Furutech NCF AC Plugs: Gold vs Rhodium Reviewed!

Kingrex

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Feb 4, 2019
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I agree, and am continuously amazed by how much AC power matters, some DACs are especially sensitive to AC power quality
+1
It is my default "go to" outlet.
These "experiments" are easy when you configure a room with the option for multiple outlets.

View attachment 68590


Of this I am sure you are right! I always wondered if it's because my mother dropped me on my head at some point. It would explain a lot of things....


Nice ground l Loop
 

DaveC

Industry Expert
Nov 16, 2014
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I highly recommend the Furutech FI-50 NCF. I used it to assemble all of my cables with a high power consum.



Even on the GigaWatt Power Line Conditioner PC-2 EVO +, I had the disappointingly bad socket exchanged for the Furutech FI-06 R NCF Rhodium socket. In the picture on the right is the old socket with cheap wobbly connectors and on the left the new one with solid contacts.



My T + A M10 power amplifiers benefit greatly from these measures. The speed and bass increased. Very nice to hear on drums.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention try the FI-09 IEC inlet as well. It uses wire clamps and for whatever reason is better vs the FI-06. Furutech obviously knows this and charges a lot more for the 09. I have no idea why on either performance or price though!
 

nirodha

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Aug 11, 2010
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4) Finally, if rhodium were such a no-brainer, why don't the vast majority of the world's finest electronics manufacturers use rhodium terminations since they are in fact readily available? Think about that one.
Gold melts at almost half the temperature of Rhodium. Gold is very easy to work with. Gold never tarnishes. Gold is plentiful. Gold has been a standard for years and only a small select few audio nuts are that concerned about the difference.[/QUOTE]
Or maybe, as Colonel Nathan R. Jessup Testifies in Court: You want the truth? You can't handle the truth! hihi
 
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Jan 24, 2019
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Oh yeah, I forgot to mention try the FI-09 IEC inlet as well. It uses wire clamps and for whatever reason is better vs the FI-06. Furutech obviously knows this and charges a lot more for the 09. I have no idea why on either performance or price though!

now if they made a fi-09 that fit into a regular IEC chassis socket....not sure why they had to make it oversized!
 

DaveC

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now if they made a fi-09 that fit into a regular IEC chassis socket....not sure why they had to make it oversized!

Yeah, not many are willing to take a dremel to an $$$ component chassis! However, it does make a pretty big difference, the connectors and wire in the component have a similar effect on the sound as an IC cable.

FI-09 can also be back-mounted, cutouts are a bit different for that, may not help but it's a possibility. :)
 
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Yeah, not many are willing to take a dremel to an $$$ component chassis! However, it does make a pretty big difference, the connectors and wire in the component have a similar effect on the sound as an IC cable.

FI-09 can also be back-mounted, cutouts are a bit different for that, may not help but it's a possibility. :)

Hmm do share more about this “back-mount” since I have an unused fi-09 lying around
 

DaveC

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Sure, you can mount the IEC from the front or back of the panel it's attached to. The regular mounting scheme is for back mounting and then they also give the front-mount cutout dimensions in the link below... Looks like there's not much difference in cutout size though.

https://www.partsconnexion.com/media/pdfs/FTECH-71042.pdf

Makes sense now. This is how I mounted the fi-06 since that was also slightly larger than the IEC hole in my torus.
Still gotta drill those holes though for the fi-09! Not sure if I have the capability to do that cleanly through metal.
 
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Sure, you can mount the IEC from the front or back of the panel it's attached to. The regular mounting scheme is for back mounting and then they also give the front-mount cutout dimensions in the link below... Looks like there's not much difference in cutout size though.

https://www.partsconnexion.com/media/pdfs/FTECH-71042.pdf

just wondering what you observed as differences between the fi09 and fi06, before I attempt hacking the panel
 
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just wondering what you observed as differences between the fi09 and fi06, before I attempt hacking the panel

actually I found a better way to install it. I drilled holes into the fi09 to align it with the panel. It’s more forward sounding and crisper than the fi06. I can’t turn the volume as high
 

DaveC

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Cool, glad you got it done and sorry for the delay responding. I do find it clearer vs the 06! It'll also need some burn-in so I think it'll smooth out a bit and improve as well.
 

