Free Shipping on All Orders 1-866-764-1801

Vist our Online Store
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 6 1 2 3 4 5 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 157
  1. #1

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Quebec, Canada
    Posts
    493

    Default Quality banana plugs and speaker wire?

    Hi there!

    I am building a 2 ch stereo and I'm thinking about different options (better cable, which amp to buy, etc.). I am almost settled on my electronics choice, but now, I have some questions about wires and plugs.

    Is there any difference between, let's say, Monoprice banana plugs (like these http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2 ), which I already own for like 2$ a pair, and better quality (pricier) ones at, lets say, 3.50$ each?

    I mean, those monoprice are holding the wire just fine, no wobble or anything with my current speaker wire. However, is there a point in buying an higher quality bananaplug other than offering a more secured ending and fastening?

    Also, I already own some monoprice 14 AWG speaker wire. I read, except from audiophiles forums, that speaker wire is wire and that except if you have longer runs, a very messy environment, or if you want good looking wires, you could buy a good quality cheap wire.

    I know interconnects might need to be of higher quality as it's no longer high current, but what about the speaker wire and it's plugs?

    Thanks!

  2. #2

    Member Sales Rating: (6)

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    16,491

    Default

    If they fasten the wire well, and they're gold plated...you'll be fine. (you don't want brass)

    Speaker wire--for now you can use what you have, and later down the road if you want to experiment with different/higher-end cables, go for it.

    Transport: Oppo BDP-103/USB HDD (flac)
    DAC/Preamp: Benchmark DAC/PRE
    Power Amp: Parasound HCA-1500A
    Speakers: Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 Monitor
    Cables: Kimber Hero/8TC; DH Labs D-75

  3. #3

    Member Sales Rating: (20)

    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    7th Circle of Hell - aka DFW
    Posts
    10,670

    Default

    You're not going to get a consistent answer on this topic. On a forum like this you're going to get more people who think wire matters than not, but even then not everyone agrees.

    My short answer is 'everything matters' and yes there is a difference.

    The only thing to do is really let your ears answer your question. If you think you hear a difference that's all that counts.
    Main HT
    Magnepan 1.6QR fronts, POlk R15 surrounds, Pioneer SC-25, Parasound Halo A23, Oppo BDP-105, Panasonic TC-P60ZT60, Sony PS3, Apple TV

    Bedroom System
    Polk Blackstone TL3, Polk PSWi225 Wireless Sub, HK 3490 Integrated, Oppo BDP-103, Sharp Aquos 32" TV, Apple TV

    Office Rig
    27" iMac w/Amarra, AudioQuest Dragonfly 1.2, Focal XS Book, Schiit Valhalla, Cypher Labs Theorem 720, Philips Fidelio X1, Sennheiser HD600, HiFiMan HE-500, B&W P7, LG 47LM7600, Sony PS3, Apple TV

  4. #4

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    A place called Winnipeg
    Posts
    2,860

    Default

    FWIW, I have those plugs on the ends of my monoprice wires and I really don't like them. Sure everything sounds nice but I do not like how it secures the wire into the connector. Not to mention you will have RAW thumbs very fast. Especially if you want them to fasten right.

  5. #5

    Member Sales Rating: (4)

    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Central Arkansas
    Posts
    543

    Default

    I am using these in my HT system and they seem to do the job
    http://www.speakerrepair.com/mm5/mer...y_Code=locking

  6. #6

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Brownsburg, Indiana
    Posts
    9,696

    Default

    Honestly I have GLS Audio banana's and I like them. I got the locking ones because I wanted them to look cool, but you could use some of the cheaper options (like Safe Connects).

    They are a bit more expensive than the Monoprice ones, but not totally outrageous

  7. #7

    Member Sales Rating: (5)

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Richardson, TX.
    Posts
    1,523

    Default

    And see, I was going to make a statement about how the words "quality" and "banana plugs" are mutually exclusive of each other.
    Are you part of the dirty digital peasants or a member of the great Analog Master Race?

    SDA Recommended Playlist https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/...FZCRkdxYXVNanc

    Open for editing.

  8. #8

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Quebec, Canada
    Posts
    493

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by quadzilla View Post
    And see, I was going to make a statement about how the words "quality" and "banana plugs" are mutually exclusive of each other.
    Oh, why is that so? Are banana plugs "tainting" the sound somehow?

