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  1. #1
    AR Newbie Registered Member
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    Gold-plated banana connectors - are they worth it?

    I'm installing a whole-house audio system, so I have a lot of speakers that I need to connect up. The speakers (JBl SP6CSII, about $100/pair) are good, but not pro-grade or anything. I'm not really an audiophile either.

    I'm connecting all the speakers using 16-gauge wire, as recommended by JBL. Now, I'm wondering whether I need to get Gold-plated Banana plugs, or if regular Banana plugs will suffice.I figure it will cost me $200 in Gold-plated connectors, and I'm not sure if it's worth it. The regular banana plugs cost almost nothing.

    I connected a few of them up using the cheap connectors as a test, and I thought the it sounded a bit muffled, but I'm not sure if it's just a psychological thing.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Check out www.bluejeancables.com and buy their banana plugs and your should consider their speaker wire as well. The connectors are easy to use and are about $3.50 each.
    http://www.bluejeanscable.com/store/speaker/index.htm
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  3. #3
    AR Newbie Registered Member
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    .

    If you plan on upgrading your speakers in the future, I can see having the gold-plated banana plugs being useful. The main advantage to the gold-plating is that it never corrodes so you always have a good, clean contact. For $50/ea speakers I cannot imagine you'll hear any discernible improvement with gold-plated ones in the short term or long term.

  4. #4
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mclloyd
    The main advantage to the gold-plating is that it never corrodes so you always have a good, clean contact. For $50/ea speakers I cannot imagine you'll hear any discernible improvement with gold-plated ones in the short term or long term.
    Actually, gold plated connectors do oxidize over time. That's why many cables are made of Rhodium.

    In any event, I consider Caig Pro Gold contact cleaner invaluable. I've been using contact cleaners on all my connectors (gold included) for the past thirty years. Stuff oxidizes, clean it up!

    rw

  5. #5
    Sure, sure... Auricauricle's Avatar
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    Gold plated! Harumph! Should be solid gold....
    "The great tragedy of science--the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact."--T. Huxley

  6. #6
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    So, what did you decide to do?

    I purchased two different large sets of gold-plated banana plugs around a month ago on ebay...one was a 24-pack Nakamichi set with a nice-looking metal barrel/housing..only $18 shipped. The other was a 20-pack of the generic type with the plastic housing...only $14 shipped. The Nakamichi's obviously look a little nicer but both are well-built and get the job done.

  7. #7
    nightflier
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    Rhodium costs less than gold, right? And it does not oxidize?

  8. #8
    abNORMal IBSTORMIN's Avatar
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    Why use bananas at all? It's just one more connection that can go wrong over time. I think it's BJC that actually recommends connecting bare wire unless you are changing out the connection often. Eliminate the bananas and spend your money on something that improves your sound.

  9. #9
    Audio/HT Nut version 1.3a
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    Quote Originally Posted by IBSTORMIN
    Why use bananas at all? It's just one more connection that can go wrong over time. I think it's BJC that actually recommends connecting bare wire unless you are changing out the connection often. Eliminate the bananas and spend your money on something that improves your sound.
    Amen!

    The muffled sound is only in your head. It is because you made a change and are now listening more carefully so you notice things you did not before. Banana plugs make no difference in the sound, gold or otherwise. Bare wire is fine, especially if you are going to set everything up and then not touch it again. Put your extra money in the speakers and not connectors or speaker wire (as long as you have heavy enough gauge and it meets code if you run it thru the walls.

    I have gold Monster banana plugs (I bought at half price) but only because I make some changes and they are easy on my arthritic hands.

    If you want the bananas them buy them here. Don't let the extremely low prices fool you. I have bought many connectors here and their products are quality and at wholesale prices. Their shipping is very reasonable and fast! At these prices it just might be worth the few pennies.

    http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2

    http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...mat=4#feedback (customer reviews)

    RR6

  10. #10
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    RR6 AND BLACKRAVEN got you covered, but if your not going (bare wire) which is the best sure fit, you could get bluejeans cable locking banana plugs, there's no picture of them on the web site". they cost $5.25 per pair. very nice all metal gold & gray colour the collar" tightens plugs to the binding post LOCK' LOCK' them banana stay put.
    i bought 4 pairs at first as i did not know how they look? but after i installed them i got six more pairs.........IT'S ALL GOOD.

  11. #11
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Fortunately

    Quote Originally Posted by yottaflops
    I'm installing a whole-house audio system, so I have a lot of speakers that I need to connect up. The speakers (JBl SP6CSII, about $100/pair) are good, but not pro-grade or anything. I'm not really an audiophile either.

    I'm connecting all the speakers using 16-gauge wire, as recommended by JBL. Now, I'm wondering whether I need to get Gold-plated Banana plugs, or if regular Banana plugs will suffice.I figure it will cost me $200 in Gold-plated connectors, and I'm not sure if it's worth it. The regular banana plugs cost almost nothing.
    ....
    You'd need you head examined to pay $200 for plugs for $100 speakers, (perhaps you agree?). Fortunately you don't have to pay $200 for gold-plated banana plugs.

    I agree that you don't need plugs at all unless you disconnect the speakers fairly often. But you can get very decent, gold-plated banana plugs for reasonable prices. People have already mentioned connectors from Blue Jeans Cable and Monoprice; to them I'd add Parts Express -- I have several pairs >theses<; (note that the price is for two pair).

    See these plugs in my set up, bi-wiring Magneplanar speakers, >here<.

  12. #12
    I took a headstart... basite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightflier
    Rhodium costs less than gold, right? And it does not oxidize?

    nope, Rhodium is basically as expensive as metals go...

    durable though

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  13. #13
    Forum Regular Registered Member
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    Copper is copper. What's the harm in connecting directly like we've done forever. The "ease" of use these bananas provide seem like: additional expense, additional work to get them connected, and an additonal factor in the connnectivity. Can't see how that adds up to a "gain".

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