Cardas or Audioquest RCA EMI/RF caps

Hi, hope everyone is safe and well! Has anyone used with success RCA and or XLR caps for unused inputs on preamp and amps? As I am stuck home the tweak bug has bit.

I used to use them, but if I’m not mistaken, Rowland discourages the use of them, so they’re not on my integrated.

TAS recommend them

I happen to use a combination of both, Cardas and AQ RCA caps. On my BHK pre, my Modwright phono pre and my Pass power amp. Both do the intended job equally well in my opinion. I do like the Nautilus logo on the Cardas caps, but I don’t even see those in use. Grab either based on the best price you can find.

I should point out I’ve found the XLR caps to be … problematic. Both vendors insist on a ridge on the XLR cap that I’ve found to be too large and too thick to cleanly click into the socket clip. The cap sits awkwardly on the XLR socket.

My two cents worth.

I was going to try to use on only the single ended inputs. I don’t think the XLR is as subject to the issue of EMI/RF but I am just assuming that. Maybe Paul McGowan will chime in with food for thought.

I use them to keep the dust out. Not sure they do anything more than that.

I have some AQ ones for XLR, and generic ones for XLR and RCAs.

The generic ones are significantly less expensive and work just fine.

For dust rubber caps work fine. But I wonder what metal material works best for RF and EMI?

The skin depth in any decent conductor at RF is small. The skin depth of run of the mill copper at 10 MHz, for example, is only 21 microns. In ordinary silver, 20 microns. It’s even smaller at higher frequencies.

The real issues are, if we’re talking about a shield, shield coverage and the energy has to have a ground path to be bled off, meaning a good, solid ground point. The bleed path for a RCA cap is the RCA shield when it is slipped onto the connector. Given what I pointed out above, the cap base metal which is likely to be copper is more than good enough.

I ordered two Cardas RCA packages of 12. So I can use on Preamp, dac, amps, etc.

So my solution to this on my DSD Sr.

I have AudioQuest Golden Gate RCA’s that I now longer have a need for. UNTIL my Wife made me use my Headphones the other day (don’t ask). Well, as everyone knows, the DSD Sr. doesn’t have a Headphone output. So I simply turn off my Amps, attach a dual RCA to 1/8” adapter to the AQ cables and Voila…Headphone out. So there’s a an impedance mismatch but with the Volume unattenuated and set to around 80 or so, it’s sounds pretty good. I’m not fussy on Headphone sound (never was).

But that’s how I keep dust off my RCA’s including the S/PDIF Out that I use for my FR & FL channels of all my PCM based 5.1 files/discs.

I installed 12 ( on preamp only ) RCA RF caps from Cardas. I noticed cleaner vocals, a bit more air to the music. Worth the 60 bucks so far. I have another 12 coming ( back ordered ) as I will do amps and dac and any input on the system gear with RCA inputs. So these work. I will add I have a wifi bridge in the room about 25’ away, so this maybe why I hear a difference.