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Do high-end RCA connectors make a difference?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Do any of these high-end(EXPENSIVE) RCA connectors make a difference in SQ?  I have humble Cardas on my IC's.  I am extremely skeptical here which is the reason I didn't get the more expensive offerings on my Moon IC's.  I will fully admit they look much cooler.

post #2 of 8

There are two things to note about cables:

 

1.)  They are the one item that have the highest markup value in retail so they are often sold with little knowledge about whether the cable actually measures to be any better than another cable.  I hear people trying to up sale cables all of the time without giving proof of why the more expensive cable will be better for the user.

 

2.)  Cable quality including sound quality does matter and vary from cable to cable.  There are people like Tyll Hertens that hear slight differences between various cables.  I have not done the testing myself, but I do not know that I would rather error on the side of quality when it comes to any piece of audio equipment.  Note how I did not say cost, but quality. 

 

A cheap cable may be wired wrong, wrought with grounding issues, and may flat out be faulty.  A good cable company will test their cables for a number of things like pin-outs, cross talk, noise, and voltage drop per unit length.

 

Be warned that this topic is very controversial, but as a physicist I can see how quality and especially impedance in a cable could affect the sound quality of a system.

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks.  I get the whole cable debate.  This is about RCA connectors.

 

Cardas $11

 

WBT copper $70/pair

 

WBT Silver $170/pair

 

 

Eichmann Silver Bullet $140/set of 4

post #4 of 8

Hard to know by looking at them but at least the eichmann and WBT have good reason for their design. Single ground path and lower impedance than other RCA and there's a lower price Eichman as well. No, I don't use them as I tend to use din and XLR but I'd look at those if I needed them.

post #5 of 8

Some high-end cables use very affordable plugs, RCA or other. Just look at those Z-plugs. The ETI Eichmann Copper and Cardas Silver plugs belong beside the other four pictured - all excellent with one caveat. The ETI Eichmann Bullets are not as durable as the others if frequency of removal and install is high such as in retail showrooms. Some Eichmann installers use a little hair dryer heat before plugging them onto components with tight fitting jacks. As with all audio kit only end-user should decide what makes a difference worth paying for even if audio reviews exist to persuade you to trust their ears with your money. If you decide WBT checkout Tempo Electric (Big Twist interconnects)  WBT prices which are somewhat sane compared to most retailers. Disclosure: I have absolutely no relationship with Tempo and I really like ETI, Cardas and WBT plugs and non-shielded cables (which I understand some cannot use because of electrical interference issues). Short answer is high-end plugs may or may not be better than less expensive plugs.


Edited by satir - 1/17/13 at 11:01am
post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Icenine2 View Post

Do any of these high-end(EXPENSIVE) RCA connectors make a difference in SQ?  I have humble Cardas on my IC's.

 

Most likely no. Except those WBT Silver plugs. The tarnish might eventually result in a faulty electrical connection. That will definitely affect sound quality.

post #7 of 8
You have to watch good at the the size from male and female, but wbt , just the cheap ones are perfect
The cheapones which project puts in their pre-amps: the four on a piece of plastic for pcb- use measure worse the same ones, 5 euro more expensive , which are way better built with a lot more metal.
Besides that i have except the real cheap , measured a higher cap. and restistance, but those are the ones which comes standard with cheap stuff. Above 15 euro per two cables i've never measured a thing worth noticing. But that was not for example , close to emi rfi gear, then i'm sure the shielded one will have less distortion, but the sockets itself:nahhhh , is more the looks you pay for.
post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Icenine2 View Post
 

Do any of these high-end(EXPENSIVE) RCA connectors make a difference in SQ?  I have humble Cardas on my IC's.  I am extremely skeptical here which is the reason I didn't get the more expensive offerings on my Moon IC's.  I will fully admit they look much cooler.

 

I just use Amphenols for all my plugs when I reterminate or have cables made. The fit is tight enough to inspire confidence over hardware store cables, but when I pull them out it doesn't result in a struggle like what I had to deal with on the Neutrik Profi RCA's, which also scratched up my RCA terminals.

 

Those Cardas are already almost double the price of the Amphenols BTW.

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