  9. #9

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Sydney, Cape Breton Island,NS Canada
    Posts
    473

    Default

    I use Monoprice banana plugs but only the Open Screw type, instead of the Closed Screw. I find them easy to work with especially with the thicker speaker wire.
    Home Theatre.............

    Pioneer SC-35
    Polk RTi10's Fronts
    Polk CSiA6 Center
    RTi4 Surrounds
    SVS PB-12 Sub


    2 Channel.............................

    Yaqin MC-100B
    Energy RC-70 Speakers
    Arcam CD-192 Disc Player
    Van Den Hul Interconnects

  10. #10

    Member Sales Rating: (14)

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Pa
    Posts
    13,547

    Default

    What you own right now is nice for entry level systems. I think the quality is nice and better then some others I have seen and used. When your ready to step up to higher quality speaker wires , then look into Audioquest. It's what I have been using for the last 6 years and haven't had any reason to change to anyone else. Great products , great quality and priced right.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.

  11. #11

    Member Sales Rating: (5)

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Richardson, TX.
    Posts
    1,523

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pyrocyborg View Post
    Oh, why is that so? Are banana plugs "tainting" the sound somehow?
    I just don't like them. At least on the systems I've tried them on, bare wire is best, and spades are a close second for detail, dynamics, all of it.
    Are you part of the dirty digital peasants or a member of the great Analog Master Race?

    SDA Recommended Playlist https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/...FZCRkdxYXVNanc

    Open for editing.

  12. #12

    Member Sales Rating: (4)

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Austin TX
    Posts
    830

    Default

    IMHO Banana plugs do make a good connection, and are very handy when you need to disconnect the cable for any reason. There are several types to choose from, but for me the locking type is the best. The ones with springs are ok, but the holding power is not the best. Either one of these two should do a good job for you, and give you very good signal transfer. My preference is the gold plated copper Furez banana plug.
    http://www.douglasconnection.com/Fur...ZTSTSB60Au.htm
    http://www.douglasconnection.com/Aud...gs-MTBP192.htm
    Sunfire Theater Grand IV
    Sunfire Cinema Grand Signature
    SRS 2.1TL
    SDA 2BTL's
    CSiA6
    FXiA4
    FXiA6
    SDA 2A's
    Monitor 10A's

    http://www.douglasconnection.com

  13. #13

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    102

    Default

    I've really liked the design of the Nakamichi banana plugs that are all over ebay. They typically sell shipped to you for less than $1/each, and I've had no problems with them. I'm sure I'll get flamed for the suggestion, and I don't know their level of quality, but the design itself is very elegant and easy to work with.

  14. #14

    Member Sales Rating: (1)

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    central Illinois
    Posts
    3,592

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by timalan View Post
    I've really liked the design of the Nakamichi banana plugs that are all over ebay. They typically sell shipped to you for less than $1/each, and I've had no problems with them. I'm sure I'll get flamed for the suggestion, and I don't know their level of quality, but the design itself is very elegant and easy to work with.
    And there are junk. I bought some got like 20 of them for cheap. The screws are very soft I know i broke 5pairs of screws just trying to tighten them down. I'd recommend to save your money and NOT buy the Nakamichi banana's. Parts express sell some just like them that are 100% better for a few dollars more.

  15. #15

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Indianapolis Indiana
    Posts
    54

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pitdogg2 View Post
    And there are junk. I bought some got like 20 of them for cheap. The screws are very soft I know i broke 5pairs of screws just trying to tighten them down. I'd recommend to save your money and NOT buy the Nakamichi banana's. Parts express sell some just like them that are 100% better for a few dollars more.
    If you broke the screws you were probably cutting into the wire. I will admit their set screws are low grade, but adequate.

  16. #16

    Member Sales Rating: (1)

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    central Illinois
    Posts
    3,592

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by vwfred69 View Post
    If you broke the screws you were probably cutting into the wire. I will admit their set screws are low grade, but adequate.
    And you'd be wrong. But adequate only if you use 16/18ga wire which I don't mine is 10ga.

  17. #17

    Member Sales Rating: (31)

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Long Island
    Posts
    14,790

    Default

    Unless they're copper based, they're junk.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

  18. #18

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Indianapolis Indiana
    Posts
    54

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pitdogg2 View Post
    And you'd be wrong. But adequate only if you use 16/18ga wire which I don't mine is 10ga.
    I just say that because I worked in a wire harness dept 8yrs and have seen many damaged wires from over tightening/crimping. I constantly saw the guy next to me shearing screws or crushing wires.

