The gold won't just melt off. Its electroplated.
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I have used both with great sound. The rhodium is somewhat more neutral to my ears. If you are going the GTX route, I would strongly suggest you also purchase the GTX aluminium backplate with 104 D stainless steel/carbon cover plate. This is what I am currently using to feed all of my gear and these have greatly reduce RF/EMI noise whcih has translated in black pitch audio background letting new low level musical details pop up. This was one of the best and most satisfying tweak used in my system. There are a few threads on the Gon on this subject.
I use a GTX-D(g) wpo in my ss system (Vitus/Magico/Jorma). The Magico S5's are already highly resolving and fairly neutral in tonal balance, so I decided on the gold version to add a touch of warmth and body. The general recommendation I received was rhodium was best for tube-based systems, or very warm ss or warm ss rigs where you don't want to 'risk' going any warmer. And gold for neutral to warm ss systems.
Note however, there is NOT a drastic difference between these, despite the plating difference & urban myths doing the rounds on this forum. The major mojo is in the base metal (pure copper), and the slight lean towards warmth vs resolution in the gold vs rhodium (respectively) is more related to a slight 'shade' vs night/day difference.
If possible, install more dedicated electrical runs in the room. Then add more wall sockets than you will ever use. I did this with two GTX gold, two GTX rhodium, 4 Oyaide R1's and two FIM's and two Porter ports. When I bring in new gear or new power cords, I can try out the different flavor wall plugs to see which works best. Don't forget the Oyaide R1's, they work VERY well with the Furutech's.
I've had both.
I found the Gold to have a "softer" sound, more akin to what you would get further back in Carnegie Hall, the hall I know best.
The Rhodium makes it sound as though you are closer, with the result being that the music seems "faster" as well, because you are hearing more of the initial transient attack. However, the noise floor seems equal on both. In Carnegie, for example, even in Row 112 in the balcony, you can hear a pianissimo decay without strain, whereas in Davies Hall, in San Francisco (my old home grounds), you could barely hear the double bass, no matter what, and the noise floor was such that a quietly played note could get lose in the shuffle unless you were sitting in the orchestra (and even there sometimes, not so much…)
So, the Rhodium is more "exciting" but not brighter, just closer, but not in the way Oyaide's outlets made EVERYthing sound closer (I have had nearly everyone's outlets. In fact, I still do. Lying around in corners, closets, drawers). Probably have around 30 I don't use. I like the Furutechs the best, Synergistic next. Oh, to be fair, I haven't tried Shunyata, which, considering I've owned most everything Shunyata's ever put out, is unusual. I must've run out of money and didn't know it. (smile)
Has anyone ever considered how much of an effect an intermediate layer of plating has on the overall SQ? What I mean by that, is you can't always plate directly over some metals. For example, lets say you want to plate a piece of copper with silver. You may not be able to do that. You may have to first plate the copper with another metal like nickel or gold, and then plate silver. (keep in mind that I completely made up the 3 metals in my example.)
I prefer the Gold GTX after long living with both. The Rhodium sounds great, but I feel that it ultimately colors the sound a bit to my ears, letting its character into all music. "I" think the Gold is the more naturally resolute, and more neutral sounding recept, with better dynamics and bass slam.
Many say the Gold is boring and too warm. This is because it burns in opposite in comparison to the Rhodium, and most don't give it a fair shake. It starts out very tame and blurry focused, then cleans up and comes into focus. It sounds very real to me, with excellent dynamic expression and beautifully rich sound. The Rhodium starts out very lively, almost hyper-focused, too clean... It goes through a variety of brutal phases during the burn in, and ultimately comes around to be pretty good, with a polished and nicely focused sound, with a very low noise floor. BUT! Something is not quite right to me.. It restricts some things and highlights others.
However, like another here said, once burned in, there is very little difference in either of them, but the differences are there.
Real music has warmth. Not overly warm causing blur, but warmth. If I don't hear this, the sound is NOT neutral to me. The Gold seems to let the recordings speak for themselves, much better to me.
Paul79, I always hesitate when someone says, real music has warmth. Brass
instruments have ripeness, violins has rasp, vocalists have mouth sounds, etc.
For many years I fought the tube versus solid state battle as well as every type of
speaker battle. Then I discovered realism or the sense of being there at the
recording. It has many non-music elements, but it is thrilling to one is present to
hear Thelonious Monk play, which I was never able to do.
Early on I discovered that I did not like gold as it burnishes the music. I really
don't like rhodium either, but if I have to choose, I would pick rhodium. I would
really prefer solid unoxidized copper or silver, but both are too soft. I also hate
solder. So what do I do? I use rhodium connectors and wish that nature have
made stronger and not oxidizable copper.