connecting the cable shielding to the ground pin at both ends. To my experience this is not the right way to wire an interconnect cable and sounds inferior. The thing is that the outer copper mesh is meant for screening only, not for carrying the signal. Thus the shielding should be connected to ground at one end only.

        Cheers,
        Dimitar

  4. I followed the called Japanese way; 1 core signal, 1 core ground and shield connected at both ends of the Switchcraft gold plated rca plug.
    The Belden 8402 is wonderful with my 6ca7 tube amp at depth of image, 3D soundstage and precise imaging. It makes a big step to get close to fidelity sound reproduction to what I describe as ‘emotional’. The bass is calm. The mid is rich like the 19364 power cord of the same brand. The high is smooth. This is the best cable I found after the great Klotz MC5000.

  5. Dimitar good evening, I purchased the belden 8402, and since I am curious to know how to solder the cable!
    where there is Dominique’s post unfortunately the Host Zupimage site does not work.
    does not open the photos, is it possible to have some images?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Mauro, sorry but I can’t help recovering images I didn’t even upload. Basically you can try all three ways of connecting the cable to the RCA plugs. Dominique’s way is to connect both white and black wires to the hot pin and shielding to the ground pin as seen in the images. The Japanese way is to connect white wire to the hot pin, black and shielding to the ground. The standard way is to connect white wire to the hot pin, black to the ground and shielding only at one end to the ground pin.

  6. hello Dimitar, thank you
    I will do the 3 tests.
    a somewhat particular question
    : ‘there is some difference if I use the black cable instead of the white one as the central pole (+)
    and the white one, as negative (-) ‘?
    thanks

    1. Hi Mauro, there should not be any difference, both cables are of the same type just the insulation color differs. Please keep us posted on the progress of your findings.

      Best Regards,
      Dimitar

    2. Hello,

      I purchased some 9497 and made up some sets of speaker cable for two different systems. I was amazed at the difference in my main system (SET into stacked Large Advents) so I am thinking I will buy some 8402 and make up some interconnects; I will test various ways of wiring the conductors and shield.

      I have seen Switchcraft connectors mentioned here – is there a model number? Are there are other RCA connectors that are also well regarded?

      Has anyone tried any of the Mogami microphone cable for interconnects and compared it to the Belden?

      Finally (sorry for more than one question!) what is the capacitance of the 8402? I ask because I would like to know if it is suitable for phono leads from turntable to phono preamp.

      1. Hi Earl,

        I am glad to hear you enjoy Belden 9497 in your system, this speaker cable is so good that I am afraid 8402 will not impress you as much. The model number of the recommended Switchcraft RCA plug is 3502AAU, here is a link to the exact item I used. You can try another connector if you like but for the given price Switchraft is among the best on the market.

        The data sheet says the nominal capacitance of Belden 8402 microphone cable is 30 pF/ft. I haven’t tried it in a phono section but I have to say this interconnect cable is not the last word in terms of clarity and silent backgrounds, it has certain appeal when implemented in vintage systems but that’s pretty much it.

        Hope this helps,
        Dimitar

        1. Hi
          The Belden 9497 is perhaps thee best performing speaker cable if price is taken into consideration.
          And even when not.
          As witnessed by Shindo lab choosing this Belden 9497 speaker cable for his speakers.
          Now, while we’re at different cable configurations:
          Try splitting/ separating the tightly wound 9497 conductors in two and have a listen!
          Don ‘t try to straighten out the two curly conductors. They’ll only look worse afterwards.
          Common “wisdom” normally dictates winding audio cables together for better sound – (or is that a neater visual presentation?)
          But to my mind – and countless others who’ve heard the difference – there is no more going back to the original twisted version of the Belden 9497.
          It’s cleaner sounding – with a (minor) tendency toward “glare” in the upper mids removed – by separating the Black and Orange conductors.
          Given the rather obvious sonic improvements garnered by this simple “trick”. I’m amazed you don’t see any mentioning of this on the internet.
          Perhaps “…old habits ….” and all that?
          Happy listening!
          Cheers
          Henrik

          1. Hi Henrik,

            Thanks for the interesting report. I have to confess that the idea to modify the Belden 9497 speaker cable has never entered my mind. I don’t doubt what you say, but just assume the improvement you hear might be system dependent for bringing apart the tightly twisted wires will inevitably shift the inductance/capacitance balance the cable presents to the rest of the system. Whether such a shift would affect the performance in a positive way, I guess depends on things like amplifier damping factor, speaker impedance curve and who knows what. Although I wouldn’t expect this tweak to bring consistent results across any system I do consider it as a tuning opportunity.

            Some time ago I made a mains cable out of Duelund silver foil wire and I can say that when braided this cable yields better performance. The braid is a bit loose though, but one can’t make tight braid with a flat wire like this.

            Cheers,
            Dimitar

  7. Dimitar thanks, rest assured , I will keep you updated.
    My question about color is due to the convenience of soldering, or crimping, on the RCA connector …
    which is easier to work seeing that the white cable is more centered than the sock and the black cable.
    Best Regards
    Mauro

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