Banana Plugs - solder or screw?

Discussion in 'DIY Corner - Tips & Techniques' started by Daddy Cool, Sep 21, 2006.

  1. Daddy Cool Enthusiast

    Daddy Cool
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    Hi there,

    I've come to terminating my speaker cable with some bananas & I was informed that the screw connection would be fine, but have found that many audiophiles choose to solder.

    I assume that this is to do with resistence etc., so which would provide the better connection? This is my first DIY speaker cable termination. Should I use the screw terminal or solder the banana onto the cable? Many thanks for your help guys.

    Best wishes to all,

    CRAIG
  2. Cavediver Audioholic

    Cavediver
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    I tinned the wire with solder then just used the screw connection on the bannanas.
  3. RH Customs Enthusiast

    RH Customs
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    What bananas are you using?

    RH
  4. majorloser Moderator

    majorloser
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    I personally like crimp on banana plugs used along with speaker wire pants. The type with compression screws are also good.
  5. Daddy Cool Enthusiast

    Daddy Cool
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    Hi RH,

    The product is described as "...Plated in pure gold for maximum reliability; Screw or solder attachment; Suitable for cable up to 4mm; Pin length is 14mm..." brand is Shark. They're a very solid, quite compact banana, just what I was looking for. Pic (not the best) attached.

    Please let me know your thoughts.

    Best regards,

    DC

    Attached Files:

  6. Jack Hammer Audioholic Field Marshall

    Jack Hammer
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    ?? What are speaker wire pants?

    Is there any difference between the compression type that attach the wire from the back, in a straight line, and the ones that attach the wire at a 90 degree angle, through the hole in the side?

    thanks

    Jack
  7. majorloser Moderator

    majorloser
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    These are wire pants. You put them over the ends before you place the connectors on. Gives the cable a clean, professional look. There are advantages of attaching the cable through the side of the connector if your cables will hang. Otherwise the cable has to bend and places extra stress on the binding posts.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2010
  8. hemiram Full Audioholic

    hemiram
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    I myself would always solder anything and everything I could, either with (the best all around)crimping, or not. I've been "playing" with this stuff for nearly 40 years now, and if it's a pain to reach, and you CAN solder it, do it. I've seen and had many oddball issues related to screw/crimp on connectors over the years, and the few minutes/seconds it takes to solder them is well worth it.

    I have a very expensive shortwave radio that had mysterious intermittent problems that couldn't be found by a service tech, even after repeated tries. Eventually, just by accident, I found it myself, one of the crimped cables that connects the two main PC boards was causing the whole thing. I could wiggle the plugs and cause/cure the problem. I ended up soldering the RCA plugs onto all six or seven of the cables and the problem was a bad memory. This radio cost about 1400.00 new, without accessories and used cheap RCA plugs on shielded cables for signal interconnects. The thing is built like a tank, and has no real weaknesses except for those cheap cables! Amazing how companies try to save a dime or two...

    http://www.dxing.com/rx/nrd515.htm
  9. Cavediver Audioholic

    Cavediver
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    • Like Like x 1
  10. sholling Audioholic Ninja

    sholling
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  11. Haoleb Audioholic Field Marshall

    Haoleb
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    Keep in mind if you choose to solder them that you will need a pretty large solder iron to get a good joint. a regular 20 or 30 watter isint going to do it with that much mass. Your best bet is a 100w + solder gun.

    I prefer to solder stuff like that, because it creates a stronger joint. I have never really liked the regular screw types. perhaps higher end ones with bigger screws would work better.

    the ones ive used had two small set screws that compressed into the wire. Thats great and all but it tends to smash the wire down, weakening it and only putting pressure on perhaps 50% of the strands. Try pulling apart a good solder joint. Its not easy.
  12. j_garcia Audioholic Jedi

    j_garcia
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    I've been using the screw type for years with no issues and no accidental disconnects. I use the Parts Express 091-330 - the screw does not contact the wire, it compresses a "bullet" that holds onto the wire without gouging into it. They also allow the wire to hang out the side, so strain relief isn't a big issue with them, as it is with most rear entry screw type. Not expensive and they work great.
  13. Wafflesomd Senior Audioholic

    Wafflesomd
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    Does anyone else find those wire pants just hilarious.
  14. hemiram Full Audioholic

    hemiram
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    Yeah, I'm glad you mentioned it, I thought it was just me. :p
  15. majorloser Moderator

    majorloser
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    The name is funny but they are used on all of the high end cables. They cover up the cut end of the outer jacket and act as a spreader for the two conductors.
  16. majorloser Moderator

    majorloser
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    Cable Pants

    I know this is a poor example (the dreaded Monster Cable) but this is just one example of how cable pants are used.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2010
  17. j_garcia Audioholic Jedi

    j_garcia
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    Actually, "pants" are to give the wire additional strain relief from bending near the termination too. Flexing/bending are the enemy for rear exit wires. I've used them before on some DIY wires.
  18. Jack Hammer Audioholic Field Marshall

    Jack Hammer
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    Just ordered some...

    ...I had tried to get a clean look when I put my cables together using heat shrink tubing. They still looked kindof cheasy. I just couldn't get the shrink tubing to look good coming off of the cable housing and straddling the red and black wires.

    I just ordered some cable pants to clean up the exposed wires in my surrounds. I don't care as much about the ones going into the reciever...for now. Cable pants were cheap, $5.50 for a 10 pack, I wish I'd known about them a year ago.

    I also ordered some of the banana plugs j_garcia mentioned. My surrounds are up against a wall and I'd like to angle them down a little (room layout doesn't allow me to put them any lower). The banana plugs that are I'm using now only accomodate rear wire entry, and as long as I'm taking them off I might as well change plugs and add cable pants. Anyway, I should have them next week. We'll see how long it actually takes me to get around to putting them on.:rolleyes:

    Jack
  19. rampage60 Audiophyte

    rampage60
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    I feel solder is the way to go but then again I'm from the old school. :)
  20. Buckeyefan 1 Audioholic Ninja

    Buckeyefan 1
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    I'm in the solder camp. I find it's permanent, and the plugs are much less expensive than the screw type. It's a good idea to solder bare wire if you're not using any type of termination, to keep the frayed wires from touching the opposite terminal and shorting out your amp. Soldering also prevents oxidation of bare wire. It's not oxygen free once it's spliced open.

    If you decide to solder, take Haoleb's advice and get a good iron. I've not tried the cold heat iron, so I can't comment on it's results.

    http://da.harborfreight.com/cpisearch/web/search.do?keyword=soldering&Submit=Go

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