Receiver Connection Questions


I just purchased a NAD T762 which will be deliverd later this week and would like some advice on connections. I have heard that space on the back of the receiver for speaker connections is very limited, and have heard that the use of bannana plugs eliminates some of this. My question then is...what type to buy? I have seen plugs at circuit city that run anywhere from $10 for 4 pair to $20 for two pair. What are the differences? One type is called an "angled gold pin" while the most expensive type is called a "quick lock gold". I am concerned about sound quality...not ease of use.

Similarly, I am looking for a fiber optic cable to hook up my DVD player and X-Box. The cheapest cable Monster sells at CC is 8 feet for $25. This is in contrast to the "THX Select" model that sells for $70 for four feet. That is over $15 PER FOOT!! This is rediculous. How big of a difference will this make? I spent a lot of money on this receiver, and don't want it to sound bad simply because I want to save a few bucks on cables...but is spending nearly a hundred dollars on one cable really that important?

Jeff Plous
Well I can't really comment on the optical decision. I however did buy a 70 dollar optical for my ps2 (temp dvd player ugh) to go to my elite 45tx reciever. It works very well.

Now on the banana plug issue. You say you would rather have soud quality over ease of use. So my suggestion is to not use banana plugs. Bare copper will make a much better connection. I would be more concerned with what speaker wire you are using. For my system I had my dealer make up some custom wires that ended up costing about 50 bucks total. Was it worth it? Hell yes! These consisted of oxygen free coax that are 15' for each speaker. Then he uses a connection that screws on to the end and gives you your usual black and red connection to connect to the speaker. Originally these had banana plugs right on them. He told me that this was an un needed part that just gives the connection one more thing to cut down quality. I tried my speakers at home (monitor audio s8s) with regular copper wire and with my great custom ones. And the difference is very obvious.

So in short (or long?) Im saying you should not use banana plugs and should look into really nice speaker wire to go with your really nice reciever.



Have you ever used anything cheaper than that? I was wondering how the sound from a cheaper optical cable compares to the $70 ones.

A cheaper one will sound the same Confused. Got to Accessories For Less and find the length that suits your needs.

AR Pro Series and Ixos made very good cables for much lower prices than Monster. $25 is pretty good for an 8 foot cable by the way. I wouldn't pay $70.

Jeff Plous, COME ON
"I tried my speakers at home (monitor audio s8s) with regular copper wire and with my great custom ones. And the difference is very obvious."
No way!!!
and for you confused, check this out:

Ack... if you soldered the banana plugs correctly, there should be NO difference in sound quality. Expensive speaker wire is also a crock. Zip cord works just as well. You don't have to worry about stuff like that until you get waaay higher in frequency than audio.

As for the optical, as long as the signal gets to the other end, there is NO difference in sound quality. It is digital. Ones and zeros don't care how much you paid for the cable.

Good luck,
PS- All you 'audiophiles' feel free to flame me. 99% of the 'difference' you hear in the expensive stuff is just your mind telling you it is better. There is no such thing as an un-biased human.

Jeff Plous
Anonymous, have the guts to state your name as I stated mine. I tested my speakers with regular super cheap copper wire, and then with the ones I paid 50 bucks for (for both mind you the guy at Sound Hounds cut me a deal). With the cheap wire it sounded much more flat during music playback. With the nice ones the sound was a bit more full. Thats the best I can describe it. And before I got these cords I was one of those that thought all wire was the same. So to quote you "COME ON" and test a product and state your opinion, Ive stated mine based on the testing I have done.

Ok Jeff so you tested it, but you knew when you changed cables and that is what caused you to believe you hear a difference.
I myself used to be cable crazy - I could here depth in one cable, more clarity in others and so on..........................Until one day I got the blind test put on me and you know the rest.


Well, I knew we were overdue for a thread about speaker wire. Sigh! In case you haven't noticed, there is probably nothing in the audio world that is so polarizing as speaker wire and connections. It really looks like a couple of these guys would be throwing down if they were in the same room.

I tend to be in the middle. Some people hear differences with more expensive wire, many do not. I do believe the equipment has something to do with it as I have heard some differences when using a tube amp, for instance, but the same wire used on a receiver made no difference to my ears. So it is really hit or miss, and unless you have apassion for this kind of thing, probably not worth worrying about it.

My advice, and I am not going to get into a debate over it on this thread, is get some decent quality banana plugs and be done with it. The Monster Cable plugs are very good as are the AR brand sold at Best Buy. I have used both and I have been pleased with the results. The Monster cable banana plugs can be obtained which simply screw apart and you flatten the wire against the base and then screw them back together. It works just fine. I have at least a half a dozen different types of speaker wire terminators and these work just as good as anything else--cost about $15 at Best Buy, as I recall. I much prefer using banana plugs to speaker pins (the "angled kind") and spades. Beyond that advice, you are on your own.

