Shielding/Protecting Banana Plugs

O

okay.see

Audioholic Intern
Is it possible to prevent banana plugs from conducting if/when they touch by wrapping the metal housing in shrink tube or electrical tape? Banana plugs that touched in a close terminal setup blew a few fuses in my amps. Luckily that seems to have been the only damage, but it could have been worse I'm sure. Why aren't banana plugs sold with a protective outer layer like all other cable have (RCA)? But most important is will that e-tape solution work so if they're in close proximity I can set my mind at ease?
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Spartan
Depending on the banana plug, the hosing is usually insulated, even if metallic (usually a coated aluminum).
Of course you could wrap with electrical tape of coat with a non-conductive materiel.

I think one of the most important things to keep in mind with all connectors, is the question your post raises:

How did contact happen? Are your cords to short or heavy thus pulling and/or bending the terminals?
I use bananas and make certain that there is no stress on the cables. Even with all that packed in to a relatively tight space, I am not worried as I have made certain that there is minimal risk in cabling getting tugged or the binding posts bending.
Of course, it should go without saying, if you are going to mess with connections in any way: turn it off first! :)
 
O

okay.see

Audioholic Intern
Everything definitely was turned off first, but i do think the banana plugs (under weight of the cable) eventually ended up touching in my case. I even had sound at first for a while before I had no sound at all and that definitely wasn't the situation with the regular old bulk speaker cable with twisted ends inserted into terminals. So I'm not so sure about the housing being insulated with these monoprice banana plugs. I've never encountered this issue in 30+ years until I finally decided to experiment with new cables.

The cables I used were definitely heavier than normal bulk. But I think the weight of the banana plug itself (pip type) may have been too heavy to just stay straight on the spring-type terminals.

Thanks for the quick response! I'm trying to weigh whether or not I should go back to trying the fancy cables or stick with what I know now that I have my amps working again.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Spartan
I use the Affinity series Bananas from Monoprice and also their Choice 12AWG Speaker cable.
 
ellisr63

ellisr63

Full Audioholic
I had some banannas that due to there long length were susceptible to touching, so I took some electrical tape and did a few wrap to ensure they would not contact. Now I use Sewells if I use banannas.

Sent from my SM-G985F using Tapatalk
 
O

okay.see

Audioholic Intern
I did the electrical tape trick and it works like a charm. Why don't they tell you this in product descriptions?!? They should disclose if they're shielded or not and include even a 3"x3" insert with instructions "Do not let these touch at the back of any of your speakers or amps unless shielded with e-tape." Anyway, I learned how to change amp fuses and learned to e-tape.

I just looked at the Sewell plugs and those look great. They even state "non-conductive clear coating on aluminum sleeves." Wassup Monoprice?!?
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
I did the electrical tape trick and it works like a charm. Why don't they tell you this in product descriptions?!? They should disclose if they're shielded or not and include even a 3"x3" insert with instructions "Do not let these touch at the back of any of your speakers or amps unless shielded with e-tape." Anyway, I learned how to change amp fuses and learned to e-tape.

I just looked at the Sewell plugs and those look great. They even state "non-conductive clear coating on aluminum sleeves." Wassup Monoprice?!?
LOL and I thought someone said they were plastic....they do sound kinda plastic-y if you drop the jacket on concrete, tho....

But can't beat their dual set screws IMO.
 
O

okay.see

Audioholic Intern
LOL and I thought someone said they were plastic....they do sound kinda plastic-y if you drop the jacket on concrete, tho....
Those things are straight Doc Brown gold-plated conductive metal.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Spartan
Just for kicks, I grabbed my multimeter out and checked the conductivity of the Monoprice Affinity outer jackets. No love: they are not conductive.
As soon as I touched the gold part: bingo.

And just because I love these 90º plugs:

I use both throughout my system.
 
O

okay.see

Audioholic Intern
I use the Affinity series Bananas from Monoprice and also their Choice 12AWG Speaker cable.
I'm using that "special" Monolith by Monoprice 12AWG cable. I guess it works fine. Probably sound the same as yours.
 
O

okay.see

Audioholic Intern
Just for kicks, I grabbed my multimeter out and checked the conductivity of the Monoprice Affinity outer jackets. No love: they are not conductive.
As soon as I touched the gold part: bingo.

And just because I love these 90º plugs:

I use both throughout my system.
The Affinity ones do have a plastic housing. These don't: Monoprice 1 PAIR OF High-Quality Gold Plated Speaker Pin Plugs, Closed Screw Type - Monoprice.com

It even says this in the description: "Pin plugs make speaker installation a breeze. They are designed for use with amplifiers or speakers fitted with either traditional binding posts or spring clip connectors. Not only is it easier to make the connection on the back of your amp, it is safer, with no chance of stray wire strands creating a short across contacts."

No stray wire strands great! But the entire housing is conductive which is far more conductive surface area exposed than a stray strand or two!!!
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
While bananas are okay, my real preference is SpeakOn connectors/terminals, what I use for diy. Don't think we'll see that much in the consumer arena....
 
O

okay.see

Audioholic Intern
So that is the Cable, and the Pin Plugs you linked to are what you terminated with?
Sorry, just looking for clarification. I definitely am not judging the cable. :) But if the terminations are a problem, I want to make sure we identify that clearly. ;)
That is the cable, and they were terminated with the pin type banana plugs I linked. The problem was the metal non-Affinity version is conductive. Everything works now after wrapping the housing in e-tape.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Spartan
That is the cable, and they were terminated with the pin type banana plugs I linked. The problem was the metal non-Affinity version is conductive. Everything works now after wrapping the housing in e-tape.
Cool. I just wanted to identify specifically for posterity. Anyone looking through threads will see this, and now we have a clearly identified issue. AND, solution!
 
BMXTRIX

BMXTRIX

Audioholic Warlord
The Affinity plugs from Monoprice look to be a similar version to the Sewell Silverbacks. I remember the first time I ever laid hands on the dual screw down banana plug was about 19 years ago. They shipped with Rotel amplifiers and had a plastic (not aluminum) casing to protect the plug. They worked phenomenally well. I've had versions over the years that have appeared to be identical, but most were never built as well as those Rotel plugs were. Not sure who actually manufactured them for Rotel.

The basic concept of two screws locking the cable in place along with a non-conductive cover that is color coded is a no-brainer to me. At some point I found a company I really liked and I picked up a couple hundred. I've been using them with my clients for the last few years and they work great.
 

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