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The banana plug conundrum

newlash09

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Dec 17, 2014
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Hi all..

Very good evening.

Thought id post this thread for the benefit of folks wanting to banana or spade plug their speaker cables.

The worst banana plug is one made of wood, nothing will pass through as it is a insulator. The best banana plug in the world, irrsepective of price, can only transparently pass the singal / current coming through the cable. But cant improve on it one bit. The best banana plug in the world, will only let your cable do, what it set out to do. So why fret over these things. Just go direct bare wire to your speaker, and get the purest signal your cable has to offer, without the extra expense of a cable termination. Unless you frequently switch between speakers, and want something to achieve a fast swap over connection dont even consider these toys.
 
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raghupb

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Well put @newlash09

Typically in the 2-channel world, it is less of a problem.
Integrated amps and/or power amps have sturdy binding posts and space around them to work with.

In AVRs, back plate space is premium real estate. Most AVRs line up speaker terminals very close to each other.
Today, with ever expanding speakers, it may be cumbersome to do bare wire at least on AVR end of things.
Banana plugs make sense in this case. Lugs (spades) may sometimes not work due to awkward angles.

How to choose a banana plug (mainly physical aspects suggested here)
1. Make sure the plug fits snugly into speaker terminals; nominal diameter is 4mm
2. Ensure secure termination of wire (solder or screw down or crimped)
3. Do proper color coding (if using generic sleeves)
4. Choose coating one can afford; chrome is cheap, gold is expensive, brass is mostly faux gold; all of them work

Cheers,
Raghu
 

jls001

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Over time some strands of multi stranded speaker cables tend to break. Further, bare copper is subject to oxidation and its electrical properties degrade. Hence the use of bananas or spade connectors. Personally I prefer bananas over spades as I find it easier to get a more secure connection, especially when speaker cables are of heavier guage and weigh down on the connector point.
 

kbhuvi

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May 17, 2018
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Over time some strands of multi stranded speaker cables tend to break. Further, bare copper is subject to oxidation and its electrical properties degrade. Hence the use of bananas or spade connectors. Personally I prefer bananas over spades as I find it easier to get a more secure connection, especially when speaker cables are of heavier guage and weigh down on the connector point.
sir any experience with banana plugs with gold plating, palladium plating or titanium ones. Any comments regarding the change in sound quality/signature with change of banana plugs.
 

tuff

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My take is if you are using really expensive cables, you might want to use banana plugs, but if the cable is reasonably inexpensive, You can always trim the exposed copper every year or so, if oxidization occurs. Bare wires will give you the best contact, especially if you don't have the banana plugs connected properly terminated.
 

jls001

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sir any experience with banana plugs with gold plating, palladium plating or titanium ones. Any comments regarding the change in sound quality/signature with change of banana plugs.
I have no experience with palladium or titanium plating. Gold imparts a rounded sonic signature (highs rolled off ever so slightly) while being immune to oxidation.
 
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