  19. #19

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    102

    Default

    I used 14 gauge wire with the Nakamichis and didn't have any problems. All my screws worked well ... maybe you got a bad batch? From my experience, I think they would work fine with 12 gauge wire, but I'd be skeptical any larger than that.

    I see other users here have also had success with the eBay Nakamichis.

    That said, if the ones at Parts Express are the same design, I'll probably try them next time around -- I have generally had great experience with Parts Express, and would rather patronize them than a random eBay vendor.
    5.1 theater - Pioneer SC-07, Mirage OMD-CC center, 4 x Mirage Omnisats, Boston Acoustics VPS-210 sub
    2.1 living room - NAD 7400 integrated, 2 x Platinum Audio Duos, MIT Terminator4 cables
    2.1 bedroom- Arcam Solo, 2 x Mirage OMD-5's
    FOR SALE - Genesis Servo-10 sub, Genesis Servo-12 amp; Martin Logan Dynamo sub; Mirage MM-6 sub; Harman Kardon DPR-1001 7.1 receiver

  20. #20

    Member Sales Rating: (1)

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    central Illinois
    Posts
    3,592

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by vwfred69 View Post
    I just say that because I worked in a wire harness dept 8yrs and have seen many damaged wires from over tightening/crimping. I constantly saw the guy next to me shearing screws or crushing wires.
    Explain that to Cardas who use a 30ton press to attach the spades to their wire which takes all the wires and compresses it into one solid wire.
    I have used other banana plugs and been able to tighten down on my 10ga. wire completely so i could put the barrel back on. When I removed the plug no wires were cut but where the screw was it was compressed so that it appeared to be solid. To each their own... yes I tried them but moved on. Those are generic, Nakamichi even made a statement that they never made them and that they were counterfeit but was not worth the effort to pursue legal matters . The same ones can be found on Ebay with other names stenciled on instead of Nakamichi's. just another in a looong line of Chinese knock offs.

  21. #21

    Member Sales Rating: (1)

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    central Illinois
    Posts
    3,592

    Default

    why the link back to the same thread?

  22. #22

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    102

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pitdogg2 View Post
    why the link back to the same thread?
    Sorry, my bad. Wrong link. Here you go... A thread with other users who have also had success with the eBay Nakamichis.
    5.1 theater - Pioneer SC-07, Mirage OMD-CC center, 4 x Mirage Omnisats, Boston Acoustics VPS-210 sub
    2.1 living room - NAD 7400 integrated, 2 x Platinum Audio Duos, MIT Terminator4 cables
    2.1 bedroom- Arcam Solo, 2 x Mirage OMD-5's
    FOR SALE - Genesis Servo-10 sub, Genesis Servo-12 amp; Martin Logan Dynamo sub; Mirage MM-6 sub; Harman Kardon DPR-1001 7.1 receiver

  23. #23

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    47

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mantis View Post
    What you own right now is nice for entry level systems. I think the quality is nice and better then some others I have seen and used. When your ready to step up to higher quality speaker wires , then look into Audioquest. It's what I have been using for the last 6 years and haven't had any reason to change to anyone else. Great products , great quality and priced right.
    Why "entry level?" In what universe is $10 EACH for banana plugs "priced right?"
    Last edited by jviss; 01-29-2012 at 11:00 AM.

  24. #24

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    47

    Default

    I guess there are junk plugs out there, and adequate ones. My only concern about brass or gold barrel plugs is that if you unplug them for some reason and they touch with the amplifier on, they will short the output. This will damage most amps. I bought the Legrand On-Q banana plugs at Lowes as they were on clearance for $10 per 5-pair pack. They are adequate. While they have two clamp set screws in the barrel, one to secure the insulation and the other to secure the conductor, with 12 gauge stranded I used both screws on the conductor. As long as you have a firm, low resistance connection that won't vibrate loose or corrode quickly, they will be fine; there will be absolutely no difference you can hear, no difference in detail, dynamics, or 'sonics' of any kind, regardless of how much you spend on plugs, or what purveyors of high-end interconnect claim. I concede there are better banana plugs out there, but the benefit realized for five or ten times the price is dubious. As an aesthetic element, for appearance and prestige, pride of ownership, sure.

  25. #25

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Quebec, Canada
    Posts
    493

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jviss View Post
    Why "entry level?" In what universe is $10 EACH for banana plugs "priced right?"
    Maybe in that same universe where a 100$ per feet cable is priced right...

