Banana Plugs?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by SteveDev, Aug 29, 2002.

  1. SteveDev

    SteveDev Agent

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    Does the quality of banana plugs make a big difference?

    I was thinking of getting some cheap gold plated plugs when I came accross some AR plugs at a store. However, they would run me CDN$20 + tax per speaker vs. cheaper plugs costing less than half as much.

    Thanks.

    Steve
     
  2. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Well the audiophile view is that bare wire is the best. But my binding posts are so tight and the side-hole so small that 12 ga does not fit cleanly.

    From a sound stand-point, I'm not sure it matters. I have used both Monster "Twist-Crimp" and am currently using Radio Shack dual bananas (xxx-308) for behind the speakers, and single bananas (xxx-306) behind the receiver. I have not noticed any sonic difference between the two. But my system is 95% for movies, not critical music (and this does make a difference in how sensitive you listen to your system.)

    The Radio Shack offerings are quite good and I think they would be cheaper than the $20 Canadian if you can get them.

    Note: Buy 1 set of the dual-bananas and take them home to see if the spacing will match your equipment. There is not a standardized spacing.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. SteveDev

    SteveDev Agent

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    I did not know that was the audiophile view. Interesting, every dealer I go to touts these things as the best thing since sliced bread (but then again, they are salesmen!). They say that connections are much tighter and better with these.

    I am also having troubles putting the 12 gauge into my binding posts on my receiver which is why I was looking into them.

    Thanks.
     
  4. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    i like the bananas on the receiver...its really tough to say what the difference in quality is. i mean we can hypothesize that perhaps paying more gets a thicker gold plating say 20 mil vs 10 mil or less, or that the gold has been plated over an intermediary metal like nickel, but without someone or some publication going through the trouble of tearing these things apart and doing quantitative analysis and microscopic depth profiling, we're pretty much left up to our imaginations.
     
  5. Eric_Lakes

    Eric_Lakes Agent

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    If a $500 power cable can change the sound after 500 miles of cheep copper, then surely a 20mil gold plated banana plug can change the sound to.... [​IMG]
     
  6. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    I was just looking at it from a wear & tear point of view.
     
  7. Eric_Lakes

    Eric_Lakes Agent

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    Chu,
    The remarks wasn't aimed towards you... I was just seeing if anyone wanted to buy a $500 power cable... [​IMG] Anyways, I love banana plugs for the convience factor. Do they make a difference?, probably not! As long as they are made from a material that does not easily oxidize and are kept clean, any banana plug should work fine.
    They way I see it, if the entire path is made from one material or another... I could see the potiential for a difference in sound. But if you are talking about adding a plate of gold between two conections and trying to claim that it makes a difference, Then I am alot skeptical.
     
  8. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    If you do decide to go with bannana plugs, check out NXG Technology bannana plugs at www.shoppingmatrix.tv
    They're $1.68 a pair for double plugs, and a little more for 2 single plugs.
     
  9. Brian Fitterman

    Brian Fitterman Stunt Coordinator

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    I ended up going with AudioQuest BFA bannana plugs. They are not cheap, but have a great design. They have a very large surface area that comes in contact with the binding post. Most just contact the post via the bulge in the center. You want the most contact area as posible, and I found these to have the most. They also are very very tight because of this and do not come out of the amp easily when you are chaning other wires, which was another problem I had with other bannana plugs.
     

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