Newbie speaker connection question

Discussion in 'A/V Interconnects, Cables & Power Conditioning' started by corysmith01, Feb 2, 2005.

  1. corysmith01 Senior Audioholic

    corysmith01
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    Hi all-

    So I've been poking around and I'm trying to understand some equipment before I purchase it. As it stands, I have speaker wire, stripped to expose wire, running to my speaker posts. From what I've read, this is the least desireable way to hook up your speakers.

    So, I've been reading a lot about banana connectors and am interested in getting some. My question is, these seem to be sold/mentioned in the same breath with binding posts. My question is, do I need both? It looks to me like the binding posts screw into the posts my speaker came equipped with, then the banana snaps into that? Is that correct, or do I only need the banana's? It's all very confusing and I can't really find any literature that explains how to connect. There's a lot of descriptive information about the products themselves, but not a lot on how to implement them.

    If it helps at all, my speakers are Boston Acoustics CR95's.

    Thanks in advance for any help offered up.
  2. JohnA Audioholic Chief

    JohnA
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    Goin' Bananas

    All you need are the banana plugs...and just buy the type that you screw on, unless you know how to solder. :rolleyes:

    My receiver lacks the center holes in the binding posts for the banana plugs :( , so I have stripped wire (like you) on my receiver and bananas on my speakers. :)

    It works for me!

    Good Luck :D
  3. MDS Audioholic Spartan

    MDS
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    I wouldn't say that bare wire is the worst connection. It actually makes a fairly good connection. The downside is that it's easy to let a stray wire from one speaker post touch another and cause a short and over time the wires may oxidize. Still, I've never had a problem.

    To use banana plugs, your speakers and receiver need to have binding posts. Typically they are described as 4-way (accept bare wire, banana plugs, dual banana plugs, or pin connectors) or 5-way (which accept spade lugs in addition to the other 4 types). Nearly all newer receivers and speakers already have binding posts. To use banana plugs, you just screw down the cap on the binding post and then plug the banana plug right into the little hole. Banana plugs are convenient, but they don't necessarily make a better connection than bare wire.
    MDS,
  4. corysmith01 Senior Audioholic

    corysmith01
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    Thanks for the replies. Yeah, I just went and downloaded the manual from Boston and it says my speakers come equipped with 5-way binding posts.

    So now thes question is, are banana plugs recommended for a connection? If exposed wire into the speaker isn't necessarily a problem, is there a benefit (other than doing away with stray, exposed wires) to having a banana plug?

    Thanks.
  5. MDS Audioholic Spartan

    MDS
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    The main benefit to banana plugs is convenience. It's super easy to connect and disconnect them anytime you need to move or reconfigure your equipment. Quality banana plugs make a good solid connection too, although you will never be able to tell any audible difference between any of the connection types.

    One word of caution from my experience. You can get cheap banana plugs from all sorts of places including Radio Shack, but they are a pain to crimp properly and sometimes they don't fit nicely - either too tight and require significant force to seat or way too loose and easily fall out.
    Try to get the locking type or at least ones with a set screw to hold the wire firmly. Parts Express has some that look good and other people have stated they like. Monster banana plugs are easy to use but of course cost twice as much as the competition.
    MDS,

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