rca plugs - comparisons?

anyone test or compare rca plugs on identical cables, noticed diffences or improvements? top wbt and eichman rca's have "new and improved" designs, are they better, or just different? is it worth the expense to change/upgrade the plugs on a decent older cable or specify the expensive wbt's, where it is optional?
If I was happy with what I had I wouldn't change; if I was buying new I would get the best available. Good companies don't change unless they can make something better but if you already have one of their previous products you already have most of the advantages of the new product. Only a direct comparison in your system would reveal the degree of improvement you would get by upgrading the plugs. As I said I doubt it would be cost effective. Eichman are possibly the best but are significantly more fragile, if you frequently plug and unplug your system the WBTs might be a better choice.
Ever check out Nordost spring loaded RCA's. Definitely my favorite.
i suggest, constructing or having a technician construct two or three pair of inexpensive cables using 3 different pairs of connectors.

a small investment and your ears, will begin to answer the question.

you will , perhaps, want to determine the qualitative and quantitative differnces, if they exist.
your idea per se may be sound. We've trodded similar paths around here. Only you forgot to mention that the technician must be a master solderer. If he is not, and there is a difference in soldering from plug to plug, you'll be listening to solder joints and not to what you are thinking you're evaluating. We found that out the hard way.
Also we did not take cheap wire as you suggested, because we found those unsufficiently revealing. We ended up with better XLOs, Nordost and NBS wires and then did hear differences in our panel. We ended up with NeXtGen and- surprisingly- with a cheapo but very well made Chinese copy of the Nakamichi plugs.
Stick with Wonder Solder UltraClear or WBT's Solder also.
Quite right Rodmann, that's what we did and see that you have good and firm metal to metal contact before using your solder.
one of the furutech rca connectors does not require solder, which introduces another set of comparisons. imagine if one could avoid solder altogether.

it would seem obvious, e.g., that the eichmann silver and copper bullet plugs would have different sonic effects when used with copper or silver wire. the mixing of metals should produce differnt sonic results.

i have heard different results comparing plugs on power cords and one would expect spade lugs and banana plugs to have an effect upon the sound of speaker cable.

any small change in a component may exert an audible difference in the performance of a stereo system.

i have a feeling you are more experienced in these matters than i am.
Bocchino Audio - very expensive but screw connections allow a wide variety of wire to be tested and from my limited tests ( xhadow, next gen ) I thought they performed very well

Mrtennis, Pjwd,
you are indeed quite right, I think. Crimping or a good screw-down connection is - theoretically at least - to be preferred. If however soldering is done right and you manage to get a good and tight metal to metal connection first before applying a touch of solder - we at least - could not really hear any difference.
By the way, while doing these experiments, we found out to our dismay, that the original soldering on those quite expensive cables we used was terrible, to say the least. More often than not, metal to metal conduct was not made, but the joints just bathed in solder. This experience motivated the members of our group to check and resolder all our wires if necessary. The results, I assure you, were
staggering. ( transparency, micro-dynamics, resolution in general)
Cheers and happy listening,
I have compared Eichmann Silver, Cardas Silver, WBT Nextgen Silver, and Xhadow silver on a custom made cable. Result:

Not much of difference! Why, because you must consider the jacks of the gear. Many components use cheap Chinese gold/brass jacks. It is the total interface connection that matters. I did try Nextgen plugs and Nextgen jacks and there is a difference in sonic quality.
Very good point, Sonic_Genius! Our gear in those tests mentioned didn't however. Our jacks were premium ones. Should have mentioned that.
Sonic_genius, could it be that all those you tested really are roughly equivalent, and the Nextgen jacks would have improved them all about equally?
a connector that i like a lot is the neutrik pro-fi spring loaded rca connector.
I like plugs that I can tighten for maximum contact. One should on occasion remove the cables to service that contacts to remove any oxidation, etc. This might be the best thing you can do, and it is free.
I have made identical ICs with 99.99 % pure copper cryo'd solid core wire, good metal-to-metal contact and Cardas solder with the following RCA plugs:

WBT Midline, WBT solderless, WBT nextgen gold and silver, Eichman gold, Xhadow, Cardas silver/rhodium, Cardas gold, DH Labs top-of-the-line OFC plug (I do not recall the model) Vampire Cx7CB and Vampire 800 CB.

In my system, from most liked to least liked:

Vampire 800CB -very musical, best bass, quiet, smooth, analog-like;
Vampire CX7CB -very musical, quiet, smooth, analog-like;
WBT Nextgen Gold -very musical and transparent; actually sounds about the same as C7XCB, both are low mass conductors.
Xhadow Small- very musical and transparent, slightly emphasized treble/air;
WBT solderless - OK, musical, does not excell in any area except coherence;
Cardas Gold -OK, musical; good for the price;
WBT Midline -OK, fairly musical; restricted bass and treble, too expensive for what if offers;
Cardas Rhodium (slightly steely sound, great bass)
Eichman (weird distortion/grunge in the midrange)
DH Labs (bright-sounding)

Digital ICs (pure Silver):
WBT Nextgen Ag - just wonderful; Numero Uno for digital!
Xhadow Large - very close to WBT Ag and more robust;
WBT Nextgen Gold - Great, loses a little transparency as compared to the above connectors;
Cardas Silver - good sound, but not magical as Nextgen Ag
I have not tried the remaining connectors on digital ICs

My biases:
On analog, I prefer slightly smooth and "mellow" ICs than super-transparent, hyper-detailed cables.
On digital, I want the cable to pass very low-level detail and soundstaging clues (in adddition to souding even-handed)

Audio Aero Capitole CDP directly into ASR Emmiter II, Electrocompaniet or Hyperion SET tube amps, Hyperion 968 speakers, Tara labs Air 1 Series 2 ICs, VDH Supernova bi-wire speaker cables, Fusion Audio Predator, Impulse and Enchanter power cords.

I hope this helps