Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice
When I use connectors they're Speakon, on my pro-sound systems, where the cable is connected before the gig and disconnected afterwards. On my home systems I don't regularly connect and disconnect the speakers, so I don't use connectors.
Originally Posted by arnyk
Spade lugs make no sense to me. For about a buck more I can get a 4 pole Speakon. My speaker cables either have bananas because that's what they mate with on receivers and/or speakers, or Speakons because they are head and shoulders above everything else, or bare wires because that's what is on my current AVR.
I agree with both of you that the Speakon is by far the best way to connect speaker wires to amps or loudspeakers, though the problem is that commercial AVRs and consumer multichannel amps don't have Speakon outputs, and off-the-peg domestic speakers rarely have Speakon inputs. Every DIY or bespoke speaker (or amp) should definitely use them, because they're not only better but also quite inexpensive. For example, here's the link between my left flanking sub and left speaker. (I color code my speaker wires per CEA-863B, which is more OCD than anything else on the speaker end, but very useful on the amp end. Neutrik makes Speakons with appropriately-colored boots for left-center-right though no purple for subs or appropriate colors for side/rear surround.). )
As for when spade lugs make sense, let me give you an example. You want to fit an 18" deep amp
inside a 19" deep cabinet,
while being able to slide the cabinet's front door in front over the amp, and have the ventilated back panel cover the wiring in the back of the amp. (As well as the wiring for your DSP sub controller, and the wiring for your multisub amp.).
Bananas will stick out, and you won't be able to close the cabinet if you use them. Spades only add the thickness of the spade itself to the depth of the amp, so spades you're good to go. (Well, with spades on the speaker wires, and interconnects with short barrels.)
True, tinning bare wires works just as well to keep the wire together as spades do, but for someone who does not solder things very often reasonably-priced screw-compression spades end up being the better value.