Do banana plugs improve sound quality?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by John M Miller, Aug 17, 2001.

  1. John M Miller

    John M Miller Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2000
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I’ve got an Outlaw 1050 connected to Paradigm Monitor speakers with Audioquest 4x cables. Question is: Would I notice any improvement in sound quality with the addition of some gold plated banana plugs or do they just make connection easier? Also, is it worth $55 to upgrade my connections?
    I’ve been looking online and I see that accessories4less.com has IXOS 24k plugs for $10 a speaker. I’d like to spend less, but I don’t think that’ll be possible. Anybody know of a great deal on banana plugs?
    ------------------
    Fellini's Le Notti di Cabiria
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2001
    Messages:
    2,174
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    What terminations do you have now? Are your speaker cables stranded or solid-core?
     
  3. John M Miller

    John M Miller Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2000
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Solid core wires.
    Is cable erosion really an issue to be concerned about?
    ------------------
    Fellini's Le Notti di Cabiria
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Burke Strickland

    Burke Strickland Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 1997
    Messages:
    271
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Bananna plugs simply make the connection easier. In fact some argue that they may actually degrade the connection compared to other types of connections. I haven't noticed such an effect. But I have noticed the ease of use. :>)
    The gold plating may decrease oxidation of the contacts over a long period of time, thus marginally preserving the integrity if the signal, but it is hardly worth buying bananna plugs just to get that feature, IMO. Just periodically (say once a year) disconnecting and reconnecting the speaker leads with the exisiting connectors can have the effect of rubbing off any oxidation (on bare wire, would require sandpapering or snipping off the discolored ends) thus saving $55. If you are not anticipating a lot of HT rearrangements where ease of frequent disconnecting and reconnecting would be a consideration, and the connections appear to be solid (the existing connectors fit tightly, making a good connection) and everything sounds good, use the money for something else.
    Burke
     
  5. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2000
    Messages:
    2,635
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Corrosion, not erosion [​IMG]
    Otherwise known as.... RUST.
    Oxidation is a factor in copper, as copper oxide is non-condutive.
    I haven't seen the measurements so I don't know what objective data deals with the consequences, of course you could just buy 2 or 3 extra feet and reterminate every 5-6months to get rid of the chance that corrosion is affecting the sonics.
    Regards,
    ------------------
    John Kotches
    Contributing Writer
    Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity
     
  6. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2001
    Messages:
    8,390
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    i'm using the radio shack banana plugs. i don't remember how much they cost but i don't think they were too expensive. they work really well, fit snugly into my binding posts and (gasp!)...look pretty cool.
    btw - i couldn't hear a difference between my bare wires and when i used the plugs.
    ------------------
    You step in the stream,
    But the water has moved on.
    This page is not here.
     
  7. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 1997
    Messages:
    10,523
    Likes Received:
    714
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    I cannot tell an audio improvement or degradation with banana plugs. I use them simply because I unplug my stuff regularly (audition speakers, move them around, etc.). Banana plugs help me do that quickly and easily. If this isn't a concern for you, I'm not sure you'd gain much from using them.
     
  8. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

    Joined:
    May 22, 1999
    Messages:
    5,182
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I also love the Radio Shack dual bananas (the MegaCable ones).
    IMHO: they are very good choice for the following, non-sound-quality reasons:
    - They take 12 wire with room to spare
    - The make it easy to do a neat wireing job (no loose threads of copper to cause shorts).
    - It makes those tight-clusters of binding posts on the back of the receiver managable.
    - They have a solid black spacer bar which makes shorts nearly impossible. I use them for behind my speakers so if a child/dog snags the wires while the system is on, the plugs pull out, but dont short.
    - They have an incredible mechanical connection to the wire. (I was using Monster "Twist Crimp" and these things would come loose every few weeks. I have not had a loose wire in nearly 2 years with the dual-bananas).
    - Another HT buff has his receiver up at the top of a 5 ft closet. All that 12 ga wire put a large strain on his connections. He went with the Locking bananas that have a little prong that snaps into the hole on a binding post and wont pull out. You have to twist-them to remove. He swears by them.
    - They are about $6 each so a full system will run you about $60 (one at each end of the wire).
    Highly recommended.
     

Share This Page