Better XLR/RCA adapters

I know, I know, that's not audiophile way, but I might have to temporarily use them. I heard that Purist Audio is considered the best by some but they are $500 pair, and I don't want to spend $1k on adapters.
So what should I get? Cardas ? Specifically, I would use XLR cables and the current equipment is all RCA.
I am using Cardas on a SACD player from XLR to RCA. It sounds OK. I am not using it on my best source though.


I paid 10.00 usd for copper, the above are nickel or rhodium. 4.50 each LOL 500.00 got to be kidding me..

I can get a package from China in under 10 days, NOW and the New Year is going full blast.. Faster than normal to tell the truth.
I ordered gold oil RCAs (34.00 a pair) an a 2 meter silver ribbon speaker IC, 69.00 and got them in 6 days.

Look around. you can get silver plated over copper, if you order overseas for under 20 bucks I bet.. 500.00 each. I don't think so..
South America has some good product if you get the homie hook up too.
A LOT of silver products in the Americas.

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The Cardas adaptors are on sale now from Partsconnexion and at $90, while more expensive than the (similar) $4 model from Parts Express, the Cardas version would probably pass the "audiophile approved" test without spending $500, which just seems to be a silly price for something that will likely be plugged into a typical Neutrik connector or similar.  The SMc adaptors discussed by tvad below would also be a good choice as I believe they were made to work with Steve McCormack's $20K VRE-1c preamp.

10,539 posts02-17-2021 6:31amSteve McCormack (SMc Audio) makes exceptional XLR>RCA adapters with flying ground leads that can be attached to a preamp ground post (or chassis screw).


Interesting, rhodium or nickel on the XLR, I couldn’t see the RCA, looks gold plated or copper (to shiny for copper). Parts are 8-10 dollars, I could see 75.00 including labor and the tidy little ground lead.

I did a couple of silver plated (the pins) XLRs and RCA, with #18 pure silver low strand count, teflon cable. I used them on Dayton plate amps.  The RCA were to close and the run to far. I used XLR cable on a 30ft run, shield ground on one end. Quiet as a mouse. For the shop. Perfect. 20.00 each I think. Still have them. I know they would cost 500.00 each.. LOL I’m to frugal.

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Just installed XLR > RCA pair, Canare L4E6S star-quad, 1M pr., $30 from, Shanghai.  Came in ca. two weeks...excellent product, ordered RCA > XLR complementary pair...highly recommended vendor.
I see. Thank you.
mitch2, there are also Cardas adapters for $150 pair. Is there real difference ? Extra $120 is not a problem if it's worth it.
I was thinking, maybe my memory was playing tricks with me. Purist adapters might be $250 for a pair so $500 for the full set.
I would use XLR cables and the current equipment is all RCA.
I guess you already know that a balanced cable won’t get you any performance improvement?

If it’s something you need to do temporarily, I’d try inexpensive adapters, like those sold by Lynx. You won’t notice the difference from the costly ones.

Remember, you’ll need different adapters at each end to match the differing genders of XLR used at the ends of a balanced cable.

Of course, temporarily. When you buy used sometimes you have to decide quickly if you know what you are looking for. Some cables are very difficult to find, so even if I will need it in a year I will get it now if I see it.
Why not use a good quality interconnect with RCA connectors on one end and XLR connectors on the other? Laspada Audio makes such cables available here
mitch2, there are also Cardas adapters for $150 pair. Is there real difference?
I couldn't really say that it would be worth it particularly when you consider most equipment manufacturers, even those selling high dollar gear, use basic Neutrik XLR connectors and something similar to Cardas RCA connectors, although some do use more expensive connectors by WBT and others.  I would probably try to stick with adaptors that do not include a short cable component, just to keep things simple and to allow my main cables to be the primary conduit.  If I needed adaptors for a temporary situation, I would purchase one of the less expensive options from Parts Express.  If I needed them long-term, I would be very comfortable using Cardas adaptors, or the SMc Audio adaptors discussed by tvad, but I couldn't say for sure that I would hear a difference between those and the others.
I have to laugh at the post who said he just bought copper and silver from China!  Got some news for you. Anything coming out of China that advertises gold silver copper and so on is 75% lead fused into it along with any other garbage they can dump into it. Touch the cables and your binding posts and connectors they will be hot and start to corrode in a few weeks. We have run many of this crap through our flora scope o confirm. They even infuse lead into stainless food processing parts. You get what you pay for and don’t get me started on amazon the home of counterfeit junk!
Why would you want to the single ended connections will sound better than the balanced ones on most if not all gear anyway.
I might be getting Otari or Studer reel to reel deck in the foreseeable future, they have balanced connectors and for a good reason. That I would not want to use with adapters. So if I see a balanced cable that I would want to use with the deck in the future for sale and the price is right, I might buy it now. In the meantime I would be using these high end cables with adapters in the current system.
What cables am I thinking about ? Well, probably either older Purist Dominus fluid or Wywires Diamond. The former is almost impossible to find, no one sells it.