Is There a Better Way to Connect Speaker Wires?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Bill_Br, Jul 5, 2006.

  1. Bill_Br

    Bill_Br Agent

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    The Onkyo HT-S590 audio system that I just purchased has a lot of great features, but one problem is that it comes with very thin speaker wires. So, I swapped the supplied wires for Monster 16g wires.

    Unfortunately the speaker-wire push-in terminals on the back of the receiver have such small openings that it is very difficult to push in the larger speaker wires without having them fray, bunch up, etc. (I'm sure the terminals work fine with the ultra-thin wires that come with the system!)

    Are there connectors you can buy to solder or crimp to the end of the speaker wires so that you have a cleaner, easier-to-insert prong or wire to push into the terminal?

    If such devices are available, what are they called; and are they recommended, or do they cause more problems than they solve?

    Thanks for helping a home-theater newbie!

    Bill
     
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    [​IMG]

    Specifically for something like this. Can be found here. You can probably find something like it at most electronics/audio shops also.

    If you can solder, the simplest thing is probably to just tin the ends of the wire.
     
  3. Bill_Br

    Bill_Br Agent

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    Thanks for the tip, John. They're a bit pricey when you consider how many speaker connections are involved. I'll have to give it some thought. I'm wondering how hard it would be for someone to make their own connectors....

    Bill
     
  4. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Is that Monster wire the kind with a thin piece of plastic inside the wire strands (IIRC "Magnetic Flux Tube" series)? If so that stuff is difficult to keep twisted - I know because I owned some for five years. I ended up cutting off the plastic part and soldered the wires together & everything worked fine. Most push-in connectors should be able to accept normal wire though (i.e. 16ga lamp cord).
     
  5. Bill_Br

    Bill_Br Agent

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    I misspoke when I said "16 gauge" wire. It's actually 12 gauge. (I forget for the moment that with gauge the higher the number the smaller the size.)

    I don't recall seeing any plastic, but the wire is difficult to keep twisted.

    "Most push-in connectors should be able to accept normal wire though." Yes, you would think that they would make the opening large enough, but the opening is very small, as though no one would think to use wire other than the very thin stuff that the manufacturer supplies.

    I might try soldering a piece of copper wire onto the end of each piece of speaker wire and see how that works. At any rate, for the present the connections seem to be holding, as long as I don't move the receiver around at all.

    Bill
     
  6. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    If your whole system only has spring terminals, you don't need 12AWG wire. The simplest solition is to get 14 or 16 AWG wire.
     
  7. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    What if he just cut a few of the exposed strands off the tip of the 12g, which would, in effect, reduce the end of the wire to maybe 16g so it would fit in the hole? Or would doing this not be a good idea for some reason that I haven't thought of yet?
     
  8. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    There's no reason why that wouldn't work that I can think of. Just make sure you solder tin the tip after that so it doesn't fray.
     
  9. Bill_Br

    Bill_Br Agent

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    That sounds like a plan. It's best, I presume, to snip off the old ends first, since they already are frayed from being forced into the holes. Then, strip off some insulation and cut away, what, about half the wires before applying solder?

    Bill
     
  10. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    I would think half might be too much. Maybe 1/4? It might be a trial and error thing, at least on the first one. But I wouldn't cut off more than was needed.
     

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