I’ve understood that a perfect surface gold plating is not possible due to gold’s inherent quality of softness and literally crumbling into gold dust over time, in use that is.
I know rhodium is like… 20x more expensive than gold, but again for plating we need just a thin layer. Rhodium’s surface mechanical properties are like the opposite of gold - it will last a lifetime even in heavy plugging and unplugging. Thus I kind of view gold plated connectors as an antiquity.
And just for clarification… Is the ultimate interconnect conductor one such that it’s cryomagnetically treated 7N UP-OCC silver with a direct rhodium plate? We’d actually want to avoid coating the silver of course, but it’s suspectible to damage from tarnishing (not oxidation). But obviously the rhodium plate need be as thin as possible to not bottleneck the connector’s base metal. Strangely while rhodium isn’t actually even as conducting as gold, people with resolving enough systems seem to describe its addition in a clinical, neutral fashion, detailed, yada yada… And gold is mellower, they said in unison.
Some guy as I remember right stated somewhere that he works with signal processing and stated that rhodium has especially good HF transmission, as in even better than more conducting metals. How would this work when the hard truth is that bluntly stated, it’s only about half of gold’s conductivity?
I understand that the mere conductivity rating of a metal isn’t all there is to it, it’s something convoluted and maybe not fully understood yet. It’s apparent that all metals used as platings affect the sound in their own ways and the mere conductivity rating is only part of these piquant “flavour” differences. People love the JPS aluminium alloy cables while one’d think it a horrid conductor.