What is your preferred speaker connection? (bare wire, spade, or banana plugs)

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by MACKIETHEMONITORMAN, Oct 31, 2022.


    MACKIETHEMONITORMAN Active Member Thread Starter

    I was wondering what people's preference is when it comes to connection methods. I personally use bare wire I would like to try banana plugs most of my setup is vintage and I'm not able to use banana plugs. I'm not sure about spades I have not tried them I will get around to them someday...
  2. MGW

    MGW Less travelling, more listening

    Scotland, UK
    Banana plugs.

    Without any form of gain control!
  3. banana plugs; easy to use and to clean imo
  4. Paul Van

    Paul Van Forum Resident

    I've been bananas for quite some time, but I do like the simplicity of bare wire.
    danielbravo likes this.
  5. Tom Littlefield

    Tom Littlefield Forum Resident

    New Hampshire, USA
    Bananas always...
    Wellsco and danielbravo like this.
  6. Morbius

    Morbius Forum Resident

    Brookline, MA
    Banana plugs.
    Wellsco and danielbravo like this.
  7. enfield

    enfield Forum Resident

    Essex UK
    bluesky likes this.
  8. C10

    C10 eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we may die

    Sonoma County, CA
    bluesky likes this.
  9. Ntotrar

    Ntotrar Is that a beer I hear?

    Tri-Cities TN
    Banana, but spades can make a tighter connection.
    Ingenieur likes this.
  10. Lenny99

    Lenny99 The truth sets you free.

    Clarksburg WV
    I like banana plugs.
    Wellsco and danielbravo like this.
  11. Eigenvector

    Eigenvector Forum Resident

    Southeast PA
    First choice: Spade connectors. Bare wire for everything else.
    Ingenieur and Tim 2 like this.
  12. macster

    macster Forum Resident

    San Diego, Ca. USA
    Spades on the speakers bananas on the amp end.

    RWAudio, Mcginty2020 and Bill Mac like this.
  13. drh

    drh Talking Machine

    :bdance: when possible; they largely avoid any chance of a stray wire strand's creating a short.

    Now, how long before somebody raises the question, "So what's the sonic effect of red vs. black banana plugs?" :whistle:
    dennis1077 likes this.
  14. jbmcb

    jbmcb Forum Resident

    Troy, MI, USA
    Bare wire, and that's all my maggies will take unless I crimp in some kind of connector.
  15. Tim 2


    Alberta Canada
    Spades always give the most positive connection. I have used locking banana's when there was no choice.
    Tullman and bruce2 like this.
  16. Clonesteak

    Clonesteak Forum Resident

    Kalamazoo, MI
  17. Ilusndweller

    Ilusndweller S.H.M.F.=>Reely kewl.

    Columbus, Ohio
    In theory bare wire is best as it minimizes extra/unecessary metal/metal interfaces.

    This is THE best speaker cable/speaker interface. A large surface area of contact *and* it maximizes the "real area of contact":"apparent area of contact" ratio. Real area of contact= metallic bonding. Not to mention no unnecessary metal/metal interfaces unlike bananas, spades, and solder.

    "seamless from end to end and without traditional, sound-degrading soldered, welded, or crimped connectors"

    FIDELIUM SPEAKER & INTERCONNECT CABLES. Thin foil (ribbon) design derived from electromagnetic wave and waveguide physics to minimize skin-effect phase errors. The skin effect properties of FIDELIUM are up to 33 times superior to copper or silver.

    Having said that, do I think I can hear differences? No. Do I think there are some (with really, really sweet systems) who can? Yes, but not a lot.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2022
    Tajo1960 and Boulder Bob like this.
  18. coolhandjjl

    coolhandjjl Embiggened Pompatus

    Banana. It’s easy for me to unplug the cables from the speakers and drape them up and away so the cleaner doesn’t have to worry about them laying on the floor behind the speakers
    danielbravo and George P like this.
  19. Ingenieur

    Ingenieur Just a dog looking for a home...

    Back in PA
    Hydraulically crimped full round Cu lug

    mitchius, Merrick, CoryG85 and 6 others like this.
  20. Ilusndweller

    Ilusndweller S.H.M.F.=>Reely kewl.

    Columbus, Ohio
    From a theory point of view, I think spades are better than bananas. Why? It is all about creating metallic bonds and one can tighten spades with much greater forces/pressures than the outward force a banana provides. This will create more bonds. Having said that, my main system uses bananas. I like talking theory, but dont sweat it. And as mentioned I dont think I could hear differences bw any of the connections.
    shirleyujest, Lenny99, Rick58 and 3 others like this.
  21. Audiofan1

    Audiofan1 Forum Resident

  22. curbach

    curbach Some guy on the internet

    The ATX
    I find spades aesthetically pleasing, but I can’t say I’ve ever done any experimenting to see if I perceive any sonic advantage.
  23. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    I use banana plugs, but the recent entrance of a curious, active kitten into our home has me rethinking that. I’d think she could manage to pull a plug out of a speaker (I’d think by accident, not like she’s intending sabotage or something), which could then come to rest on the other plug or terminal, which of course could be disaster when I next turn the amp on. So far, I’ve just been taking a look back there before turning stuff on, but I may consider moving to spades just for the physical security.
    Ingenieur likes this.
  24. allied333

    allied333 Audiophile

    Bare wire
  25. Ingenieur

    Ingenieur Just a dog looking for a home...

    Back in PA
    Wire works fine. It may be the best for a single conductor.

    Clean all surfaces
    Strip ~ 1.25"
    Poke it thru the hole and wrap it around the binding post 1 full turn. Make sure no insulation is pinched under the nut.
    Tighten well
    danielbravo likes this.

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