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A friend and I are looking to build a number of high quality interconnect cables. The RCA connectors to terminate them with vary from inexpensive to ultra expensive. What are the best options in terms of cost/value, which won't limit the performance of the cable? Thanks for any help.
Have you settled on a cable as yet? I don't feel there are sonic 'comptability issues' necessarily but it establishes your level of quality- like you don't want to use $2 plugs on $100 worth of wire and vice-versa, if you catch my drift.
Have you ever used Switchcraft SWC-3502A RCAs? They're definitely no-frills - very well-made (but I might want a heavier plug if it were going to be in-'n-out all the time). You have to decide that you are on the bandwagon for the sound and karma of a nickel body with nickel connectors. Keep your can of Caig handy to get the initial connection clean and give them a little twist once in a while and I've gotten really decent sound from these and good solder, versus going to more expensive plugs.
One thought about larger. heavier plugs is they may be hard to live with in some kinds of gear considering crowded jack spacing. The 3502's fit anywhere and you can put a pair of needle-noses on the body in a tight spot without fear. Just a thought...
Read the comments from users on Parts Express. Skate over the remarks from the cable-denyers and there is actually some good thinking there. Here is S-C's scoop on the 3502:
"...Nickel body with 2 nickel connectors. A solder cup is located on center conductor for fast, easy termination. Larger cable clamp provides better strain relief for larger cables. Heavy duty cable clamp and removable handle accepts cables up to .203" (5.16 mm) diameter. Features include solid pin, shielded handle, and large cable clamp. Terminals may be crimped with pliers for temporary connections or soldered for permanent connections. Plug accommodates multiple jacks spaced on .438" (11.13 mm) centers. Switchcraft phono jacks and plugs are recommended for semi-permanent connections in audio and electronic applications." -- Yeah baby!
These Neutric Profi plugs are very good and can be bought for a sensible price. As used on many Nordost interconnects.
They have a unique feature in that the earth part is spring propelled forwards to align with the tip of the centre pin. This will prevent an alarming and possibly destructive surge from getting to equipment that you neglected to remember to turn off before plugging in the RCAs!
I have tried Neutric Profi plugs, a few times, but they don't sound any good to my ears. I find them to have a dead non-involving hifi sound.
That's interesting. I hadn't thought that the connector itself would hake any audible difference to the sound. Have your tried Eichmann Bullet plugs now refined and called ETI Link plugs? They use a non conventional earth contact between the plug and the socket which is claimed to be better than continuous co-axial.
PS - Just noticed these ones rather similar to Bullets - https://www.amazon.co.uk/KLEI-Copper-Harmony-RCA-Plugs/dp/B00JOR9M9A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1489326831&sr=8-1&keywords=eichmann+bullet
The guy who invented and designed the Bullet plugs for ETI, KL (Keith Louis Eichmann), now has his own dramatically upgraded version which he sells through his own business, KLEI (Keith Louis Eichmann Innovations), called the KLEI Harmony Phono/RCA plug.
I have used/tried the Bullet plugs but, for me, the upgraded KLEI Harmony plugs are much/dramatically better, stronger, and my favorites. The ETI Link plugs look like they are Bullet plug but with a different Housing, ie. a Black housing with a gold band and two screws.
I believe that KLEI and ETI are not associated with each other and Keith Louis Eichmann nolonger invents and designs for ETI.
IMO, a connector can make a dramatic difference to the sound, hence why everybody is always changing their connectors or always looking for something better. The KLEI Harmony RCA plugs are my favourite, ever since they were released, and are still my favourites.
This link will take you to the real Eichmann, ie. Keith Louis Eichmann...
The latest WBT I got with some new Kimber KS1016 had a new feature (new to me anyway_ with the conductive ground on only one of the inner ground feelers. (that get squeezed by the outer locking shell) So they took the idea from Eichmann?
The Eichmann Bullet plugs are hard as hell to solder the ground. IMO.
My favourites are the KLEI Harmony RCA plugs, especially the KLEI Absolute Harmony RCA plug, but the KLEI Classic Harmony RCA plug is probably exceptional value for money.
By saying "RCA connectors to terminate them with vary from inexpensive to ultra expensive" mean you seek a number of make/models that vary in price, or the same make/model for all cables to build for your DIY project? Perhaps you can describe more details about the project, including what bulk interconnect cable make/model(s) you might be planning to use.
The be all end all of commercial RCA is WBT.
WBT is a locking barrel.
Cardas also makes nice RCA. Cardas is slip on
The main thing about those is the large open end. If your wires are not fat, the one mentioned look odd with a big open barrel and little wires sticking out.
For small wires I like Vampire Tiffany RCA. They come in various size in
So like a standard 5mm wire can fit perfectly.
There are other brands of Tiffany style RCA.
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