Problem with my speaker cables. Please help!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by KeithH, Dec 11, 2002.

  1. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    I have been using two pairs of BetterCables Premium speaker cables in my main stereo system. These pairs are the original Premium cable, not the one BetterCables is currently selling. Anyway, I ordered both pairs with Vampire banana plug terminations. A few weeks ago, I started noticing occasional vibrations emanating from the binding posts on my speakers (Totem Arro floorstanders). I could hear these vibrations from my listening position about eight feet away when playing music that was not particualy complex in terms of instrumentation (e.g., Diana Krall). The only way I could get the vibrations to stop was to actually press the banana plugs down into the binding posts and hold them there. So, I concluded that the banana plugs were a bit loose and were not making optimal contact with the binding posts. I called BetterCables about it, and not surprisingly, they offered to replace the banana plugs on one end of each cable with spade connectors (I was having no problems with the banana plugs connected to the amps). I was hopeful that the spade connectors would do the trick.
    Unfortunately, I found that the spade connectors would not fit my speaker binding posts. BetterCables told me before they did the work that their spade connectors are designed to fit all binding posts. Well, they don't fit mine. When I tightened down the binding posts as much as possible, the cables readily slippeded out. I am thinking that the spades are too thick, which results in the binding post not being able to tighten down enough (i.e., screw down on enough threads to make a good "seal"). I even tried fitting one tine of the spade connector through the hole on the binding post (i.e., the hole that accepts bare wire), and that didn't work either. The cable slipped right out again. [​IMG]
    I called BetterCables and they were surprised that I could not get the spade connectors to work. Not surprisingly, the only other suggestion they had was for them to remove the spade connectors and leave me bare wire to fit through the hole on each binding post. While that should work, I really don't like that option. Copper wire oxidizes, and for the $180 I paid per pair of cables, which included the cost of the banana plug connectors, I should not have bare wire. What else can I do? Anyone have suggestions? I haven't used my main system in two weeks because of this problem. Thanks for reading, and I look forward to your thoughts.
     
  2. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Anybody home? [​IMG]
    Here are two options I have considered, though I really don't like either of them:
    1) Some companies make banana plug connectors that can accept spades. Two pieces on the banana plug connectors unscrew, you slide the spade in, and then tighten the connector down. I don't consider this to be an elegant solution, and it may not be cheap either. Audio Advisor sells a pair of this sort of connector by Monster for $30. I would need four pairs for my set-up. I have no interest in spending $120 on connectors.
    2) Another option is to have BetterCables remove the spade connectors and leave me bare wire, and then I would fit the bare wire to banana plugs. I have done this with cheap Monster wire and Radio Shack banana plugs. I even have Radio Shack banana plugs lying around. They have never given me the vibration problem that I have observed with the banana plug connectors from BetterCables. I prefer this option to the first one, but I still don't like the idea of having bare wire on cables that cost $180 a pair.
     
  3. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    I recall a while back where you'd posted about vibrations from your speakers and as I recall the impression that I got was that you suspected the binding posts or what it was attached to was at fault and you were contemplating a blu-tack solution. This is related in some way?
    Not knowing the speakers up close, I can only toss out some ideas.

    Opening the back up and replacing the binding posts yourself.
    If they're still under warranty, bring your problem to the dealer's attention and see what plans they come up with. Also consider contacting Totem directly. I understand they market their own line of wire and implies they have connectors that work with their binding posts. Maybe they'll send you a set of connectors gratis and you can just solder them on yourself.

    In the mean time, i'd slap those connectors you've got laying around on some 12 gauge to at least get some music going and also see if the problem goes away.

    I take it you don't like the idea of pins or tinning the wire, huh?
     
  4. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Chu, sorry I let this thread slide. When I bought the speakers, I used bulk Monster wire with Radio Shack banana plugs and did not notice vibrations. I feel the Vampire banana plugs that BetterCables used and the binding posts on the Totem Arro speakers are simply not a good match. In the end, I decided to bit the bullet and have BetterCables remove the spades and fit the ends with bare wire. It may not be ideal, but it should eliminate the problem. If it does not, which would surprise me, I can take the speakers back to the dealer, as they are under warranty for another three-and-a-half years. [​IMG] Anyway, I should get the speaker cables back in a couple of days and will issue a report. Thanks.
    Oh, the thread I started awhile back where I talked about using Blu-Tack was for the same problem. At that time, I had not isolated the source of the vibration. I thought it was the binding post plate not being fastened down properly. When Blu-Tack did not eliminate the vibration, I investigated further and found out that the banana plugs were the culprit.
     

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