Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Michael S, Oct 17, 2003.

  1. Michael S

    Michael S Agent

    Sep 25, 2003
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    Am in need of opinions regarding terminations for speaker wire--both at the amplifier end and the speaker ends--use none but bare wires, use ones in which a set screw tightens the wire into the connector (spade or banana), use the Monsters that pinch the wire as the connector is screwed together, or use soldered terminations using 2% silver solder, or ...?

    I realize that using the bare strand speaker wire without a termination will eventually oxidize and need to be either cut off and new wire stripped or some kind of cleaner used--say once a year. Since a number of terminations (both spade and banana) use set screws, it would seem that the copper strands in that case would also eventually oxidize. Are soldered terminations better--and if so, is 2% silver solder the ideal solder or should a different solder be used.

    My goal here is to make my own biwire speaker cables using Canare 4S11 or Tributary CS124 wire or ???

    Opinions welcome.

    Michael S.
  2. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

    May 22, 1999
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    Hi Michael. Welcome to HTF! [​IMG]

    The Audiophile view is that bare-wire is the best. Less breaks to come loose, etc. I have also read some of the more active wire sites that you should NEVER solder your wires.

    I love how easy banana plugs are to use. The Dual Bananas from Radio Shack (2xx-308) are great for behind the speakers and the single-bananas (2xx-306) work well behind the receiver or if your equipment does not match the spacing for the duals.

    They have over-sized holes so I think they will work fine for your biwire project.

    I did a "cleaning" about 18 months after installing them and found little oxidization. (I cut and re-trimmed anyway).

    Keep in mind: I have never heard anybody claim that any of the different connectors make any audible difference. And when wire issues are claimed to have an effect, it was with a music system. Home theater sound is ... rather different: very compressed, dialog heavy, more about impact than accuracy.

    In other words: for a HT system; ignore most of the 'audio myths'.

    Hope this helps.
  3. Saul R

    Saul R Extra

    Oct 18, 2002
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    I use banana plugs from Radio shack for my receiver connection and 3/5" Audio Quest spades for the speakers. First I crimpled the terminals and further secured the connection with WTB solder. Mainly, I'm using this setup for convenience and durability. As far as I can tell, from my experience using bare/terminated wires, there's no audible difference between the two.

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