RCA Phono Interconnect Under $400

I'm on the hunt for a 1 meter RCA phono interconnect to link my soon-to-arrive refurbished Sota Sapphire to a Jolida JD-9 phono stage.  The turntable will have a Hana cartridge and Rega 330 tone arm.  My budget is under $400.  What's the consensus for cables out there? 



John Cotner

New Ulm, MN


I really like the Audioquest Black Mamba from Audio Advisor. They sound great to me plus they are not that expensive.  

People seem to like OCC copper now, the Zavfino Arcadia get great reviews.


Checkout Zavfino and Audio Envy - they both make excellent cables

Or you could invest in a one piece slver harness from Cardas

Not something you should try installing yourself, but - worth the expense

Regards - Steve

Thanks for the info.  A lot has changed since I last bought cables, and I haven't kept up with new trends.  I'll check out your suggestions.

I would go to the usedcable web site. Typically used cables are 1/2 price. So you can jump up a level in performance.

Here's a silly question.  Some come with ground connections and others don't.  Does this mean the ones without a ground wire don't need a ground wire, or you'd need to make one yourself?

There is a Cable that you can consider to use and one that I have been demo'd is the SAEC SL 5000.

I have heard Zavfinos in a price range that went up to the Silver Wire design. 

I have yet to be demo'd the Zav'o TOTR design, but do know somebody using it. 

Saec has left the most indelible impression for the quality of sound and influence on the music production. 


Do you need a cable with a DIN connector at one end and RCAs at the other, or is it RCA to RCA? Do you prefer silver wire or copper? One advisory: you want hot and ground to be carried on equal conductors, separate from the shield which connects to ground only at one end. Many phono cables carry audio ground on the shield. That’s suboptimal.

An RCA to RCA cable will definitely carry audio ground. If the tonearm or TT need ground to the phono, any old wire will do.

when I bought my long tonearm, the maker essentially insisted I buy this Ortofon


I did, but frankly I do not hear any difference comparing several, including inexpensive one, Acos Lustre's OEM or Custom Pine Tree cable I had made.

I would say, buy from a source that accepts returns, try, keep or return.

I changed my interconnects to Locking RCA connectors

these, or others


If you cannot find ready made, you could have Pine Tree make you a cable: rca/rca/ground/locking connectors, your desired length.


I bought two of these 3 wire Component Video Cables, got 3 pairs of locking and each pair it’s connector’s a different color.


As others have said, buy a separate, or get a spool of green coated wire and make a separate ground wire with crimped spades.




I own a Zu Xaus that I've been very happy with, and their current Mission Phono is in your price range:



I’ve been using these excellent and reasonably price pure silver interconnects for more than ten years now, and have recommended them to several other very satisfied users:

Visit their website for links to several reviews and many user comments.

Review for Stager phono cable:


Just to point out that the video cables almost certainly do not have separate and equal conductors for audio hot and audio ground. In my experience that makes a difference. In cheap 75 ohm video cables, most likely audio ground is carried on the shield which therefore must be connected at both ends.



Don't rule out Signal Cable. Frank makes cables, wire, interconnects,etc : all high end at giant killer prices. Perfect for your short run. I have had him make me xlr, rca interconnects and speaker wire as well as my phono turntable interconnects to my phono preamp. . Check him out. 

Thanks for all of your input.  I pulled the trigger on the Zafino cables.  I found a demo pair marked down so saved a little more money. 

This may not be very popular but I recently purchased some cables off eBay. What you want in a phono cable is extremely low capacitance. These are super low. I was using transparent audio cables and these blew them away. I very much believe that cables matter but do not always believe that all the technology being implemented is the right thing. This is a simple cable made from very high quality wire. For me, it's all that's needed and sounds amazing. 


In addition to low capacitance you also want shielding from RFI. Since a shield adds capacitance, it’s not so simple.

I addition to your choosing your tonearm cable, I found when I had a  Jolida JD-9, it benefited from using silver interconnects (to the amp), an upgraded power cord, installing damping material to the inside of the chassis, removing the tube shields and using Herbies Tenderfeet. Don’t be afraid of trying different settings on the rear switch panel. Start with the suggested settings for your cartridge and amplifier, but also try others to get the sound you might prefer.


12,126 posts

"Just to point out that the video cables almost certainly do not have separate and equal conductors for audio hot and audio ground. In my experience that makes a difference. In cheap 75 ohm video cables, most likely audio ground is carried on the shield which therefore must be connected at both ends."


well, they are quite inexpensive, but not ’cheap’, see the specs, since HDMI hardly anyone uses them, thus low prices.

I don’t understand technical issues, just that they sound as good as anything else I have, and quite secure, my goal, and the added benefit of color coding.

I had Audio Classics build me a nice set of interconnects when they renewed my McIntosh mx110z preamp. I compare other cables to them, some silver ones I have, .... IF not as good, I throw them out. Friends bring their ’special’ cables here. Almost everything sounds the same to us. Given that, it’s the features that make a difference, i.e. locking/colors


Elliot, Of course you’re entitled to your preferences in all cases. Those cables you got with your reconditioned Mac, are they of the 2-conductor construction, with audio ground separated from shield? If not, you might want to procure some inexpensive 2-conductor cables and compare them to your video cables. Also, for SE connections (RCA), I prefer low mass plugs, like KLE. They’re tight fitting enough that locking them would be superfluous. And they sound best to my ears.