Do materials matter in cables and connectors?

February 27, 2018
 by Paul McGowan

5 comments on “Do materials matter in cables and connectors?”

  1. Good info. You kind of set yourself up for the next question. Could you talk a bit about the different construction methods of cables? You left us hangin' on this one!

    Thanks,

    Eric

  2. Thanks for an interesting video, Paul. I share your preference for gold plated connectors (although it has to be gold-on-gold to get the full benefit), since connections have given me grief over the years.

    I once asked my extreme audiophile colleague about Litz wire. In summary, he thought it was OK, providing it was silk insulated and unsheathed, although apparently a thin silk sheath was tolerable. And it had to be copper; silver was too bright. That served me right for asking what I thought was a simple question 🙂

  3. I only recently discovered "Ask Paul" on YouTube. Needless to say, I'm hooked! Thank you so much for doing this! Your "Ask Paul" series has provided more common sense wisdom and technical understanding than 30 years reading audiophile magazines. I especially want to thank you for acknowledging that differences in the way audio gear sounds yet cannot be measured quantifiably simply means that the industry and EE profession haven't discovered what variables are responsible for those differences, much less how to measure them. It seems painfully obvious, yet the flat earthers of the audio world are convinced that if they cannot measure it using the same old decades-old measurement criteria that it cannot possibly exist.
    Anyway, piggybacking today's "Ask Paul" topic, what's your take on binding post materials? It seems counterproductive after spending a fortune on high quality copper or silver speaker cables to use the gold plated brass binding posts so commonly found on loudspeakers of all price ranges that are sold today. It seems like brass binding posts would present a conductivity bottleneck of sorts between the amp and the speaker drivers. There are a few companies that make binding posts in gold plated copper or tellurium copper-rich alloys. Wouldn't those sound better and be far better conductors compared to the gold plated brass posts in common use, today?
    I would sincerely appreciate hearing your take on this. Thanks in advance and please, keep doing what you do!
    Craig

    1. Thanks for watching! Binding posts are important and on our BHK series, for example, we gold plate them to ensure an oxidation-free connection. I will suggest that just about any high quality connector I've seen are pretty decent for clamping down hard on the spade and as long as it is tight and occasionally cleaned, you're probably ok even with the benefit of non-oxidizing gold plating.

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