AudioQuest Red River XLR
Balanced audio interconnect cables with XLR plugs (0.5 meter/1.6 feet)
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Our take on the AudioQuest Red River XLR by Crutchfield's Steve Kindig
Your gear and your ears deserve high-quality cables
AudioQuest's Red River interconnects are a well-made, cost-effective option in the world of high-performance cables. Each cable features three solid copper conductors to virtually eliminate electrical and magnetic interference that can add brittleness to the sound.
Red River's solid Long-Grain Copper delivers a smoother and clearer sound than cables using regular OFHC (Oxygen-Free High-Conductivity) copper. OFHC is a general metal industry specification regarding “loss” without any concern for distortion. Long-Grain Copper has fewer oxides and impurities within the conducting material, resulting in sonically superior performance.
Red River's XLR plugs feature new connectors and new pins. The connectors are fastened by cold welding — a solder-less process that uses high pressure and silver paste to minimize signal loss. By contrast, solder tends to impede the signal, and the heating of the copper conductor during soldering can negatively affect its performance.
- 1 pair of audio interconnects with XLR terminals
- 3 solid Long-Grain Copper conductors per cable for clean, low-distortion sound
- stiff Nitrogen-Injected Hard-Cell Foam insulation stabilizes the position of the conductors to maintain consistent impedance over the length of the cable
- metal-layer Noise-Dissipation System prevents RF interference from reaching the equipment's ground plane
- 3-conductor Triple-Balanced Geometry the separate ground conductor ensures that positive and negative signals have equally low-distortion conducting paths
- cold-welded gold-plated XLR plugs
- black-and-red braided jacket
- warranty: 5 years
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
What's in the Box:
- Two 1.64' (0.5M) XLR audio cables
Great quality cables, just what I was looking for.
Charles, Memphis, TN
AudioQuest Red River XLR Reviews
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Solid Long-Grain Copper (LGC) Conductors: Solid conductors eliminate strand-interaction distortion. Red River's solid Long-Grain Copper allows a smoother and clearer sound than cables using regular OFHC (Oxygen-Free High-Conductivity) copper. OFHC is a general metal industry specification regarding "loss" without any concern for distortion. LGC has fewer oxides within the conducting material, less impurities, less grain boundaries, and definitively better performance.
Nitrogen-Injected Hard-Cell Foam Insulation: Nitrogen-Injected Hard-Cell Foam insulation is used exclusively in most of AudioQuest's video and digital audio cables. Similar to Foamed-PE, it is nitrogen-injected to create air pockets. "Hard" foam is used because the stiffness of the material allows the conductors in the cable to maintain the same relationship with each other along the full length of the cable, thus ensuring that the characteristic impedance of the cable is consistent.
Metal-Layer Noise-Dissipation System (NDS): Preventing captured RF Interference from modulating the equipment's ground reference requires AQ's Noise-Dissipation System. Noise-Dissipation System prevents a significant amount of RFI from reaching the equipment's ground plane.
Triple-Balanced Geometry: The three conductors in "Triple-Balanced" Red River cables ensure that the XLR plugs' positive and negative signals have equally low-distortion conducting paths. This 100% coverage shield is never used as an inferior conductor.
Cold-Welded Gold-Plated Plugs: This plug design allows for a connection devoid of solder, which is a common source of distortion. Because the ground shells are stamped instead of machined, the metal can be chosen for low distortion instead of machinability.
Directional: Arrows on the XLR connectors indicate the preferred signal path from the source component to the input.
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Why did you buy this?
