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Difference between Gold-plated and Silver-plated jacks?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Can someone explain the difference in SQ? I was curious about why Gold plated jacks usually cost more, so is there a difference in sound?
post #2 of 12

Gold is a better conductor

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Could you please elaborate?
post #4 of 12

by Ohm's law we have I = V/R . I=Current/Conduction V=Voltage R=Resistence/Impedance , the formula implies that R=V/I , so the larger the Current(I) the smaller the impedance which means more power will go through to the Drivers...

post #5 of 12

Oh I thought that you said gold cable 

 

 

for gold plating read this :

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold_plating

post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam21 View Post
 

by Ohm's law we have I = V/R . I=Current/Conduction V=Voltage R=Resistence/Impedance , the formula implies that R=V/I , so the larger the Current(I) the smaller the impedance which means more power will go through to the Drivers...

Resistance and Impedance are not the same thing, and Ohm's law does not describe Impedance. The formula will still be current if you substitute the Resistance for the magnitude of the Impedance. Larger current will not give smaller Impedance, it will just give more voltage.

 

Gold plated costs more because gold costs more. There is no noticeable difference in sound quality. By silver plated, I hope you don't mean silver, because I don't think I've seen anything with silver used. Either way, the difference isn't noticeable. It's just to market a product as better, or to sell it for a higher price.

post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by xkonfuzed View Post

Can someone explain the difference in SQ? I was curious about why Gold plated jacks usually cost more, so is there a difference in sound?

 

Gold is a better conductor but it doesn't translate to actually hearing a difference. Either way, it's plating, so frequent plugging and unplugging will strip them eventually. When I have to replace jacks (usually what's broken is the pin with the connection on the inside, not even the coating), I just go for gold plated simply because over here the difference is around $3 for the pair. It will not sound different - I just go for the tougher gold plated ones when any of mine break because my amps usually came with gold-plated jacks and the difference still costs less than a frappuccino that will all be past my throat in about fifteen minutes (and past my bladder in a few hours).

post #8 of 12

Gold also is inert; so it does not tarnish.

post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Billheiser View Post
 

Gold also is inert; so it does not tarnish.

 

Problem is if it's used as plating, chances are the plugs rubbing against it if tight enough and it does so often enough will strip anyway. I've been in the shop with one customer questioning whether they used "real gold" on the sockets and plugs they were selling because they started to deteriorate within three years, and he thought it can protect from humidity. I recommended that he use Amphenols from then on, as they slip in easily but don't lose grip over time,* but he maintained he wanted to find "real gold" stuff, completely ignoring that the gold no matter how well you do the plating is just plating, and you're gradually scraping them off rolling cables, with most of them using too tight plugs.

 

 

*While his Neutrik Profis were too tight at first (gradually loosening up to the same level as the Amphenols) that one of my cables that had them made me inadvertedly slap my wall every time I pulled them out. I wasn't just bending over the rack, I had to pull it farther from the wall, then kneel behind it and pull.

post #10 of 12

Gold is often used to plate jacks to prevent corrosion. It will have no audible impact on sound quality.

post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info everyone. Really learned something from this..
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by adisib View Post

Resistance and Impedance are not the same thing, and Ohm's law does not describe Impedance. The formula will still be current if you substitute the Resistance for the magnitude of the Impedance. Larger current will not give smaller Impedance, it will just give more voltage.

Gold plated costs more because gold costs more. There is no noticeable difference in sound quality. By silver plated, I hope you don't mean silver, because I don't think I've seen anything with silver used. Either way, the difference isn't noticeable. It's just to market a product as better, or to sell it for a higher price.
Resistance actually is impedance. It just isn't always the whole impedance. Also, Ohm's law does still work with complex values:

V = I * Z
Z = R + (2 * Pi * f * j * L) - j / (2 * Pi * f * C)

f = frequency
L = inductance
C = capacitance
j = sqrt(-1)*

[*Most people use "i" to indicate imaginary values, but we already use "I" and "i" for current, so I've always used "j" instead]

Now since the impedance of inductance and capacitance vary with frequency and we actually want to vary the frequency, it's really only useful to express the real part of the impedance, which is resistance. Also, resistance is the primary factor in delivering real power to the driver.

But that's getting off topic. What I really need to say is:

sam's explanation was incomplete. I think what he (or she) meant by invoking Ohm's law is that there is less power lost by using something with lower resistance than copper. Less line losses = more power at the load. If not direct losses, more resistance in the signal path will lower both the voltage and current at the load.
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