Furutech NCF AC Plugs: Gold vs Rhodium Reviewed!

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. Read 909 times.

DaveC113

  • Facilitator
  • Posts: 4173
  • ZenWaveAudio.com
Furutech NCF AC Plugs: Gold vs Rhodium Reviewed!
« on: 23 Aug 2020, 12:38 am »
Here's a nice comparison by Jay of AudioBacon of identical ZenWave PCR-14 copper ribbon power cables, with only the plugs being different. And the plugs are close to identical with the exception of gold vs rhodium plating. The electrical contacts are identical, both use Furutech's "Alpha Copper". Both use Furutech's NCF material to reduce noise. The rhodium plated plug has a carbon fiber/stainless body that does give it a slight advantage, but the gold plated plug has a high quality metal body that's significantly better vs the plastic bodied Furutech plugs.

https://audiobacon.net/2020/08/22/power-connectors-they-sound-different/

I totally agree with Jay's findings. The only thing I'll add is that I think rhodium is clearer and more neutral, which is pretty obvious, but it also makes the base material more audible. For that reason I prefer rhodium only on pure copper connectors. I also think platings from different companies sound different, Furutech uses really high quality plating with good thickness and a mirror finish.

I can say from my testing that many undesirable characteristics that have been attributed to rhodium have been mistaken. It's very easy to do in this hobby! Cause and effect are not always clear. This reminds me of working on cars, it's very humbling. Nobody knows it all. If you think you do you're only setting yourself up for disappointment. :) Here are a few myths:

-Rhodium sounds harsh.... it's most likely 1. the base material or 2. The additional clarity of rhodium is allowing you to hear harshness gold plating smoothed over.

-Rhodium has this hard or glassy sound to it.... That's the quality of your AC power making it's self more audible.

-Rhodium accentuates bass.... It's just that gold softens dynamics and reduces the vibrancy of bass notes.

-This is more of an observation: Some issues with rhodium stem from using it with gold plated receptacles and IEC inlets. Most often this isn't an issue but in some cases it certainly is. You're better off using FI-50 NCF plugs with matching NCF receptacles and IEC inlets, if possible.

As I progress in my own audio journey the less I want gold plated anything, I've almost eliminated it entirely. :) If you need some warmth, don't use cables if you can avoid it. I can see fine-tuning an otherwise complete system, which is why I offer some cables on the warm side and why I offer the gold plated plugs. However, the most ideal situation would be to use the most neutral cable possible so you get the highest fidelity possible. This doesn't need to lead to overwhelming highs, an unpleasant and fake "HiFi" experience, or any burst eardrums. ;) It can also lead to a more immersive and 3-D soundstage, and more realistic and convincing timbre, better separation of images in complex music, and that elusive "Wow! " experience when you hear sounds coming from your system that sound real.

OTOH, if you just prefer a very warm system that's more than ok, and I do offer what I consider warm cables that are also very high end and lose the least amount of resolution possible in order to provide that warmth, this is the whole point of using UPOCC silver/gold alloy and ribbon vs round wire in some of my cables. Most would not prefer a round-wire pure UPOCC silver cable, which is why I don't offer one. I may offer it for phono cables as it fits that application well, but otherwise it's silver/gold wire or pure UPOCC silver ribbon wire for my top end cables.

I'd be interested to hear your experiences, let me know! :)

diyman

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 163
Re: Furutech NCF AC Plugs: Gold vs Rhodium Reviewed!
« Reply #1 on: 23 Aug 2020, 07:05 am »
Could you please explain the specific electronic mechanism by which the plating on the AC power plug affects the sound produced by the system.

DaveC113

  • Facilitator
  • Posts: 4173
  • ZenWaveAudio.com
Re: Furutech NCF AC Plugs: Gold vs Rhodium Reviewed!
« Reply #2 on: 23 Aug 2020, 01:42 pm »
Hi diyman, not sure what you mean by "electronic mechanism". As far as why different materials sound different in general, I don't know... but the attributes of these materials are audible when used in both signal cables and power cables.

I'm not here to debate the topic of "Do cables make a difference?". If you'd like to start such a conversation, you can open a thread in the Path of Least Resistance forum. Thanks!