Purchased OPPO UDP-205 as I have been an audiophile for past 45 years, at age of 16 built (in high school) a Dual (Monoblock) tube amplifier (6L6GC, each channel totally independent but mounted on same chassis). Will be feeding a Emotiva XSP-1 Preamp so needed balanced cables BUT wanted to be somewhat grounded and not spend A FORTUNE on the higher priced AudioQuest cables!!!! [ Randall Nov 30, 2017 ]
Like AudioQuest gear, and if anything I'm looking for is sold on Crutchfield I will order it from them, great customer service and free shipping hard to beat. [ John Apr 19, 2017 ]
WHAT I NEEDED FOR MY CD PLAYER [ robert May 11, 2016 ]
I like the Audioquest brand of cables. I have used their HDMI cables on all of my TV and my living room surround system. When it was time to build my man cave surround system, it was only logical for me to stick with Audioquest. [ MICHAEL Apr 18, 2016 ]
Yamaha preamp to amp yamaha aventage series 5000. [ Brian Jan 20, 2016 ]
AudioQuest quality and price point. [ SCOTT Jun 01, 2018 ]
I needed shielded XLR cables. [ JAMES Apr 20, 2018 ]
Connecting OPPO disc player to Hegel amplifier. XLR connection recommended by owner's manual for disc player. No HDMI input on amplifier. [ Peter Feb 09, 2016 ]
To hook a high resolution player (home stereo) [ joseph Jan 20, 2016 ]
These XLR cables are used to connect two items stacked on top of each other. These were as short as I could find. [ JAMES Apr 18, 2018 ]
Price [ Howard T. Sep 23, 2016 ]
wanted better quality connectors. [ fenwood music Sep 16, 2016 ]
Because my Advisor Ann, took the time to research and make an excellent recommendation based on my setup. Ann's Bio: http://www.crutchfield.com/Support/Bio.aspx?bio=55 [ JAMES Apr 07, 2016 ]
4 questions already asked
Thanks for your question. I'm sorry no, unfortunately the AudioQuest XLR cables are only sold in pairs. [ Kenny Jan 28, 2017 ] Staff
Yes, you get two cables [ joseph Mar 12, 2016 ]
You get two patch cables. If you need 6 cables, the tou need three pairs. [ Todd Mar 11, 2016 ]
Yes, anytime you can run balanced in your audio system you should how ever it will cost considerably more for the cables though. The xlr balanced cables cancel any line noise that may be picked up from power cords, tv's ext. If you have the means to get the xlr's I? would highly recommend it. [ JASON Nov 11, 2017 ]
Balanced interconnects use a three-wire system as opposed to unbalanced (RCA) which is a two-wire system (signal and return/ground wire). One of the three wires in a balanced cable connects the grounds of two components together, but there is no signal current flow through this wire. Contrary to the populary belief that XLR (balanced) is better than RCA, balanced is benefical only when you have a very long run. But with short runs, there is either no difference in sound quality, or the difference is that the sound is only slightly darker (reducing possible noise), and that there are no other ways the sound could be better. It's worth listening to some to see for yourself. Having said all that, I am very happy with my purchase of Audioquest Red River XLR, they are very good mid level XLR's and moderately priced. [ GEORGE Nov 06, 2017 ]
I'm not an expert but from all that I read, I feel that it makes sense to use XLR interconnects where possible. I've been happy that I made the switch. [ KURT M Nov 05, 2017 ]
My understanding is that balanced cables will better at isolating noise. So any time you have an option between balance/unbalanced you have an opurtunity to reduce possibility of noise. That's my thinking on it. [ JAMES M Nov 05, 2017 ]
Brian, analog signals are very susceptible to interference. Balancing the signal as far as possible between components helps. [ Todd Nov 05, 2017 ]
The XLR connections will always provide a cleaner signal between the pre-amp and amp. Doesn't matter what input to your pre-amp you are using. [ Guest Nov 05, 2017 ]
Male [ robert Jan 20, 2017 ]
Yes, the output on the source is always male and input is female. [ JASON Jan 20, 2017 ]
Yes they are! Just a note unless your are stacking your equipment 1.6 ft is a very short run . I suggest the 1 meter length has more flexibility . hope I helped! [ Kenneth Mark Jan 20, 2017 ]
Looking for more? Check out the next model in this lineup.
Get purer sound with a cable that features higher-quality copper and better noise shielding.
The AudioQuest Mackenzie XLR offers these features:
conductors are made of high-purity, low-oxide Perfect-Surface Copper+
carbon-based 3-layer Noise-Dissipation System
cold-welded, silver-plated purple copper XLR plugs