RCA cables were introduced into the market in the early 1940s by Radio Corporation of America, or as more commonly known, RCA. The original use when first developed was to connect components in home radio-phonographs. The design was purposely kept simple as it was never intended to be connected and disconnected repeatedly; it was basically intended as a service aid.
Today, RCA cables are perhaps the most common cable when analog signals are being transferred between components. These cables are instantly identifiable; the most common arrangement is a twin tail arrangement using red and white color conductors. Often the RCA cable will be mated with a third cable, usually yellow which is used to deliver video signals. The connectors on each end are male, designed to be pushed into the mating female half. The pin is quite thick and it is surrounded by an exposed metal collar.
The color coding has become universal and it corresponds with the appropriate input or output jack used on the electronic equipment. The color coding of course is for convenience but the truth is; the conductors are the same so swapping colors makes absolutely no difference, although the same color must be used for the same channel. Electronic technicians learn early that “R” starts both the words Red and Right, this is a simple method to use when remembering which cable goes where.
Stereo aficionados in particular place great emphasis on the cables that they use to connect the various components in their system; they are looking to have superior audio performance with no perceptible interference. Often they purchase extremely expensive versions of RCA cables which are marketed as being superior in performance. These cables are usually well designed, the connectors are molded directly to the cables and they come attractively packed. The truth be known, these cables do not necessarily improve performance but they certainly cost more.
These cables are available with gold and silver tips. It is a myth that gold is superior to silver; the choice is best made based on the usage. Gold does not conduct sound any better than silver but it is non-corrosive which perhaps makes it a better bet for connections which are rarely tampered with. When RCA cables are used as a patch cord and they are often connected and disconnected silver is probably better as the softer gold plating can wear away.
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