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-   -   Gold connectors - a bad idea, make connections worse? (http://www.avrev.com/forum/cables/1849-gold-connectors-bad-idea-make-connections-worse.html)

rex 04-18-2008 09:48 AM

Gold connectors - a bad idea, make connections worse?
 
Ironically, in the following article, founder and head of Monster Cables, Noel Lee, admits "Gold connectors are a big fallacy." He goes on to state that "you're throwing your money away and asking for problems by using a gold-plated connector." This is because "When you put electricity through a junction of dissimilar metals, there are electrochemical migrations over time that can cause problems." I find this very amusing, since (someone please correct me if I am wrong about this) Monster cable connectors are invariably gold plated. Comments, anyone?

http://www.ultimateavmag.com/feature...le/index1.html

kennyt 04-18-2008 11:39 AM

Re: Gold connectors - a bad idea, make connections worse?
 
Gold is also not the greatest conductor, it is however resistant to corrosion which makes it more consistant than say silver (a better conductor) connections would be as they would tarnish over time and dgrade the transfer far more than gold plating.

Gold does have the benefit of being able to be extremely pure, which also helps minimize signal change in a IC, look into the Stealth PGS IC's if you want to try some. They are a bit dear for me, but I have never heard anyone be unhappy with them.

Ken S 04-18-2008 07:25 PM

Re: Gold connectors - a bad idea, make connections worse?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rex (Post 14084)
Ironically, in the following article, founder and head of Monster Cables, Noel Lee, admits "Gold connectors are a big fallacy." He goes on to state that "you're throwing your money away and asking for problems by using a gold-plated connector."......

If pure copper has a relative conductivity of 100 then silver is 8% higher and gold is 74% that of copper. If the connector whether mated with a connector made of the same metal i.e., silver-silver, gold-gold and etc. will not result in an electrolytic reaction. I agree if you should mate a gold male RCA plug with a tin plated RCA female receptacle, the result would cause a resistive connection over time, because of metal migration, electrolytic corrosion and etc. If the connectors on your gear are gold, there shouldn't be a problem using gold connector cables (which I prefer because of their non-corrosive properties). Gold plating is still the preferred metal for the transmission of low current signals. My guess is that Monster is down-playing gold because the current cost is high and they're looking to replace it.

rex 04-18-2008 09:11 PM

Re: Gold connectors - a bad idea, make connections worse?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ken S (Post 14102)
My guess is that Monster is down-playing gold because the current cost is high and they're looking to replace it.

That makes sense. A few years ago, I made a small investment in gold. Now I sure wish I had invested more!
Platinum and paladium are now so high, people have been stealing catalytic converters off cars.

kennyt 04-19-2008 03:42 AM

Re: Gold connectors - a bad idea, make connections worse?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rex (Post 14103)
Platinum and paladium are now so high, people have been stealing catalytic converters off cars.

And copper has gone up so much people are stealing large electrical cables from power plants and switching station for scrap!

Pretty soon we'll be stealing gas again like in the 70's....

MatrixDweller 04-21-2008 06:29 PM

Re: Gold connectors - a bad idea, make connections worse?
 
The problem with copper is that when it corrodes the cupric oxide that is formed is non conductive. Copper is cheaper than silver though so using it for wire makes sense. It's also somewhat malleable were as silver and aluminum can be brittle. Aluminum is the fourth best conductor and silver is the first, copper is a close second and gold is the third. The special thing about gold is that it can be pounded or anodized onto something really really thin. It also doesn't form oxides so it will stay in it's pure form.

Gold is also equated with being expensive so having something gold plated (even though the actual amount is very small) leads one to believe it's worth a lot more. Platinum and Rhodium are more expensive than gold and are used sometimes too. Platinum and Rhodium are good conductors but also have very high melting points. They are used in many viable electrical situations like lightning rods or thermocouples. Plating audio connectors with them is just for show.

The other option you see quite a bit is nickel plating. Nickel is a better conductor than it is an insulator but it's pretty low on the list. Steel is also a poor conductor in comparison to copper. They are also not as flashy looking and if you were proposing to your girlfriend she would probably say no if she knew her ring was made of steel or nickel plated steel (stainless steel).

One thing I disagree with in Munster Cables' Noel Lee is that I don't think gold will react with the copper it's plating even when an electrical current is running through it. There would be more reaction within the impurities in the copper as the gold would be fairly pure. Gold, platinum, rhodium don't react with too many other things.

So if you had to plate another metal with another gold should be the first choice as it doesn't oxidate, is fairly chemically neutral and is one of the best conductors of electricity. The fact remains though that unless you have super human or canine hearing you're not going to hear any difference between gold plating and nickel plating on your interconnects.


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