NanoSword

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Mar 2, 2020
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Recently I bought an NCF Power Distribution, I really found that I can't enjoy it much because the sound has become unreal. I try to avoid it as much as possible and I don't know why.

I have one on the wall and I doubt if I should cancel it, but until now I have not found the sound abnormal, but the situation is different if I turn on all of my devices in NCF Power Distribution.
 

DaveC

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Recently I bought an NCF Power Distribution, I really found that I can't enjoy it much because the sound has become unreal. I try to avoid it as much as possible and I don't know why.

I have one on the wall and I doubt if I should cancel it, but until now I have not found the sound abnormal, but the situation is different if I turn on all of my devices in NCF Power Distribution.

These parts need a LOT of burn-in, before it's burned-in I'd agree it can be very bad. I burn-in all of the NCF receptacles I sell so there is less of an issue with this, without any burn-in you're looking at about a month or so.

One thing you can do is plug something else into the distributor or receptacle for a while, a fridge or freezer will work very well, or even just a fan. That way you don't have to listen to the full burn-in effects.
 

XV-1

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Does using a cheaper Furutech Rhodium plug like the F1-28 or 32 bring most of the goodness that the 50 brings?
 
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I would say it gives it some of the flavour of the regular fi50 but the ncf version is totally different. That’s from my experience on a crystal cable ultra pc, where the stock connector was a 28.
 
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DaveC

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Does using a cheaper Furutech Rhodium plug like the F1-28 or 32 bring most of the goodness that the 50 brings?

Fi-28(R) is the standard plug for my copper cables. It's very good for the price, but the FI-50 NCF are much better. They do share the exact same electrical contacts, it's the body and NCF material that make the difference.

I've found Furutech to be consistent as far as pricing, as in they won't charge you more for something unless it is clearly better.
 
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Cellcbern

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Here's a photo of the plugs in question... taken from the AudioBacon site... thanks Jay! :)

Here's a nice comparison by Jay of AudioBacon of identical ZenWave PCR-14 copper ribbon power cables, with only the plugs being different. And the plugs are close to identical with the exception of gold vs rhodium plating. The electrical contacts are identical, both use Furutech's "Alpha Copper". Both use Furutech's NCF material to reduce noise. The rhodium plated plug has a carbon fiber/stainless body that does give it a slight advantage, but the gold plated plug has a high quality metal body that's significantly better vs the plastic bodied Furutech plugs.

https://audiobacon.net/2020/08/22/power-connectors-they-sound-different/

I totally agree with Jay's findings. The only thing I'll add is that I think rhodium is clearer and more neutral, which is pretty obvious, but it also makes the base material more audible. For that reason I prefer rhodium only on pure copper connectors. I also think platings from different companies sound different, Furutech uses really high quality plating with good thickness and a mirror finish.

I can say from my testing that many undesirable characteristics that have been attributed to rhodium have been mistaken. It's very easy to do in this hobby! Cause and effect are not always clear. This reminds me of working on cars, it's very humbling. Nobody knows it all. If you think you do you're only setting yourself up for disappointment. :) Here are a few myths:

-Rhodium sounds harsh.... it's most likely 1. the base material or 2. The additional clarity of rhodium is allowing you to hear harshness gold plating smoothed over.

-Rhodium has this hard or glassy sound to it.... That's the quality of your AC power making it's self more audible.

-Rhodium accentuates bass.... It's just that gold softens dynamics and reduces the vibrancy of bass notes.

-This is more of an observation: Some issues with rhodium stem from using it with gold plated receptacles and IEC inlets. Most often this isn't an issue but in some cases it certainly is. You're better off using FI-50 NCF plugs with matching NCF receptacles and IEC inlets, if possible.

