Speaker wire connectors -VS- Straight Wire connection.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Phil Mays, Jun 8, 2002.

  1. Phil Mays

    Phil Mays Second Unit

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    Besides ease of use...is there any value to using connectors (Banana, Cardis, etc.) versus stripping wire and connecting to speaker/unit.

    It seems to me with a connector there is that much more "material" to handle flow and just one more thing to errode said flow.

    I am sold on Kimber Kable in bi-wiring which is expensive enough but not as bad if there is no transmission value to the connectors. BTW I will use connectors on the amp side to "make connecting cleaner" but do not have that worry on the speaker side.

    Thanks

    Phil
     
  2. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Well with bare wire one will have the following issues if that's the right term.
    1: you could potentially have a stray wire and create a short.
    2: periodic trimming of the wire may be required when surface corrosion becomes an issue.

    If these issues are of no concern to you, then by all means go with bare wire. Otherwise consider the use of spades, bananas or whatever it is that facillitates a good secure contact. If you're concerned over corrosion, whether its the formation of oxides from the air or sulfate, chloride or sulfides, as a result of atmospheric pollution, then it will equally apply to bare wire. Gold plated contacts are inexpensive and provided you're not constantly taking things off, you won't wear away the coating. Yes there are rhodium plated connectors that maybe don't have some of the wear issues, but one doesn't necessarily have to go that route unless for whatever reason you prefer it. Sonically all methods will yield identical results.
    Ball's in your court.
     
  3. Phil Mays

    Phil Mays Second Unit

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    Chu,

    Thanks for the input. I am concerned about stray wires at the amp but I did not know if my local store was just trying to boost sales with speaker side terminates.

    How often should I check the speaker side and what does it look like, simply darkening of the wire or some other nasty side effect?

    Phil
     
  4. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    what does it look like...hmmmmm...general oxidation, which implies that you're forming copper oxides, will look more or less like a penny that's been around awhile. copper chlorides are greenish in color. that can result from a couple of sources...atmospheric considerations (worse generally in cities or fossil burning locations) or from improperly cured PVC (polyvinyl CHLORIDE) that is commonly used as a sheathing for copper wire. You can eliminate the surface reaction of copper from PVC by using other types of sheathing such as teflon. But that does not mean your wire won't also be attacked by oxygen or other atmospheric elements. Teflon is a somewhat porous plastic and does allow gases to flow in and out. Surface reaction of the copper, where there is no mechanical contact is not a big thing. It only goes down a few microns. Of course with opaque wires you won't see that discoloration now will you [​IMG]
    As to how often to trim the copper I'm not sure how to answer that other than to say when it needs it. For myself, this is simply a hassle and I opt for either a spade or banana and follow that with a good crimp and then solder. Good solder connections begin with clean metals followed by a good mechanical connection. Also of benefit are 'cleaning' products that many people use who are concerned about corrosion. These can be used wherever one has a metal/metal contact. Lee Scoggins and others have addressed that issue on other threads in this particular sub-forum.
    Good luck. You've got a few options all which should yield equally pleasant sonic experiences.
     
  5. Phil Mays

    Phil Mays Second Unit

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    Chu,

    Thanks for the info!

    Phil
     
  6. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    those terminals are gonna cost you a whole lot less than your kimbers. ummmmmm, they are aren't they?
     
  7. Matthew Speed

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    Granted, gold is not as good as a conductor as copper, but the oxidation that forms on exposed copper hinders signal flow more than any gold plating. Keep in mind that the speakers' jacks are also gold plated, so the gold plating on the terminations will not cause extra measureable signal degredation.

    If you speaker has binding post terminals then the quality of connection is as follows(in descending order)
    1. Spade terminals
    2: Banana plugs
    3: Bare Wire stuck through the little hole and twisted down as hard as you can, being carefull not to get the insulation inside the connection, but also to leave as little bare wire as possible exposed to reduce the risk of a short and to keep oxidation to a minimum.

    Most high end speaker manufacturers recommend spades because of their greater contact area. Martin Logan, for instance, insists in the owner's guide that owners use spades. I use use Monster's Z2 Bi-Wire with its monster lock system that allows interchangeable terminations.

    Bananas are very convenient at the amplifier end for wire management purposes and ease of installation, and still have more contact area than the bare wire connection.
     

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