RCA Audio Cables
The RCA cable constitutes the most commonly utilized wiring for transferring analog audio signals between various devices. This category of cables can be easily recognized via its two-tailed ends, a red one and a white one or, more rarely, black one. It is important to note that some RCA wires also feature a third (yellow) end, which has the role of delivering composite video signals. The cables themselves are male tails, while the ports they go into are the female slots.
The RCA audio cables are color-coded
The coloration of the RCA cables' ends is important because it corresponds to a designed input or output found on the electronic equipment. To be more precise, while the red end means that the jack should go into the right input/output channel, the white or black tails are usually inserted into the left channels, whereas yellow is always used for video.
Therefore, when trying to connect your devices together all you need to do is make sure the colors on the tails match to the ones on the input/output ports.
On a side note, with more companies manufacturing this type of cables, it is possible that you will notice other coloration on the ends, such as purple, blue, orange and even the same scheme. In case you're not sure how to connect your electronics via these modern RCA cables, then don't hesitate to contact your provider.
Are the gold tips on RCA cables worth getting?
Because the RCA cable has been designed to support an audio signal of 75 Ohms, the most important feature to look for when shopping for one is the Ohm rating. Even though there has been a great deal of emphasis placed on the importance of gold tips and connectors lately, we want to point out that there is no scientific evidence supporting the theory that this material is able to conduct the signal better than silver. Therefore, you should be wary of companies that try to sell you very expensive gold tipped RCA cables or that advertise them as providing superior sound quality.
Even though they don't improve sound quality, gold tips are more flexible and also not vulnerable to tarnishing. Therefore, if you're planning to purchase an RCA cable that you will only used with plugs you don't intent to move and potentially damage the plating, then the gold tip actually makes sense. On the other hand, if you know that you're going to plug and unplug the cable frequently or you plan to use it in a patch bay, then the silver-tipped cable makes a better choice.
Video signals with RCA cables
As previously mentioned, some RCA wires incorporate a third tail typically used for transferring video signals. In order to do that, it needs to break the video signal into three spectrums, namely one that carries the luminance (brightness) and two more that are responsible for transmitting the information about the colors. As long as the cable is able to carry signals of approximately 100 MHz and support audio signals of 75 Ohms ratings, high-end quality video transfer is possible. It is necessary to mention that even if you buy a true 75 Ohm cable, you won't be able to use it for the reception of radio frequency signals via antennas.