There are many types of RCA connectors on the market. Many of them are good and many are simply garbage. Most of the time, I either use the ones from Rean or Neutrik. Then I came across these Yongsheng ones. Apparently, these Yongsheng ones, I was told, are the REAN of Asia. I came across a couple of them and I must say that they are built pretty well. I will try them on an installation first and we shall see how they go
Most of the time, when we are fixing or terminating XLR plugs, the brand in question is almost always Neutrik. That is why while I was at a customer’s place a couple of days back, and they asked me to terminate a new XLR plug for them, they gave me this packet, with a new XLR plug inside it. Apparently, they had some spare ones from CPC UK and they wanted to use them first. So I said no worries and proceeded to do the termination. This XLR plug, in my honest opinion, was not built as well as the Neutriks. I do not know how to describe it but it does not have the quality that Neutriks “ooze”. But all that being said and done, this plug was soldered on the old cable (the old XLR plug had lost its rubberised ring) and it was put back to use.
Just last week, I was stripping down the training room of a client’s place. That training room had a huge video wall, complete with a good audio setup. So when we stripped, we had to cut off all the cables and I had these left over. Talk about a haul! Neutrik XLR plugs and Speakons! This will come in very handy when I have installations next time…I can simply reuse these cables and they are spun! They are still in very good condition. Looks like being a “garbage collector” has its uses!
I made the horrible mistake of buying these black China-made XLR plugs. Yes. I know the saying…you get what you pay for. Honestly, I had good fortune with some other China XLRs but these…stay away from them. What is wrong with them? Well, first of all, the lock holes do not catch. One of them came loose during an event I had. Also, when soldering them, the pins got hot and melted the surrounding plastic. I promptly got rid of them and bought some Neutrik ones…at double the cost. So remember, when making interconnects…stay away from these made-in-China black ones!
I posted an article in this blog some time back about a Whirlwind DI box. That DI box has been with me for many years and is still going strong. Some of the Whirlwind stuff has been with me since that time, almost 25 years ago and are still going strong. Take this XLR cable for instance. This microphone cable is terminated at both ends with quality Whirlwind XLR plugs and it still sounds as good as ever. As a matter of fact, this Whirlwind XLR jack has outlived many of its Neutrik counterparts in my toolbox. They are a little hard to get here in Singapore but if I come across them, I will buy them at a moment’s notice. These things last!
One thing I love about these ITT Cannon jacks of old is that they are built tough and I have a couple of them, still soldered to the cables they were originally soldered on…30 years and counting. You can get some Made In China XLR jacks like these but that is where the similarity ends. These quality ITT Cannon jacks were also found on the those old Canare snakes that I was wrote about some time back. I wish that these can be found more readily in the marketplace instead of the Neutrik ones that I use all the time now.
Back in the day, Switchcraft were the people you turned to if you wanted good and dependable XLR plugs. Not to say that Neutrik XLR plugs were bad. Switchcraft, in my opinion, were more affordable and much more robust. I have Switchcraft XLR plugs in my inventory that have been with me for over twenty years and are still performing flawlessly. Gotta hand it to them for their robust-ness!