  26. #26

    Member Sales Rating: (31)

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Long Island
    Posts
    14,790

    Default

    Real copper costs much more than brass.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

  27. #27

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    47

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Face View Post
    Real copper costs much more than brass.
    That is true! Scrap value of Copper is about double that for brass. However, how does that apply to the banana plug discussion? I haven't ever seen any manufacturers or distributors of banana plugs specify the composition of their plugs ('though I haven't really been looking).

  28. #28

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    47

    Default On Quality Connectors and Wire

    In retrospect I'd like to moderate my comments regarding quality connectors and wire. First, on the wire, because that's the easier one, I think. One method of selecting appropriate cable is to determine an acceptable voltage drop for the interconnect system, expressed as a percentage of the amplifier output voltage; assign a fixed value for the interconnect components, i.e., plugs and jacks, and select a wire gauge that satisfies the requirement. For anything less than 250 Watts and 25', 12 AWG will do the job nicely. Quality, 2-conductor, 12AWG stranded copper "zip cord" is widely available for about $0.60/foot. I use the black outdoor low voltage wire available at Lowes, Home Depot, etc. It is nicely flexible and "blends" with any decor.

    Banana plugs can vary dramatically in quality and price. Gold plating is not necessary, and can even cause problems in high humidity conditions in contact with tin (so called "purple plague" corrosion). Gold to gold is good, but one never knows, especially in un-branded, inexpensive connectors whether it really is gold, what purity, and how thick the plating is. Unless it's a brand-name connector you can't trust it. Mechanical details are important, too, for both ends: securing the wire, and the plug, mostly for on dimensions and contact force.

    That said, a $1.00 tin or nickel plated plug with solder, screw, crimp or clamp wire connection will be fine, if you can find a reasonable example of such. To buy a brand-name plug you will have to spend a lot more, like $5 each, for example, Hosa BNA-050, under $5 w/ free shipping from Dale Pro Audio (I have no connection with either, no pun intended). Even then, I don't think Hosa spec's the gold type or thickness. I haven't had one in my hand, either, so don't know how much better or worse it is than the generics. So I now concede that yes, there may be a reasonable universe where $10 banana plugs are priced right, but it's probably not one I would live in.

    It is worthwhile to do a little research and maybe even sample and test some samples. Mine, the Q-On plugs, seem O.K. I was tempted, though, with the set screw clamps, to try to find some small copper tubing that I could slip onto the 12 gauge stranded ends and then insert into the plugs, so the clamp screws would be crushing the tubing onto the stranded wire. I don't think tinning the ends is a good idea because it make the ends so much less malleable that the screws can't adequately squish the conductor.

    In the old days we wrapped the twisted-up stranded copper wire around a tin plated screw or binding post, and that worked fine! You can still do it similarly with 5-way posts, and skip the plugs.

  29. #29

    Member Sales Rating: (13)

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    The Mars Hotel
    Posts
    31,278

    Default

    I use the black outdoor low voltage wire available at Lowes, Home Depot, etc. It is nicely flexible and "blends" with any decor.
    You just killed any credibility you may have had.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

  30. #30

    Member Sales Rating: (1)

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    chicago
    Posts
    17,110

    Default

    The best research comes from experience. Home Depot wire is on par with monoprice. Good to get one signal from point A to point B but as far as sound goes, there's better out there.

    Not trying to start another cable debate here. God knows we have enough of them. Just search the forum, you'll find many who have been in the camp of wire doesn't matter much, until they tried something, let their ears judge, and have been pleased with the results. Sure, snake oil applies to this hobby as it does with everything in life, but one bad apple doesn't spoil the whole bushel. Get your feet wet in this hobby and find out for yourself what all the hupla is about, you be the judge, not me or anyone else.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

     

Similar Threads

  1. Need Help banana plugs and speaker wire recomend
    By slowpolky in forum DIY, Mods & Tweaks
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 05-09-2009, 03:06 PM
  2. Need Help Nakamichi Speaker Banana Plugs
    By jacob.simpson in forum Basic Hookup/Wiring Questions
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 02-11-2009, 04:58 PM
  3. Speaker wire and Banana Plugs
    By Kchill in forum Speakers
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02-02-2009, 12:35 PM
  4. Spades or Banana plugs for Speaker Binding posts?
    By hamzahsh in forum Basic Hookup/Wiring Questions
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 05-03-2003, 11:59 PM
  5. Banana plugs and wire thickness.
    By gidrah in forum Basic Hookup/Wiring Questions
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 09-14-2002, 03:50 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts