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RCA Cable

The Iconoclast Design

Interconnect cables are a very different problem from speaker cable. Instead of a high-current, low impedance circuit driving a highly reactive load, interconnects face a low-current, high impedance circuit driving an almost purely resistive load. Iconoclast RCA cables come in two varieties -- a first-generation design with a single solid copper center conductor, and a second-generation design which, in place of the single conductor, uses a star quad of four smaller wires, held apart by a spline. The dielectric, in either case, is mostly air: the wires are uninsulated, and are kept centered by a spiral glass-and-Teflon thread which suspends them inside a Teflon tube.

This air-tube construction is shown at right, in both versions. Both have an outer FEP jacket and double bare copper braid shielding, around an FEP tube. Within that tube, a spirally wrapped thread of glass and Teflon centers the conductor. In the original design -- on top -- there is just a single solid copper conductor. In the second-generation "1x4" design, there are four smaller solid copper conductors, arranged in a tiny star quad; this design produces a lower inductance due to field cancellation between the four conductors. For details on the design considerations that led to this construction, see the RCA and XLR cable design brief, and the supplemental paper on the four-conductor design, linked on our "Story of Iconoclast" page.

Electricals (typical):

  • Capacitance:
    • 1x1, 12.5 pF/ft
    • 1x4, 17.5 pF/ft
  • Inductance:
    • 1x1, .155 µH/ft
    • 1x4, .115µH/ft
  • Resistance, Conductor:
    • 1x1, 33 Ω/1000 ft
    • 1x4, 28 Ω/1000 ft.
  • Resistance, shield:
    • 1.5 Ω/1000 ft.

A Unique Agreement Between RCA and XLR:

One core objective of the interconnect design -- as is set out in the RCA/XLR Design Brief -- was to keep the electromagnetic properties of the balanced and the unbalanced cables as similar as possible. This has been done, in the Iconoclast line, by using the same design principles in the RCA as in the XLR -- the XLR star-quad design is very like four copies of the RCA design, held in place by a cloverleaf-style spline and run together in one outer shield and jacket. The concept, simply, is that there is no reason that the XLR or the RCA should have audible characteristics distinct from the other; they should, rather, be consistent and faithful to the same design principles.

Terminations:

We terminate this cable -- either version -- with Cardas SRCA connectors, using WBT silver solder. All assembly is done in our Seattle shop, and every assembly is accompanied by a test report showing the final measured values of capacitance, inductance and resistance.

Wire Options:

There are three options available for the center conductor material. Because the center conductor material choice does not substantially affect the electromagnetic properties of the assembly, these three options affect material choice ONLY -- whether you go with TPC, OFE or OCC, the design is the same, and the manufacture and termination methods and quality are the same. Opinions vary widely on the relation between copper purity or other attributes of the metal and sound -- we make these variations available and you can judge for yourself.

Our three conductor-metal choices for RCA and XLR cable are TPC, OFE and OCC. TPC is Electrolytic Tough-Pitch Copper (99.9% pure), widely used in communications cable of all sorts. OFE is Oxygen-Free Electrolytic Copper (99.99% pure); OCC is Ohno Continuous Cast copper (99.99998% pure). The outer jacket color of the TPC cable is red; the OFE, violet; and the OCC, green.

Return Policy:

All of our cables are returnable for a refund within 30 days of purchase.

To Order:

To see prices and to order, use the tables below.

Iconoclast 1x1 "Generation 1" RCA Cables:
Length in feetPair or SingleCable Stock Price
Iconoclast 1x4 "Generation 2" RCA Cables:
Length in feetPair or SingleCable Stock Price
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