Good luck!

I do agree that tube amps sound different. I don't know about better, but different. I do NOT beleive speaker wire makes any differences. That is, unless you use some that is too small for the application. Same goes with connectors. Plating someting with gold won't help the SQ but it will corrode less and so it will sound better in the long run.

John A.

Take a look at the thread Banana plugs for speaker cables.


Jeff may well have heard a difference if his "regular super cheap copper wire" was too thin. Long runs of thin cable have their own impedence characteristics. The chief factor in cable made of one sort of conductor, e.g. copper, is how thick it is. The impedence is proportional to length and inversely proportional to diameter squared. So double the thickness and you will get the same sound as something a quarter of the length; a 16 m cable will need to be four times as thick as a 1 m cable to give the same sound; and so on.

The most noticable factor in having cables too long and thin is sheer volume. A long, thin cable is like putting a few-Ohm resistor in the path. Upgrading cable can certainly give the subjective impression of much better sound, but it is mostly the speakers singing more sweetly when driven a bit harder.

So the thing to do is get the thickest cable you can reasonably afford, don't waste money on connectors (unless you want them for convenience), then don't worry and enjoy the music. There is always a law of diminishing returns.

Alex is totally correct about digital. The signal gets there or it doesn't. As with speaker cables, always get the shortest cable you can fit in your system. It is better, and cheaper, too. However, L and R speaker cables should be the same length as well as thickness, so don't worry if there is some slack in the line to one of the speakers.

"The most noticable factor in having cables too long and thin is sheer volume. A long, thin cable is like putting a few-Ohm resistor in the path"

How long is too long? The shape of my room dictates a run of about 20 metres for one of my surrounds. Is this too much?

In case it matters, the speaker is a Mordaunt Short Premiere surround, rated at 4 ohms. The receiver is a Marantz SR4300, rated at 8 ohms. The cable is QED Original.

On a different subject, does anybody haev any opinions on Cambridge Audio cables? Good, bad, indifferent?

So I can get 100 feet of speaker wire at Home Depot for $30 or I can get 100 feet of monster cable from CC for $60 and it will sound the same? The link below is to the type of cable I am talking about. What is even worse...I can't find out whether this is 12 gauge or never says on the website. All it says is "Small Size Cable With Linear Polyethylene Insulation To Reduce Signal Loss". Small size to me says that it is not 12 gauge.

Yep, it will sound exactly the same.

John A.

With respect, your question is "how long is a piece of string?"

With surrounds you are going to have to adjust their level in the amp/receiver anyway. 20 m is fine. In the days before IR remote controls serious listeners always had their sources a long way from the speakers, you get less acoustic feedback.

I am not sure what "Gauge" is (anyone?), but 2.5 mm diameter should be OK. If you spend a whole lot more on 5 mm you will just need a lower dB gain to get balance. I think I have 5 mm for mains, 2.5 for center, and 1.25 to surrounds. All 10 m (~30 ft) lengths. The speakers have different sensitivities, anyway. It sounds great. And it is generic speaker cable, all made of copper strands. Phasing is more important than anything else; you should be able to distinguish one strand at both its ends.

On one thread I suggested, tongue-in-cheek, you are probably spending too much on cable if it has arrows on to tell the electrons which way the music is going. I got a lot of solemn and some heated replies. They usually end with "well if I THINK there is a difference, that's what really matters..."

I have yet to meet someone who has actually studied electronics who is not scathing about the cult of speaker connections.

Alex, Confused,

Exactly the same. If it is the same gauge, and made of copper.

I took the advice of Anon above and tried If you are looking for any kinds of wires or cables, check this site out. They have name brand and off brand stuff at very reasonable prices. Last night I ordered 100 feet of 12 gauge speaker wire shipped for $33. For me to buy 100 feet of monster speaker wire off of the spool at Circuit City, I would have to have spent $167. What a rip off!!! I doubt the sound quality will be that much different. When I get it all hooked up I will post again to let you all know how it sounds. Thanks for all of your help.

Good luck & It will sound EXACTLY the same.

Good for you Confused. You have to realize that retailers make a lot of money on speaker wire and cables of all sorts. It is much better to buy from partsexpress or from Radio shack or Walmart. Just get 12 gauge or so wire and you will almost always be fine.

It is silly to use more expensive wire than the speaker manufacturer used inside his speaker. Almost all speaker manufacturers use basic OFHC Copper wire which is quite inexpensive. Owning a company in the chemical and metals field I can tell you that OFHC Copper is 99.95% to 99.99% (metals basis) and depending on quantity and form bought costs about $2.50-$4.00 lb (in rod or ingot form). Obviously there are added value issues when "swaged" down to wire form and it goes through a coating process.
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