Furutech NCF FI-50M power-plug revised/improved!

Maril555

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Jun 27, 2014
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Yes, the crimp sleeves do impair sound quality and you can easily pick up a hydraulic crimping tool like mine in photo below off amazon / ebay.

Thank you for the link.
That is an impressive tool.
Do you crimp wires in your own AC cables?
 

CKKeung

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Jun 18, 2011
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You’ll need several tons of pressure to do things like xhadow spade connectors CK!
We never do it on Xhadow spades ar.
We are amateurs only.
:)
 
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Sablon Audio

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No I don’t crimp those as the sleeves diminish sound quality. I used to use this tool mostly for xhadow spades which have a rather thick wall.
 

Maril555

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Sablon Audio

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Bare wire is certainly better. If you take a pause a think where this thread was heading, it was about the impact on sound quality of different metals for plating. Clearly anything else between the wire and plug mounts will introduce its own colourations and losses.
 

Maril555

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Jun 27, 2014
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No I don’t crimp those as the sleeves diminish sound quality. I used to use this tool mostly for xhadow spades which have a rather thick wall.
Thank you Mark, didn’t think you did.
BTW, have you tried new Furutech FI-46 and 48 NCF connectors yet?
 

Sablon Audio

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Sorry, no I haven’t tried those.
 

Maril555

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Jun 27, 2014
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Bare wire is certainly better. If you take a pause a think where this thread was heading, it was about the impact on sound quality of different metals for plating. Clearly anything else between the wire and plug mounts will introduce its own colourations and losses.
You are certainly right.
I have been experimenting lately with different platings on AC/IEC connectors and AC outlets, and was amazed to hear completely different sound character, going from one to the next.
 

Sablon Audio

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You are certainly right.
I have been experimenting lately with different platings on AC/IEC connectors and AC outlets, and was amazed to hear completely different sound character, going from one to the next.

Yes indeed! The difference can be pretty profound! Better imo to try keep both wire and plugs fairly neutrally voiced and avoid having to use strong opposing flavours to try ‘correct’ one another.
 

marty

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Apr 20, 2010
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You are certainly right.
I have been experimenting lately with different platings on AC/IEC connectors and AC outlets, and was amazed to hear completely different sound character, going from one to the next.


This topic has been discussed elsewhere on several threads. The following is from post #13 of this thread

https://www.whatsbestforum.com/thre...urrent-versions-vs-regular.26992/#post-547789

"I can often control the selection the male AC plug, the female IEC plug, and the AC receptacle in many of my experiments, but I cannot control the material used for the chassis IEC connector as I have no desire to alter the selection of the manufacturer's chassis connector (whether they be signal or IEC power connectors). So, there's a limit of what I can and not try. Like many other audiophiles, one conclusion I’ve reached is that material in contact to the connectors at each end of the PC is very important to the sonic end result. This actually make some sense when you think about it. Most power cables typically use identical metals on the Male NEMA and female IEC ends. But the AC receptacle and the chassis IEC connectors are typically not the same metal. An AC connector may be nickel flashed copper, gold, silver, or rhodium plated etc., while the IEC connectors is most commonly gold-plated copper, phosphor bronze or beryllium copper. Let's assume that your cable connectors on both ends were, say, metal A. Why would anyone think that metal A would sound the same next to an IEC connector of metal B as it does for an AC receptacle of metal C? Or metals A or B for that matter? This is something that nobody really talks about. As to what sounds best, it's probably something that it best discovered by trial and error as there are no obvious rules I can find for guidance although some understanding of metallurgy is useful. https://www.whatsbestforum.com/threads/fun-with-metallurgy.23376/"

I love reading about everyone's experience with various platings. But again, I urge you to tell us not only what plating your terminations use, but WHAT PLATING IS USED FOR WHATEVER THEY ARE PLUGGED INTO! Without this information, you are only providing half of the information that many of us would find meaningful.

Finally, I will leave this question, which as far as I can tell, remains unanswered. If rhodium is such an ideal plating, why don't any manufacturers use that for plating on the AC, RCA or XLR terminations of their gear? It's not because they are not available or unobtainable. Hmmm.....
 

DaveC

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Nov 16, 2014
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Finally, I will leave this question, which as far as I can tell, remains unanswered. If rhodium is such an ideal plating, why don't any manufacturers use that for plating on the AC, RCA or XLR terminations of their gear? It's not because they are not available or unobtainable. Hmmm.....

That's an easy one, it's too expensive for high quality rhodium plated parts. Gear manufacturers will rarely spend the cash for pure copper connectors, and IME that's what's required for rhodium to sound good. In fact, I'd go so far as to claim that Furutech NCF parts are the only rhodium plated parts I've used that are extremely neutral. I think the question is why are so many manufacturers so cheap in their parts selection, even at the high end. But of course we can't answer your question precisely as different manufacturers may have other reasons, it's certainly possible some prefer other parts, but I'd bet 99% won't consider them due to cost or personal philosophy.

I think it's also interesting to note how DIFFERENT the FI-50 and FI-50 NCF sound! However, they have the same exact electrical contacts, but the NCF parts sound much cleaner and don't have a particular "polished" sound that most everyone attributes to rhodium plating. Well, the NCF plug doesn't have that sound, it's gone, and it leaves in it's place nothing... the closest thing to neutral we have available in AC connectors, imo. The sound may not be there with gold either, but it leaves a warm blanket over the music in it's place that maybe simply covers over the sound.

