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Speaker Connectors

 

New member
Username: Hamiltonian11

Post Number: 1
Registered: May-05
I have just purchased a receiver Yamaha RX-V1500 and am about to buy speaker cable and connectors. I have no clue about connectors but have come across terms like banana plug..etc. How do I determine the appropriate connectors for the speaker cables both on the receiver and the speakers?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Banyanleaf

Post Number: 26
Registered: Mar-05
There is no need for connectors if: 1) you don't plug and unplug the speaker cable from your receiver often; and 2) the cables are not too big to fit the ports. The benefits of gold-plated connector are: 1) easy (to some degree) connection; 2) anti-oxidation. Some high quality cables actually resist oxidation pretty well.
 

Silver Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 823
Registered: Jan-05
Eric,
If you have heavy AWG speakerwire, you'll never fit the wire into the tiny slots they give you on the back of the receiver. The banana plugs are cool because they 'jack' the wires directly into your receiver.

As for the speakers, even my 12AWG wire fits cleanly into the speaker ports, so I use bare wire to connect to the speakers. By contrast, all my wires are connected via bananas at the receiver end.

Some people go 'connector crazy' and some dont. For me personally, I use them only if the situation warrants. Monster charges about $20/per twopack.....OUCH!! I think it's a total ripoff and bought them only for convenience reasons. In other words, I needed them "NOW" and that was what the store had.

I had just brought a new receiver home only to discover the speakerwire wouldnt fit in the ports, and I wasnt in the mood to be messing around with ###@~! connections. After a fast return trip to the store, I think I spent $60-$80 on those darn things!!! Monster should rot in HELL because of their ripoff pricing on such simple connectors. On the lighter side, at least they worked :/
 

Silver Member
Username: Eramsey

South carolina United States

Post Number: 120
Registered: Feb-05
Hey guys check out www.partsexpress.com, the have good quality bananas for about $3-4. E.Ramsey
 

Silver Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 828
Registered: Jan-05
Whatever you do, plan ahead........Heh

Once you open up and unbox your new receiver, ordering online and waiting for connectors to arrive by mail wont be an option.
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 368
Registered: Mar-05
Paul,

You should've just returned the Monster connectors (I'm assuming you bought them from a big-box chain store that would allow it) after the online-ordered connectors arrived.
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 369
Registered: Mar-05
I agree with Paul, you only need banana plugs to wire into the receiver, with the speakers you can just use bare wire.

Here's all you need:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=32838%26item%3D5772316817 %26

That's 4 pairs for $12.50 shipped, for a 7.1 setup that's just $25 shipped with 1 pair extra.

 

Silver Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 833
Registered: Jan-05
Naw...

Too much hassle to bother returning. Once that baby was hooked up, it was water under the bridge.
 

Silver Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 499
Registered: Sep-04
Blimey - $20/pair? Phew. That's expensive, even for Europe...

I'm not a fan of edster's suggestion. Those are simple screw fit plugs. They have a tendency to loosen over time and they're so huge one wonders what's happening to the signal as it finds this mass of metal it's meant to find a way through. I get better long-term results with crimp and solder type plugs. Just don't break the plug when crimpling. :-) The best banana plug I've used is an Arcam plug for about $3.50 each. That's the gold version. Nickel ones cost just about $2.25 each.

If your equipment has gold sockets use gold plugs, if nickel (silver to look at), then use nickel. Nickel doesn't last as long as gold, but sounds just as good most of the time. It's always good to terminate your cable properly. It saves the cable from fraying and oxidisation. Since most cables are copper, it also saves on them corroding (going green) over time - provided they're finished correctly. The solder used to finish off the crimped connection should reach up to the insulator. This way, the solder dulls, but the cable remains untouched by air.

Regards,
Frank.
 

Silver Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 834
Registered: Jan-05
Frank,
Not $20/pair. I said it was $20/two-pack meaning two pairs. I should have chosen better wording to not confuse those who may not have bought bananana plugs before.

Those plugs always sell as pairs(red/black), and typically come in packages of 4 individual plugs. Hense, my reference to two-pack referred to two pairs.

sorry for the confusion, and yes, I still thought $20 for 4 little pieces is a ripoff. I agree that crimp and solder is the best, but not that many people keep solder or soldering guns laying around the house. When I was a kid growing up, my father was always messing around with electronics, and he had piles of that stuff laying around.......HEH

I think the reason most people dont have that stuff laying around anymore is because so few fix electronics anymore. They just throw them away since technology is changing so fast anyway. If something breaks, it's just an excuse to upgrade to something more 'hi-tech'.
 

New member
Username: Hamiltonian11

Post Number: 2
Registered: May-05
I thank you guys for your suggestions. They are quite helpful. One last Q. Are the connectors crimped on to the cables or soldered on?

TIA.
 

Silver Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 505
Registered: Sep-04
Crimped and then soldered generally. Crimp first so you get the direct contact between the cable strands and the plug. Solder after to ensure the joint doesn't loosen and to take out the air gaps up to the insulator.

Some systems such as WBT or QED's Airlok get away with crimp only. Their plugs and crimping guns are specially designed so that your grip generates something like 20tons per square inch pressure so this is a crimp with knobs on! I have never had an airlok plug come off...:-)

Regards,
Frank.
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 374
Registered: Mar-05
Frank,

Have you ever used screw fit plugs yourself and noticed significant signal degradation over time, or is this just your guess from looking at the design?

I considered the soldering type too but decided to be lazy. : )
 

Silver Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 841
Registered: Jan-05
hahaha....
The funny thing is that I actually prefer the crimp and solder connectors, but the concept of buying a soldering gun & solder that I will never use in the next 1-2 decades doesnt make sense.
 

Silver Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 506
Registered: Sep-04
Edster,

It's a combination of using them personally, speaking to customers and experience of my friends in the shop.

Regards,
Frank.
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 3703
Registered: May-04


Paul - A soldering iron with the appropriate wattage, a heat sink and a roll of good quality solder can be purchased for under $25. But, if you are unfamiliar with how to solder properly, you should avoid soldering irons. With the heat they produce they can quickly make an irretreivable mess of a job. And a bad solder joint is much worse for quality that a decent crimp. Spend the money on a good quality crimping tool.


 

Silver Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 849
Registered: Jan-05
Jan,
You're missing the whole point. My point was that it isnt worth it to me to buy a soldering gun and crimping tool for what is basically a one-time job.

Outside of soldering speakerwire connectors, there is absolutely no other situation where I would ever use the tools. While it's true those tools are rather inexpensive, I dont care to buy tools that I'll never use.

Quality aside, spending $25-50 on tools and solder to save $5-10 on connectors sounds pretty stupid. While it's true using solder has it advantages, the Monster connectors still work just fine.

I also realize that your point is that it's worth buying the tools to get the best connection possible, but to me.......it's 'not' because of other alternatives.
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 391
Registered: Mar-05
Frank,

yikes, that sounds ominous. I'll keep an ear out for any loosening up problems then...
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