How To Use WBT Locking RCA Plugs

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DaveC113

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How To Use WBT Locking RCA Plugs
« on: 10 Dec 2019, 06:14 pm »
I'm going to go over how to use the WBT 0102 Ag locking RCA plugs I use in many of my cables.

First, why locking RCA plugs? They are a pain!  :evil:  I know, but there are some advantages!  :)

     - RCA jacks are not all the same size so if you don't have locking RCA plugs some may be too loose and some may be too tight.
     - If the RCA plugs are not locking the design must use a plug that can flex. This introduces some design constraints.
     - If RCA jacks are not locking the number of cycles the plug and jack are good for is greatly reduced due to friction wearing out the parts. This friction will wear through the plating eventually.
     - Conversely, locking RCA plugs allow the plug to be installed and removed without nearly as much friction, this preserves the plating on both the plug and jack.
     - Locking RCA jacks make more firm contact with the ground and can't be inadvertently pulled out as easily.

And disadvantages:

     - They are more difficult to use in general.
     - 2 hands are required, one to hold the plug, the other to turn the locking barrel.
     - If the plug isn't held while turning the locking barrel the plug can rotate on the jack or the cable could put stress on it's strain relief, worst case being rotation of the cable inside the plug.
     - If over tightened the plug can damage the jack. If you look at WBT's Nexgen jacks, they are mostly plastic and too much force by the plug could damage it.

WBT has recently changed the material the locking barrel of the 0102 Ag RCA plug, it is now softer to prevent damage of RCA jacks. The downside is the main reason for this post, if over tightened the plug can come apart, it's made of 2 pieces that snap together. Let's check out some photos to see exactly what I'm talking about... But 1st, here's the instructions given by WBT:



These instructions don't go over what happens when you over tighten, so now that we understand the basics of operating the plug, let's look at that.

First, the complete plug. I recommend lining up the tip of the locking barrel with the ground prongs when installing. Note only ONE ground prong is the ground, the others are only there for support, so it's very important the ground prong is firmly in contact with the RCA jack.



Next, let's look at the locking barrels, stock on the left and with the carbon fiber damper added on the right. The carbon damper gives you more leverage, so it requires less force to tighten.



Here's a locking barrel separated into it's 2 pieces:



And here's what the locking barrel looks like when it's been separated due to over tightening:



And here's what the 2 different barrel materials look like, the old style is on the right and is much more difficult to over tighten, the new softer brass material is on the left and some folks have been having issues with them lately. The old one, I maybe had 2 folks separate the locking barrels over 5 years.




In conclusion, please understand these instructions and you will have a lifetime of musical pleasure. If the barrels separate, the ground prong may not make contact, this may cause noise and you may damage your speakers.

If anyone has any questions on the WBT plugs, or any of the locking RCA and banana plugs used by ZenWave Audio, please don't hesitate to contact me and ask questions. In the future I plan on making a video, which will be awesome, but this couldn't wait. Thanks for taking the time to check out this post and make sure you are using your WBT plugs properly! :) 
« Last Edit: 8 Feb 2020, 04:55 pm by DaveC113 »

ketcham

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Re: How To Use WBT Locking RCA Plugs
« Reply #1 on: 10 Dec 2019, 06:51 pm »
Hi Dave,

This is one of the best posts I have see on this forum for some time.  On many levels, one of the best.

In your own judgement, when installing these cables what do you consider tight?  Turn until you meet resistance and then stop, ensuring the cable base (core) does not itself twist?

You are very kind to ship demo cable to anyone interested trusting they will return well taken care of.  I, as a customer, would certainly not desire to damage your investment (demo) or my investment once purchased.

-John.

Don_S

Re: How To Use WBT Locking RCA Plugs
« Reply #2 on: 10 Dec 2019, 07:36 pm »
Interesting to note that when looking straight into the end of the cables loosening and tightening are standard. Counterclockwise (CCW) is loosen and clockwise (CW) is tighten. But when installing a cable and looking at the rear of equipment the mind thinks the opposite direction because it is like inserting a screw into the equipment.

