Advice Articles

5-Way Binding Posts

Your receiver and amplifier are pumping out big power. Your thick low-gauge speaker wire is prepared to deliver all of it to your loudspeakers. How do you make sure that all that power and audio information makes it to the speaker intact? By having the best possible connection options at the speaker end. Polk gives you that, with professional-grade 5-Way Binding Posts. Five-Way Binding Posts, gold-plated and ultra-conductive, not only give you “five ways” to connect, but they insure the most direct, efficient, loss-less connection possible.

The General Radio Company developed the 5-Way Binding Post in the early 20th century as a connection system for their professional electronics. It gave their technicians quick and efficient means of attaching multiple types of specialized cables and connectors to sensitive devices. This technology eventually made its way into the world of higher end home audio.

The term “5-Way” comes from the number of potential connecting methods the binding post can accept. Most people will use either “banana” plugs, or horseshoe-shaped flat connectors called “spade lugs” on the ends of their wires. Bare wire can be stuck through the hole in the shaft (the hole is exposed when the post cap is unthreaded, and then your wire can be clamped by the tightened cap). This clamping approach can also be used with the terminal pin connections found on some speaker wire. The fifth connecting method doesn’t find itself used much in modern audio applications, but the original General Radio product brochure described using “alligator clips,” which are spring loaded clips that have (you guessed it) gripping teeth.

When the goal is to have as much conducting metal-to-metal surface contact as possible, you want 5-Way Binding Posts. No matter which connection method you choose, 5-Way Binding Posts achieve a more complete, more efficient (with less loss), and accurate transfer of power to the tweeters, drivers and woofers of your speakers.

The engineers at Polk have made certain this efficient, accurate transfer will happen with their choice of design and material for the 5-Way Binding Posts found on Polk speakers. Post placement allows easy access for any connector, gold plating enhances conductivity, and minutely calculated post threads guarantee a secure connection. Inside, wire connections are professionally made, tested, and secure, with the shortest possible run lengths. The result of all this attention is the ideal transfer of audio energy from the connecting wire to your Polk speakers.

This article was last modified Jul 22, 2014

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