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  • Speaker Connections

    Hello from Oz and Happy New Year to all

    I've always used Dayton or similar binding posts on my speakers, but would be interested to hear your views on other methods.

    In my COVID lock-down web surfing, I found a site and some videos which extolled the idea of a hollow copper tube into which you insert the leads from the amp and into the speaker. This supposedly 'takes a big chunk of metal out of the signal path' and makes for clearer sound. A/B testing on the video says there's a noticeable difference. That may or may not be true, of course I don't know.

    However, if it is true - that removing the binding posts or cup connectors from the system is desirable - why not just connect or solder the leads together and save the rather considerable damage to the wallet? Would the direct connection to the amp fry something in the crossover?

    Thank you

    Geoff

  • #2
    The connections should certainly be low resistance, but moreover should remain that way with time. Direct soldering is effective, but rather inconvenient. My solution is ring terminals under screw-down (actually wrench down) posts, using copper crush washers. I use Vampire binding post connectors to accomplish that, but a good old Cinch-Jones style screw terminal block works fine too, for very little cost. I understand that more conventional solutions like Speakon connectors work well too.
    Francis

    Comment


    • Geoff Millar
      Geoff Millar commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for those suggestions, not sure if we can get Vampire connectors here

      Geoff

    • fpitas
      fpitas commented
      Editing a comment
      Maybe not, but the screw terminals are ubiquitous for high current circuits. Crimp some nice terminals on the wires and screw them down. Some dielectric grease and a copper crush washer will guarantee you have a long lasting connection.

  • #3
    Originally posted by Geoff Millar View Post
    In my COVID lock-down web surfing, I found a site and some videos which extolled the idea of a hollow copper tube into which you insert the leads from the amp and into the speaker. This supposedly 'takes a big chunk of metal out of the signal path' and makes for clearer sound. A/B testing on the video says there's a noticeable difference. That may or may not be true,
    This is just more audio lunacy, "a big chunk of metal" is usually a really good conductor for audio frequencies. What about the terminals on the amplifier, or the ones on the speaker drivers themselves you can't bypass all of those. Corroded connections are the real problem and to combat that gold plated connections are a good solution.. if you want something to do.

    Paul O

    Comment


    • #4
      Yep, gold, platinum, and rhodium for a non corroding connection. Other metals are not awful if cleaned when needed, like brass, copper, nickel, and silver.
      And- if this is in reference to Danny Richie and his "tube" connections, just ignore and abhor them as unreliable due to some product reviews. They aren't any better than what we've discussed herein ad nauseam, nor are they worth it or the hassle.

      Later,
      Wolf
      "Wolf, you shall now be known as "King of the Zip ties." -Pete00t
      "Wolf and speakers equivalent to Picasso and 'Blue'" -dantheman
      "He is a true ambassador for this forum and speaker DIY in general." -Ed Froste
      "We're all in this together, so keep your stick on the ice!" - Red Green aka Steve Smith

      *InDIYana event website*

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      My blog/writeups/thoughts here at PE:
      http://techtalk.parts-express.com/blog.php?u=4102

      Comment


      • #5
        Originally posted by Geoff Millar View Post
        This supposedly 'takes a big chunk of metal out of the signal path' and makes for clearer sound. A/B testing on the video says there's a noticeable difference. That may or may not be true, of course I don't know.
        It's not true. It's patently false. For it to be true the signal path would have to operate within the realm of the speed of sound. It doesn't. It operates within the realm of the speed of light.

        www.billfitzmaurice.com
        www.billfitzmaurice.info/forum

        Comment


        • #6
          ^ Absolutely correct, Bill.

          The sound is delivered to the speaker via electrical current flowing at almost the speed of light (186K MPH) with varying voltage.

          While certainly not an elegant solution yet highly effective is simply tinning the ends of your stripped speaker wires both exiting the speaker enclosure and connection to the amplifier distribution wire by way of wire-nuts and snugging them down tightly.

          Cheap too.



          Comment


          • #7
            Thank you all for your comments

            I wasn't so much wondering about the adequacy of my connections, more whether other methods are worth considering. Without much research or knowledge, I've always thought that binding posts were the way to go.

            At $50 per set (about $80 kangaroo dollars, plus post) I wouldn't consider the tube product anyway: however, directly connecting or soldering the wires (if that were a good idea) would only cost some swear words when the time came to move the speakers.

            I too am very sceptical of various audio stuff like 'super cables', cable elevators, green felt pen on CDs, etc and your informed views are most helpful, as always!

