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Thread: Banana Plugs

  1. #1
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    Banana Plugs

    I had a question dealing with banana plugs. When you connect your cable from the amp to your speaker posts what is the acceptable way of doing so? If I place them through the middle some of the banana peg sticks out. If I place them through the holes that run through the speaker posts it sounds as if I have a better connection but I'm worried I may be damaging the banana plugs in the process by tightening the speaker posts. Any help would be appreciated. Oh by the way I own a cambridge 640A Amp and KEF Q7 speakers.

    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobertKruz
    I had a question dealing with banana plugs. When you connect your cable from the amp to your speaker posts what is the acceptable way of doing so? If I place them through the middle some of the banana peg sticks out. If I place them through the holes that run through the speaker posts it sounds as if I have a better connection but I'm worried I may be damaging the banana plugs in the process by tightening the speaker posts. Any help would be appreciated. Oh by the way I own a cambridge 640A Amp and KEF Q7 speakers.

    Thanks
    Hi Robert

    I've always felt that part of the decision would be based on whether you shift your gear around alot, or just set it up and leave it in place. Banana plugs, plugged straight in to the back of the speaker terminals are convenient because it is easy to just unplug them and move things around or swap speakers if you want to.

    If you are trying to wire up the system permanently and leave it all in place for a long period of time, then I think I would remove the Banana plugs compleley and just push the bare wire through the speaker posts and tighten up (assuming the wire itself is good and thick - like high quality speaker cable generally is).

    There are also some other kinds of connectors that are slightly thinner than Banana plugs, but are a totally solid shaft of metal - no spring in them like Banana plugs have. These may be the best for pushing through the speaker posts and then tighening up. Not sure what they are called.

    I like your system. I have KEF 104ab speakers. Much older than yours, but nice and smooth. Cambridge amps are great too. I use an old Sansui at the moment, but sniffing around for something else - not sure what. I like vintage stuff.

    Good listening!
    Cheers
    Tony

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    Suspended markw's Avatar
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    Generally, banana plugs are simply inserted into the open ends of the binding posts. That's what they were made for. Actually, they are so thick I can't think of any other way to use them. I applaud your creativity.

    Are you sure you don't mean pin jacks, which is what the other guy seems to be describing?

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    Thanks for the advice. I think they're banana plugs, that's what the guy at the store called them anyways and he did know a lot of stuff. Basically it looks like a long metal shaft with a part that sticks out on the side that can be pushed in. I guess that keeps it sort of locked into the connection. The person at the store said to just place them through the middle but I definetly think it sounds better going through the side of the post and tigthened. When I put the plug through the middle of the post as suggested it seems a little loose, not as tight of a fit as with my amp. My only fear is that it will somehow damage my amp, wire, speaker by placing it through the side of the post as done with bare wire. I really don't want to cut off the post as I had to pay for the termination of the cable as is.

    Robert

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobertKruz
    Thanks for the advice. Basically it looks like a long metal shaft with a part that sticks out on the side that can be pushed in. My only fear is that it will somehow damage my amp, wire, speaker by placing it through the side of the post as done with bare wire. I really don't want to cut off the post as I had to pay for the termination of the cable as is.
    Yep! They sound like Banana plugs to me! (from how you describe them). I can't see anything wrong with just inserting them into the side of the posts and tightehing up the screws. The other type that I mentioned before are indeed called pin jacks (thanks to markw for that one). No, don't cut off the banana plugs if you have had them specially done for you. The only thing that might occur over time, is that the banana plugs might lose their springiness (at the sides) by being tightened up in the posts, but if you are going to just leave them and enjoy music without taking them out and moving things about, then I can't see a problem.

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    JSE
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    Just to make sure,

    These are Banana plugs:

    http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showd...umber=091-1260

    These are pins:

    http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/pshow...number=091-521

    Banana plugs are supposed to be plugged into the end of the binding post but if they will connect through the hole in the side, then that should be fine. I can't imagine there being enough room though. Pins are actually supposed to be use the same way, but whatever works. As long as you have a good contact that's all that really matters.

    JSE

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    Gotta ask why you'd use banana plugs if you are tightening the posts....kind of defeats the purpose behind using banana plugs in the first place. Make sure your posts are tightened all the way before inserting them in the middle. You might not be getting the most solid connection.
    In the dozens of setups I've experimented using banana plugs with, I could never tell any difference between bare wire and quality banana plug (quality being key word).

    Curious to know why you'd use the plug instead of bare wire, please explain...maybe you've learned something we haven't?

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    Good post, JSE. Sometimes the simple approach is the best.

    A picture is worth a thousand words. Thanks for your 2 k.

    Now, here's my 1k. A picture of the binding posts themselves.

    http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showd...number=090-475

    The "fat" bananas plug straight into the ends. Simple as that. Sometimes you might have to remove a plastic cap on the ends of these to gain access to that hole.

    Now, if you unscrew the black and red caps, this will expose a threaded metal rod going up the center.

    A spade lug would be pushed around the metal post and the caps would be tightened.

    Also, a bare wire could be wrapped around the post and it could be tightened as well. If you do thiis, be sure thereare no stray wires sticking out. Amps have no sense of humor about short circuits.

    Many times there is a hole in the metal rod. This is where you would insert a pin jack or a bare wire. You would then tighten the caps and you are in business. Same cautions about stray wires appear here as well.

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    I have the post with the hole through the side where you would normally place bare wire. I don't want to use just bare wire because I all ready paid to have the cable terminated and it seems like a waste to just cut off the banana. Plus I might use it later on. If I place the banana through the middle of the post some of the plug sticks out of the end and is a bit loose. If I place it through the side and tighten it, its more of a secure connection and I swear it sounds better. Thanks for all the help.

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