KLE RCA plugs are the real deal!!


I ordered a set of KLE RCA Pure Harmony plugs to use for a pair of interconnects using Duelund 16ga wire. I previously built a set, with good results, using standard switchcraft plugs. The difference, even without break in, was staggering. Although the Switchcraft plugs sounded good themselves alone, however, when doing a direct comparison to the KLE's, the difference is clear. The cables using the SC plugs sounded harsher (especially on high end) when compared to the KLE. The cables seem to have a "free-er"(FLOABT) sound or more flow. Seemed as if the SC's were holding something back. 

As far as building the cables, the separated solder posts make things way easier. Everything is quite compact (especially for larger wires) in the SC plugs. The removable grommets are a nice feature if one wants to use thicker cable wraps, shrink tubing or shielding. 

One other area I think the KLE's are great for is trying wire combinations without soldering. With the "V" shaped solder posts, one could "wrap" the ends somewhat snug and use the wire locking screws. You would still have to be very delicate when hooking up...however this is something that is pretty much impossible with the SC's. 

As I plan to build my entire system's cables, KLE will be the plugs I use on everything. I highly recommend
aberyclark
I just made a set of ICs with the Pure Harmony connectors as well. After connecting the cables to RCA jacks about two times, the silver plating on the negative contact wore completely off on two out of the four connectors! It may have come off after one connection (I did not look at the negative contact closely until I was ready to permanently put the cable in my system).  I can now see the copper that is below the silver. And yes, the RCA jacks were cleaned/deoxidized and in perfect condition before connection.
I do not recommend not soldering. There is no way to secure the wire around the v-shaped terminal. I actually do not like the terminals on these. A terminal with a hole in it would be much more user friendly and let you create a good mechanical connection before soldering.
I was hoping to find something good here because the bullet style RCA's on my Origin Live arm are after several years giving me noise problems. But sadly the KLE's are the same poor design.

Its not just me by the way. Talking it over with Keith Herron he said the same thing, bullet RCA's can be a problem.

Might still be worth a try but then I looked at the price. RU serious?

I know a guy who for decades- at least 30 years- has been building all his own cables. Thirty years. Never once made one even half as good as what you could buy from Synergistic Research for less than the cost of these KLE plugs.

I guess people who build their own cables must just really be into tinkering?
Wow...sorry to hear about the issues. I was not suggesting NOT to solder. Just if you want to try experimenting with different wires to try out before actually doing a solder, the KLE's seem like a great way to do it.
The mid to lower end Synergistic research cables are typical of many brands. many say nothing special, some love them. I researched them a couple years back. I may have to give them a try sometime
Aberyclark,

I guess I feel that soldering is so easy you might as well do it even if it’s temporary.

Please check your negative contacts closely after you connect them to RCA jacks a couple of times. You will need good lighting and a magnifying glass if you don’t have really good vision, but it’s easy to see if the silver plating has worn off if you look for it. Honestly I’m not too worried about it. I can’t imagine that the sound of the cable will change in the absence of the incredibly thin coating of silver on that tiny contact. The fact that it wore off so quickly does indicate that they are pretty poorly made, though. I’m not happy about that, especially considering that a set is $60 something bucks.
These are easy to solder and hold up just fine. Just need the right technique. The thin coating will mark superficially easily but is a complete non issue. These are excellent low mass bullet plugs that make great shielded and unshielded RCA cables. They sound wonderful and just get out of the way with no editorializing.  Seems no product will please all, but it helps to know how to work with these. 


it helps to know how to work with these.

It has absolutely nothing to do with not knowing how to work with them. Simply pushing the connector onto an RCA jack two times COMPLETELY REMOVED the silver coating on the negative contacts. It is not just a "superficial mark" as you say. The silver coating, which KLEI puts on for a reason, is no longer there and able to do it’s job, whatever KLEI believes it may be.

These are easy to solder and hold up just fine.

I agree that they are easy to solder, but a nice mechanical connection prior to soldering is impossible due to the stupid v-shaped tab. A hole in the tab would be 100 times better than a "V". The "V" just makes no sense. These connectors do not hold up just fine as explained above. Why don’t you add a dealer disclaimer to your posts in threads like these? I know building cables is just a hobby for you, but it seems fair.
I accord with grannyring.  I've made ICs with these and can confirm that they sound great and hold up after many reinsertions.  For a solderless connection, the more expensive Bocchino RCAs are preferable, but with KLE it is still possible to make clean semi-solderless terminations by tacking a bit of solder at one end, tightly wrapping the fork with a few turns of bare wire, and tack at the end with solder.  To improve conductivity of the bare wire-wrapped section and block out oxidation, cover the wrap with a sealing coat of Perfect Path Total Contact graphene paste.  This cures to a hardshell finish.  
Agreed on the Total Contact paste.  Amazing stuff! Glad to see you are onto this wonderful tweak. 
I will assume that I got a defective set of connectors if at least five people actually remove their cables and closely inspect the negative contact for wear.  You need to look for it.  If you do not look for it with bright light and a magnifying glass like I said earlier, you will never know the coating has rubbed off.  That contact is tiny!  So LOOK for it.

