Warning: Nakamichi plugs made of IRON - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 04-12-2012, 10:21 PM - Thread Starter
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I discovered that Nakamichi banana plugs and spade terminals are gold plated iron, NOT "pure copper" as advertised. Note that it appears that Nakamichiplug.com is NOT associated Nakamichi.com; I have no issues with Nakamichi (the real one) gear. I have seen several postings on this forum and others about using Nakamichi banana plugs and other connectors, and wanted to let folks know that they are an overpriced piece of gold plated cast iron. Hey, they look nice, and the moderate price would make one think that they're getting a good deal. Nope.

Discovered by breaking a tip on a spade plug trying to get it to fit an 8mm post; copper doesn't snap like that and upon magnification is definitely not copper by looks. Filed down that piece, and sample filings on other pieces and also some banana plugs, discovered all were a gold plating on copper plating on cast iron. Finally verified it by dropping it in some hydrochloric acid, and as expected the iron reacted (slowly). (Don't have any nitric acid to test with which is very reactive with copper but not as much with iron.)

FYI.

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post #2 of 10 Old 04-13-2012, 04:36 AM
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OK, I have a bunch of those plugs directly from Hong Kong in a plain vanilla package. What will be the net effect to my ears, will I be able to hear a difference with other plugs?
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post #3 of 10 Old 04-13-2012, 04:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

OK, will I be able to hear a difference with other plugs?

HEY BIG! I think if you take the plugs OUT of your ears you will hear the difference!
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post #4 of 10 Old 04-13-2012, 05:16 AM
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post #5 of 10 Old 04-13-2012, 05:26 AM
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Most of them on the market are fakes (see ebay). I admit I own them and purchased them knowing this. I can't speak for everyone, but my ears can't tell the difference.
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post #6 of 10 Old 04-13-2012, 06:29 AM
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I'm pretty sure all the nakamichi cables are fakes and are not made by the Japanese Nakamichi company.
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post #7 of 10 Old 04-13-2012, 07:03 AM
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Seems to me that the only important factors are the resistance of the cable/connector set, the impedance of the cable (capacitance/inductance) and the ruggedness of the connectors.

Refnoredcard is referring to the rugedness of the connector. I doubt that they are copper plated 'iron', most likely sheet steel. Most connectors have a plated steel base and that's a good thing. Copper is too soft and you would have a mashed up mess in no time.
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post #8 of 10 Old 04-13-2012, 09:37 AM - Thread Starter
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To jayn_j's point, and speaking of the spade connectors only, these are probably fine conductively for all but high current uses or where stress on terminal is going to be present. For this particular project I needed looks, not necessarily top audio quality thus tried something a bit cheaper. After a bit more research believe they are made from "pot metal" which is just a mix of metals, thus why the spades broke (snapped) so easily when I tried to open up the spade width from ~7.4mm (advertised 8mm) to 8mm for the binding post (and also mild attraction to magnet but more reaction to HCl than I would expected from iron or steel). The other problem I have is most bent spades are bent to around 30° from the mounting plane. I typically prefer to bend them a bit more to 60°-75° for many cases, and ~90° for wall plates, thus I like the malleability of copper or a copper/tin/zinc mix, even soft iron or steel sheet would be better than the composition of these which just snap when trying to bend.

Again, just wanted to get the word out so others know in advance if they purchase these...the company (nakamichicable.com) did refund my money after I sent them photos.

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post #9 of 10 Old 04-13-2012, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Refnoredcard View Post

I discovered that Nakamichi banana plugs and spade terminals are gold plated iron, NOT "pure copper" as advertised. Note that it appears that Nakamichiplug.com is NOT associated Nakamichi.com; I have no issues with Nakamichi (the real one) gear. I have seen several postings on this forum and others about using Nakamichi banana plugs and other connectors, and wanted to let folks know that they are an overpriced piece of gold plated cast iron. Hey, they look nice, and the moderate price would make one think that they're getting a good deal. Nope.

Discovered by breaking a tip on a spade plug trying to get it to fit an 8mm post; copper doesn't snap like that and upon magnification is definitely not copper by looks. Filed down that piece, and sample filings on other pieces and also some banana plugs, discovered all were a gold plating on copper plating on cast iron. Finally verified it by dropping it in some hydrochloric acid, and as expected the iron reacted (slowly). (Don't have any nitric acid to test with which is very reactive with copper but not as much with iron.)

FYI.

So, if you had not broken the plug, you would have thought they were copper and they would have been a really good deal?
BTW The product description does NOT say solid copper it says
This connector is made by Pure Copper(Non-Magnetic).

So there is some pure copper right next to where they make the plug!

Broken English websites is a sure giveaway that the product is not what you think it is..
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post #10 of 10 Old 04-17-2012, 07:02 AM
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Does anyone have any actual side by side comparison to see if there is an actual difference? I wouldn't even imagine there could really be that much loss.
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