Need recommendation for hi-rez xlr plugs for re-termination project

I recently bought a pair of balanced interconnects, here, and am mostly quite pleased with the sound but the seller was mistaken about their length, and I have 3M instead of 2M and that too would have been longer than needed.  I've contacted the builder of these fine cables and he's willing to re-terminate them.  


Sonically, these cables have the blackest background I've ever heard and lots of wonderful detail.  They are well-controlled with an excellent bottom end and the images are dense and corporeal.  BUT, I find the top end a bit less extended and open than I'm used to.  The xlr plugs are gold plated and I'm not fond of gold in my system for the most part.  So, I'm looking for recommendations for very detailed and precise xlr's but want to avoid brightness.  


I have a pair of male Xhadows from another project and could pick up the matching females for about $150.  The re-term is already going to be pricey as the cables are fairly complex so price is an issue.  I was going to repurpose the Furutech FP 601/602 rhodiums I have on another pair of cables but the builder glues them so can't do that.  I rather like the rhodium plugs I've used, mostly on power cords, so am interested in that option as well.  I have noticed that rhodium over silver sounds quite a bit better (to my ears) than rhodium over copper.  The Cardas CG xlr's are rhodium over silver but I can't find any reviews of these plugs and seems they never get a mention.  Also, looking at AECO plugs.  Partsconnextion (Canada) said they are quite good but really didn't address my question about comparing them to other hi end xlr's so hard to know about these.  They are, however, quite affordable.  The quad costing less than the 2 female Xhadows, if I were to go that way.  Anyway, opinions regarding the Xhadows vs the AECOs vs Furutechs vs Neotechs vs Oyaide xlr would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks in advance.


You asked so...having used expensive connectors on the cables I have made for years, I doubt those connectors make that much (if any) difference.  If you don't like the sound of your new cables, changing XLR connectors is unlikely to substantially  improve the sound, IME. 

I suggest using connectors with high conductivity conductors (i.e., those that use pure copper) such as the Xhadows (not the Furutech 601/602) or, for a lot less money, the DH Labs XLR connectors:

XLR OFC Copper, Gold Contact Pin

The DH Labs Ultimate XLR connector features pure copper contact pins for the highest signal integrity. It accepts cable up to 7mm with the included rubber boot, and 9mm with the boot removed.

Also, keep in mind, what you plug them into is likely to be bog-standard Neutrik chassis connectors using brass (25-50% of IACS) conductors.  However, Furutech does make chassis connectors using plated pure copper so, if you also upgrade your equipment, that might be one place to start.

Years ago, I bought a few hundred feet of vintage wire.   There are 2 bundles inside, each being made of 7 solid core silver plated 18-gauge copper wires.  I've been using it as my speaker cables and I've made almost all my power cords from this wire sans a ground wire.  It has replaced many cables/cords.  My speaker cables at the time were Audio Magic Sorcerers and Tara Labs Decade.  I had several power cords which came and went but these DIY power cords are still in place.  Power cords included Fusion Audio Enchanters, BMI Whate Supreme and Hammerhead Gold, Virtual Dynamics Nite Platinum.... many others.   I reference this to indicate the quality of the wire in question.  It's pretty good stuff.  

I have used on this cable the following AC plugs:  Furutech FI 25 gold,  IeGO 8065 (silver over copper) 8075 (rhodium over copper) 8085 (gold over copper) and 8095 (rhodium over solid silver) as well as the Oyaide 046 palladium over gold over copper and 004 platinum over palladium over copper and it's pretty easy to hear a significant difference with each plug type.  The differnce between either of the gold plugs, IeGO or Furutech and, especially the Oyaides and the IeGO 8095 is, in my opinion, a real deal breaker.  Those gold plugs on my go-to wire obviously reduce top end extension and ad a very noticeable haze to the sound.  Images become less distinct, and the bass loses texture and can bloat.  And all the subtle little details which make the sound more real, more vivid are lost.  And that is just by changing the AC plugs.  I know this for a fact as I've done A LOT of experimentation.   I'm sure you're right about the XLR chassis plugs being less than top notch and could be upgraded for better sound but that doesn't mean these xlr plugs for the interconnects aren't very important.  In my experience, it ALL matters.   

