wire connection. banana plug,spade or bare wire?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by JohnZ, Nov 14, 2001.

  1. JohnZ

    JohnZ Agent

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    What kind of connection should I use for binding posts. Banana plugs, spade connectors or just bare wires? What's the advantage of using connectors? Some connectors are crimp-on. Where can I find the crimping tool?
     
  2. Stefan A

    Stefan A Second Unit

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    I can't give you the whys, but from what I understand, banana plugs are the way to go. That is what I use and it is a very solid connection. Crimping tools can be bought at a hardware store. Look in the electrical section.
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  3. JohnMW

    JohnMW Second Unit

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    Using bare wire will have slightly less resistance, but adding a connector will make removal/insertion easier.
     
  4. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    I've heard spades are best because of the large contact area and how tight they can be attached so they won't come loose.
    Woohoo, three answers so far and they're all conflicting.
    Honestly, there's merits to each as have been listed above. I use bananas myself because they're easy to work with and hold real well. But I think of these three audiophiles tend to go with spades for the reasons I listed.
     
  5. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    using bare copper wire will evantualy oxidize (turn green)
    and you will loose connection in time..
    Spades or Banana are the way to go for ease of use and to
    protect agaisnt oxidization.
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  6. Norm Strong

    Norm Strong Stunt Coordinator

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    However the reason is not what you might think. I tripped over my speaker cable once. The banana plugs pulled out before I took a pratfall, and even more important, before the speaker fell onto the floor. They sort of act as a mechanical 'fuse' limiting the the tension on the wire.
    Of course, if you use the kind that lock in place solidly, this advantage is gone. Jerk on the cable to see if the plugs will come out before the speaker falls.
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  7. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    I can't say for sure that one connection type provides better sound than another, but I prefer banana plugs from a convenience standpoint. They are very easy to insert and remove from binding posts.
    I don't like bare wires because they are messy, they can be a pain to insert through the holes on binding posts, and because you have to be careful of frayed wires or wires from + and - leads touching. Frayed wires or + and - leads touching could cause the amp to go into a protection mode due to a short.
    The problem I often see with spade connectors is that there is no uniformity between speaker and amplifier manufacturers on the size of the binding posts. The possibility, therefore, exists that a spade connector will fit on the speaker binding post, but not on the amplifier binding post, or vice versa. I have read of people filing down spade connectors on high-end speaker cables to get them to fit on binding posts. What a pain. I would rather pay more for banana plug terminations, which is what I did when I bought a pair of BetterCables Premium Speaker Cables last week. The banana plug terminations cost $40 extra, but were worth it to me.
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  8. ChrisAG

    ChrisAG Supporting Actor

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    I use banana plugs also for convenience, but one disadvantage I can see is accidentally touching the + and - plug when inserting and removing from either the amp or speaker. Could disaster result? I suppose the best way to avoid this is to turn the amp off whenever you want to insert or remove the plugs.
     
  9. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Chris, you definitely should have your amp turned off when you remove speaker cables, no matter if you are using bare wire, banana plugs, or spade connectors.
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  10. JohnnyG

    JohnnyG Screenwriter

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    Bare wires work just fine. Everything else I refer to as 'speaker jewelry' but there is a convenience point to be make. I'd recommend compression-type fittings rather than crimp on ones though. I just changed rear speaker stands at home and had the speaker wires snaked through the old stands. If I used crimp-on connectors, I would have had to cut them off and buy replacements.
    I don't know if I buy the oxidation argument since there is not an air-tight connection to prevent oxidation even with spades and bananas.
    And definitely do shut off your receiver before wiring the speakers. Although no harm is done, my H/K receiver will shut itself off if I touch the speaker wires together (learned the hard way).
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  11. BryanZ

    BryanZ Screenwriter

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    Bare wire works fine. If you move alot or will be swapping out speakers frequently, then bananas are the way to go. Otherwise, spades seem to be the ones people prefer.
     
  12. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Johnny and Bryan, I used to use bare wires way back when, and I won't let anyone try to tell me that spades or bananas sound better. As I said, I just use banana plugs for convenience.
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  13. John Royster

    John Royster Screenwriter

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    All very good points but my experience with oxidation is very real. Back when I used just bare wire the copper would get some oxidation in about three months. After about six months I would trim back with wire.
    Since then I use banana plugs and solder the crimp then wrap with some electrical tape to prevent any air entering the joint at all. works great for the last 5-6 years or so.
     
  14. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    I use banana plugs for convenience as well. Besides, my fingers are not nimble enough to easily thread bare wire through the tightly spaced binding posts on most newer A/V receivers (especially while laying on the floor behind my equipment rack). It's hell to get old. [​IMG]
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  15. Michael_T

    Michael_T Second Unit

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    The biggest problem I could see with some people using bare wire, if their situation mirrors my case, is that the bare wire WILL NOT fit into the hole in the binding posts on either the receiver or speaker.
    I use about 12 year old Monster Cable which is very thick. The bare wire is so thick that it won't fit into any binding post hole I know of.
    My wires are fitted with gold plated pins. Back when I puchased the wire, spade connectors weren't generally found, and I had a receiver that wouldn't accept bananna plugs - hence the gold plated pins.
     

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