As I progress in my own audio journey the less I want gold plated anything, I've almost eliminated it entirely. :) If you need some warmth, don't use cables if you can avoid it. I can see fine-tuning an otherwise complete system, which is why I offer some cables on the warm side and why I offer the gold plated plugs. However, the most ideal situation would be to use the most neutral cable possible so you get the highest fidelity possible. This doesn't need to lead to overwhelming highs, an unpleasant and fake "HiFi" experience, or any burst eardrums. ;) It can also lead to a more immersive and 3-D soundstage, and more realistic and convincing timbre, better separation of images in complex music, and that elusive "Wow! " experience when you hear sounds coming from your system that sound real.

OTOH, if you just prefer a very warm system that's more than ok, and I do offer what I consider warm cables that are also very high end and lose the least amount of resolution possible in order to provide that warmth, this is the whole point of using UPOCC silver/gold alloy and ribbon vs round wire in some of my cables. Most would not prefer a round-wire pure UPOCC silver cable, which is why I don't offer one. I may offer it for phono cables as it fits that application well, but otherwise it's silver/gold wire or pure UPOCC silver ribbon wire for my top end cables.

I'd be interested to hear your experiences, let me know! :)
I prefer the sound of the gold over the rhodium Furutech GTX-D AC outlets. I have both in my Bybee Stealth power conditioner, and all of my components sound a little more natural and musical when plugged into the gold plated outlets. I hear no loss of detail or dynamics with the gold outlets compared to the rhodium. The difference is not huge but it is significant enough that I plug all of my components into the gold plated outlets and use the rhodium ones for Nordost Qv2 plugins. My Verastarr Grand Illusion speaker and AC cables have gold plated connectors as do my Townshend Fractal F1 interconnects. Haven't compared these with Rhodium connector cables.
 
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Cellcbern

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i recall when i had the Oyaide R-1's installed they gripped like mad.....so tightly they scraped the plating off my plugs and after a few plugging and unplugging it seemed they did not sound as good. then got a big boost switching to the Furutech GTX with a more relaxed but all copper outlet, with a stainless steel backing spring. i only switched them for the NCF advantage, but am still very happy with the GTX.

most of my power cords are Absolute Fidelity which use very lightweight cables so do not stress the outlet so i get a good grip without assistance. my amp power cords are Evolution Acoustics and are very heavy and i do need to support the cable properly or they do pull loose to a degree. so proper cable attention is required as nothing is perfect.

more grip has it's issues. maybe the Shunyata has it figured out, not tried them.
Didn't experience scraping of the plating with my Oyaide R-1.
 

DaveC

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I prefer the sound of the gold over the rhodium Furutech GTX-D AC outlets. I have both in my Bybee Stealth power conditioner, and all of my components sound a little more natural and musical when plugged into the gold plated outlets. I hear no loss of detail or dynamics with the gold outlets compared to the rhodium. The difference is not huge but it is significant enough that I plug all of my components into the gold plated outlets and use the rhodium ones for Nordost Qv2 plugins. My Verastarr Grand Illusion speaker and AC cables have gold plated connectors as do my Townshend Fractal F1 interconnects. Haven't compared these with Rhodium connector cables.


I definitely recommend matching plating. I think this is where many who don't like rhodium are going wrong, it's not the rhodium, it's the use of different plating that causes issues for some people. This applies to IEC inlets too, which many folks are not willing to replace, and that's totally understandable.

I can also understand why folks who don't initially like rhodium are unwilling to commit to using all rhodium plated connectors, it just doesn't make sense. But, if you do, I think there's a lot more resolution to be had and the issues with unpleasant artifacts and distortions will not arise. In my own system I use all Furutech rhodium plated NCF parts, inc. receptacles and IEC inlets with great success. I think it's clearer and more accurate vs gold and there is a lot more fine detail which helps form a more immersive soundstage and also results in more realistic and distinct timbre.

I would also say this is not a very common occurrence, not that many folks have these issues in an obvious way, but despite that I have had folks replace their gold plated reeptacles with rhodium and tell me a "hard edge" to the sound has been removed as a result. So, it's possible to from gold to rhodium and end up with a more relaxed, pleasant sound. And vice versa, depending on the mating connectors. ;)
 

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