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Gold and silver 3.5mm jack sound quality

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
Is there a difference in sound quality between gold and silver plated 3.5mm jacks? And how different is the sq?
post #2 of 35

^ I was told that gold plated interconnects provide "warmer" sound, like in the low to mid ranges.  Silver interconnects provide "cooler" or "colder" sound signature which excels in the highs. On top of that, it provides greater detail across the band.

 

I do need to pickup a nice quality silver 3.5mm jack for my setup though.... it's $$$$$$ and I have an oil change coming in a few days.

post #3 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodolcheez View Post

^ I was told that gold plated interconnects provide "warmer" sound, like in the low to mid ranges.  Silver interconnects provide "cooler" or "colder" sound signature which excels in the highs. On top of that, it provides greater detail across the band.

 

I do need to pickup a nice quality silver 3.5mm jack for my setup though.... it's $$$$$$ and I have an oil change coming in a few days.

 

I haven't heard nearly as much talk about the plating material on jacks as with the differences with cables.  I think the amount of contact and the distance is so short it probably doesn't matter much one way or another.  Cardas seems to use silver for their cable terminations, most else seems to use gold.  I can't find a pattern between the connector pairings and sound signatures, it seems more aesthetic, or maybe about impedance matching than about signature.

 

I tend to prefer gold for most connectors, though, mostly because it's a self-lubricating metal, so it greatly reduces the wear & tear of friction from connecting and won't tarnish/corrode, and is generally just smoother to plug/unplug..  Wear & tear on connectors probably causes more sound degredation than choosing a different precious metal for the plug biggrin.gif

post #4 of 35

There should be no audible difference. Gold plating (or Rhodium) generally corrodes less and stays on better, and so there may be a usability benefit over time. 

post #5 of 35

Sorry I meant the interconnects inside the cable, not the coating outside the metal plug at the end.  I wasn't clear when I wrote...

 

 

Yeah for the gold plate outside the metal, like you said, probably for looks and reliability.
 


Edited by goodolcheez - 5/15/12 at 1:16pm
post #6 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post
Wear & tear on connectors probably causes more sound degredation than choosing a different precious metal for the plug biggrin.gif

 

Good post.  This is the reason why once I plug it on to the 3.5mm input, I leave it on almost forever.  I rarely take it out unless all hell break lose, like tornado coming toward my house and I have to pack my macbook in hurry. :)

post #7 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodolcheez View Post

Sorry I meant the interconnects inside the cable

 

Still should be no sound difference. A bad soldering job would have an effect - but otherwise, no difference.

post #8 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodolcheez View Post

^ I was told that gold plated interconnects provide "warmer" sound, like in the low to mid ranges.  Silver interconnects provide "cooler" or "colder" sound signature which excels in the highs. On top of that, it provides greater detail across the band.

 

I do need to pickup a nice quality silver 3.5mm jack for my setup though.... it's $$$$$$ and I have an oil change coming in a few days.

Are you sure they were not relating the sound to the color? If i remember correctly, Gold gives a yellowish sound (hotter) while silver a whitish (cooler) ?

Otherwise, as liamstrain said, bad stuff is more likely to produce a difference.


Edited by proton007 - 5/15/12 at 11:46pm
post #9 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post

Are you sure they were not relating the sound to the color? If i remember correctly, Gold gives a yellowish sound (hotter) while silver a whitish (cooler) ?

...

 

I can't quite understand whether you're being serious or just writing meaningless nonsense. I hope is the latter.

 
...
 
I tried a pair of gold plated IC's, and the result was a slightly warmer (bass) sound indeed, which was real nice, but it was at the expenses of some clarity. for example, it seemed like the singer had taken a few step back and was placed behind the band, whereas with the copper IC's she was placed in front. I think gold mixed with silver/copper in very small percentages may yield some good result, otherwise too much is not good, imo. I sold the IC's the next day.
 
I really wish I had a pair of AKG701's to try with the gold IC's. people often complain of them being on the 'cold' side (I know). I think a pair of gold plated wire could give a slight, and much wanted warmness, especially in the bass region. 
post #10 of 35

No. Nothing about that post is based in either science, or listener experience. 

post #11 of 35

The outer coating shouldn't have any difference, if any it's like placebo due to the colors.

post #12 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by liamstrain View Post

 

Still should be no sound difference. A bad soldering job would have an effect - but otherwise, no difference.


I was talking outside of bad soldering job though. In other words, when each cables are functioning without defects.

 

The insulation of the cable construction and materials and the type and quality of interconnects matter in sound quality and signatures.

 

:)


Edited by goodolcheez - 5/21/12 at 1:35pm
post #13 of 35

 

 

Quote:
The insulation of the cable construction and materials and the type and quality of interconnects matter in sound quality and signatures.

 

 
 
No, not so much. Not the way you think anyway. Most of the wisdom about these is a persistent mythology - the sound science subform deals with the specifics in more detail though. I won't dwell on it though - believe what you will. :)
post #14 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by muscular View Post

The outer coating shouldn't have any difference, if any it's like placebo due to the colors.

 

Most probably. I can see a direct relationship, hence the previous post. Add to the list, copper, has a (reddish) or rusty sound.

post #15 of 35

Don't know if anyone said this, was too lazy to read all the posts lol, but it should be because of rust. Gold doesn't rust, iron rusts. Gold is the most inert, non-reactive of all metals; it will never react with oxygen, either atmospheric or in solution.

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