You mentioned using the pricey connectors on your DIY cables, what xlr plugs have you used and what wire?  What were your experiences with those xlr plugs.  Thanks for your input and time

There is not at present PC Triple C Pin Connectors in the Market Place.

The next option will be OCC Pin Connector, and these are available at a inflated cost to other pin materials.

Atlas is a Company selling these type of connectors only, as well as with a Cable.  

IF your equipment uses the AES standard, then XLR cables should have minimal effect on sound quality.

Also, XLR cables show minimal signal degradation over long lengths, 2 or 3 meters won't make a difference.

But, if you have to change cables, then save your money and get some Mogami.


A cheap upgrade is to get MAD SCIENTIST AUDIO'S Graphene Contact Enhancer

If that doesn't knock you down (it should) then check out Ali-Express and search for XLR connectors. FYI also search for Odin 2 Gold XLRs-  that's what Im using

Where XLR Cables excel is the Low Mass/Low Eddy Connectors on both Cable and Chassis.

To have quality Low Mass / Low Eddy Connectors added to a Chassis and Cable for Single End use will come with a fairly large cost, and this is without Cables.

Low Mass / Low Eddy connections have a substantial betterment to all umbilical connections.

The Furutech are OCC Pins, I believe the 'alpha' is the affix to show a  cryo' treatment has been administered.

I experimented with RCA and XLR top connectors on Valhalla cables. In my ears, it greatly affects the sound. My choice was #1 Bocchino and #2 Acoustic Revive. Furutech and WBT were simpler.

I have the Acoustic Revive xlr plugs on my 6Sons Audio Golden Eagle interconnects.  These are very good interconnects and they do have the extended and detailed top end i'm looking for.  Are these rhodium plated plugs still available for sale?  I haven't seen them listed anywhere.  And the Bocchino's are out of my league.  Do you feel the Acoustic Revives are better than the Furutech FP 601/602?   Thanks drpie


The Furutech XLR range does NOT use copper pins, EXCEPT for their very top-of-the-line CF-601/602 NCF XLR connectors.  The rest of them use α (Alpha) Beryllium copper and phosphor bronze conductors, according to their website.  Those copper alloys range from about 20-50% of the Annealed Copper Standard (IACS).

I was going to try some ETI ones in silver for a TT, but they would not sell a pair of females… Only Make/Female pairs.

The Neutrik are my go to… but I am not much of a cable fellow, so it is usually Neutrik and Mogami. But the TT to phono are using low capacitance silver wire… hence the desire for silver XLRs.


As @erik_squires mentioned…:

Silver plated Neutrik from Parts Connexion are among the very best value.

Ah man, it's hard to get the kind of answer(s) one is looking for here nowadays.  

I do appreciate that members do take the time to offer up answers and observations, but I really do question the legitimacy of some of those responses.  

I frequently see responses like the one from gdnrbob saying "IF your equipment uses the AES standard, then XLR cables should have minimal effect on sound quality."   I currently have 4 pairs of balanced interconnects, Moon Audio Silver Dragon, 6Sons Audio Golden Eagle, Grover Huffman Pharaoh, and some older cheapo professional cables.  They most certainly DO NOT sound similar, and they have a very significant effect on sound quality.  Now, if you've experimented and tried several different cables and found your statement to be true, would you please reveal what those cables were.  Also, do you find unbalanced/rca interconnects to sound generally different or do they sound relatively homogeneous as well?


I also find a concern with electrical conductivity with regards to sound quality to be 

largely misplaced.  The Oyaide 004 AC plug's outermost plating is platinum and that is rather less conductive that silver, gold, copper, rhodium and most anything else you'll see in audio but, the 004 kills every silver, gold, and copper plug I've tried by being more resolving and neutral and just about everything else I value in my audio system.  YMMV of course.   What matters is sound and I'm looking strictly to those who have direct experience with the xlr plugs mentioned.   If any of you have experience with the Neutrik silver or the DH Labs vs those mentioned plugs, I'd really like to hear about that.  Thanks again for taking the time to respond


@mitch2 My reference to OCC Pins was in relation to the Furutech Connector linked a prior post.

In that same post, I believe the ETI Connector is a Beryllium Copper 

@lcherepkai maybe your equipment does NOT follow the AES standard?
If it does or does not, then that could be a factor.

