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Old 14th December 2006, 05:26 PM   #1
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Default Do connecters matter?

So I considered putting this in the "Do speaker cables matter?" thread, but it's kinda a different question and the cables thread is a hundred million pages long as it is...

So I'm modding my t-amp, and I'm trying to decide on the connectors to go into the back of it. I'm looking at RCA(female) and binding posts.

The available ones vary in price significantly. Now certainly, there is an aesthetic quality to the more expensive connectors, and that can be worth money. But is there a sonic reason I shouldn't just pull the RCA's out of a cheapo dead amp to use? I can think of some features that I expect WOULD make a difference, but most of what I see on the really primo ones I would expect NOT to make a difference.

I guess I'll open this thread up to connector style variations as well - spade / bananna plug / bare wire / etc but that isn't really what I'm wondering about.

-A
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Old 14th December 2006, 06:03 PM   #2
phn is offline phn  Sweden
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If you believe connectors make a difference, they do. Otherwise they don't.

Boring answer. But that's how the world works. Even renowned colleges like Harvard and Princeton preach faith over fact. There's no support for homo oeconomicus, for example. The only "argument" for it is circle argument. If that's good enough for Harvard and Princeton...

The idea of "magic" connectors is no more outlandish than homo oeconomicus and Garden City concepts.
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Old 14th December 2006, 07:39 PM   #3
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Default Re: Do connecters matter?

Quote:
Originally posted by AdamThorne
So I considered putting this in the "Do speaker cables matter?" thread, but it's kinda a different question and the cables thread is a hundred million pages long as it is...

So I'm modding my t-amp, and I'm trying to decide on the connectors to go into the back of it. I'm looking at RCA(female) and binding posts.

The available ones vary in price significantly. Now certainly, there is an aesthetic quality to the more expensive connectors, and that can be worth money. But is there a sonic reason I shouldn't just pull the RCA's out of a cheapo dead amp to use? I can think of some features that I expect WOULD make a difference, but most of what I see on the really primo ones I would expect NOT to make a difference.

I guess I'll open this thread up to connector style variations as well - spade / bananna plug / bare wire / etc but that isn't really what I'm wondering about.

-A

For me the important thing with connectors is that they should have a tight fit, that the plug doesn't wiggle when someone touches the cable, and that they STAY that way over time. And, of course, no oxidation.

Probably the single most occurring cause of audible differences between cables and connectors is due to poor contacts and loose fit. Not at all by the type or contruction.

It is also a good idea to regularly (2 /year) take out your plugs, check the fit and oxidation and/or treat with deoxid or something similar.

Jan Didden
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Old 14th December 2006, 08:09 PM   #4
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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Absolutely agree with Jan.

I guess I would say that it's not the connector, but the connection, that matters. Cheap connectors often lead to bad connections. It's just simple mechanics.

Raise your hand everyone who remembers the dreadfully awful connectors on most audio gear of the 50's and 60s. Yuuuck.

Keep your connections clean. You wouldn't put your fingers all over your camera lens, would you?
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Old 14th December 2006, 08:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by panomaniac
It's just simple mechanics.



It would be if conduction was not required. Unfortunately, most connectors are designed to become a part of the signal chain.

Some listeners claim connectors are more audible than wire.
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Old 14th December 2006, 08:39 PM   #6
Nordic is offline Nordic  South Africa
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Quote:
Originally posted by panomaniac

Raise your hand everyone who remembers the dreadfully awful connectors on most audio gear of the 50's and 60s. Yuuuck.

They are back, on the rear of Sony equipment...

I noticed the LM4780 ref. baord has 12p or 15p caps over the input sockets... what are those for?
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Old 15th December 2006, 08:25 AM   #7
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by analog_sa
Unfortunately, most connectors are designed to become a part of the signal chain.
They do indeed. But what I was trying to say is that the sound of a poor connection will swamp any difference in the conductor material. Be the connector of gold, brass or tin, if the connections bad, it will sound bad. So my priorities go the good mechanical connections first.


Quote:
Originally posted by Nordic
12p or 15p caps over the input sockets... what are those for?
Small caps on inputs are usually to drain off RFI. Can be important in some circuits.
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Old 15th December 2006, 09:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by panomaniac


They do indeed. But what I was trying to say is that the sound of a poor connection will swamp any difference in the conductor material. Be the connector of gold, brass or tin, if the connections bad, it will sound bad. So my priorities go the good mechanical connections first.




Small caps on inputs are usually to drain off RFI. Can be important in some circuits.

Maybe you've been lucky to never encounter truly bad connectors. My favourite example is CMC rca - good looking, not cheap and shockingly poor sounding. Much worse than cheap generics.
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Old 15th December 2006, 09:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by panomaniac


They do indeed. But what I was trying to say is that the sound of a poor connection will swamp any difference in the conductor material. Be the connector of gold, brass or tin, if the connections bad, it will sound bad. So my priorities go the good mechanical connections first.[snip]

Fully agree.

Charles said "Some listeners claim connectors are more audible than wire". Apart from the fact that it is hard to keep up these days with what listeners claim, a strong reason is clearly given here.

Jan Didden
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