Duelund Coherent Audio: DCA 16GA Wire
When I’d finished the Clarity Cap upgrade at end of last year, I made a note that replacing the internal speaker wiring should be next. The cap upgrade confirmed it was a bottleneck of sorts, and perhaps the weakest link in my humble system. The speakers were, after all, the only components that hadn’t gone through multiple upgrades.
At that time I’d also rediscovered the extensive, detailed and practical articles by Jeff Day on his site regarding Duelund’s efforts to recreate a vintage Western Electric wire which was popular with certain enthusiasts. Mr. Day’s site is a trove of information, and I recommend it for any intrepid experimenters.
I went ahead and ordered a few meters of the Duelund Coherent Audio’s DCA16GA wire. I expected if the XO wire upgrade went well I would order more. It wasn’t until last month that I made time to complete the install.
Test this moderately priced (US$10/meter) wire in my affordable Tekton Lore speakers and see if I could get more of the nuance and tone I love out of them. Note that the following impressions of the DCA wire were done in comparison to the stock copper wire.
The Duelund wire is 26 strand tinned copper wire with an oil impregnated cotton dialectric. This is old school with a 21st century twist! Duelund chose the cotton for its more natural sound, soaked it in oil to add anti-static properties, and finally bake it so we don’t have sticky cables. Again, for more details around it’s design and history, see Mr. Day’s articles on his blog and the review on Positive Feedback.
Early impressions were subtle, but very nice. Additional tone and nuance coming through – adding to the harmonic complexity of acoustic instruments and voices. Dynamic swings large and small were better communicated. Overall, the DCA made the already very sensitive, responsive and live sounding Lore more musical and engaging. Not surprising, I suppose, considering the DCA was being compared to cheap copper in plastic wire.
Over time, these qualities were enhanced a bit. I was now thinking about getting my hands on more of this wire so we could do a proper comparison running from my amp to the Lore. Comparing to my Anticable wire would give me a better idea how the DCA compares to new, well regarded and affordable speaker wire.
This wire is certainly worth a listen. With the internal wire upgrade I’m getting more vivid, natural tone and convincing presence. Dynamics improved, making for a more engaging listen. Of course, my system was already delivering great sound. The move from stock copper to the DCA16GA is a leap. I’ll need to stack the Duelund against the Anticables to see how it holds up in comparison to my current favorite affordable wire.
I only needed 5 meters for the crossover upgrade. US$50. So, for example, if you’re running 10 feet of wire per speaker, then you’re looking at 14(+/-) meters of single wire at the current price of $10/meter – $140 for a truly musical speaker wire. A bargain in today’s high-end cable world.
Update February 20:
Second order of the DCA16GA wire is here, and I’ve installed two 10ft runs from my amp to the Lore. And, the Belden 8402 RCA interconnects are here as well. We’ll run ’em in and follow up with impressions soon.