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Spade Connectors


DoubleJ
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Just wondering what all you "Network" building and speaker cable gurus are using.

Size? Type (soldered/Crimped)? Source? tools used for crimping?

I've been trying to make the "Electrical" spade connectors work but I'm sure there is a better product out there then these. The ones I'm talking about come in different colors for different gauge wire, (Blue, yellow, etc) They are thin, flimsy and just don't seem to make a good compression fit. (or maybe I just not doing it correctly and/or using inferior tools).

Thanks

JJ

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Crimp connections can be very good, but you need the right type of crimp tool to make good crimps every time. They are not very expensive and this one in this link will do a good job. Looks like they are out of stock right now.

http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=360-642

The next problem is to find good terminals. Seems in the last few years, they have been getting poorer in quality. I think they have been going to thinner metal in the barrels and some I have used don't compress right. When the problem came up, I bought several thousand of the ones I found that worked well.

Bob Crites

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TF:

All of my tube amps (ST-70 and Scott 299c) and speakers (Heritage) are not banana plug capable.

This is where the size and type of the spade connectors comes into play. The barrier straps are narrow and the cheap connectors I'm using don't like to be bent, pinched, or re-sized in anyway.

Thanks for the De-Oxit tip. I've used it in the pots on my Scott 299c but never thought of using it with connectors and wiring.

JJ

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Crimp connections can be very good, but you need the right type of crimp tool to make good crimps every time. They are not very expensive and this one in this link will do a good job. Looks like they are out of stock right now.

http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=360-642

The next problem is to find good terminals. Seems in the last few years, they have been getting poorer in quality. I think they have been going to thinner metal in the barrels and some I have used don't compress right. When the problem came up, I bought several thousand of the ones I found that worked well.

Bob Crites

Thanks for the info, Bob.

I think I need to find a good "How to Crimp" primer.

My technique of jamming the wire into the connector and squeezing the living @#$@ out of it, with total disregard of the position of the connector, is not right way to go about it.

JJ

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I liked the quality and careful engineering of some RCA jacks I got at Vampire Wire. My suggestion is to take exact measurements of where your spades have to fit, and chat with them:

Vampire Wire

Stuart Marcus

Sound Connections

203 Flagship Drive

Lutz, Florida 33549 USA

Phone: 813 948-2707; Fax: 813 948-2907; sci@vampirewire.com

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The spade connector you are looking for is the Vampire BAR spade or the 8 Bar. They are manufactured specifically for barrier strips. They are very well

made. Solid copper and then gold plated.....they can be crimped or soldered. The BAR is not expensive.......$7.50 for a 8 pack direct from Vampire.

James

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Crimp connections can be very good, but you need the right type of crimp tool to make good crimps every time. They are not very expensive and this one in this link will do a good job. Looks like they are out of stock right now.

http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=360-642

The next problem is to find good terminals. Seems in the last few years, they have been getting poorer in quality. I think they have been going to thinner metal in the barrels and some I have used don't compress right. When the problem came up, I bought several thousand of the ones I found that worked well.

Bob Crites

Good terminals nonmagnetic http://shop.genuinedealz.com/Marine%20Electrical%20Supply/Terminal%20Blocks/20%20amp%20teminal%20block/

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The industry has studied this issue extensively, and the concensus has always been that a proper cold connection is superior to a solder connection. Having said that, I'm one of those dimwits that solders after crimping.

The crimps we use at work are nice and sturdy, so I use those exclusively for home projects. Not sure if they're available in small quantities (ours come in two-foot reels), but I can check and see. Bob gave good advice; it's very important to use the proper crimping tool for the appropriate wire and crimp size, and to dress the wire properly for crimping.

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TF:

All of my tube amps (ST-70 and Scott 299c) and speakers (Heritage) are not banana plug capable.

This is where the size and type of the spade connectors comes into play. The barrier straps are narrow and the cheap connectors I'm using don't like to be bent, pinched, or re-sized in anyway.

Thanks for the De-Oxit tip. I've used it in the pots on my Scott 299c but never thought of using it with connectors and wiring.

JJ

I use these and they work well on vintage amps

http://cgi.ebay.com/4-Banana-Spade-Fork-Plug-Mctinosh-MC30-MC60-MC275-/300422861377?cmd=ViewItem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item45f2991241#ht_1490wt_939

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Dylan:

I bought some these and also the Non-Banana ones from Parts Express a while back.

Maybe I need to give them another try.

The trouble I had was that the forks seemed too thick and it felt like if I tightened them too much, it would crack the barrier strap on the Scott. The Non-banana style of these connectors were so poorly made that most of the Allen studs were stripped and/or not de-burred to accept the Allen wrench.

Could have gotten a bad batch from Parts Express and it wasn't worth my time and effort to return them.

Thanks Dylan

JJ

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The trouble I had was that the forks seemed too thick and it felt like if I tightened them too much, it would crack the barrier strap on the Scott. The Non-banana style of these connectors were so poorly made that most of the Allen studs were stripped and/or not de-burred to accept the Allen wrench.

IMO, that's why you need to chat with Stuart Marcus and find out about the products they make for such specific applications. Unless I'm wrong, I don't think you'll have that PE kind of luck with Vampire.
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The Vampire ones look pretty nice.

The ones pictured below are from Parts Express, number 095-672 at about 30 cents each.

I too like to solder. I don't like the look of the red and black sleeves, so I just don't use them. Since I'm usually using 16ga wire, I fold the wire in half for a tighter fit. I don't crimp, just solder. The tricky part is getting the solder to draw in without the spade getting so hot that it melts the plastic of the wire back.

Greg

post-11090-13819583455736_thumb.jpg

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The reason I keep mentioning Vampire is that Stuart Marcus engineers some very precise measurements, e.g., he was aware that Cardas RCA jacks were like a few hundredths of a mm (!) too small for standard RCA plugs. Sure enough, his jacks were a much better fit than the Cardas items that came with my Joule preamp. I had Jud replace his Cardas plugs with Vampires (which I bought and had drop-shipped), and was very gratified with the result.

I'll bet that Stu is very aware of vintage-sized terminal strips and has the exact size of spades that (1) fit into that narrow space between the barrier ridges and (2) have the right size opening for vintage screw sizes. If he does, it seems like it would be a whole lot easier to order something that slips right into place without squeezing and bending things.

But, you have to talk with Stuart to find that out. And, yes, the quality of what I got was excellent.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well as usual Larry, you are pretty much spot on. I too love the Vampire stuff and hold them as a company in high regard. Started a few years ago when I made some solid silver interconnects and used their RCA's. The best I have seen by a longshot. In fact, I placed an order for some spades, bananas and pins earlier this morning. Going to make some speaker cables using Supra cable for the first time. We shall see how that plays out.

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