Elizabeth

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 2626
  • So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
Re: Furutech NCF AC Plugs: Gold vs Rhodium Reviewed!
« Reply #3 on: 23 Aug 2020, 04:11 pm »
I read the opening and summary and agree with Gold is like he says, and so is Rhodium.
I bought 17 Furutech duplex. 10 Rhodium and 7 Gold and then bought one more Rhodium to replace a gold. Not that the Rhodium is perfect for every task. rather they are different .and that difference should be taken into account when listening and adjusting the system.
Also get them burned in if possible. as the Rhodium takes a very long time to break in... and depending on your sensitivity, can be annoying as hell.plus it does not just change. it changes and goes back changes and goes back..LOL

diyman

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 163
Re: Furutech NCF AC Plugs: Gold vs Rhodium Reviewed!
« Reply #4 on: 23 Aug 2020, 05:35 pm »
Hi diyman, not sure what you mean by "electronic mechanism". As far as why different materials sound different in general, I don't know... but the attributes of these materials are audible when used in both signal cables and power cables.

I'm not here to debate the topic of "Do cables make a difference?". If you'd like to start such a conversation, you can open a thread in the Path of Least Resistance forum. Thanks!

OK. Just to be clear.  You are claiming that you can hear a difference between the two materials, but can't explain why it is there.

rajacat

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 3211
  • Washington State
Re: Furutech NCF AC Plugs: Gold vs Rhodium Reviewed!
« Reply #5 on: 23 Aug 2020, 05:54 pm »
OK. Just to be clear.  You are claiming that you can hear a difference between the two materials, but can't explain why it is there.

Troll alert.

Any topic related to cables and you can be sure that diyman will show up. He must consider it his sacred duty to protect us gullible and deluded audiophiles from believing our ears.

diyman

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 163
Re: Furutech NCF AC Plugs: Gold vs Rhodium Reviewed!
« Reply #6 on: 23 Aug 2020, 06:41 pm »
Troll alert.

Any topic related to cables and you can be sure that diyman will show up. He must consider it his sacred duty to protect us gullible and deluded audiophiles from believing our ears.

I'm just simply asking for an explanation in electronic terms of how the difference in plating of the AC plug contacts has an affect on what you hear from the speakers.   It's a perfectly reasonable question and anyone who claims that there is a difference should be able to answer it.

DaveC113

  • Facilitator
  • Posts: 4173
  • ZenWaveAudio.com
Re: Furutech NCF AC Plugs: Gold vs Rhodium Reviewed!
« Reply #7 on: 23 Aug 2020, 07:33 pm »
I'm just simply asking for an explanation in electronic terms of how the difference in plating of the AC plug contacts has an affect on what you hear from the speakers.   It's a perfectly reasonable question and anyone who claims that there is a difference should be able to answer it.

You've brought it up three times now and I can tell you nobody understands what you're talking about as far as "electronic terms" or "electronic mechanism". These are not standard terms I understand. I simply assumed you meant a technical explanation for why conductors make an audible difference and I told you I don't know and that a "cable debate" is absolutely not allowed in the ZenWave Audio Circle, which is where you're posting. If you ask again, for the 4th time, I'll have to assume you're trolling, which is against TOU of the site and breaks 2 rules in my own circle as well. I think it's pretty obvious you ARE here for a cable debate, so I'm trying to make this very clear. Thanks for your understanding!  :thumb:

DaveC113

  • Facilitator
  • Posts: 4173
  • ZenWaveAudio.com
Re: Furutech NCF AC Plugs: Gold vs Rhodium Reviewed!
« Reply #8 on: 23 Aug 2020, 07:35 pm »
Alright then, here's a pic of the 2 male plugs Jay tested, copied from AudioBacon... Thanks Jay!  :green:


diyman

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 163
Re: Furutech NCF AC Plugs: Gold vs Rhodium Reviewed!
« Reply #9 on: 24 Aug 2020, 06:49 am »
You've brought it up three times now and I can tell you nobody understands what you're talking about as far as "electronic terms" or "electronic mechanism".....

What I said is very clear.

toocool4

Re: Furutech NCF AC Plugs: Gold vs Rhodium Reviewed!
« Reply #10 on: 24 Aug 2020, 08:42 am »
diyman sometimes you just have to experience something for yourself to get what people are talking about.

I use Rhodium connectors for my headphones, I can hear the difference between Gold & Rhodium. Even though I think Rhodium is not as good a conductor as Gold, the Rhodium sound is more pleasant to my ears.

 

FullRangeMan

  • Volunteer
  • Posts: 14910
  • To whom more was given more will be required.
    • Never go to a psychiatrist, adopt a straycat or dog. On the street they live only two years average.
Re: Furutech NCF AC Plugs: Gold vs Rhodium Reviewed!
« Reply #11 on: 24 Aug 2020, 09:16 am »
I had 4 artisan jewelery friends, 2 of whom passed away.
They used to send rhodium baths in many rings, ear pieces and bracelets, so I also take my connectors at the same workshop to give rhodium baths, I recommend the rhodium bath for the very cheap price around $10 per set and it hasnt oxidized until today.