Varial RCA Interconnect

Varial RCA Interconnect


Varial-RCA was introduced in 2001, second generation mark-two in 2002 and mark-three was introduced in March 2004. Refinements have been made to the cable geometry (better field relations within our B3 model), conductor area and metallurgy, as well as shielding and dielectric materials.

Mk.I [2001] The original Varial-RCA featured custom made RCA connectors using Cardas made silver plated RCA tip and tulip.

Mk.II [Q3 2002] Added aluminum shielding to further safeguard signal from RF noise. This change was easy to identify as the observer can see silver glints through the black sheathing. No change in cable geometry.

Mk.III [Q2 2004–2015] Change in cables geometry and resulting impedance. Also, higher conductance copper/tin shielding replaced the coarse aluminum; and change to the RCA plugs, from a solder type silver plated RCA to a solderless gold plated locking-type RCA. All versions were able to be ordered with or without the machined V-block which captured left and right cables together to prevent the matched pair from being mixed up.

Varial RCA Ad Copy + Tests & Measures PDF Download

Price is for a matched pair, one left/one right.

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Original Ad Copy

Varial-RCA is our flagship, top of the line single-ended interconnect product. Quick features include silver alloy conductors in a multiple conductor exclusively ZuB3 geometry, high conductance on all legs, 100% high magnitude RF shielding.

ZuB3 is a cable archetype specific to the E&M of the cable. Its not about special materials, chemistry or treatment processes. The technology was invented by Zu in 2001 and allows signal and power to be transmitted with increased immunity from RF while lowering reactance compared to cables of similar conductance and size. ZuB3 design, manufacturing process and correlative electrodynamic relationships are the intellectual property of Zu Cable Incorporated.

VARIAL Direction of Signal Propagation

Zu Varial interconnects are directional and the V-block points in the direction of signal flow. If V-block was not included in the build, Varial’s label would read in the direction of signal flow.


Varial-RCA, being all Teflon® insulation, will require play before it’s fully burned in, roughly 400 hours. We do not recommend any burn-in devices or special recordings. We do recommend music you enjoy, preferably upbeat full spectrum recordings: rock, roots, full orchestra, big band.... We do not recommend any burn-in devices or special recordings, simply play the music you enjoy, preferably upbeat full spectrum recordings: rock, roots, full orchestra, big band.... For the possible how and whys about burn-in please see our Answers section.


No maintenance is required for the cable or the connector unless it is the silver plated version, in which case you will need to clean them with Cape Cod polish or the like. Those that used the gold plated RCA are unlikely to ever need cleaning. Regarding contacts generally however, we offer the following information.

If the contacts of any connector become dull or tarnished you will need to clean them. This is likely to never be a problem with nickel, gold or rhodium platted connectors. Pure copper or silver contacts that are not plated may require cleaning. If your connector contacts are nice and bright, don’t worry about it; and the only time you need to check them would be if you disconnect the cables. In fact, anytime you are making an electrical connection make it a habit to inspect the contacts and clean them if they are tarnished or dirty. Cape Cod™ is one of our favorites.

Phono (RCA-Type) Connector Options & Detail

Varial-RCA Mk.III interconnects features locking type RCA plugs. Standard RCA plugs simply push on and slide off. Locking type plugs require you to loosen the outer barrel, slide the connector on and then cinch it up. All things being equal about the two types of connectors, we do not feel either type has a sonic advantage over the other. And as we have never heard of a standard type vibrating loose, we do not feel either type represent a superior connection once installed. The advantage of a locking type RCA plug: easy, low insertion force connection—the user loosens the barrel, allowing the coaxial shell to open up a bit, then easily slides the plug onto the socket. Once connected the users tightens the barrel. The disadvantages: first time users may not know how to use them, or find them complicated or tedious. Barrels are not captured and may become lost when moving the unconnected cables. Higher cost. Advantage of standard RCA plugs: they’re simple and completely functional. Disadvantages arise when the outside ground part of the connection is too tight. Really tight fitting RCA plugs are are not fun to connect, forcing you to brace the front side of the equipment you are connecting. Disconnecting of excessively tight fitting plugs can tear low quality female connectors out of the chassis.

Locking RCA-type connector usage: Hold the rear of the connector with your left hand. With your right hand loosen the barrel (clockwise, as pictured) until it hides the outer ground portion of the plug (usually a couple of turns—720 degrees). Once loose, plug it in. It should slide on very easily. If it’s anything but smooth and easy, you need to loosen the barrel a bit more.

Now plugged in, simply rotate the barrel counter clockwise to lock it down.