Banana plugs or not?


I have a couple of questions about banana plugs. First, I was wondering if there was any significant difference, aside from convenience, to using banana plugs versus not using them? My speakers and receiver have banana plug terminals, but as you have probably already surmised, I'm not using them. Rather, I've just connected the bare copper wire ends to the terminals of the speakers and receiver. So far, I am pleased with the sound quality I am getting from this arrangement. Second, assuming that they do make a significant difference, should I invest in the basic (i.e. the $8 gold plated, plastic caps, 4/pkg at Home Depot) or the top end (i.e. the $20 gold plated, all metal, 2/pkg at my local A/V store) variety? What is the difference if any?

FYI, I am using Yamaha 100W speakers, 14 AWG wire, and a Kenwood VR6060 receiver.

Thanks in advance for any insights

They are mostly for convenience, especially when auditioning multiple speakers. They don't require a screwdriver like lugs do and they don't have as much a potential to short like the bare wires do (frays). The banana plugs do produce a consistent connection because of thier spring-loaded sides and they do scrape away oxidation when itserted.

I've used banana plugs mostly because I run my speaker wires through the walls. It's easier and neater. I wouldn't $100 on a 5.1 system though. I buy mine from

John K.
Paul, Derek is correct; banana plugs are a convenience in a situation where speakers are being frequently connected and disconnected. There's no difference in sound whatever. Save your money.

Thanks Derek and John for the insights. I'll save my money for a good sub-woofer now.

I buy the dayton audio dual stackable ones from parts express, a great value compared to home depot or monster. They are really convenient if you like to play with the systems and even if you want to swap speakers around just to hear the rears in stereo. I play with my system alot.

Quick question on Banana Plugs. I am a mobile DJ looking for a new amp. I currently have 1/4" inputs from my speakers to my amp. Most of the new amps for sale have banana plugs.
My question is: Can I still use my 1/4" inputs into the new amp by removing the banana plugs?

Sorry, I'm a newbie!
Can someone help?
Please email if you have info.

As long as you build the connectors, Yes.

hey im 13 im from statesboro ALIL town. i went to all the places to find out how to use my wire speakers (i dont no what to call em) in my home audio system the system is a... Emerson its a kinda flat baby blue stereo. i had 2 inch and 5 inch speakers wit it when i bought it. now i hooked 10's in a v-tech box to it but it had the plugs u use too like a vcr to a tv. and now i bought 2 panisonic wit 18's,10's,and a 5. and its got the car wires to it. is there someway i can hook it up to my home stereo? PS i used banana plugs and they were too big so if u no sumthin alil smaller PLEASE let me no i dont want my speakers to go to waste thanks:-D

Kermit Da Frog
Banana plugs are great for paranoid peeps like me. See the thing is that I've had a bad experience with shorting wires. All it takes is a tug on the speaker wire, oxidisation of the wire (causing looseness over time) and you could get a frayed wire touching another.

Trust me, your heart sinks if it happens and you realise what a few bucks could have saved you.

But like I said - I'm paranoid now :-)
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