OK, so connectors are better than bare wire, but.. WHY?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Marc Rochkind, Dec 28, 2001.

  1. Marc Rochkind

    Marc Rochkind Second Unit

    Aug 26, 2000
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    Here are some reasons why I've heard that connectors (e.g., spade, banana) are better than bare wire for attaching speaker cable to a binding post:

    1. Much more convenient to attach and detach, especially if bananas.

    2. No stray strand of wire to cause a short.

    3. Connection doesn't break down over time due to oxidation.

    4. No chemical reaction due to dissimilar metals.

    I completely buy into #1 and #2. The parts I don't understand are #3 and #4. I have recently closely examined many types of banana plugs, and in nearly all of them the bare wire is attached to the plug using friction. Sometimes there are one or two set screws, sometimes a screw-on crimping, and sometimes crimping with a special tool. In a couple of cases the attachment was identical to what happens when bare wire is poked through the hole in the binding post and then the nut is clamped down on it.

    So, with all of these pressure methods, why is oxidation and chemical reaction less of a problem between wire and plug than between wire and post? (I'm assuming both plug and post are similarly gold plated.)

    And, with a plug don't you introduce the additional problem of a loose joint between the connector and the post?

    So, it seems to me that the only proper way to attach the wire to the plug is to solder it. Otherwise, as long as one avoids stray strands and doesn't care about convenience, one might as well just poke the bare wire though the hole in the post.

  2. Sean Conklin

    Sean Conklin Screenwriter

    Oct 30, 2000
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    I prefer carefully wrapped Bare Wire myself, In reality you cannot get a better contact.

    However a soldered bare wire would be just as good.

    Also a completely soldered banana plug or spade would reduce oxidation because the wire strands are not exposed to oxygen.

    But I think the majority of Audiophiles prefer bare wire because of the maximum contact area and a minimum of connection points.
  3. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

    Sep 30, 2001
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    Use good terminals and you get a long lasting termination

    that is as good (if not) better than any bare wire. You can

    buy WBT Banana's that when plugged into the binding post

    have nearly 100% coupling between the binding terminal and

    the Banana it's self. Granted they are not cheap..

    As for connecting a termination (Spade, Pin or Banana) to

    wire I solder.. I don't use crimped or friction connectors

    because I beleive a properly silver soldered termination is

    the best.

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