you shold buy spools of wire and braid it your self and at least buy some nice conectors man dont buy junk ones gesh.. spend like 50.00 on a nice stereo pair that is 12 per conector altest buy nice ones.. if yuo need good wire buy some old or new printer cables i got some from work then weived my own MAN they look nice and work great..
I suppose you live in the US?
You have perhaps come across a plug & wire manufacturer called Neutrik?
These guys have designed the SPEAKON plug, that is state-of-the-art concerning PA systems. Check out www.neutrik.com
The connectors they build aren't that cheap, but they're built for massive abuse on the road (especially the XLR and SPEAKON connectors). If you have 'em just for home use, you won't have to buy new ones for the next ten years.
A pair of these rca plugs costs about 18 EUR over here (I don't think they're any dearer in the US), and man, that stuff is built to last!!!!!!
I remember talking to Lew Johnson (Conrad Johnson) way back when, trying to convince him that the Tiffany jacks were worth the extra money. At the time (this was in the early '80s), they were using some pretty cheesy RCAs that were press-fitted into fiberboard, albeit gold-plated.
The Vampire stuff (aka Tiffany) gets a thumbs up from me, and the prices, while not budget, are at least tolerable.
Neutrik RCAs , seconded . I use only Neutriks for my heavier cables.
For the homebrewn ultrathin twisted enamelled copper wires, i use teflon tubing to protect the twisted pair and the cheapest Chinese sheetmetal RCAs as to me it does not make sense to use ultrathin cables and then RCAs which are milled out of the full like cooking pots for man eaters (with handle, of course). I can widen the teflon tubing end with my soldering iron and then fold the plug's strain relief lug neatly around the tubing.
I ordered a brace of Vampire RCA jacks from Percy Audio, and I am thoroughly unimpressed. The fabrication of the dielectric is very rough, and there are burrs and sharp edges all over everything. My local electronics shop carries much better quality for a fraction of the price.
Why DIY'ers insist on using use the RCA plugs is a mystery to me.
It's about the worst connector ever designed.
Not for nothing they call it a cinch.
Moreover since you can all wave a soldering iron why not skip some connections and hardwire at your preamp/control centers' end for instance?
If not go for the pro connectortypes such as the XLR,BNC,Fisher Camac,Redel and such.
You need large contact area with as little metal as possible.
Those big bozo's degrade the signal integrity beyond belief really.
I can't justify spending 50 USD on a fancy coupling cap without solving this first.
Is anyone still cleaning these contacts on a regular basis?
Is anyone still using contact enhancing fluids?
All of that is dirt cheap and works.
I just got a set of those dayton rca plugs yesterday from parts express. I was amazed how hard you can clamp them down on the rca connectors. However, I did scratch up my rca jacks removing them because I didn't loosen them enough.
Sure SMA's would work very well for audio. Kind of expensive though.
I'd go for BNC myself. They come in a ton of different sizes and styles and are generally cheep to buy. Most of them can be used up to 500mHz or more. (that should be OK for audio)
I go to Radio Shack for stuff all of the time. You just need to know what you are buying! Don't expect them to be able to answer all of you questions. Most of them, not all, but most have no electronics back ground so just give them a break.