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Cables - Gold or Nickel?
Old 29th January 2009
  #1
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Cables - Gold or Nickel?

I just recently finished building an XLR patch panel. I used the Neutrik female combo jacks for the face and gold male XLR jacks in the rear. Not that difficult to do... just costs a bit for a good soldering iron and the tools to get the job done. Now, I'm going to start making my own cables because I'm sick of the ridiculously high prices of Monster cables and of Mogami as well and I already have tools I need aside from bulk wire and connectors. So I've decided to use some Mogami 2-conductor balanced wire because I don't want to mess with soldering 4 wires inside of a 1/4" connector. Seems like more trouble than it's worth. Here's my question... If you were me, would you use the nickel-plated 1/4" connectors or the gold-plated connectors to make your balanced cables???
Old 30th January 2009
  #2
Deleted 99dc753
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by McQ714 ➑️
I just recently finished building an XLR patch panel. I used the Neutrik female combo jacks for the face and gold male XLR jacks in the rear. Not that difficult to do... just costs a bit for a good soldering iron and the tools to get the job done. Now, I'm going to start making my own cables because I'm sick of the ridiculously high prices of Monster cables and of Mogami as well and I already have tools I need aside from bulk wire and connectors. So I've decided to use some Mogami 2-conductor balanced wire because I don't want to mess with soldering 4 wires inside of a 1/4" connector. Seems like more trouble than it's worth. Here's my question... If you were me, would you use the nickel-plated 1/4" connectors or the gold-plated connectors to make your balanced cables???
You wont hear the difference any way.
This is esoteric audio things.

I know a HIFI Shop in Berlin they sell speaker cable for 2.5 K in Euros for 5 Meters. We listened to this cable after this I took out fat copper wire and we A B this.... resume was the copper wire sounds equal to the 2.5 K cable.

I buy good cables because of their longer life time.
but for me things like sound are very secondery topic.

Some enginners say it is different but I know we can talk us into hearing things which are not there.

Go to the Website of Vovox and listen to the demo files it is just insane they argue taht the stereo image changes with vovox. But if you listen to the files you fast reocgnized some one just turned the pan pods on the mixer to get the impression the vovox cable is changing the stereo base.

Do not get fooled by marketing of such companies they want to make monney and taht very fast and with a minimum of input.

It is just insane and stupid to charge for a single patch cable 40 Euros.

But you know if you buy it you never would tell yourself it does not work because you have paid so much money for this and sure ist must bebetter as any other cabel.

Go with a 100 meter role of Magomy and make your own cables with normal conectors and you are done.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Gear Head
 
lamacchiacosta's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Soundwise there's no difference.
In terms of reliability, the nickel ones tent to oxidate and quite soon the level of your signal will fall down filled with scratches and noises.
The goldplated do not suffer the oxidation issue, so your signal will be good forever.
You don't need to spend a lot of money in expensive Neutrik connectors. You can easily find a cheaper alternative with the same quality.
I've got millions of cables made by myself. I never bught one already done. The average age of my cables actually is 15 years and they're still there ready and working.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #4
Lives for gear
 
BOWIE's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Yea, you'll hear a difference when they oxidize. Since most people don't want to polish their connector terminals every six months, I highly recommend gold.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #5
Gear Guru
 
Sid Viscous's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Unplugging and replugging a XLR should be more than enough cleaning for it, and AFAIK, the gold connectors make the nickle/tin connectors oxidize faster.
Old 1st February 2009 | Show parent
  #6
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sid Viscous ➑️
Unplugging and replugging a XLR should be more than enough cleaning for it, and AFAIK, the gold connectors make the nickle/tin connectors oxidize faster.
Chemically, this is true... but that's assuming the gold connectors are oxidized (oxidized in the chemical meaning--the gold has lost electrons and is now in ion form). Gold has a very high standard reduction potential, meaning it's almost never going to oxidize. Very few substances can oxidize gold, the most notable being aqua regia, a concentrated mixture of nitric and hydrochloric acid. And seeing as that isn't something you usually find in air...

Gold does not readily oxidize in air, a trait which lends to gold's value. The only reason that the tin and nickel connectors seem to oxidize faster is your mind. heh That being said, nickel and tin can and will react in air to form metal oxides fairly easily, so gold is a better bet.
Old 1st February 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Hi Joe!

Joining two metals in the connection will not add any capacitance Capacitance in series connection would block DC which is not the case.

What can happen though is that two different metals can produce a small potential but that is so low it won't affect audio and also it's cancelled if you have two similar connections on both ends of the interfacing.

Gold on all connectors is a good solution. It works, it's troublefree and you don't need to worry about any strange effects small or big!


/Peter
Old 1st February 2009 | Show parent
  #8
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiop ➑️
Hi Joe!

Joining two metals in the connection will not add any capacitance Capacitance in series connection would block DC which is not the case.

What can happen though is that two different metals can produce a small potential but that is so low it won't affect audio and also it's cancelled if you have two similar connections on both ends of the interfacing.

