Ebay bananaplugs (nakamichi fakes)



Audioholic Intern
This review is for the Nakamichi banaplugs widely available on eBay for around $1 each.

The plugs arrived to me well wrapped in in bubblewrap after a 2 week journey from China. Opening the bag all plugs were in tact, showing a nice gold colour and solid constructions.

Installation of the speaker wire (Mavros) proved a snap with my audiophile grade goldplated teflon wrapped flathead screwdriver set. Two gold plated screws secure the wires into position to ensure a tight connection between plug and wire. I also experimented using conventional screwdrivers but wasn't able to achieve a satisfactory connection so I did not persist with these.

A quick listen to the bananaplugs with my 804D speakers made it immediately obvious that burn in would be required before critical listening could be done. The sounds was both reticent and cold. I set the speakers to play until about 200 hours of burn in, making sure to rub the bananaplugs with audiophile grade gold specked burn in cream in the mornings and evenings.

After 200 hours burn the bananaplugs opened up dramatically and I noticed an immediate improvement in my overall system sound. Bass was more extended and detailed, mids had a more airiness and spaciousness about them, while the treble was now realistic and clear without ever being harsh.

Playing one of my favourite songs, "Never gonna give you up" by Rick Astley (SACD), the bananaplugs recreated the dynamic opening sequence without missing a beat. Missing beats had been a serious issue with my previous system which would occasionally drop to a 3/4 time signature, missing entire beats from Rick Astley's masterpiece. (Rick Astley was both an accomplished vocalist, keyboardist and drummer, and was rarely known to miss a beat)

The banaplugs required careful pairing with other components. Using audioquest cables with these bananaplugs "Never gonna give you up" was almost unlistenable and took on the tonal quality of a mariachi band playing Bob Dylan covers inside a tin shed. The Mavros was a better pairing, producing a warm, honeyed sound with good bass extension, but was perhaps a bit too forward in the mids. I was able to rectify this however by using de-magnetized lead plated stainless steel weights at 4 inch intervals along the speaker cables secured by audiophile grade equalizing tape.

Conclusion: These are a great buy. Although I prefer not to mention price in a review, it is hard not to observe that these bananaplugs produce a sonic signature that would rival many plugs 3 to 4 times more expensive. Careful pairing with other equipment is essential. While a budget ($4,000) amp would get the job done, they would definitely benefit from dedicated monoblocks for each channel.

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