Speaker Wire Ends

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Walt Park, Nov 25, 2002.

  1. Walt Park

    Walt Park Stunt Coordinator

    Nov 14, 2002
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    Sorry if this gets posted twice, but my first posting didnt show up, so I'm not sure it went through.

    I got some free monster speaker cable when I bought my speakers.(Pair with premade clips, and a cable with a pack of screw on gold plated woven something at the end for center channel)

    Anyway I broke the rod that was on the end of the prepackaged stuff trying to screw them on to the reciever binding posts which are a little too close together for comfort. So I was screwing on the ends for the center channel speaker and liked how they worked, and I was going to get those to replace the broken ones. When I took the broken ends off, it was a metal rod clamped to the bare wire with a rubber cover that slides over it all to make it look pretty. So I went to the store, and I was going to get the bannana's since they have a fatter end, and I figured they'd have better contact, but then I noticed that they screw on too.

    So I'm thinking with ends, the signal goes from the amp, through the binding post, through a clamped on end, through the wire, through another end, and to the speaker binding post. It doesnt make sense to me that that has less signal loss than going amp, post, wire, post, speaker. Also if the end is hard, the area of contact is small, where if you just use bare ends in a screw post, the area of contact is larger since it all gets spread from the pressure of the screw, which is what is happening when you use screw on ends anyway.

    So what is the advantage of using ends over just using wire with exposed ends? Please forgive my ignorance. I am not trying to start a flame thing, but I just dont quite understand what you gain with using speaker cable ends, when some of them are quite expensive.
  2. Brian Fellmeth

    Brian Fellmeth Supporting Actor

    Jul 30, 2000
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    The only thing you really gain is convenience of quick connect/ disconnect. Some people point out that terminating gold bananas or spades eliminate the problem of the exposed copper oxidizing and degrading the connection over time. These people are wrong. Unless the terminating hardware is soldered onto the copper, it just adds more to the signal path and I agree with your intuition that that can only hurt. There is still bare wire to oxidize- its just contacting the banana rather than the post !

  3. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

    Jun 29, 2001
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    you can use whatever you want to suit both your preferences and the demands of your speakers.
  4. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

    May 22, 1999
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    The first terminations you described are called "Pin Connectors". They are used if you have spring-clips on the back of your receiver/speakers.
    If you have Binding Posts, these are often called "5 Way Binding Posts". You can connect to them with:
    - Bare Wire
    - Banana Plugs
    - Pin Connectors
    - Spade Connectors
    - ??? (I'm having a senior moment [​IMG] )
    Using terminations on the wires have the following advantages:
    - Convenience to connect/disconnect
    - Neatness (little strands of copper sticking out are very bad. They cause shorts)
    - Ease of Connection (Try shoving 12 ga wire into the side-holes of your binding posts. You've only got 10 of them grouped in a tight cluster. Just get out the tweezers, needle-nose pliers and a straight-pin and plan to spend about an hour.)[​IMG]
    My guess is you are using the Monster "Twist Crimp" pins. These ... did not work well for me. I was having loose connections every few weeks.
    Go to Radio Shack and get a pair of the 2-piece pin connectors (278-309). These have a much stronger connection to the wires than the Monster version.
    When I got new speakers, I fell in love with the dual-banana plugs from Radio Shack (278-308). They have a large hole in the middle with a plunger that un-screws to open for 12 ga wire. Insert wire, screw down and you have a great connection. The dual plugs have a solid spacer bar that keeps the plugs from shorting together. Highly recommended. But make sure you bring 1 set home and check that they fit your equipment.
    Hope this helps.
  5. Marvin E

    Marvin E Stunt Coordinator

    Mar 1, 2001
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    A question about pin connectors: What if the pin is too long to fit in the spring clip? Parts Express suggested I snip the pin at one of the notches to the approximate depth of the spring clip opening: http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/pshow...umber=091-1255
    The Radio Shack pin connector seems to be as thin as the one from Parts Express. Pin connectors don't appear to be made to fit snug in the spring clip opening; they move freely from side to side and up and down. Pardon my ignorance, but can you tell me if there is a loss of signal if I am using 12 guage wire that is connected to a pin connector which does not fit snug? Is it sufficient that the pin is held by the clip? The only reason I am not using bare wire is that my subwoofer does not have 5 way binding posts and the 12 guage speaker cable is too large for the spring clip opening.
    By the way, I didn't have any problems fitting my 12 gauge
    bare speaker cable in my Athena Technologies or Atlantc Technology Speakers 5 way binding posts side holes.
    Marvin E

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