Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Exotic Connectors

Have been recently thinking about connectors and plugs. In the Hi-fi world, the standard is for the use of; RCA, Binding Posts, Spades and Bananas. However, moving the other way, I was thinking about the recording and live performance industry. In that world, Neutrik/Amphenol type rules king. And when you think about it, all the recording studios use XLR connectors for almost all their equipment. Connecting long cables, in noisy environments. Same thing for live performance. How come no one ini that industry has insisted on the use of amorphous cryogenically treated machined virgin silver billet with rhodium plated contacts? I think this is possibly where snake oil is really at its best. From this thought point, there are two conclusions I can make. One, reduce the number of connections as much as possible. Two, use reliable and industrial quality connectors. To this end, I am now slowly replacing all my connectors with Neutrik types. Using XLR for signal level, and Speak CON for the speakers. With the XLR, I am using 3-pin for mono line, and using 5 pin for any stereo (or Phono) connections. I think this would result in robust connections, that can be made quickly, safely and less damage to the connectors. This is because they were designed to be plug, un-plugged thousands of times. Further, using the Speak CON connectors removes the possible exposure of lethal voltages between the speaker binding posts. Couple this with solid silver braid as the cable medium, sheaved in various combinations of natural cotton and teflon, should make a robust and high quality cables. More build photos and experiences to come.

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