RCA shorting plugs

August 10, 2022
 by Paul McGowan

11 comments on “RCA shorting plugs”

  1. Hey Paul,
    Thanks for the review of shorting plugs.
    I love your videos but yes, some of us “old timers” love our reel to reel tape machines.
    At 15 ips it is some of the best analog sound consistently day in and day out..
    Respectfully, Byron

  2. This may seem a bit nit picky and all the more strange as I don’t even ‘do’ vinyl but would it be made clear in published specs that the noise measurements on a phono stage had been taken using shorting plugs as opposed to using a cartridge or open circuit. It would be difficult to make fair comparisons if the methodology of measurement isn’t known. Alternatively such measurements could be purely for your own in house use?

    Secondly, I did wonder if there is an unwanted echo in the Octave studio as shorting plugs were covered in a very recent Paul’s Post. 😉

  3. Hi Paul,
    I suspect that quite a few of us have high end cassette decks. Because reel-to-reel is beyond my budget, I have a few restored and recapped Nakamichi tape decks, each one with its unique and wonderfully warm analog sound. I also have a couple of Tascam professional grade DSD recorders for when I want to digitize my analog sources.
    It does frustrates me greatly when a high-end pre-amp or receiver does not carry a tape loop (or two), as it prevents me from recording analog without rewiring sources or to play with fun analog signal processors.
    By the way, I do buy some of your SACD releases and would be interested in buying a needle drop release.
    Tape deck recording of a SACD is a great way to further appreciate DSD.

  4. I always thought those were to protect the non used rca inputs from metal corrosion/oxidation? In this case, A non-conductive plug would be better.

    1. Hi Sans,
      You can get/buy tight fitting little silicone covers or ‘teats’ that will fit snugly over
      the RCA sockets to protect them from floating particulate or any external gunk.
      Usually available in Red, White or Black.

      For any corrosion/oxidation use a weak solution of hydrochloric acid, then
      wash off with acetone & finally wash off with distilled water, using pipe
      cleaners for the centre spindle hole & cotton sticks for the outer.

  5. Wow! Amos & Andy, Groucho Marx and Jerry Lewis all in one video? I guess I’m showing my similar age Paul but have to say that I DO wince when you use your Kingfish voice. Is it just me?

  6. I think the shorting plugs help keep RF off the circuit board, keeps the RCA jacks clean, and creates an even more black background. Any RF or other noise that hits the jacks go directly to ground. If you imagine it works it actually works. 🙂

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