banana speaker wire or not?

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by PeterK, Sep 6, 2004.

  1. PeterK

    PeterK Supporting Actor

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    should i be using banana plugs to hook my speaker wire into my reciever and speakers? if so, just how do you attach them to the wire? do they just clip on? finally, how much do they cost, I assume just a few dollars.
     
  2. PeterK

    PeterK Supporting Actor

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    woaa. monster sell them for $30 buck a pair? I don't think so. I will stick with the bare wire if they cost that much.
     
  3. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    You can find some cheaper ones at Radio Shack. Attachment to bananas is easy - screw-clamps, etc.
     
  4. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    And actually, there's really no reason to use them at all unless for some reason you need disconnect the speaker wires a lot.
     
  5. Eddie Horton

    Eddie Horton Stunt Coordinator

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    Parts Express has some relatively inexpensive ones made by Dayton.
     
  6. John Wes

    John Wes Stunt Coordinator

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    If your using very large wire, it may be a hassle to connect to your reciever. You need to pay attention that you don't get a stay strand touching something wrong. For this reason, I use banana's at the receiver end. The speaker end, I just use the speaker terminals. Unless you'd like something fancy looking if you can see behind them I don't see a reason to use a plug on them.

    Orange County Speakers sells some nice one's at a great price also.
     
  7. Brad_See

    Brad_See Stunt Coordinator

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    I bought some good ones at Home Depot for, I believe, about 5 bucks a pair. They work great. I just got tired of doing the wire and screw thing everytime I hook up or unhook my receiver or speakers.

    brad cook
     
  8. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    Heck I use them for all my speaker connections except for the DIY subs. Convenient and saves time twisting and playing thread the needle with the speaker wire while the receiver is in an awkward position.
     
  9. Chuck_W

    Chuck_W Second Unit

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    I've had great luck with the Dayton ones that Eddie mentioned from Parts Express for $4.50/pair (plus shipping which ended up being a bit higher than I would have thought for such small parts). The ones I got have two small set screws to hold the wire in.
     
  10. Joey_V

    Joey_V Second Unit

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    I bought mine from eBay and they are top-notch. These are some acoustic research banana plugs which are gold plated and screw on type. I got 20pcs (for 5 speakers) for 19.99 + 7$ shipping.
     
  11. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    I have a mixture of Radio Shack Gold Series and Dayton (from www.partsexpress.com ) banana plugs. Both brands are similar in cost.

    I use the plugs at both the receiver and speaker ends of the cable. They are much easier to connect to the tightly-packed connections on the back of most A/V receivers, and they are convenient at the speaker end if you need to move the speakers to vacuum, clean the carpet, etc.
     
  12. Eddie Horton

    Eddie Horton Stunt Coordinator

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    I use the compression style from Parts Express, part no. 091-330. These seem more secure to me than some other set screw styles I'd tried earlier. YMMV.
     
  13. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    And for those who like pretty pictures, http://www.audioholics.com/techtips/...er_cables.html will show you how to do it. Sometimes the little set screws aren't the best in the world, so don't overtighten them or you might run the risk of stripping the threads.
     
  14. Rolando

    Rolando Screenwriter

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    but is it true the sound is better? doesn't seem right to me, how can an added component improve sound?

    I figure they are for convenience and good ones don't reduce sound quality. I am sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  15. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    They are there for convenience and there is no difference in sound. Look, this is a nutty world we live in. You're going to find people who swear magnets in their shoes cured their sore feet, a Q-Ray bracelet let them take up needlepoint, plant estrogens rejuvenated women, aliens make crop circles, the Virgin Mary appeared on a blueberry muffin, and the list goes on. In each of those cases and the millions I didn't even touch on, you'll find rabid followers, websites devoted to the topic, and stuff that sounds like science. What you won't find though is that the scientific method has been not been used to verify the claims. Now there's an awful lot of poor and sloppy science that's been done by some fairly intelligent people (cold fusion ring a bell?) and that gets repeated ad infinitum. You see, once a story starts, it just keeps going and going. Repeated, embellished, they take on the aura of truth and wisdom when all they are is tall tales.

    In your particular case, you're wondering in part, does the way I terminate the wire make a difference in sound quality? There are several ways to terminate the wire.
    leave it bare
    tinning the wire with solder
    spades
    bananas
    pins
    phono jacks
    whatever else you can think of

    There are individuals that will look at each of these methods and maybe calculate the amount of surface that makes contact. They'll swear that the maximum amount is definitely better because it sounds better. Others will say that maybe pure copper, pure silver, rhodium over copper, rhodium over silver, gold over copper, etc. is best and they'll trot out the books in an attempt to support their position as to which is best. Others maybe will argue over whether crimping or soldering is best and if so, which solder. They'll argue over this stuff like people used to argue centuries ago over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. What you won't find in any of the cases, is hard scientific research to support their positions. In the end, people will believe what they want to believe and they'll take positions that they'll brandish on their shirts which indicate their seriousness and devotion to listening to music.

    My position is this. One should have good connections between clean metal to clean metal. I happen to think bare wires are sloppy and leave you open to potential stray wire shorts at some point and they will in time oxidize. The oxidation is no big thing. Every 6 months or so, trim a little off. I like the idea of spades on the speaker side because I feel it leads to a more secure connection while bananas on the receiver end are nice because it makes it easier to pull the receiver out if you need to. I think good, hard crimps, whether done by a screw or a crimping tool is fine in most cases. Personally, I'd follow that crimp up with some solder to reinforce matters and to provide an oxygen barrier of sorts to keep that wire to whatever connection free from exposure to the elements. That bodes well for longevity. I could care less what solder you use.

    If you agonize over the trivial many things that don't make a difference, you'll put off things like working on speaker positioning, maybe playing with your room to improve your acoustics, and just sitting down to do what you really wanted to do in the first place. Enjoy your tunes without this neurosis that you didn't listen to Joe or Sally or Ivan about some silly nonsense.
     
  16. Dean Arizona

    Dean Arizona Agent

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    Chu, you're really beginning to worry me. Only you would write a thesis statement on the merits of banana plugs! Maybe you should ease up just a bit. I'd hate for you to have a stroke before the Trilogy comes out.[​IMG] By the way, exactly how high should I elevate my speaker wire off the floor to increase the transfer rate of the electrons traveling through the wire? [​IMG] It's guys like you who keep trade mags like "Secrets" looking over their shoulders - and guys like me are entertained silly while you're doing it! [​IMG]
     
  17. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    If you want cable lifts, I recommend these as they're natural and come with built in cable guides.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. William_Gravem

    William_Gravem Stunt Coordinator

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    I was under the impression that banana plugs are only used with 12 gague wire. Behind my wall is 14 gague. Can I use banana plugs?
     
  19. Dean Arizona

    Dean Arizona Agent

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    Inspirational reply Chu. However, the "cable guide" you recommend would definitely come under the heading of "exotic software" whose potentially exorbitant cost could exceed many of the value oriented parameters we tend to observe here in the forum. On the other hand, there's nothing wrong with indulging our hobbys. Besides, maybe she would be willing to offer a free install.[​IMG]
     
  20. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    You may use bannana plugs on any thickness of wire, as long as it will fit. Anything 8 gauge or smaller should fit any standard plug just fine.

    I use radio Shack gold series plugs because they look nice, and it makes unplugging, and replugging speakers easier.
     

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