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banana plugs + speaker connection probs

Discussion in 'Cables & Switches' started by jimmy_b, Nov 3, 2004.

  1. jimmy_b

    jimmy_b
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    Hi all

    I'm sure these will seem like pretty basic questions so forgive me!
    Have just purchased 2 lengths of unterminated chord carnival biwire cable and 12 banana plugs for my stereo system. Have the following questions:

    1) What's the best thing to do with the end of the cable before inserting into the plugs. I stripped off the outer sleeve and expected to find a simple bundle of wire but instead it is just a few strands rapped around an inner plastic tube. Do I simply cut away the inner plastic tube too and then twist the wires together?
    2) You can choose whether to insert the wire into the banana plugs from the side or from the end. I can see that if you put the cable into the side hole then the top of the plug simply screws down and clamps the wire. However, if you pass the cable through the end of the plug (i.e. through the hole that runs the length of the screw itself) then what do you do with the cable end that comes out. I can't see how to make a suitable cable section that the screw can clamp down onto.
    3) The banana plugs seem quite loose in the speaker terminals to me but this is the first time I've used them so I don't know how tight they should be. They wobble freely from side to side once in the hole and if I pull out 1 cable plug then this seems to dislodge the others a little. Is this normal? How tight a fit should they be? Perhaps my plugs are just naff - they were £1 each from e-bay.

    Many thanks in advance
    Jimmy
     
  2. Mylo

    Mylo
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    I can help you on one point. The hole you mention that runs through the length of the plug is for stacking the plugs one into another not for the wire to go in.
     
  3. jimmy_b

    jimmy_b
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  4. Mylo

    Mylo
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    I use the same plugs :) The way the picture shows does actually work, but requires you to fold the wire before you screw the top down fully which could in theory weaken it and only works if your cable is 4mm or less. My plugs also feel a little loose when fitted to my speakers but not loose enough to worry about. :)
     
  5. jimmy_b

    jimmy_b
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    Mylo - again many thanks.
    That's 2 of my questions answered so can anyone shed any light on the other? Namely the best way to bare the wire and place it in the plug. Currently I have removed the outer sleeve to bare about 1inch of cable, then cut away all the inner plastic too (just leaving the 6 wires). After this I have twisted all the wires together and folded them over to create a half inch long, double thickness wire bundle. I have then placed this bundle into the side hole of the banana plug and clamped it hard using the screw.
    Can someone let me know if this is this OK or not!!

    Regards
    Jim Barton
     
  6. Mylo

    Mylo
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    Right, I've done a bit of research on Chord Carnival as this was intriguing me as well. It appears the plastic core of the speaker cable is the special bit. The wire is actually twisted round the core inside the cable. Going on this info I would strip away the outer sleeve as you have done but leave the strands round the plastic core and just insert it into the banana plug. Then just screw down gently onto it which will give you a large contact area :thumbsup:


    Regards, Mylo :)
     
  7. jimmy_b

    jimmy_b
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    Mylo:
    Thanks again. I have read the blurb on the chord website about the special inner tube (though I hadn't considered what I'd do when I actually came to terminating it!) and understand that this is supposed to be "special". However, my instinct is that although this tube shields the wires along the length of the cable, I would have though we want to make sure that the plug is touching as many of the wires as possible in order to get the best connection. Given that the 6 wires are evenly spaced around the inner tube I would have to squeeze this quite hard in order to get all the of the wires touching the plug.
    I have e-mailed Chord about this but no reply yet. Looks like I will have to phone them up.....

    Jimmy
     
  8. jimmy_b

    jimmy_b
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    Hi

    For anyone that might be interested, I received an e-mail response from Chord about this and also spoke to one of their technicians.
    My initial solution was correct! Apparently, the central plastic and associated separators are only for keeping the wires separate along the length of the cable and should be cut away at the terminations to leave just the wires themselves. These should then be twisted together to make the best possible contact when inserted into the banana plug.

    The guy also said that it was important to have each biwire pair as alternate cables, i.e. black = 1st and 3rd cable, red = 2nd and 4th (or vice versa). Unfortunately I didn't ask him why this was. I presume that this is the same for all biwire cables - maybe someone can confirm this and tell me why it is.

    Well done Chord. Great cable and good customer service! :thumbsup:

    Jim
     

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