So, if everyone can inspect all four connectors on a set it ICs, let us know how many times they have been inserted, and which connector you have (Classic, Copper, Silver, Pure, or Absolute), it would be helpful.  Until that happens, you need to assume that the coating wears off of all of them after a few insertions, because I might be the only person that has inspected them closely after multiple insertions.  I want to like these connectors, but it's hard when the coating rubs off so easily. 
I too use the KLE Harmony rca and are sonicly very good  But
their are 2 things myself and other dislike the rca portion is very short ,on some equipment does not hold well, also 
the front portion is 12 min diameter ,then it tapers downto only
9.5mm Which is stupid,for I had ordered excellent double Shielded 6-9s Neotech Copper Wire ,it was 10.5 mm. Meaning I had to cut the plastic body at the taper to fit.wbt,or Furutech not an issue.
irecommend only if under 9mm diameterwire.
I use the KLEI with 16 gauge twisted pair and a 1/4 inch copper braided shield.  Plenty of room.  

Lots of cable builders, including myself, use these and have never had an issue with the quality of the conductor used on the plugs. I make many cables weekly with KLEI bananas and RCAs and am thrilled with the ease of use and sound quality.  
Granny, what audioman is saying is that with the wire he chose, he could not get it to fit because of how the back near the set screws has a smaller ID than the rest of the body. If it did not taper down, the wire he chose would have fit without cutting the body. This is why he thinks it’s stupid that the body tapers down. Of course you can fit a totally different wire through it. That's irrelevant.
The KLE's are the only plugs that taper?
Goodness that opening is big enough to fit a 12 gauge twisted pair. I have done it .... with a shield! Most ICs are made with16gauge and thinner. That is my point. I even made a double run 16ga set using the Schroeder Method. Fits easily. Confused with this one for sure. However, I suppose if one starts adding Thicker synthetic coverings space could be an issue. I have found these types of coverings hurt the sound however.

I never use the screws as they are not enough strain relief IMHO. I always use a nice double wall adhesive lined heat shrink. 
I agree. Opening wide enough to run a water line thru it. I did use the screws on my first set with good results. I may heat shrink over the ends the next time around
Of course these plugs sound good.  You convinced yourself (based on online reviews) that the results were to be jaw-dropping and, or course they were.  Probably better to go to Monoprice or Amazon Basic and get the the wire with the connectors.  Likely that would be way cheaper, would sound as good and you would have matching equipment.
@grannyring  What did you think of the cables you made using the  Schroeder Method?  Any significant difference or improvement?
what is it some china made RCA  $3 JOB ?
what is it some china made RCA $3 JOB ?

Can this be translated into English, please?

@dbass


I made an RCA set that both I and the customer felt sounded terrific. 
Dyna says " Probably better to go to Monoprice or Amazon Basic"
What wire did you actually use with the KLE's to come up with this?

OP, Have you tried the ETI silver bullet plugs? Just wondering how they compare to the KLE's. 
Sorry to interject but would like to post the following......TEO Audio, at one point, used the ETI plug in several of our cables but have since switched to KLE because we felt that it was a much better sounding plug.


Thanks taras22 / Good to know (it's less expensive also)

No! Lol

Yeah, I really don't get why you would ever consider using that stuff on a connection that was already soldered, just like every other connection in your preamp, amp, crossover, etc.
Treat all those connections.  I have.  Speaker crossover etc.,, Fantastic stuff.  Should try it before you knock it.  I would be willing to split the cost of a vile with one or two of you.  
Granny,
Can you explain your process for treating a soldered connection? I think dgarretson was describing something different, but I would like to hear your method.
I compared Duelund Cu-Sn 16avg interconnects with KLEI Pure Harmony connectors and Duelund Gold connectors.KLEIs have better separation but Duelund Golds sound more natural in terms of tone. For example, high octaves of piano sound much more real with Duelund Golds.
At least, I can say, this sound suits better to my system with vintage Altec 604E. Most of modern speakers sound more open, bright and emphases high frequencies.
KLEI Pure Harmony tame harshness and make upper mid sound more polite. So, for most modern speakers KLEI may suite better. Also KLEI sound very clean and give you listen all melodic lines in music very well. Duelund RCA are not bad in this parameter too, but KLEI are notably better.
@ketchup

The total contact paste is really not a paste as the consistency helps it spread very easily and a little bit goes a long, long way. The kit comes with a nice painters style mini brush that is used to paint all connectors Etc...

I simply paint the surface of the solder connections and component lead outs on point to point wired crossovers and tube amps. I also paint the tops of capacitors and transformers.

One just needs to be very careful not to produce an unintended conductive bridge. Just use a very little amount on the brush as it spreads very thin, and as I said l, goes a long way. Do not apply so it’s thick and gloppy, but rather thin and spread evenly.

It also works wonders on power cord spades, speaker connectors, RCA male pins, tube pins etc...

While inside my speaker crossover I also pasted/painted the internal speaker wire connections where they solder to the drivers.

Many won’t go as far as I did as they are not comfortable working inside of gear and I understand that. However, a good place to start is certainly on all the various connectors in our system.
  • Here is a recent review.  Easily the best mod or tweak I have ever encountered in my 35 years of audio.  

http://v2.stereotimes.com/post/perfectpath-technlogies-total-contact/
OP: great thread. My digital IC and I believe most (if not all) of my Teo Audio IC's are terminated with these plugs.
Hi @grannyring ,

Contacts of RCA connectors, tube sockets, power plugs, tonearm headshell bayonets,...
are a big issue in audio.
Does Total Contact Enhancer solve all this issues?

Regards,
Alex.