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Speaker cables from scratch for the beginner


Standard Member
So here I am at home having spent £1250 on an amp, speakers, various video cables and £50 worth of speaker cable. 23 meters in all.

What on earth do I have to do to get them inside my lovely Kefs 2005.3.

I'm assuming that first off, I need to cut the speaker wire to size.
Then I guess I'll have to use a knife and cut away the plastic shield to expose a couple of inches of the internal wiring.
This is I assume goes inside the speakers.
And I have to do exactly the same to the other end which goes inside my Denon 1909.

Some other questions
Speakers and Amps call for black and red inputs. My wires don't differentiate between the two.
Isn't there a quicker way then cutting away the plastic on each wire?
Exposing the insides of the cable makes them fray as you place them inside the speaker sockets. How can I stop this happening?

I should be happy having spent this much money but right now I've got a headache :eek:


Distinguished Member
You want to get some banana connectors to terminate your cables. There may be a little cover in the centre of your speaker connections on your amp and speakers. Remove this to plug the bananas in.

Does you cabling have writing or a mark (every foot or so) on one of the pair of wires or possibly a ridge? This is how you remember which is which, it doesn't matter which you choose as the red or black, just as long as you are consistent at both ends.

Edit: the link is for an example of banana plug, not necessarily a reccomendation. Google will give you a whole host to choose from.
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Established Member
Banana plugs are all well and good (I have bought some along with my speaker wires). However, I am going to be wall mounting my speakers and a lot of such speakers cant handle banana plugs (since they will protrude too far at the back). only found this out after ordering the speaker wires/banana plugs (doh!)

I am still waiting for my speakers but have been informed that banana plugs wont work!! so make sure they work for you - if they do, let me know if you want some brand new banana plugs!!!


Prominent Member
Anyone know whether the Kef's 2005.3 take Banana plugs?

Yes they do :thumbsup:
you first have to remove the little black plastic plug in the end of the connections.


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Established Member
Exposing the insides of the cable makes them fray as you place them inside the speaker sockets. How can I stop this happening?

Once you've exposed enough wire (15mm or so), twist it around itself reasonably tightly. That should hold it snugly enough as you push it in.

Other than that, practice at steadying your hand so you don't touch the sides! :)

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Hello streetspirit

First off make sure your Amplifier is not connected to a power socket when your making any speaker cable connections.

If your cable is the Shotgun style (looks like 'oo' when you look at it end on) you will find one side of the cable either has a little ridge running along it or as others have said one side only will have an identifier printed on it.

It doesn't matter what side you use for Black or Red as long as you stick to the same side throughout the system.

Cut back the minimum length of the outer jacket as required - you don't want lots of 'bare' wire showing.

As you have found you have to have a steady hand and a decent knife or wire cutter to ensure you don't cut through the inner copper cores of the cable - some designs of cable are far better than others when it comes to preparing the cable ends.

With the copper exposed simply twist the copper into a neat point with no stray ends - you'll find the cores will twist more naturally in one direction depending on how they are 'laid' within there outer jacket.

I'd be tempted to do without Banana plugs at the Speaker ends of the cable as the binding posts on the KEF are easy to work with.

At the AV Amp it is easier to use Banana plugs - though its not impossible to go bare wire if you are careful.

Whatever you do ensure there is no copper showing outside of the binding posts - you never want the +ve and -ve cables to touch.


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