Reasonable RCA Connectors?


Hi all, I'm going to build two sets of interconnect cables and need 8 RCA connectors.  Would prefer to stay under $25/connector... any suggestions?  Using Duelund 16ga tinned copper as my wire... 

Thanks.
cal3713
Check out Parts Connexion.
I used to use Cardas, but man, what a pain to solder to.
The Cardas are made of brass. Look at Vampire and the lower KLEI models..
KLE Innovations RCA connectors are the best on the market right now in my opinion.

Even their Copper Harmony model outperforms most other brands and at $115 AUD (around $80US) for a set of four their price is what I consider reasonable.

I have compared them to Furutech, WBT, and Neotech and the all of the harmony line performed better

For just $135 AUS - you can get the Silver Harmony which is a better product and the lowest in the product line I care to use

I have reviewed all of the models and now only use the Absolute Harmony, but they are outside of your budget

They are really easy to attach to heavier gauge wire and provide excellent sound on any cable. But they do take around 120-180 hours burn-in to sound their best.

Here are my reviews
http://image99.net/blog/files/category-klei-copper-harmony-rca.html
http://image99.net/blog/files/category-klei-silver-harmony-rca.html

All of the Harmony Line can also be used on Digital cables with no problems - something the plugs from other brands cannot be used for.

Since you are into DIY - also take a look at my Interconnect design
http://image99.net/blog/files/category-002ahelix-interconnect-cable.html

They outperform most commercially available cables such as those from Kimber, Cardas and Nordost. And that is what I have heard from other DIYers that have tried them.

If interested - I have also used the same Helix design to build power and speaker cables
http://image99.net/blog/files/category-002ahelix-power-cable.html
http://image99.net/blog/files/category-002ahelix-speaker-cable.html

If you have any questions - just ask :-)

Hope that helps - Steve
KLEI competition comes only from WBT, but you can’t get a pair of them for $50.
We ( TEO Audio ) are very happy with the performance of the KLE plugs....and agree, the WBT which we also use, are significantly better, but much more expensive. 

Both highly recommended.
Thanks folks... and happy to continue to take any thoughts.
KLEI is what to get for the most neutral. Sounds like bare wire. Cardas are nice for a little warmth as they do sound nice.

Also, Sonic Craft has closeout pricing of $15 on a set of 4 Neotech RCAs that actually sound quite good. They grip a tad tight so break then in by inserting and removing repeatedly  on some cheap piece of gear. They are nice with the 16 gauge wire.
Vampire "Tiffany" style RCA. I really like the fact yo only solder the center conductor, the ground is a compression fit just screwed together. Used them for years. work great, sound great.
The Tiffany style come in different sizes for different size cable too!Of all RCA to use home made I found the Tiffany style to be the best.Second WBT. Third and yes the soldering to is annoying for WBT and  Cardas. Worst soldering hassle are those plastic shell with just a small ground metal dot. PITA.
Hi guys,
Can you explain what is the difference between model of KLEI? :
Copper Harmony,
Silver Harmony,
Pure Harmony
Copper is silver plated 
Silver is solid silver conductors
Pure is a higher quality solid pure silver 
What is a difference in sound?
From the distributor - Parts Connextion

Copper Harmony - ”Copper" Harmony Phono RCA Plug (Hard Silver-Plated - both Ground & Signal)”

“Silver" Harmony Phono RCA Plug (Pure Silver Ground - Silver-Plated Copper Signal)

”Pure" Harmony Phono RCA Plug (Pure Silver Ground & Signal)”

Absolute" Harmony Phono RCA Plug Highest Grade - Pure Silver on both Ground and Signal” 

The mystery continues. PC uses quotes in the description suggesting it came from the manufacturer at some point.  





@grannyring - Parts Connecxion is one of the distributors that continue to post mis-information about KLEI products on their site

KLEI has asked them (and others) to correct their information many times, but for some reason they will not comply

@Maxima95 is indeed correct - they are all silver coated copper.

The "magic" is in the design of the pins and the thickness of the silver coating and purity of both silver and copper used on both the centre pin and the neutral.

That "formula" is a closely guarded KLEI secret. 

The fact that they are silver coated does not make them any LESS special. 

I have reviewed their four original Harmony RCA's at length, spending dozens of hours evaluating the performance of each plug as it compares to the next in the lineup, and found each model to provide progressively better sound quality, culminating in the Absolute Harmony - their flagship model.  

I use the Absolute Harmony on all of my cables - whether Analogue or SPDIF cables and they are the best I have used to date.

The link posted above goes into great detail about various aspects of these RCA's

Bottom line - they are exceptional RCA's

Regards - Steve
I use them all the time in my cable company sales.  I also use the bananas all the time in my designs and builds. . Big customer for them. Bottom line is they sound great even if there is confusion.  They sound the closest to bare wire I have heard to date. 
I have Xhadow RCA connectors, Switchcraft RCA connectors and Duelund 16ga tinned copper cable.
So I did fast comparison between  Xhadow and  Switchcraft RCA  connectors.
Xhadow has more extended, detailed and smooth high frequencies. 
Xhadow has more bass. IMHO the mid-bass is a little bit bloated.
 The mid-range sound dissembled, because  Xhadow emphases high and low frequencies.
Switchcraft RCA connectors sound not as clean, the bass a little bit lightweight. But mid-range has much more rich tone, more dilates and sound in general more natural and musical.
Despite a huge price difference I prefer sound of  Switchcraft  RCA  connectors over  Xhadow. Yes  Switchcraft RCA  connectors are not perfect but in my test they sound "tuned" more right compared to  Xhadow.
Get the KLEIs.  They will be your favorite.  My strong prediction! 
Which KLEI model do you recommend for start? 
So I have used the KLE absolute harmony rca's and Duelund 16ga wire for making interconnects.  I also incorporated a braided shield since I was using the interconnect for a turntable.  They are very easy to use in an unshielded version but when using a shield it's difficult to solder the braid and the wire on the connectors.  It can be done but it's a very tight fit.  They sound great. 
You are so right about the difficulty of shielding with the KLEI.   I wrote them asking how they did it because it was not that easy.  
The Pure Harmony is a good place to start! 
How many hours break in time for Pure Harmony?