That always messes me up for a while. But then again, all my clocks are digital so what do I know.  :lol:

mcgsxr

Re: How To Use WBT Locking RCA Plugs
« Reply #3 on: 10 Dec 2019, 07:45 pm »
I have a version of these on a Bolder digital cable.  I tighten them only by hand, and only until light/medium resistance.  No issues for many years.

ketcham

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Re: How To Use WBT Locking RCA Plugs
« Reply #4 on: 10 Dec 2019, 08:01 pm »
yes, this throws me off as well.  Would this be considered reverse thread or are you standing at the front of your equipment and as such not reversed thread.  (I would end up tightening when trying to loosen and then really be confused because I either made it more stuck or damaged it when using softer alloys of today.)

DaveC113

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Re: How To Use WBT Locking RCA Plugs
« Reply #5 on: 10 Dec 2019, 08:19 pm »
Hi Dave,

This is one of the best posts I have see on this forum for some time.  On many levels, one of the best.

In your own judgement, when installing these cables what do you consider tight?  Turn until you meet resistance and then stop, ensuring the cable base (core) does not itself twist?

You are very kind to ship demo cable to anyone interested trusting they will return well taken care of.  I, as a customer, would certainly not desire to damage your investment (demo) or my investment once purchased.

-John.

Hi John, I'd consider tight just past the point where you start to feel some resistance, maybe only about 10 degrees of rotation past that point, so it's not much. Just enough clamping force so you can't easily pull the plug off of the jack without loosening it first.



Interesting to note that when looking straight into the end of the cables loosening and tightening are standard. Counterclockwise (CCW) is loosen and clockwise (CW) is tighten. But when installing a cable and looking at the rear of equipment the mind thinks the opposite direction because it is like inserting a screw into the equipment.

That always messes me up for a while. But then again, all my clocks are digital so what do I know.  :lol:

To make things more confusing, Furutech locking barrels operate in the opposite direction vs WBT.



Funny story... Years ago, I did have one cable (with Furutech plugs) returned to me with the RCA chassis jack attached, the person used a wrench to loosen the barrel but ended up tightening it instead. He took it to a tech and the tech could not remove the cable, so he removed the jack from the chassis and installed another one. When I got the cable back I managed to loosen the plug but it was locked on there really well! :)

ketcham

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Re: How To Use WBT Locking RCA Plugs
« Reply #6 on: 10 Dec 2019, 08:31 pm »
So Moral of the Story:  look up the brand/manufacturer and model for proper instruction first.

Oh My!

DaveC113

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Re: How To Use WBT Locking RCA Plugs
« Reply #7 on: 11 Dec 2019, 03:38 pm »
So Moral of the Story:  look up the brand/manufacturer and model for proper instruction first.

Oh My!


I was just thinking, it seems like plugs with locking barrels that go on from the front will all have the same lock/unlock direction as WBT, while plugs with locking barrels that go on from the back and are not removable will work in the opposite direction. 

I really prefer the WBT design as far as building the cables goes, the only downside is the locking barrels can easily fall off. This can be solved by applying some plumber's teflon tape around the threads on the body, it also makes turning the locking barrel nice and smooth. Good news is, a roll of teflon tape is about $1 at any hardware store, so cheap and easily available. On my demo cables sometimes it needs to be replaced or more tape added frequently, for users at home it could last forever, just depends how often you remove the ICs.

Delta77

Re: How To Use WBT Locking RCA Plugs
« Reply #8 on: 11 Dec 2019, 05:13 pm »
     "a roll of teflon tape is about $1 at any hardware store"

Can I get Teflon Tape cryogenically treated..??   :scratch:

paul79

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Re: How To Use WBT Locking RCA Plugs
« Reply #9 on: 11 Dec 2019, 05:38 pm »
"Can I get Teflon Tape cryogenically treated..??"

:roll:

DaveC113

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Re: How To Use WBT Locking RCA Plugs
« Reply #10 on: 11 Dec 2019, 06:25 pm »
"Can I get Teflon Tape cryogenically treated..??"

