Author Topic: Speaker Wire Connections on Amp and Speakers  (Read 2412 times)

Offline steve

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Speaker Wire Connections on Amp and Speakers
« on: August 27, 2021, 01:38:35 PM »
A little while back I noticed the sonic/music become more full. So I started performing some experiments with the tightness of the speaker wire nuts on both the amplifier and speaker.

For newbies, the tighter the nuts, the more contact pressure, and the lower the contact resistance.

I think this aspect has been extremely neglected, having never seen a post mentioning the problem over the decades on any forum.

That is, the sonics will vary with the contact resistance of the speaker wires at both the amplifier and speakers. I am able to alter the sonics on my system by simply adjusting the contact pressure on either the speaker or amplifier connections.

Finger tight is not enough. I noticed a musical difference at every session.

First, I cleaned the connectors on both amp and speakers with a cleaner that leaves no residue. I cleaned the speaker wire ends as well. 
Next, use either a wrench or worst case pliers and tighten more, until extremely tight. This should provide some consistency in musical reproduction if one notices the sonic qualities seeming to change from session to session.

Will everyone notice a musical difference? No. If the system has masking problems, too full, a sonic difference may not be noticed.

cheers

steve
« Last Edit: August 27, 2021, 01:42:12 PM by steve »
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Offline rollo

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Re: Speaker Wire Connections on Amp and Speakers
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2021, 08:04:00 AM »
  Interesting Steve. Will give it a try. A reason to prefer spades over banana connections.

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Offline tmazz

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Re: Speaker Wire Connections on Amp and Speakers
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2021, 01:19:00 PM »
I agree, finger tight just doesn't cut it. Fir many years now I have used ab Audioquest device called The Postman. It look like a screwdriver handle with 1/2 and 7/16th sockets sunk into each hand. With an open ended or socket  wrench on a ratchet handle it is too easy to apply too much torque and strip or even break  a plastic binding post. The Postman gives you the grip of a socket but without the leverage of a wrench, making it easier to control how tight you make the binding post.

It does a great job and in audiophile terms it is a bargain at less than $20 from Amazon or any of the online high end dealers.

Highly recommended

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Offline rpf

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Re: Speaker Wire Connections on Amp and Speakers
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2021, 06:16:05 PM »
I second Tom's post. I've also used one for a really long time and it is very easy to get a tight fit without overdoing it. Finger tight doesn't even come close to working: I found posts loosening up significantly over time with just finger pressure. The main reason I hate bananas, even the locking kind.
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Offline Nick B

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Re: Speaker Wire Connections on Amp and Speakers
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2021, 06:47:18 PM »
It happens that this is the first time I’ve ever used bananas. I have Audio Envy and the fit is just a bit loose. So I won’t be able to try the experiment….
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Offline P.I.

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Re: Speaker Wire Connections on Amp and Speakers
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2021, 08:48:45 PM »
These are the only banana plugs I would even consider using:

BFA banana plug - https://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=AABAN

They really are quite good (for a banana) and when used with graphene make very good connections.
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Offline Nick B

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Re: Speaker Wire Connections on Amp and Speakers
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2021, 09:06:37 PM »
These are the only banana plugs I would even consider using:

BFA banana plug - https://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=AABAN

They really are quite good (for a banana) and when used with graphene make very good connections.

I don’t think I’ll ever get bananas again. Cap Payne of Audio Envy felt they sounded better than the spades. Speaking of graphene, I have to find my supply. Also, did you suggest using Caig  before reapplying the graphene?
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Offline P.I.

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Re: Speaker Wire Connections on Amp and Speakers
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2021, 10:48:15 AM »
These are the only banana plugs I would even consider using:

BFA banana plug - https://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=AABAN

They really are quite good (for a banana) and when used with graphene make very good connections.