            Geoff

            Comment


            • #8
              With binding posts - get the hexagonal shaped ones that you can apply a wrench upon.

              Snug them down on bare wire/un-tinned leads, wiggle the cable back and forth to settle the strands then snug with the wrench again and repeat one more time.

              You will be amazed by the difference it will make.

              Tinned leads need only one snugging and one wiggling and check again with the wrench.

              Thanks for posting this, Geoff!

              Comment


              • #9
                Ring terminal on a bolt or screw coming out the back of the cab, wing nut to tighten it down. Cheap.

                Comment


                • Geoff Millar
                  Geoff Millar commented
                  Editing a comment
                  That's a good suggestion: that's how I've connected the binding posts to the crossover wires, works fine.

                  Geoff

              • #10
                More total BS. Sorry Geoff.

                djg is suggesting the perfectly viable solution ( bolt and nut) that was used by about everyone until the magazine writers fell in love with gold plated banana jacks because they were expensive and had nothing useful to say to fill up their pages between the expensive ads of the products they were "reviewing".

                DAMAGE something? Come on now, think about what you are asking!

                Bolt and nut, good hex binding post ( a bolt and a nut with a plastic cover) or good old terminal block is a better long term connection than any of the expensive crap for sale or magical fix. A tight screw with a tined lead or soldered ring lug provides a gas-tight connection. Gold or lead/tin lead on tin plated terminal block is irrelevant. You are talking about .000x resistance vs .00x Ohms. Of course, if a PA system and you have to move it every night, Speakon's are preferable to be quick. Only on RF connectors for micro-volt signals like antennas do we use things like the old JAN spec silver plated type N connectors.

                I like the large through mount terminal blocks. https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail...G730UQxA%3D%3D
                About as perfect as you can get.

                Even cheaper is just drill a hole, run your wire through and solder it to the crossover. A bit of caulk on the hole. Fractions of a cent and the most perfect connection as there is no connection. Then just cut your 16 gauge zip cord ( the most perfect speaker wire) to length to connect to your amplifier. ( Which likely is connected inside from the PS to the output by multiple low pressure easily corroding connectors with 10s of times the resistance than your connection at the speaker, and the drivers being connected with mere fast-ons to the crossover. )

                Comment


                • Geoff Millar
                  Geoff Millar commented
                  Editing a comment
                  "DAMAGE something? Come on now, think about what you are asking!"

                  I thought about it, of course, but also thought that there must be some reason why people don't do it. I really like djg's suggestion.

                  Geoff

              • #11
                Folks laughed at me when I used wire nuts one time when I didn't have enough binding posts lying around. I told them that they were special cryogenically treated audiophile grade wire nuts. Then they sounded much better ;-)

                But seriously - I do sometimes use wire nuts. As long as you use the correct size they work just as well as lug or banana (TBH, probably better than a banana). They're just not so convenient to use.

                Comment


                • #12
                  Originally posted by LIDAR View Post
                  Folks laughed at me when I used wire nuts one time when I didn't have enough binding posts lying around. I told them that they were special cryogenically treated audiophile grade wire nuts. Then they sounded much better ;-)

                  But seriously - I do sometimes use wire nuts. As long as you use the correct size they work just as well as lug or banana (TBH, probably better than a banana). They're just not so convenient to use.
                  Definitely better in the long run. I can't use bananas for crucial stuff in the lab because of their flakiness. Wiggle them a bit and everything changes. They're definitely a case of convenience trumping performance.
                  Francis

                  Comment


                  • #13
                    I once had some spring loaded silver plated bananas that came with my Ditton 44 speakers. They were great but eventually got weak. In the lab, half of everything used banana plugs. Just think of them as expendables to be replaced every now and again. My milliohm meter uses them. No problem. But if I am pulling 10A from my bench supply, I use spade lugs.

                    I doubt wire nuts provide a gas-tight connection, but a good connection never the less. They are NOT suitable for use under the dash of your MG; almost as vile as Scotch-Loc connectors.

                    Fancy gold binding posts are for marketing, not engineering. Can you imagine if Stereophile reviewed a $2000 speaker that had a simple terminal block? Just go back and look at al the BS about bi-wire and how it was so strongly demanded by reviewers. Most of them probably think gold is a good conductor!

                    Comment


                    • #14
                      I didn't know PE had these through mount terminal blocks.

                      NTE 25-B100-02 2 Pole Solder Lug Type Barrier Terminal Strip

                      Comment


                      • #15
                        Is the metal the bolt is made of or the plating going to have any measurable effect on sound quality?

                        Comment

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