When you come to the world of electronics it is an open secret that any tarnished contacts will definitely cause a level of distortion; if it has anything to do with hearing you can be sure that you are going to experience the degradation of the quality of sound. Whereas some people may be tempted at times to think that the problem could be with the audio equipment such as the speakers, amplifier or the cords, in most cases the issue has to do with connectors; this is why most specialists these days prefer gold plated connectors for their audio and other electronic equipment.
Corrosion is usually responsible for many levels of signal degradation especially at the switch and connector contacts; it has been discovered that the most common form of degradation happens as a result of an insulating sulphide layer that is formed on silver contacts because hydrogen sulphide that is caused by air pollution and the problem seems to deteriorate as tome moves on. This will almost always cut the signal altogether apart from a few areas where the signal can peak temporarily and penetrate the sulphide layer. The effect can usually be gross and no matter what solution you try the degradation will continue; the use of gold plated connectors happens to be the only logical way out of the situation. Even though gold plated connectors are more expansive than the ordinary ones, sometimes going up to five times higher, it is a solution that is worth every dollar that you are going to spend.
While the use of gold plated connectors cannot be said to be the only cure for the problems of sound degradation, it should be said that gold plated connectors give you a surefire solution. There are other people who choose nickel plated connectors among several other materials. Nickel plated connectors are preferred to the other materials because it is a relatively inert material which has the ability resist oxidation better than tin for example. When all said and done, gold plated connectors are usually easier and better to deal with because of their enhanced performance and better connectivity.