Sounds great right away and a very slight bit of brightness fades away in 100-150 hours. 
I never seen such compatibility issue between RCA connectors before!

Yesterday I soldered KLEI Pure Harmony RCA connectors to my DIY Duelund DCA16GA cable.
When I connected these RCA to my Chord Qutest DAC, I damaged Qutest female RCA connector central pin contact.
After that, I opened Qutest and see contact plate was moved from its place.
I returned contact plate to it’s place.
Now my Qutest works again! But I can’t use KLEI RCA connectors with it.
On other hand I can use cable with KLEI RCA connectors between my phonostage and amplifier. Both use Vampire female RCA connectors.
This review is my IMHO.
I compared two similar Duelund tinned stranded copper twisted pair of 16 gauge.
One was with KLEI Pure Harmony RCA other with Switchcraft RCA.
KLEI sound much cleaner. The focus of instrument is pinpoint.
Instrument separation is great. The sound is super smooth. Tonal balance is on the warm side of natural. Compared to Switchcraft, midrange is lusher.
Swichcraft sound dirty, soundstage is big but instruments focus and separation are not such great. But Swichcraft wins in dynamic, speed and more real tone of brass instruments. Swichcraft sound is more open, KLEI is fuller and darker.
KLEI serves music in contemplative way. It good for baroque music for east cost cool jazz.
Switchcraft shows more emotional side of music.
Did you give the KLEI 150 hours?  Most important to really hear it.  Let us know how many hours the KLEI had on them. Thanks. 
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What? Truly confused by your statement. Love fest for Duelund? Switchcraft? KLEI? Connectors?

I make and sell many cables weekly using all of the connectors mentioned here. All have a sonic impact and need varying lengths of burn in. Yes, I am rather experienced at this stuff.

So please explain yourself as you seem to have a dab of a problem here. 
My KLEI did only around 24 hours, but with FryBaby2 that is much more intensive compared to normal listening break in. 
I will try to do this comparison again after a long time of using KLEI.
I also want to compare KLEI to Furutech FP126G.
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I see. Thanks for the clarification.Great info here for you and others to learn about and try first hand. Amazing.
"22 of 26 (up to my post) responses are for one brand. that is unusual. Where typically getting even two audiophile to agree on anything is near impossible. MY guess is a CABAL/fan boy fest...
Your guess is just as valid."

It takes a certain amount of audacity for someone who excessively emotes over one brand of power cord to label others as part of a cabal or as fanboys.

But, as you said; it is not your problem.

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Also, Sonic Craft has closeout pricing of $15 on a set of 4 Neotech RCAs that actually sound quite good

I assume you're talking about the Neotech DG-302?  Do you know metal and plating they are made from?  There is no information anywhere about their construction.  As a matter of fact, the only place DG-302 is mentioned is on Sonic Craft's website.  Seems strange.
Oh for the days when Switchcraft was good enough!
I prefer BFA banana connectors for a firm fit.  In that vein, DH Labs Z-plugs are about $9.00 a piece and are excellent in function.  I thought the KLE plugs were worth about a buck a piece and of course they do require soldering.  I returned them.  However, lots of folks here clearly love them.  Frankly, I have never heard sonic differences between plugs myself.  Wire yes, but plug no.   
Furutech FP126G are very well made and sounding RCA connectors and are not expensive at all.
@elizabeth Any thread where people try to help each other without berating others' opinions is a success in my book.  I don't get any sense that the various KLE pushers in the thread are in cahoots...
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Well, if it is a cabal and everyone is in cahoots with PartsConnextion, it worked.  The top end KLEI absolute harmonys were on sale, a set of 4 for $87.  Put in the order tonight.  Thanks for all the suggestions.  
I’m building my first set of cables using switchcraft ( so my mistakes are not too expensive). If all goes well, I’ll seek nicer RCA’s. 
My first set turned out great and sound wonderful with the switchcraft basic RCAs. After much research I'm thinking a set of Pure Harmony may be the best and cost effective option for me. One question about the Harmony plugs, the main (positive) solder post is off to one side of the center post correct? And the neutral post has the outer band going up the outside grooves. 

I'm hoping this is the case since I feel the switchcraft center and neutral posts are too close making soldering a little more tediou. 
KLEI is the current favorite eh? I was once curious about Eichmann bullets so I soldered them to Ebay mil spec wire.  Made a second set of interconnects with Radioshack plugs with plastic covers.  No difference whatsoever between them. 

The hollow pin Switchcraft 3502 beats them all if you know how to solder the wire to the top of the pin as intended.  I suspect using these with Duelund wire will produce terrific results. 
Just make a set with the KLEI and then with Switchcraft using Duelund 16 gauge. Now listen for several weeks as burn in needed. A good rig high in Fidelity is also needed. I am confident if you do and have all this you will come away with great first hand knowledge.