It's also interesting to note how different rhodium sounds when used to plate different base metals. Rhodium over bronze sounds MUCH different than rhodium over pure copper! But this is rarely mentioned, as if you can identify rhodium plating on it's own, but this is never the case, it's always used to plate other metals and it sounds very different in different applications.

This means the sound we attribute to rhodium may be something else, maybe it's noise in the AC or the sound of the base material that isn't being masked? In any case it's not rhodium that makes for that sound if the addition of NCF has removed it! I think in audio we tend to draw conclusions from limited evidence as we can't experiment endlessly, and unfortunately this means sometimes we draw incorrect conclusions.
 

mikey8811

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Dec 24, 2014
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I’m using 46 Gold NCF terminating Black Mamba V2 cable on Lamm ML2 amps at the moment.
I’ve tried this combination with 3 different outlets- Furutech GTX-D NCF and Gold and Oyaide R0 unplated ones.
At the moment I prefer Oyaide R0
46 Gold NCF into GTX-D NCF produced somewhat unnatural treble.
I looked on Furutech website and couldn’t find those crimping sleeves (inner wire ears) you mentioned.
It’s an interesting concept to terminate AC cable inner wires to facilitate AC and IEC plugs connection.
I’m wondering if doing that would compromise SQ compared to a bare wire.
Could you also by any chance post a link to that hexagonal clamp/crimping tool your friend is using?
Thank you.

Can you elaborate on unnatural treble? Is it very extended and hard or bright?

I am asking because i am using the NCF duplex and was thinking about getting a DPS 4.1 with M 46 Gold NCF terminations for use with it.

Thanks
 

Sablon Audio

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Marty raises a good point about the type of connector sockets fitted to pieces of equipment. I have long advocated to my customers that they upgrade their iec inlets to something from Furutech / Oyaide as many manufacturers simply use the cheapest generic crap. @$40 here achieves much the same as a $400 NCF IEC plug on your cord. That said, I understand concerns over diy / originality / warranty however the empirical evidence remains unchanged......
 
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spiritofmusic

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Mark, IEC surgery on my Nats requires complete disassembly of the chassis, and some further mucking about w gubbins.

My Eera cdp IEC and main pwr switch are one-piece.

Not all of us are as confident as you and Blue58 in going in alone.

And there's a dearth of reliable high end repair shops nr me.
 

microstrip

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(...) This means the sound we attribute to rhodium may be something else, maybe it's noise in the AC or the sound of the base material that isn't being masked? In any case it's not rhodium that makes for that sound if the addition of NCF has removed it! I think in audio we tend to draw conclusions from limited evidence as we can't experiment endlessly, and unfortunately this means sometimes we draw incorrect conclusions.

I find curious that we want to make general conclusions on metal sound in mains cables - an impossible task IMHO as mains is very different from place to place and power supplies have very different topology - but we seem to ignore Furutech signal connectors. Do you think that rhodium also has some typical characteristics in the audio signal path?
 

Sablon Audio

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I find curious that we want to make general conclusions on metal sound in mains cables - an impossible task IMHO as mains is very different from place to place and power supplies have very different topology - but we seem to ignore Furutech signal connectors. Do you think that rhodium also has some typical characteristics in the audio signal path?

I find this a strange statement Francisco! Are the tastes of salt and pepper not immediately recognisable wherever we go? We taste, we evaluate mentally if unsure, then we form a view. The same analogies are equally true of low current signal connectors.

Rhodium is typically quite neutral, both tonally and in its distribution across the frequency range. That said, it isn’t typically musically engaging. Think head over heart.
 

DaveC

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I also find rhodium very neutral, same with the platinum plating WBT uses on their silver connectors.

The sonic character of materials used in power cables comes through in a similar way to signal cables ime.
 

Sablon Audio

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Although it may sound overly simplistic, I have often found that connectors to sound similar to their physical appearance. Unplated copper is direct, raw and earthy. Silver metals will sound brighter and tonally whiter, with the tightness of transients being related to the brightness of the metal eg silver will be softer whereas rhodium and the platinum family metals will be sharper yet tonally grey. Gold will be like a burnished sunset, rich / warm / soft focus.

The trick is to match with the wire / geometry used and don’t be afraid to use a mismatched plugset.
 
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microstrip

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I find this a strange statement Francisco! Are the tastes of salt and pepper not immediately recognisable wherever we go? We taste, we evaluate mentally if unsure, then we form a view. The same analogies are equally true of low current signal connectors.

Rhodium is typically quite neutral, both tonally and in its distribution across the frequency range. That said, it isn’t typically musically engaging. Think head over heart.

As always, analogies with wine, food or anythinhg similar are extremely misleading. My question concerns subjective audio properties of metals in electrical signals that have completely different bandwidth and purposes - mains and audio signals. Do you identify pepper or salt in the same way if you taste them or smell them?
 

microstrip

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The sonic character of materials used in power cables comes through in a similar way to signal cables ime.

Thanks. Do you have any idea why?
 

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