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Old 4th July 2014, 08:12 AM   #1
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Default About the quality of connectors in audio equipment

Hi, i have noticed that the tolerances in RCA connectors are quite large
I wonder if connections like BNC could be used also for analog purposes.
My understanding is that BNC is a superior connection by design
I have noticed also another thing
That question like this one create nervousism in the audiophile circles
Personally i do not see why it should not work
If it is fine for signal up to MHz ... o in general for scopes ...
And the very nice thing is that quality BNC connectors and cable are very very cheap
Why they are not mor used is a mystery to me
What do you think ?
Thanks a lot and kind regards, gino
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Old 4th July 2014, 08:18 AM   #2
Mooly is offline Mooly  United Kingdom
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That won't simulate will it

BNC... Not as reliable as you might think. The centre contact is small and can be surprisingly "loose" on occasions. I've often had scope leads that needed a "wriggle" on the BNC plug to get the trace to display correctly (leads and hardware fine... its the connectors) and have the same problem on a function generator with BNC output. That to often needs a "waggle" of the plug to correct contact problems.

So my experience is that I would not use standard BNC for audio.
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Old 4th July 2014, 08:31 AM   #3
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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I think this question has been discussed before - probably more than once. Did you try a search?

Quality connectors of any type are not "very cheap". However, there is absolutely no need to pay lots of money for any connector either. All you need is decent quality: not Chinese junk, and not audiophile scams.

BNC and RCA were designed to do different jobs. They each do their different jobs reasonably well.
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Old 4th July 2014, 08:33 AM   #4
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I think the main reason that RCA's are so prominent is because that is what people are used to. They are ubiquitous in commercial (consumer) gear. If you are doing your own diy gear then there is no real reason you can't use whatever connectors you want to. You could for example decide to use XLR for everything, even if it was SE inputs. or for that matter, TRS jacks/plugs.

Whether you will get any advantage over good quality RCA's I don't know. The main thing is that the metal to metal contact is clean and tight.

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Old 4th July 2014, 09:24 AM   #5
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I bought some V EXPENSIVE Chord Chorus Interconnects and the RCA connectors were such a poor fit with my Arcam gear that I ended up chucking them,
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Old 4th July 2014, 09:56 AM   #6
Preamp is offline Preamp  Germany
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LEMO make some really nice connectors .

What about F connectors? They fit perfectly, are cheap and there's lots of good quality (and well shielded) cable available. IIRC there are even F-to-RCA adaptors out there.
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Old 4th July 2014, 10:13 AM   #7
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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F connectors often use the coax inner as centre pin. Not a good idea, as it was not designed to form a low pressure mating surface.

RCA do the job for analogue audio, and are good enough for digital audio. Why change them? The main snag with RCA is that the inner makes contact before the outer so you can't do 'hot' plugging, but that is bad practice anyway.
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Old 4th July 2014, 10:46 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mooly View Post
That won't simulate will it
Hello ! i got distracted for a moment
You know what ... now that i have discovered that for my dream bjts there is no model around i am a little
And how can be that for the TOTL devices there is no model
Maybe i will discover that there are no models for the sublime 200W Sanken multi-emitters as well ??? Unbelievable ...
I still think that a spice model should be made available by the manufacturer together with the datasheet ... it is just a .txt file if i understand correctly

Speaking instead of connections ...
Quote:
BNC... Not as reliable as you might think.
The centre contact is small and can be surprisingly "loose" on occasions.
I've often had scope leads that needed a "wriggle" on the BNC plug to get the trace to display correctly (leads and hardware fine... its the connectors) and have the same problem on a function generator with BNC output.
That to often needs a "waggle" of the plug to correct contact problems.
So my experience is that I would not use standard BNC for audio
Thanks a lot. Very helfpul. I did not know honestly.
I thought that they were extremely reliable because for pros in the labs.
Good RCAs do exist i reckon ... but are very expensive, like the one from WBT. And buying female and male from the same high quality brand is a guarantee of contact quality.
I have had many equipment with RCAs of very poor quality
And some cables did not fit well.
But i see, we have to live with this.
Thanks again. Regards, gino

Last edited by ginetto61; 4th July 2014 at 10:52 AM.
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Old 4th July 2014, 10:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KatieandDad View Post
I bought some V EXPENSIVE Chord Chorus Interconnects and the RCA connectors were such a poor fit with my Arcam gear that I ended up chucking them,
Hi and thanks and this is exactly what i meant
With no other connections i have had similar problems ... never.
Instead RCAs seem to come in any different dimension ... lenght and diameter
And some very poorly executed also
I understand why pro do not use them
In comparison XLRs are fantastic
Thanks and regards, gino
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Old 4th July 2014, 11:49 AM   #10
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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Somewhere in the world there is a factory producing poor quality XLR connectors.

BNC was not intended for pros in labs; just people who need a constant impedance connector up to a few GHz. Its design aims are irrelevant to audio. Pros in labs now generally use either SMA or N connectors.
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