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    Favorite Speaker Cable Termination

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    arledgsc

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    Favorite Speaker Cable Termination

    Post by arledgsc on Tue Aug 22, 2017 5:01 pm

    What's your favorite speaker cable termination - pins, spades, bananas, or bare wire?

    Big Harry

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    Re: Favorite Speaker Cable Termination

    Post by Big Harry on Tue Aug 22, 2017 5:24 pm

    I use spade connectors as that is what most of my equipment uses. Bare wire can be used, but I would recommend soldering the bare wire to keep any stray strands of wire from shorting to another terminal.
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    corndog71

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    Re: Favorite Speaker Cable Termination

    Post by corndog71 on Tue Aug 22, 2017 5:35 pm

    arledgsc wrote:What's your favorite speaker cable termination - pins, spades, bananas, or bare wire?  

    I prefer bananas for amps and spades like the Kimber PM-33 for speakers. I use bare wire or speakon for subs.
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    pedrocols

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    Re: Favorite Speaker Cable Termination

    Post by pedrocols on Tue Aug 22, 2017 7:18 pm

    Banana.
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    cci1492

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    Re: Favorite Speaker Cable Termination

    Post by cci1492 on Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:50 pm

    I like spades on both ends. Pins on the loads for the amp not in use.
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    Peter W.

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    Re: Favorite Speaker Cable Termination

    Post by Peter W. on Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:17 am

    Spade-lugs soldered to the conductors on standard threaded connectors.

    Larger spade-lugs for banana jacks.

    I have been known to dimple the lugs to reduce the potential to loosen from vibration. And if I can get a lock-washer in place, I do. Like this:

    http://www.homedepot.com/catalog/productImages/400_compressed/49/49916814-b8b8-491c-900a-335c355fce2d_400_compressed.jpg

    For temporary lash-ups, I will simply tin the ends of the speaker wires and bend them around the screw or post and close off the loop with needle-nose pliers, then tighten the screw/nut/whatever. The key is to make a decent mechanical connection in addition to the pressure connection.

    No stray wires, either.

    And no simple banana plugs - too little friction and no pressure connection.

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    arledgsc

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    Re: Favorite Speaker Cable Termination

    Post by arledgsc on Wed Aug 23, 2017 10:59 am

    Thanks for you responses. I am looking for an alternative to spades as I have found them difficult to tighten up. I recently over-tightened spades on my ST-120 and stripped a speaker terminal that required me to replace. Never felt bananas had enough friction to securely hold and make a solid connection. Bare wire with large diameter wire does not fit well in the speaker jack hole and the individual wire frays over time (with and without solder).

    I was looking into pin termination as I recently discovered that if I put one of the spade "tines" through the speaker jack hole and I could pretty much tighten that up by hand and have a very secure connection. Of course with pins you need access as the connection through the little speaker jack hole is right angles to the jack.

    And I forget about SpeakOns but only see those on guitar amps.....
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    Peter W.

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    Re: Favorite Speaker Cable Termination

    Post by Peter W. on Wed Aug 23, 2017 11:27 am

    arledgsc wrote:Thanks for you responses.  I am looking for an alternative to spades as I have found them difficult to tighten up.  I recently over-tightened spades on my ST-120 and stripped a speaker terminal that required me to replace.  

    That is why I like either lock-washers or spring washers if I can remove the nut or screw entirely. Failing that, crimp/dimple the spade lug slightly so that it is flattened when tightened.
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    jfine

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    Re: Favorite Speaker Cable Termination

    Post by jfine on Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:15 pm

    Bare wire, why fart around?
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    deepee99

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    Re: Favorite Speaker Cable Termination

    Post by deepee99 on Wed Aug 23, 2017 4:23 pm

    jfine wrote:Bare wire, why fart around?

    jfine, theoretically, yes. In reality, no. Too many chances of just one stray strand hitting the x-over ground or the amp's ground. Not a good thing. Bananas have their ups and downs, depending on who makes them. Blue Jeans makes the best bananas, cold-welded, and you can take a torque wrench to them to make sure they're tight,but you gotta buy the wire, too as they are cut to fit. Ditto spades. They must match the gauge of the speaker connex. Vandersteens, for example, have real skinny posts and most spades will fly right over them. But in either occasion, you've got a clean connexion. If you choose to go bare-wire, by all means tin the wires with a little solder to keep the strays at bay.
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    jfine

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    Re: Favorite Speaker Cable Termination

    Post by jfine on Wed Aug 23, 2017 5:17 pm

    Man, everything has a con if you think about it, every statement can be contradicted,

    if you pull your speakers out in the room like me, and since we all seem to worry about kids and friends, more than once I've had those spades wires pulled out with when someone clips it with their foot, same with bananas.

    If using bare wire, you just need to watch what you're doing and move slower do a good job, if you can't see well, then maybe switch to a plug of some kind.

    Sheesh around here I'm beginning to feel like I could be struck by lightning any moment.
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    deepee99

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    Re: Favorite Speaker Cable Termination

    Post by deepee99 on Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:03 pm

    jfine wrote:Man, everything has a con if you think about it, every statement can be contradicted,

    if you pull your speakers out in the room like me, and since we all seem to worry about kids and friends, more than once I've had those spades wires pulled out with when someone clips it with their foot, same with bananas.

