Systemic Development > Amplification and Preamplification

Speaker Wire Connections on Amp and Speakers

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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.



  Interesting Steve. Will give it a try. A reason to prefer spades over banana connections.


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

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.

Nick B:
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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