Help Extending Speaker Wires

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Bill Kniering, Oct 6, 2004.

  1. Bill Kniering

    Bill Kniering Auditioning

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    I am building a new house with a dedicated media room. Since it is bigger it will allow me to space my speakers more than the room I use now. I am using Slate Bi-Wires to connect my B&K 307 to my Martin Logans as the front speakers. Due to the design of my cabinet (the 307 is off to the right side of the TV) the left speaker is at its maximum distance. What I want to do is extend the one side by about 2-3 feet but have not figured a way to do it easily. I do not want to buy new ones just to generate a little more distance. Does anyone know of a way to create an "extension cord" with male bananas on one end and female banana connectors on the other? I was thinking of using the Slate again for consistency but have not determined a way to terminate the ends.

    Any help is appreciated.
     
  2. Jason Kirkpatri

    Jason Kirkpatri Second Unit

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    My choice would be to replace the wire but if I had to extend the existing wire, I'd solder the two runs together and forget about the four banana plugs. You should be able to pick up a solder iron and solder for less than the banana plugs.

    Jason
     
  3. vasia

    vasia Stunt Coordinator

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  4. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Bill,

    It’s not clear if you intend to use Slate cables for your extensions or some other wire, but you have your work cut out for you extending or splicing these cables, since they are a solid-wire multi conductor configuration.

    There probably aren’t any “pretty” options. Banana plugs are probably your best bet, but I’ve never seen any female bananas that were designed for cable ends. Most are designed for wall plates, speaker termination panels and the like. You could probably figure out a way to use them, but like I said it probably won’t be aesthetically attractive. You also have to figure out a way to physically isolate them, to prevent a short. This will require staggered connections or some means of insulating the two leads, like electrical tape. I know, I know: “Ugh.” Did I mention it might not be pretty? [​IMG]

    I think your best bet all around is to find some double bananas that are stackable – i.e., one can plug into the other. I know virtually all of the cheapie bananas with the black or red plastic housings have this capability, but I think it’s far less common with the fancy gold-plated banana.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  5. Bill Kniering

    Bill Kniering Auditioning

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    Thanks for all the input. Yes, I was planning on adding the new length with Slate to keep consistency. I have found a website that sells Slate for $10/ft so for an additional 2-3 feet it is not a bad investment and better than a whole new set of cables. I can add AudioQuest banana plugs on each end. I also found a site that had banana couplers so the connection should be easy.

    Would there be any degradation in sound due to the connection that is added?
     
  6. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Bill,
    Ordinarily I’d say “no,” but I expect that you paid $200+ for speaker cables because you feel they offer a sonic improvement compared to say, garden-variety 12ga. zip cord from Home Depot.

    If you are able to distinguish an audible improvement in the Slates wires vs. the cheap stuff, I’d be hesitant to say to a certainty that you won’t hear any degradation with the extension.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     

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