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  1. #1
    Suspended PeruvianSkies's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Banana VS. Spade VS. Other?

    What's everyones thoughts on the best termination and connection for speakers? I have gone back and forth with mine over and over and have decided that the best is to have my towers terminated w/ spades because it makes for a VERY secure connection. My other speakers (center and rears) however are connected with the coupled Banana plugs from Monster, which seem to be very secure. I do not use this for my towers because my PS Audio xstream cables came with attached Banana plugs or the quick screw on Spades. However, at the amp or receiver end I am using Banana Plug terminations because they seem the easiest to use around those tight areas on some amps or receivers.

    Anyone have any input on whether some solutions make any difference in the sound?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Orange, CA
    I have read, more than once, that the very best termination is bare wire. It (supposedly) sends the purest signal to your speakers. However, the extra effort involved (trying to keep the individual strands aligned, not bent back) motivates most people to use alternate means. I have also read that the next best termination would be spades, followed by banana plugs, and then pins. I, myself, use banana plugs from Dayton. It's a whole lot easier to swap them out when doing A-B comparisons.

    My neighbor down the street uses bare wire that he fuses using high-grade silver solder. He claims that this method is the purest signal transmission of all. Then again, he also claims that 5 subwoofers (one directly under each speaker) is the only way to experience true musical nirvana. Having experienced this abomination in full flight, I can only say that I would rather spend a Saturday afternoon at Chuckie Cheese than go through that again. Oh well, to each his own...
    Last edited by RoyY51; 10-20-2006 at 04:59 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    St. Louis, MO, USA
    Time at Chucky Cheese! Eeek! That system must have been bad. I've pretty much heard the same as Roy.

    I always gotten a good connection with spades. Bananas have not always fit snug, there seems to be a variation from standard. WBT, the ones you insert and then turn the connector to tighten the fit is very good for banana or RCA. When you turn the connector it expands the banana so it fits very tight, the sleeve itself tightens down on RCA's. I don't think the connector makes any difference in sound as long as you have a good snug fit.

  4. #4
    Forum Regular hermanv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Santa Rosa, CA
    All unsoldered electrical connections will corrode and require cleaning from time to time. Gold is good, but because of its cost is always applied too thinly to do the required job. Over time it rubs off. Besides gold is usually applied over a nickel sub plate, nickel is considered by many to be quite a bad sounding connection.

    Bare wire, either copper or silver will corrode faster than a plated lug, palladium or rhodium corrodes least over time.

    Lugs offer the strongest mechanical connection and therefore a decent electrical connection as well.

    So my recommendation for best sound, most reliable connection and a connection that requires cleaning the least often is a lug with rhodium plating (Cardas makes several at prices from reasonable to oh my god, there are other vendors as well)

  5. #5
    Color me gone... Resident Loser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Nueva Jork

    I use...

    ...bananas...only because my Stax 'phones require a direct connection to my amps outputs via an adjunct...repeated disconnect/connects are just more easily managed...plain ol' 60/40 solder on my 10ga. held in place by the bananas setscrew...

    If, however, you have no such concerns, apply the KISS principle, my vote goes for tinned wire...

    jimHJJ(...reductionist simplicity...)
    Hello, I'm a misanthrope...don't ask me why, just take a good look around.

    "Men would rather believe than know" -Sociobiology: The New Synthesis by Edward O. Wilson

    "The great masses of the people...will more easily fall victims to a great lie than to a small one" -Adolph Hitler

    "We are never deceived, we deceive ourselves" -Goethe

    If you repeat a lie often enough, some will believe it to be the truth...

  6. #6
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Department of Heuristics and Research on Material Applications
    I like banana plugs for convenience. I've tried bananas, spades, soldering, and bare wire. Can't hear any difference I can pin point. I'm not too worried about a secure connection either, my speakers and wires rarely ever move.
    Don't think there's a right or wrong, just whatever's most practical for your situation.

  7. #7
    If you can't run-walk. Bernd's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Have used Bananas in the past. My speaker cable now has Spades at both ends. It does provide a very secure bond, but soundwise I shouldn't think it will make any difference in sound.


    "Let The Earth Bear Witness."

  8. #8
    Linear Guy
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    SW Pa.


    I like the bannanas that crimp on and have a perforated and split insert shaft. They seem to fit a bit more snug inside the post hole. I haven't seen them except on custom wires. The only bad conector I have heard are those right angle bannanas that have 2 or 3 piece construction. They seemed to dull the sound a bit. Simple is better for connectors.

  9. #9
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Like some have stated above, it's all just convience factor. I use banana, but wouldnt mind using spades cuz they are much more secure.

    I used to own a pair of PS Xtreme also. Their banana attachment was a nightmare. I snapped 2 of them, cuz those wires are very stubburn. One time, it snapped back to me and hurt like hell.

    Now, I use banana attachments made by Acoustic Research on my Kimber.

    I honestly can't tell which methods sound better. I dont think you are supposed to be able to. If listeners can then great. I honestly dont wanna waste my time trying to figure out which sounds better. I just wanna listen to music.

    Good Luck with your PSX. They sounded great, just didnt sound $700 great to me.


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