    If using bare wire, you just need to watch what you're doing and move slower do a good job, if you can't see well, then maybe switch to a plug of some kind.

    Sheesh around here I'm beginning to feel like I could be struck by lightning any moment.

    KABOOOM! Smile Actually we're supposed to get some of that tomorrow, so no tube fun, damnit. Much as I protect my toobs, why tempt fate?
    jf, you know bloody good and well that any connection has the potential to fail. I, too, like to juggle my speaks around a bit for the more "perfect" sound stage, new tubes, etc., & blah, blah, blah. There's no perfect connexion that stays put, so I just try to make sure whatever I'm moving is still properly fitted up. When you're moving speakers, this is especially important because you're probably doing this with everything lit. Tube amps can't tolerate a zero-load, whereas solid-state amps can't take a short. So be mindful of the wires.

    I'll argue again for Blue Jeans speaker leads with their cold-welded banana connex. Can't yank them apart in a tractor-pull. Smile
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    vtshopdog

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    Re: Favorite Speaker Cable Termination

    Post by vtshopdog on Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:55 pm

    I like quality bananas on amp end for convenience when reaching back into my messy rack (cheap ones are sloppy, nice ones will fit tight)

    For speakers I use bare wire with just the tips tinned. If you tin entire length of exposed conductor it may not fully compress (deform to shape of post) when initially tightened and work loose later. Copper stranded wire may oxidize over time and need to be cut and restripped every few years depending on your climate.

    Very likely any method properly installed and periodically checked will do just fine tho.....
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    Peter W.

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    Re: Favorite Speaker Cable Termination

    Post by Peter W. on Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:24 pm

    jfine wrote:Man, everything has a con if you think about it, every statement can be contradicted,

    if you pull your speakers out in the room like me, and since we all seem to worry about kids and friends, more than once I've had those spades wires pulled out with when someone clips it with their foot, same with bananas.

    If using bare wire, you just need to watch what you're doing and move slower do a good job, if you can't see well, then maybe switch to a plug of some kind.

    Sheesh around here I'm beginning to feel like I could be struck by lightning any moment.

    Those of us who have just a wee bit of life-experience, those of us who have met and interacted with others with similar and shared experiences simply take automatic precautions against potential problems.

    First, per the old adage: A penny's worth of prevention is worth a pound's worth of care. There are 240 pennies to the pound.
    Second, as the old boxer stated: Why lean into a punch?

    It is a fact that shorted speaker outputs will cause havoc with certain types of amps. So, we take elementary precautions against such.

    It is a fact that running certain amps unloaded will cause havoc. So we take elementary precautions against such.

    It is a fact that extraneous, non-designed ground paths can  be dangerous. So we take precautions to make sure the ground-paths as-designed are operating correctly.

    By the time one has reached a rather basic level of wisdom, these precautions are innate, simple and done without a second thought. It is not as if any of us take anything for granted. It is not as if any of us assume that all cats are grey just because my cat is grey. It is, simply, that some of us have learned, the hard way or by observation, that if we do things a certain way, we will live to actually fight another day.  Sure, I will use untinned, bare speaker wire under some conditions. And as you suggest, I will certainly take my time when I do so, and check, check and check again that there are no extraneous bits out there. And, I will do so, typically, only under McGyver-type conditions.

    Put another way, if there is time to do it over, there is time to do it right. I am an inherently lazy person. I really only want to do something once! Doing it over because I was stubborn/stupid/thoughtless/defiant in the first instance is, in a word, ignorant.

    In the immortal words of Benjamin Franklin:  We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.

    buchela

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    Re: Favorite Speaker Cable Termination

    Post by buchela on Wed Aug 23, 2017 11:04 pm

    Bare wires here, you are going to have to kill me to add any termination material to my silver wires.
    I've never had a problem with strands, paying a visit to the neighboring post, with any speaker wire.
    Connecting speaker wires is not rocket science once you know what you are trying to do, to avoid, and how to do it correctly.
    It is not difficult to realize that, no connection has divine protection. That goes for any type. At the end of the day, a connection is as secure as the environment in which it is into.
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    Peter W.

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    Re: Favorite Speaker Cable Termination

    Post by Peter W. on Thu Aug 24, 2017 7:05 am

    buchela wrote:Bare wires here, you are going to have to kill me to add any termination material to my silver wires.
    I've never had a problem with strands, paying a visit to the neighboring post, with any speaker wire.
    Connecting speaker wires is not rocket science once you know  what you are trying to do, to avoid, and how to do it correctly.
    It is not difficult to realize that, no connection has divine protection. That goes for any type. At the end of the day, a connection is as secure as the environment in which it is into.

    For silver wire strand management, I will use eutectic silver-solder (min. 5% ag) which I do keep. less to do with electronics than to do with repairing precious-metal items and devices, mostly related to clocks and time pieces.

