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Hi.

 

Is there any difference between banana plugs, spade plugs, bare stranded wire or bare solid wire when it comes to getting the best quality sound out of your speakers? Which one would you say that you prefer?

 

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I use gold plated individual banana plugs, the kind which wire can be soldered to.  This means there is only one mechanical connection.

 

WMcD

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I'd go with crimped or soldered spades if I thought the power expected to flow through the connections was great enough.  Bananas for home stuff.

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5 hours ago, HenrikTJ said:

Hi.

 

Is there any difference between banana plugs, spade plugs, bare stranded wire or bare solid wire when it comes to getting the best quality sound out of your speakers? Which one would you say that you prefer?

 

 

None of the above.   Nothing beats a SpeakOn from Liechtenstein.  I use SpeakOn connectors in the DIY amps and speakers I build.  I convert non-DIY speakers to SpeakOn.  The connections are quick and secure.  I’ve snapped off my last binding post.  Never again will I need to re-tighten a connection at a binding post.

 

Whatever type of connection you select, always “tin” the wire.   Bare stranded wire is a mistake.  Before connecting wire to any connector, I strip back the insulation exposing more stranded wire than I need, twist the strands tightly, tin the twisted wire, and cut off the end to leave the correct length to mate with the connector.  I’m so anal, after doing the foregoing, when using spade connectors, I insert the tinned wire, crimp the spade and then sweat the joint anyway.

 

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As much as I like Harman Kardon Twin Powered X30 receivers — which is a lot —  I loathe their spring-loaded speaker connectors.  Obviously, converting to Neutrik SpeakOn or XLR connectors is impractical, if not impossible.  When faced with these horrible connectors, I tin the wires as described above and cut the tinned ends to the absolute minimum needed to insert into the spring-loaded connectors.  I’m especially careful that no loose (not tinned) strands are free to contact the chassis.

 

Anyone who attempts to insert un-tinned stranded wire into any connectors deserves the unfortunate consequences.

 

E5B1CF3B-2DB4-4085-A4C6-D6D3E8634C27.jpeg

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2 hours ago, DizRotus said:

 

None of the above.   Nothing beats a SpeakOn from Liechtenstein.  I use SpeakOn connectors in the DIY amps and speakers I build.  I convert non-DIY speakers to SpeakOn.  The connections are quick and secure.  I’ve snapped off my last binding post.  Never again will I need to re-tighten a connection at a binding post.

 

Whatever type of connection you select, always “tin” the wire.   Bare stranded wire is a mistake.  Before connecting wire to any connector, I strip back the insulation exposing more stranded wire than I need, twist the strands tightly, tin the twisted wire, and cut off the end to leave the correct length to mate with the connector.  I’m so anal, after doing the foregoing, when using spade connectors, I insert the tinned wire, crimp the spade and then sweat the joint anyway.

 

84DA398C-D510-4BBE-8C96-81AA399B4896.jpeg.91383f2332040f844c199d69301bb5eb.jpeg7F5D1D8A-ED72-492E-B7BE-E5BAC8F4B1CA.jpeg.618dfe756c6090ccdd6a21fb170ed078.jpeg

 

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  I use Speak-On too. But some things like my new La Scala ii are not getting butchered to unstall. 

  I try to use 16 ga wire and tin it and install in the holes on E.F. Johnson 5 - ways. These are the unplated type. Solder wire to the rear. 

  I going LOM, Lazy Old Man, crimp some quality spade lug connectors on the wire and crank down the 5 ways. I do not solder and crimp anymore. 

  I found old USA made lugs and use them. Better metallurgy.

  Gave up on bananas long time ago. Too much mass. 

  Next time I build an amplifier and chassis it is getting Speak On for the loudspeaker connection. I am using them to connect the two power transformers to the amplifier now. It is a three chassis amp. Will take a picture. 

  I makes disconnecting the AC much easier, push tab, turn 1/4 revolution and pull out. Beats sticking tinned wire in the holes on the 5-ways and cranking down the nut too. 

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22 hours ago, HenrikTJ said:

Hi.

 

Is there any difference between banana plugs, spade plugs, bare stranded wire or bare solid wire when it comes to getting the best quality sound out of your speakers? Which one would you say that you prefer?

 

 

To actually answer your question and not offer personal opinions or the like:  bare wire is best.  Any connector used is simply for convenience and offers no sonic benefit.

 

Sorry, that came off harsh.  Just got with way too long of a day.

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True enough, but you're going to tin (and form for screws) anyway, so...

 

Bare bare wires are for temp. emergency only.  ;)

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I use a barrier strip that has a wire plate under the screw. Twist the wire, feed it in, and screw down.  

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6 hours ago, wuzzzer said:

 

To actually answer your question and not offer personal opinions or the like:  bare wire is best.  Any connector used is simply for convenience and offers no sonic benefit.

 

Sorry, that came off harsh.  Just got with way too long of a day.

 

Yes, no connector improves the “sonic benefit.”  In a sense, it is merely for convenience.  In my experience, the laziness and convenience of using bare — untinned — stranded wire can easily result in the inconvenience of stray strands making unwanted contact with a chassis (ground) or worse, with another rogue strand from the adjacent terminal.   In such cases, the short-term convenience of using bare twisted wire is replaced by the long-term inconvenience of sparks, smoke and damaged electronics.  The “sonic” quality is then zero.

 

No connector improves the sound over bare copper wire — stranded or solid — but basic precautions to prevent unwanted shorts preserves the ability to produce sound.  

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1 hour ago, Deang said:

I use a barrier strip that has a wire plate under the screw. Twist the wire, feed it in, and screw down.  

If you can do that.  If not, just make sure the connection is tight with no stray strands.  I find the more connections to connections, the more you have to mess with if something isn't right.  If you insist on connectors, then you choose the best connection that is tight in your situation.  I have seen bananas and spades not fit correctly or slip, 

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1 hour ago, jvs1670 said:

Tin the wire?  I've never heard of that before.

 

Ah, youth!

 

Twist the bare wire up nicely, hold a little solder to the iron and drop a small glop onto the wire, then hold the iron to the wire and when the glop starts to melt again, feed some more solder to the wire until it's thoroughly enveloped in solder.

 

When you're young you can more readily get by with bare twisted wire, but as you age and individual (loose) strands become less evident, well, it's always better to contain them anyway...

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Ok, so I have to speak up.
I’ve been soldering for part of my job for more than 30 years.

Never, ever drip solder on anything.

CLEAN the iron,
TIN the iron.
CLEAN the work.
MAKE a good mechanical connection.
FLUX the work (if it dictates).
CLEAN the iron.
APPLY heat to the work.
APPLY solder at the work/iron interface,
The work should wick up the solder.
REMOVE solder.
REMOVE heat.
DO NOT move the joint or attempt to work the solder with the iron.

Use a quality solder and quality materials and an iron appropriately sized for the job.

Maybe I should make some YouTube videos?

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I discovered ~50 years ago that a small dollop of solder on the material that's to be soldered gives the best indication of when that material has come up to sufficient temperature to flow solder throughout the joint.  You definitely don't want to heat it less than necessary, but you definitely don't want to heat more than necessary either.

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If you use an eutectic solder, you can cheat a little, since it doesn't pass through a slushy state while it's cooling. So, you can drop a bit on the end of the wire, and then spread it with the tip - and I wouldn't worry about making sure all of the strands are saturated, because that just damages the insulation and causes solder creep.

 

60/40 is another matter -- which I would never use for any kind of electronics work. But that's just me.

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