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Gold or Nickel plated audio cables?

Discussion in 'Cables & Switches' started by sam220, Jun 10, 2004.

  1. sam220

    sam220
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    Hello

    I'm looking to buy a "3.5mm to 2-phono" audio cable to connect my laptop to my stereo/tv. I've seen a couple of cables with either gold or nickel plated connectors but the nickel plated cables are slightly higher in price. I always thought gold plated was superior but now I 'm not too sure which would give the better quality :confused:

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Wannabe-THX

    Wannabe-THX
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    You should match them with the connections on the hardware. Its a chemical thing.

    Fish
     
  3. sam220

    sam220
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    so in general, would you say that gold plated connectors are better than nickel plated (or vice-versa)?
     
  4. Burton

    Burton
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    It is all about the quality of the contact made/ contact resitance. I don't have the actual figures to hand but Gold plating requires considerably less contact pressure to make a good connection/ repeatable connection compared to Nickel.

    Yes it is a chemical thing to some extent but nickel is quite often used in the connector industry as an underplating for gold and they are not incompatible.

    Unfortunately your connection will only be as good as your weakest link, but I would run with gold whenever possible. Gold on both contacts would be best.

    Last but not least, just to confuse matters there are many different specs of gold and plating thickness applied and so they are not always comparable. Your cheaper gold cables may just be gold coloured/ very thin gold 'flash' and hence make very little difference. Are the cables from the same manufacturer? ...there are many variables that will change selling price including non technical attributes - brand names and market positioning.
     
  5. eviljohn2

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    I wouldn't worry about it too much, just get a cable that looks well made. Build quality (in particular the termination) is much more important than what the connections are made from.
     
  6. sam220

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  7. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
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  8. eviljohn2

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  9. sam220

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    The maplins cable is a bit over budget for me and I'm not skilled enough to make one. I think I'll go for the nickel plated cable as it looks like better quality. The other one is probably cheap gold plating anyway.
     
  10. eviljohn2

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  11. sam220

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    The second one looks tempting, how different is it to the original gold one i found?
     
  12. eviljohn2

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    I've got a subwoofer cable of the same type as the second one (now replaced by a DIY one). It's fairly well made and would be a good bet.
     

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