Choosing RCA Cables For Your Amplifier
Choosing your RCA cables is a simple process as there are really only three things you need to know about the different types of cables available on the market. Your main concern here is making sure that when you are done with your installation you don't have any noise being introduced into your system. Don't let your budget guide you in the wrong direction in this crucial part of your system.
Your RCA cables will be carrying your car audio signal from the head unit to the amplifier. Thus keeping noise that will
interfere with your fidelity out of the cables is paramount. Noise in your signal wire is generally known as interference, noise induction, or engine wind. Noise in your signal is an enormous topic for discussion, to big to talk about here, so for now lets focus on the three main things to look for when choosing a set of RCA's. One of the more reliable brands on the market comes from Stinger Electronics. I recommend going with their 4000 Series and up.
The Connectors. At the end of each side of your RCA cables is the connectors. The better RCA's will have thicker connectors which allow for a tighter connection at the amplifier and at the head unit. Some of the connectors are so good that if you try to remove them from the connection by pulling on the wire, the simply won't disconnect. So when you are comparing cables side by side look at the connectors. The ones that look thicker are generally going to provide the best contact. The better the contact, the better the transfer of signal and less chance for noise induction at the connection.
The Shielding. You will be running your signal wire along other wires and electrical components in your vehicle. If the shielding/insulation of the cables is too thin, then you are more likely to pick up noise from other components along the way. The thicker the shielding the better, hands down. The less expensive cables will have less shielding so be wary. I don't recommend cutting corners in this area.
Amount of Twist. The number of times that a signal wire is twisted from start to finish is directly related to how well it can protect itself from noise induction. So look closely at the cable inside of the insulation or read the packaging carefully to determine how much care the manufacturer took to twist the wires to keep noise out. Again, the less you pay, the less twist you will get.
There are a host of other factors such as materials used, but paying attention to these three areas will have you well on your way to choosing the right RCA cables. Try your hardest not to buy the cheapest cables you can find. And again, as long as you don't experience any noise or engine wind with your installation then you have probably made the right choice.
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