:roll:

Lol, I'm sure it's a joke.  :lol:

If not though, I can totally supply cryo-treated tape but it's a difficult procedure and will cost $500/roll. Seems like a lot I know, but it's a great value. Really. I promise.  :icon_twisted:

paul79

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Re: How To Use WBT Locking RCA Plugs
« Reply #11 on: 11 Dec 2019, 07:33 pm »
Careful now, I take all you say as gospel, based on my loom of your cables over here. Guess I need some of this Cryo'd Tape then!

Elizabeth

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Re: How To Use WBT Locking RCA Plugs
« Reply #12 on: 11 Dec 2019, 07:54 pm »
Getting the actual metal ground prong "AT THE BOTTOM" is better, as the weight of the cable hanging will reinforce the contact. Where if the inner metal is at the top, it may tilt and separate.. Some cables can be heavy enough...
My #1 whine is the damn barrels FALL OFF sometimes. and manage to always get lost under some impossible to get at spot. This is definitely the # 1 PITA of WBT barrels. So much so. When I take them off now, I always tighten them IMMEDIATELY as soon as off the component RCA. so the barrels do not wander off.. Causing untold amount of swearing and WTF'ing while searching for the wandering miscreant. Otherwise they are good connectors.
It would have been nice to have the op tell HOW he gets the tweak stuff into the WBT shell. and where he got it. What thickness works, what does not etc. (is it just placed? glued? sticky?

DaveC113

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Re: How To Use WBT Locking RCA Plugs
« Reply #13 on: 11 Dec 2019, 08:42 pm »
Getting the actual metal ground prong "AT THE BOTTOM" is better, as the weight of the cable hanging will reinforce the contact. Where if the inner metal is at the top, it may tilt and separate.. Some cables can be heavy enough...
My #1 whine is the damn barrels FALL OFF sometimes. and manage to always get lost under some impossible to get at spot. This is definitely the # 1 PITA of WBT barrels. So much so. When I take them off now, I always tighten them IMMEDIATELY as soon as off the component RCA. so the barrels do not wander off.. Causing untold amount of swearing and WTF'ing while searching for the wandering miscreant. Otherwise they are good connectors.
It would have been nice to have the op tell HOW he gets the tweak stuff into the WBT shell. and where he got it. What thickness works, what does not etc. (is it just placed? glued? sticky?

Not sure if you read the last few posts, but it sounds like you, Paul and Delta all need to go in on some cryo tape to keep those barrels on! 12 rolls would normally be $6000 but I can knock it back to $5000 for a group buy.  :lol:

Seriously though, $1 to fix that issue, it works very well.

The teflon tape is pretty easy to figure out, just wrap it around the threads just like a pipe. The carbon fiber dampers are used on ZenWave cables, they are cut using a diamond saw blade, reamed, and glued in place. I don't want to give up all the details, I can see my competition copying. There's another company that uses dampers on WBT and they hide it under shrink tube. I think the carbon fiber looks too nice to cover. 


paul79

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Re: How To Use WBT Locking RCA Plugs
« Reply #14 on: 11 Dec 2019, 09:02 pm »
Can one trade in the old barrels that have the previous damping to the new Carbon Fiber? It looks so nice...

DaveC113

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Re: How To Use WBT Locking RCA Plugs
« Reply #15 on: 11 Dec 2019, 09:41 pm »
Can one trade in the old barrels that have the previous damping to the new Carbon Fiber? It looks so nice...

Yes, of course... I'm surprised I forgot to ask you!



If you have a ZenWave IC with WBT plugs and want the carbon fiber dampers I can put them on for $90/set of 4. The price of ZenWave Cables is going up when I get the new website done, and the new carbon dampers do add to the price. Until the website is up you can get the cables at the old price, but with the new carbon dampers. It's a good time to buy!  :green:

I was going to announce them on a separate thread but am unsure if it's wise to offer them outside of the plugs that come with my cables. I don't want WBT to be upset with me!   

A_shah

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Re: How To Use WBT Locking RCA Plugs
« Reply #16 on: 12 Dec 2019, 09:23 pm »
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« Last Edit: 12 Dec 2019, 11:28 pm by A_shah »