Making Sense of RCA Leads

Stinger Australia MichaelTechnical Information

Stinger 4000 Series Interconnects

Interesting question, can any of you honestly tell me what the benefits for a higher quality RCA lead?
This question was brought to my attention recently where I was asked: “What is the difference between your Stinger 4000 Series and 6000 Series?”

Today we dive into the mysterious world of RCA leads and what they do. Now I am going to keep this simple and straight to the point.

The point of the RCA lead or ‘interconnect’ is to deliver an audio signal from the source device (head unit, camera, etc.) to the destination device (amplifier, head unit, screen).
Commonly I have heard salespeople refer to “All RCA leads are the same, grab the $3 one it will work fine”. Now though technically this WILL WORK, how well will it?

Power Transfer
The RCA leads job is to transfer the AC voltage (or audio signal) and like power cable for an amplifier, the better the quality, the fewer issues that can arise.

Our Stinger RCA leads are constructed with tinned OFC (Oxygen Free Copper). Unlike cheap RCA leads, this OFC cable offers amazing power transfer. But why is this a big deal?
Most modern head units offer low power RCA output jacks. Most head units are 2v and maybe 4v if you’re lucky. Remember this 2v or 4v output is your audio signal strength.
The lower quality signal at the amplifier, the less audio output no matter how big or great your amplifier is. What we want is a strong clean signal at the amplifier much like power cable for an amplifier.

To put it simply, the higher quality cable, the stronger the audio signal the amplifier gets which means your gain settings are not as high so less possible hiss, less possible induction noise and less strain on the input of your amplifier.

Shielding & Signal Quality
Modern vehicles are great, we have all these amazing safety features and amenities each with their own computer-controlled system to operate it seamlessly. The downside to this is a lot of electronic interference. Now you run a pair of RCA leads snaking from start to end of the car for your new amplifier or maybe it’s under the seat. Awesome.

However, you power the amplifier and car on and what’s that? ‘Bzzzzzzzzzzzz’. Why is this so?
Due to these amazing features, many vehicles emit electrical interference which disrupts the audio signal (AC Voltage) so when it reaches your amplifier, you hear this interference.

When looking at RCA leads, our Stinger 4000 series offers directional twisted pair cable which is designed to reject unwanted noise. This is further improved with our Stinger 6000 Series leads with the introduction of mylar foil shielding on the cable. These RCA leads offer some of the best performance on the market where noise can be an issue so you get an uncompromised signal.

Stinger 6000 Series cross-cut

Reverse Cameras
Wait, I thought you were talking about RCA leads I hear you think. Well, it amazes me to this day where I see people install a reverse camera, camera to the front bumper or side cameras and connect it with a $2 shop special RCA lead. Video signal quality is as much a requirement as audio signal quality. Cut open a cheap ‘video’ RCA lead and you will see this.

(I broke 3 RCA leads just trying to strip this cheap video RCA lead back for a photo)

Cheap tiny thin unshielded wires that look like they belong on a set of headphones from the 1980s. And you’re running this from the front to the back of the vehicle?

This is why our Stinger Video RCA leads are different. They are an OFC 75 Ohm Coaxial lead designed JUST for video signal quality. This means no induced noise from modules and sketchy picture quality so you get the best picture you can from your camera.

So to recap when looking at our RCA leads…

  • Stinger Australia – Great entry-level RCA leads with great performance with good noise rejection.
  • Stinger 4000 Series – Improved cable quality, smaller RCA jacks for tighter installation and great noise rejection.
  • Stinger 6000 Series – Improved cable quality, anodized alloy RCA jacks, amazing noise rejection with extra shielding, sexy blue looks.
  • Stinger Video Series – Designed just for video signal, amazing noise rejection with extra shielding, strong construction.
  • Stinger Marine Series – Dylectrically coated to stop corrosion from salt air/water, amazing noise rejection, marine color scheme.