I don’t think I’ll ever get bananas again. Cap Payne of Audio Envy felt they sounded better than the spades. Speaking of graphene, I have to find my supply. Also, did you suggest using Caig  before reapplying the graphene?
Any type of cleaner is a good idea.  I usually use either 93% isopropyl or naphtha.
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Offline toobluvr

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Re: Speaker Wire Connections on Amp and Speakers
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2021, 11:31:45 AM »
I too like the BFA bananas.  If they get slightly compressed and loose (which bananas always do) simply insert a thin screwdriver or hex key and gently spread it open again.  Been doing if for years and the metal never fatigues or breaks off.  Nice tight fit.  Best bananas I've ever used.    :thumb:
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Offline steve

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Re: Speaker Wire Connections on Amp and Speakers
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2021, 09:34:27 PM »
Unfortunately, my speaker jacks are round, otherwise I would use an inch pounds tork wrench to
tighten.

For newbies, over the years, I have found banana, spades etc to be inferior to direct speaker
wire connection. Bypassing the jacks and soldering the speaker wires to the OPT leads is probably the
best of all, but I have not proven it, and I need flexibility to remove the amps for testing purposes.

Whether wire, banana, spade etc, it is important that the surface be completely straight and smooth, with
no slight kinks or even tiny, rough spots that would reduce the contact area, increasing the resistance.
Increasing the resistance lowers the damping factor across the entire audio band.

cheers

steve
Steve Sammet (Owner, Designer, Electron Eng, SAS Audio Labs, Ret)
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Offline tmazz

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Re: Speaker Wire Connections on Amp and Speakers
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2021, 10:48:33 PM »
And like all of your other connections, keep 'em  clean!
Remember, it's all about the music........

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Offline tmazz

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Re: Speaker Wire Connections on Amp and Speakers
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2021, 10:51:00 PM »
These are the only banana plugs I would even consider using:

BFA banana plug - https://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=AABAN

They really are quite good (for a banana) and when used with graphene make very good connections.

I don’t think I’ll ever get bananas again. Cap Payne of Audio Envy felt they sounded better than the spades. Speaking of graphene, I have to find my supply. Also, did you suggest using Caig  before reapplying the graphene?
Any type of cleaner is a good idea.  I usually use either 93% isopropyl or naphtha.

Dave,

Are these chemicals good on any kind of metal (gold, copper etc.) or are there any that you should avoid using them on?
Remember, it's all about the music........

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• McIntosh MC 275
• ARC SP-9
• VPI HW-19 Mk IV/SDS/SME IV/Soundsmith Carmen Mk II ES
• Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC/Rasp Pi Roon Endpoint
• DigiBuss/TWL PC&USB/MIT Cables

Offline Nick B

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Re: Speaker Wire Connections on Amp and Speakers
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2021, 12:35:42 AM »
Dave,

In addition to Tom’s question, where can I buy a small quantity of the naphtha or 93% isopropyl? I’ve used 70% ethyl alcohol for years for miscellaneous uses around the house/garage and have found it’s cleaner..meaning it leaves less discernible residue to the touch. Any thoughts on the ethyl alcohol?

Nick
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Offline BobM

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Re: Speaker Wire Connections on Amp and Speakers
« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2021, 09:44:46 AM »
One more reason to tighten up ... finger tight can shake loose over time and if the wires touch ... BOOM!
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Offline P.I.

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Re: Speaker Wire Connections on Amp and Speakers
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2021, 09:47:18 AM »
These are the only banana plugs I would even consider using:

BFA banana plug - https://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=AABAN

They really are quite good (for a banana) and when used with graphene make very good connections.

I don’t think I’ll ever get bananas again. Cap Payne of Audio Envy felt they sounded better than the spades. Speaking of graphene, I have to find my supply. Also, did you suggest using Caig  before reapplying the graphene?
Any type of cleaner is a good idea.  I usually use either 93% isopropyl or naphtha.

Dave,

Are these chemicals good on any kind of metal (gold, copper etc.) or are there any that you should avoid using them on?
Both naphtha and the 93% alcohol are basically benign solvents.  They will remove oils, dirt, smoke deposits and most schmutz without harming metals, plastics or painted surfaces that we have on our gear.
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