@pindac - ETI also make the silver ones, which is more $ than the copper version.


Also, do you find unbalanced/rca interconnects to sound generally different or do they sound relatively homogeneous as well?

Largely they sound the same on my system. However preamp output impedance and amp input impedance can play a role.
So knowing your preamp’s output impedance and amps input impedance may be worth understanding. 

The cable/wire that is in between the XLRs (or RCAs) also can play a role… particularly the capacitance, but mostly when the output impedance starts getting high.

@holmz Your enquiry is a good one for me to respond to, as I am in a position to offer a evaluation from a few experiences encountered and a experience yet to be encountered, but have the first impressions from somebody who adopted the methodology following my encouragement to look at the idea.

Due to a need to restructure the home, the HiFi System has been slowly be packed away for the time when the home is no longer habitable. This has been a deterrent to my being proactive and continuing with completing an additional design for the Bespoke Built Power Amp's.

The Amp's are to be returned to the designer/builder and produced to have a Balanced and Single Ended Circuit. To work in conjunction with the Power Amp's I am having a Bespoke Built Pre-Amp to have both Balanced and Single Ended Input/Output.

I have been very specific about the signal path wiring to be used in both the Pre' and Power Amp's  

I am going to have a Balanced System, but am yet to use Balanced Signal Path in my system.

I have been demonstrated a Wire I am seen regularly exposing myself as being a advocate for it. with a Single Ended connection with Pure Copper Low Mass / Low Eddy Connectors on the Cable and Chassis Input. I have also been demonstrated the same Cable in the same Length with Pure Copper Connectors that are not a Low Mass / Low Eddy connector. The Benefit of using Low Mass / Low Eddy on umbilical connections is from my experience one to be aspired to. 

I have already received reports from others who have adopted this method and the feedback about the betterment is seemingly similar, if described in different ways.

The individual who introduced me to this alternative type of RCA Connection informed me that the XLR Connector is inherently a Low Mass / Low Eddy as a design. I have not received any countering of this to sense the description is with fault.

As for Silver being used, I find the impact it has as a Wire hit and miss, a certain wire type used at a particular interface can make a good impression on myself, but Copper will usually take the place.

I have one of my prefered Cables in 0,7mtr with Aeco 4055 Pure Silver RCA's and the same Cable in 1.2mtr with Aeco Copper 4045 RCA's.

The Copper is attractive at all interfaces used, the Silver at a certain interface can make a Vocal sound slightly Nasal sound.

To get to the the bottom of it, I had the two cables used in another system to see what could be detected. I did not inform anybody of my reasoning just that different length and different RCA Types were to be used.

One comment from one attendee about the Silver RCA Cable was that a Horn sounded like VuVuzela that found fame as an annoying instrument in the crowds at a Soccer World Cup. A Harsh statement used with humour, but a detection the Silver was having a impact that was being a deterrent and not desired.

A Friend has recently Built a Balanced Pre-Amp to work with a Balanced Head Amp, this Pre and Head Amp design are both familiar as a Single Ended Build. The Balanced Design is using Neutrik's on Chassis and Cables.

The overall assessment of the equipment with a limited run in time following the debut demonstration, is that there is something more correct about the Balanced Presentation, less constrained and with additional detail, would be a reasonable description of what was discovered from a very short usage period.

On this Forums Helix Cable Thread the last posts are by an individual who has now produced XLR Connection Cables to this design using PC Triple C Wire, this is a Wire I highly recommend, the individuals first impression even though not overly descriptive leads one to believe a improvement has been discovered over their previous builds. 

I have put OCC Copper Wire Cables back into the home system to finalise the assessment of PC Triple C, and OCC Wire is Superseded.

You can read my posts about this wire in other threads.     


Abbatron / GH Plugs. They make them in Gold plated or Silver plated contacts:

"The GH XLR Connectors feature beryllium copper sockets in the female and tellurium copper pins in the male connectors.  What does that mean??  Approximately 3X the conductivity for a cleaner and fuller sound.  Orientation of the colder contact allows quick soldering and the "chuck" style strain relief accommodates a variety of plugs."


Approximately 3X the conductivity for a cleaner and fuller sound.

I find ^that^ a bit far fetched…

3x the conductivity of what?  (Pure copper, aluminium, ??)

