Check out Parts Connexion.
I used to use Cardas, but man, what a pain to solder to.
I used to use Cardas, but man, what a pain to solder to.
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
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
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
If you have any questions - just ask :-)
Hope that helps - Steve
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
Also, Sonic Craft has closeout pricing of $15 on a set of 4 Neotech RCAs that actually sound quite goodI 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.
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.
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.