Gold on all connectors is a good solution. It works, it's troublefree and you don't need to worry about any strange effects small or big!


/Peter
Well, like I said gold has almost no tendency to oxidize under standard conditions, so almost no metals will set off a reaction unless we're at standard conditions (not very often).
Old 1st February 2009 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Yes but different metals in a junction will still be able to put up a potential/voltage. Using the same metal this is avoided.

Gold on all connectors is a safe way of avoiding oxidation and "junction voltage"... sorry I don 't remember the english word for it.


/Peter
Old 2nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #10
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
.... so i'll go with the gold since it just looks nicer!!! and i'll be putting more money into the economy!?!
Old 7th March 2017
  #11
Here for the gear
 
laboitenoire is right. Despite all the hype we encoutner, gold is only superior when mated to gold, meaning both male AND female must be gold. If not, you are better off sticking with nickel, which is a quasi-standard that most connector makers adhere to. They do this because galvanic corrosion is worse when mating dissimilar metals. So if the industry attempts to stick to nickel, then there is less corrosion. BTW..."oxidation" is the proper word for this. That refers to "rusting" processes. "Corrosion", specifically "galvanic corrosion" is the term here. PedalSnake has an entire article on this: http://www.pedalsnake.com/page.php?id=68#pedalboard failures This is also a great article with some very nice color charts to help make decisions: https://blog.samtec.com/post/dissimi...ng-connectors/ The only connections affected are ones that stay connected for a long time, and have low voltage (< 30V) and low current (< 1A). So yes, merely unplugging and replugging will break any corrosion layer, scrape the metal clean, and form a "new" connection. It is easy to get fooled about this stuff though, because the industry likes to complicate everything in order to sell overpriced (yet meaningless) "solutions", like gold plugs. And these plugs usually have such a thin plating of gold that they are not reliable. The space shuttle, medical equipment, and other high-reliability stuff use gold, but on BOTH sides of all their connections.
Old 7th March 2017 | Show parent
  #12
Here for the gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by groovemule ➑️
laboitenoire is right. Despite all the hype we encoutner, gold is only superior when mated to gold, meaning both male AND female must be gold. If not, you are better off sticking with nickel, which is a quasi-standard that most connector makers adhere to. They do this because galvanic corrosion is worse when mating dissimilar metals. So if the industry attempts to stick to nickel, then there is less corrosion. BTW..."oxidation" is the proper word for this. That refers to "rusting" processes. "Corrosion", specifically "galvanic corrosion" is the term here. PedalSnake has an entire article on this: Pedal Rig Tips failures This is also a great article with some very nice color charts to help make decisions: https://blog.samtec.com/post/dissimi...ng-connectors/ The only connections affected are ones that stay connected for a long time, and have low voltage (< 30V) and low current (< 1A). So yes, merely unplugging and replugging will break any corrosion layer, scrape the metal clean, and form a "new" connection. It is easy to get fooled about this stuff though, because the industry likes to complicate everything in order to sell overpriced (yet meaningless) "solutions", like gold plugs. And these plugs usually have such a thin plating of gold that they are not reliable. The space shuttle, medical equipment, and other high-reliability stuff use gold, but on BOTH sides of all their connections.
Make that "BTW..."oxidation" is NOT the proper word for this"...
Old 7th March 2017 | Show parent
  #13
Here for the gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by groovemule ➑️
Make that "BTW..."oxidation" is NOT the proper word for this"...
If you try that PedalSnake link, go to the article "Pedalboard Failures".
Old 7th March 2017
  #14
Lives for gear
 
elektrovolt's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I always use the gold plated Neutrik XLRs as they maintain a proper connection longer than the nicker version which turns black soon enough.
Still the gold plating wears off when they are plugged in and out several times. I remember Neutrik makes a silver plated version too, but never used that one. Theoretically, the silver oxide should not be causing connection problems.
Old 15th September 2017
  #15
Lives for gear
 
JblKid95's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Is mogami silver essentially the nickel version?
Old 18th September 2017 | Show parent
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Richard Crowley's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by JblKid95 ➑️
Is mogami silver essentially the nickel version?
"Mogami Silver" is a marketing term. It has no technical or scientific meaning. The marketing name "Mogami Silver" does not guarantee any particular kind of connector.

Mogami makes cable. Bulk cable on rolls of 100s of ft/m and finished cable with connectors terminated. If you want to know the exact nature of the connectors, you must read the description details.

Mogami does not make cable with gold, silver, or nickel that I recall. Mogami does not make connectors, either, IIRC.

When I Googled for "Mogami Silver" the first hit took me to Guitar Center where they were selling "Mogami Silver Series 1/4" Straight Instrument Cable" The photo showed Amphenol brand connectors with gold-plated contact surfaces. But there was no mention of gold (or silver or any other metal) in the description.

If you want your particular choice of cable and connectors, and at a sensible price you could order custom cables from Redco. Or buy bulk cable and connectors and learn to make your own. It really isn't that difficult.
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