3x the conductivity of Beryllium copper and phosphor bronze equals, you guessed it, ETP copper!  😎

Post removed 

@pindac I like the Triple C XLRs very much.   I believe they out perform my previous OCC builds.  Just sensing more clarity, better voicing, overall info that I haven't heard previously with my go to music.

This is a 30" cable with AECO copper/silver XLRs.   (2) 19awg bare Triple C conductors (+, -) inside teflon tubing.  Neotech 16awg for ground (Helix wrap).

May look at replacing some internal hookup wire with the Triple C.   Good stuff...

mbolek:  Glad to see someone has first-hand experience with the silver AECO xlr plugs.   What are your general impressions, and do you have any other known xlr plugs to compare them to?  Any shortcomings?   Their price makes them attractive option if they're competitive with the likes of the xhadows or furutechs I have now.  Thanks


I had the silver AECO XLR’s and gave ‘em away. Hope you like bright and edgy.

@lcherepkai  I like the AECOs.  They are my reference to date. Seems like the lowest mass connector that I have come across.  Built many XLRs using Xhadow, Viborg, Furutech knock offs from eBay, Neutrik.

Always searching for the right combo of conductors/connectors....I wish KLE made an XLR.

mbolek  &   nationalbar  :  Either of you try the AECO rhodium xlrs?   I do prefer good rhodium plugs to silver ones, at least on power cords.  My experience with up-market xlr plugs is limited.  I do have the Acoustic Revives rhodiums on a pair of intercoonects that I could retire for this re-termination.  Wish the upper end plugs weren't so expensive.  Thanks


@mbolek Please don't take this as a challenge, it is merely a description of a perception of a Cable I use and a Comparative evaluation to a identical Cable.

On a D.U.C.C Wire Cable I own. 

I have a 0.7 mtr Length with Aeco 4045 (Terrilium Copper) RCA's and a 1.2mtr length using Aeco 4055 (Silver). Connectors.

I had loaned the Cables to be used on another system on the day there was a HiFi Group Meeting and Demo's of equipment was part of the activities.

There was also the side event, where different Cables were to be hooked up to see where there was a difference to be detected.

During this meeting the D.U.C.C Silver RCA Cable was used and my thoughts wer that it was it was showing a tendency to restrict a Vocal and present with a perception there was a Nasal Sound with the Vocal. The Same Cable in a shorter length with a Copper RCA was not creating this impression, the Richness the Cable can be perceived for producing was quite evident.

I have used these cables in my own system and have not detected these differences, but have not got the system working during the time this new assessment has been in place. 

Recently in the same system, I took the 1.2mtr length to be used at a Group Demo' of a SS Power Amp', my perception was that there was a similar loss of Richness, and the Cable was enabling the SS Amp to have a harder edge.

It is this experience of a Pure Silver Connector that has been instrumental in affirming I will be using a OCC Pin on my XLR Cables, 'when produced'.

I am aware of Atlas and Furutech offering this as the Pin Material.

I am hoping a PC Triple C Coil Cart' and RCA/XLR Connector is to come to the Market. These  connectors will certainly be a exchange item if they materialise.

In the meantime I did make a Female connector using a Tightly Coiled PC triple C Wire, wrapped around a small sized Allen Key. It connected with a tight hold onto a OCC Lead Out Pin on a Cart'. I have not used it, as I am yet to have wand wire produced from PC Triple C.    

Here is a set of just about new Furutech's top of the line XLR's. Make an offer around 1250 I'm sure they would be well worth it. ( no affiliation with seller)


mbolek,Do you have experience with ETI connectors.

I like to be able to screw the cable to ensure good connection before welding it,

pindac,What is the Reference of the Furutech OCC pin.

I made a small error with the OCC reference.

The Furutech Connectors I was shortlisting is the Pure Copper ones shown in the link.

From recollection 'alpha' is a Cryo Treatment.



@clsidx Yes. I still have some older cable pod binding posts. Used them on some of my first Class D Hypex builds. Need to look at their newer options.

I also like the set screw idea. Love to have a solid mechanical connection, and at times, like it better than solder.

Here is a set of just about new Furutech's top of the line XLR's. Make an offer around 1250 I'm sure they would be well worth it. ( no affiliation with seller)

What makes you sure?