Inexpensive RCA Interconnects



If you believe there is value in a $2200 “Power Cable of the Year”, or that you must pay top dollar for brand name interconnect or speaker cables or even that $220 is a reasonable price to pay for a pair of interconnects then don’t bother reading on.

There is nothing worse in audio than some silly magazine reviewer comparing over-priced “Platinum Ratio” Interconnect A with “Signature Reference” Interconnect B.  Over typical domestic cable lengths, properly constructed interconnects all sound the same subject to their shielding performance/hum rejection when placed in close proximity to power cables.

Here are some high quality RCA analogue audio interconnects which can be made quite cheaply without soldering or special crimpimg tools. They provide a solid electrical connection to the sockets, are very flexible to enable routing without stressing the connections and have excellent shielding in case you have an interference problem.

For the plugs, the brand doesn’t matter as there are plenty of alternatives.  However I should point out that these plugs are not the cheap Chinese made ones all over eBay.  They look almost the same, but on close inspection they are not made to this quality and could not clamp down properly like these do.  A finely threaded sleeve presses the clutching jaws firmly onto the sockets with a gentle turn.  Simple screw terminations are provided for the centre conductor and back-folded braid.  And you can’t lose the metal sleeves because they thread on from behind. If they fall off, they simply ride along the cable instead of falling down the back of your hi-fi!

50Ω coaxial audio cable is available by the metre from many manufacturers.  A friend put me onto this particular brand of 8mm OD coax.  It has a multi-strand copper centre conductor, a PE dielectric insulator, a conductive PVC screen, a 100% coverage aluminium foil screen, a 95% coverage copper braid, and a PVC jacket.  The centre conductor carries the music signal and the braid plus foil (which remain at ground potential) shield it from interference – just like an extension of the metal chassis of the power amp.

I would not pay the extra for those Rhodium plated ones.  Rhodium is very hard and is used in jewellery for aesthetic purposes and will only abrade the mating socket.

Another reason that I like these plugs is that the pin is split so you can use a butter knife to carefully splay it for tight mating with the socket:

These interconnects affect what you hear exactly the same as any well-made highfalutin brand name product out there (i.e. they don’t).  Lab tests could reveal minor electrical differences which might manifest in ultrasonic (inaudible) differences.

One thought on “Inexpensive RCA Interconnects

  1. Well said Ian! If a cable costs few hundred or thousand dollars then something must have been done wrong. If they claim they take every single atom and put it together to build those super cables then maybe they deserve the money for the nice try but never, never for the audio performance.
    Some money is spent very badly in this case.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.