    I am not stating that I am paranoid, but we do have two very active cats, two active dogs and enjoy frequent visits from four active grand-kids. So extraneous sources of impact and disturbance are commonplace.
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    HiGHFLYiN9

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    Re: Favorite Speaker Cable Termination

    Post by HiGHFLYiN9 on Thu Aug 24, 2017 12:02 pm

    I prefer low-mass bananas myself, the kind that solder in, or Electra Cable Connectors, which are basically bananas. Either choice prevents there from being much brass between the connections. Not crazy about spades as they sometimes shift or slip out if I have to temporarily move the speakers or get behind them to change connections to something else.
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    jfine

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    Re: Favorite Speaker Cable Termination

    Post by jfine on Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:30 pm

    Peter W. wrote:

    Those of us who have just a wee bit of life-experience, those of us who have met and interacted with others with similar and shared experiences simply take automatic precautions against potential problems.

    First, per the old adage: A penny's worth of prevention is worth a pound's worth of care. There are 240 pennies to the pound.
    Second, as the old boxer stated: Why lean into a punch?

    It is a fact that shorted speaker outputs will cause havoc with certain types of amps. So, we take elementary precautions against such.

    It is a fact that running certain amps unloaded will cause havoc. So we take elementary precautions against such.

    It is a fact that extraneous, non-designed ground paths can  be dangerous. So we take precautions to make sure the ground-paths as-designed are operating correctly.

    By the time one has reached a rather basic level of wisdom, these precautions are innate, simple and done without a second thought. It is not as if any of us take anything for granted. It is not as if any of us assume that all cats are grey just because my cat is grey. It is, simply, that some of us have learned, the hard way or by observation, that if we do things a certain way, we will  live to actually fight another day.  Sure, I will use untinned, bare speaker wire under some conditions. And as you suggest, I will certainly take my time when I do so, and check, check and check again that there are no extraneous bits out there. And, I will do so, typically, only under McGyver-type conditions.

    Put another way, if there is time to do it over, there is time to do it right. I am an inherently lazy person. I really only want to do something once! Doing it over because I was stubborn/stupid/thoughtless/defiant in the first instance is, in a word, ignorant.

    In the immortal words of Benjamin Franklin:  We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.


    Can we stop with the talking down to people?



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    jfine

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    Re: Favorite Speaker Cable Termination

    Post by jfine on Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:32 pm

    Peter W. wrote:

    Those of us who have just a wee bit of life-experience, those of us who have met and interacted with others with similar and shared experiences simply take automatic precautions against potential problems.

    First, per the old adage: A penny's worth of prevention is worth a pound's worth of care. There are 240 pennies to the pound.
    Second, as the old boxer stated: Why lean into a punch?

    It is a fact that shorted speaker outputs will cause havoc with certain types of amps. So, we take elementary precautions against such.

    It is a fact that running certain amps unloaded will cause havoc. So we take elementary precautions against such.

    It is a fact that extraneous, non-designed ground paths can  be dangerous. So we take precautions to make sure the ground-paths as-designed are operating correctly.

    By the time one has reached a rather basic level of wisdom, these precautions are innate, simple and done without a second thought. It is not as if any of us take anything for granted. It is not as if any of us assume that all cats are grey just because my cat is grey. It is, simply, that some of us have learned, the hard way or by observation, that if we do things a certain way, we will  live to actually fight another day.  Sure, I will use untinned, bare speaker wire under some conditions. And as you suggest, I will certainly take my time when I do so, and check, check and check again that there are no extraneous bits out there. And, I will do so, typically, only under McGyver-type conditions.

    Put another way, if there is time to do it over, there is time to do it right. I am an inherently lazy person. I really only want to do something once! Doing it over because I was stubborn/stupid/thoughtless/defiant in the first instance is, in a word, ignorant.

    In the immortal words of Benjamin Franklin:  We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.


    Never mind added to blocked list.
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    jfine

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    Re: Favorite Speaker Cable Termination

    Post by jfine on Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:36 pm

    deepee99 wrote:
    I'll argue again for Blue Jeans speaker leads with their cold-welded banana connex. Can't yank them apart in a tractor-pull. Smile

    I dunno, any connector can change the sound, spades, bananas, RCA's, etc.,
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    deepee99

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    Re: Favorite Speaker Cable Termination

    Post by deepee99 on Thu Aug 24, 2017 2:03 pm

    jfine wrote:
    deepee99 wrote:
    I'll argue again for Blue Jeans speaker leads with their cold-welded banana connex. Can't yank them apart in a tractor-pull. Smile

    I dunno, any connector can change the sound, spades, bananas, RCA's, etc.,

    No argument from here. In a perfect world we'd solder our amp(s) and speakers together with the perfect wire in between, and solder our perfect tubes into their sockets, and be done with it. But, ain't gonna happen in our lifetimes, I fear.
    Personally, I've never experienced a difference in sound among speaker lead terminations if hooked up right. My criteria are maximum physical i.e. electrical contact, and strength of the termination/wire connexion itself. Electronics 101: a good physical connexion makes for a good electrical connexion, all else being equal.

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