banana plugs

would i see an improvment of any sort by using banana plugs to connct to my reciever ? have the just going in direct at the moment :smashin:
 

Crustyloafer

Distinguished Member
No, they are for convenience only. An AV receivers when there are lots of speaker terminals close together they also offer a greater degree of wiring safety too as they reduce the risk of shorting any of the connections.
 

Karma

Active Member
It depends on the banana plug!

The reason banana plugs are used is to prevent oxidisation of the copper in the speaker wire. Going "direct" allows the copper strands in the speaker wire to oxidise (when they go a dull brown, rather than looking shiny and salmon pink) leading to a less than perfect electrical connection. This degrades the sound quality.

There are banana plugs that are fitted to the speaker cable by a dealer, using a crimping machine, that applies enormous pressure to the spade connector of the plug fusing the metal together to provide a totally air-tight connection. This by definition prevents oxidisation.

The other method (and probably cheaper) is to buy some banana plugs and solder them to the cable which serves the same purpose.

Of course that does depend on your soldering skills. A poor soldered joint will also degrade the sound.

The alternative is to carry on doing what you do now and keep an eye on the cable, when it no longer looks "fresh" then trim off the end and carry on using the cable with the new bared end.

K
 

Dave

Distinguished Member
You can also tin the end of the cable with solder which prevents oxidisation.:smashin:
 

Karma

Active Member
Crustyloafer said:
No, they are for convenience only.

Crustyloafer! I'm surprised! and with that amazing system.

I have to disagree. Whan I was in audio, cable cleanliness, and electrical efficience was hammered home all the time.

Including cleaning the plugs (even gold ones) regularly.

K
 
:thumbsup: cheers everyone
 

Karma

Active Member
eviljohn2 said:
I'm with Crusty on this, if anyone can actually genuinely measure or hear a difference with these different connection options then they're a better man than me. There are other factors such as speaker placement which are far more important to deal with first IMO. :)

Depends on how good your hearing / system is.

I have been at, and supervised, demonstrations whereby changing cables, or using dirty connections, makes quite a difference and noticed by listeners in blind listening tests.

I shan't get into "genuinely measuring" as the human ear is an amazing peice of equipment that uses the brain to "interpret" what it hears. Something no amount of equipment can do.

It just needs educating. And that can be done by listening to a lot of equipment and comparing it to the original, live instrument.

Similarly, I can't tell the difference between Tetleys or PG. There will be tea tasters out there who would be easily be able to do so.

Just because I can;t doesn't nean there isn't.

K
 

Mylo

Distinguished Member
Any oxidation that would result in degradation of the signal would take ages to happen. Maybe after months of listening to a system in a hostile environment this would be detectable, but in most systems I doubt you'd notice.

Good quality plugs offer peace of mind as you know you have a good solid connection and no stray strands of wire to worry about.
 

Karma

Active Member
Mylo said:
Any oxidation that would result in degradation of the signal would take ages to happen. Maybe after months of listening to a system in a hostile environment this would be detectable, but in most systems I doubt you'd notice.

Good quality plugs offer peace of mind as you know you have a good solid connection and no stray strands of wire to worry about.

I agree. But not necessarily in a hostile environment. It may take six months, it may take a year. But, lets be honest how often do many people go diving around the back of their audio system. I have assumed that the system is set up to ideal listening conditions.

I have many times been on the end of a distressed call telling me that a system sounded nowhere near as good as it did in demonstration. On visiting the client I find that a speaker is tucked behaind the TV and one behind the sofa behind the listening position because "we don't want to see them"

I was going to qualify my original post, but didn't want any implied or perceived criticism to affect what is just sound audio principles. (And I will stress my background is audio, not AV - to which I have come late)

I'll put that qualification down now though.

The higher the quality of the equipment, the more obvious the difference. In fact Dolby Digital, compared to the very best uncompressed audio, will probably have a greater degradation on the sound.

That said, no matter what the system, good audio principles still apply.

If there are two identical systems (whatever the provenance) one set up badly, scrimping on ancilliaries and thrown together, and another set up with care, with a nod to cleanliness and siting - the one set up carefully will sound better.

K
 

Mylo

Distinguished Member
Karma said:
But, lets be honest how often do many people go diving around the back of their audio system. I have assumed that the system is set up to ideal listening conditions.
K



:blush: with a lot of us suffering upgraditus this is more common than you think ;)
 

Karma

Active Member
Mylo said:
:blush: with a lot of us suffering upgraditus this is more common than you think ;)
Ain't that the truth!!

Here I am, saving up for a brace of Krell amps and the missus wants a new dress.

She got a new one four years ago.....what's that all about? :D
 

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