Monoprice RCA cables + banana plugs - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 09-02-2009, 10:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Does anyone have any issues with these? I ordered the "solder-free" type of banana plugs and 1/3rd of the ends came off after installation. Seems kind of weak (I followed the instructions in the pdf). Are there any other tips to make a more secure fitting of banana plugs on the speaker wire? I guess I'll have to solder them in.

Also, I was wondering if it's normal for gold-plated RCA cables to have very loose connections to the socket on the back of the pre-amp to the inputs on my Emotiva. My brand-new Emotiva complained there was a short on one of the inputs for a split second as I pushed the amp back into the rack...when I investigated I found it had fallen out and made a bad contact! Bad on you, Monoprice. Why are these fittings so loose? Am I supposed to crimp them tightly with pliars so they don't fall off? my old RCA crap cables were better than this. I nearly lost an 800 dollar investment!

wondering ig anyone else went thru the same things. right now feeling a little silly having ordered all this stuff. The backs of my Klipsch THX Ultra2 KL-650s handle the banana plug inputs, but doing so makes the brackets looser and tend to come out. Come on! I think I was better off with just twisting the wire in like I've always done.

//rant over
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post #2 of 16 Old 09-02-2009, 10:49 AM
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Monoprice's basic RCA cable connectors are nothing to write home about, though they do use decent quality cable... RG59U for the standard stuff. You might want to consider stepping up to their "Premium" cables which have both better connectors and RG6 cabling.

As for the Banana plugs, I've never had any issues with them holding on end of the wire. Can you describe the process you used for attaching them? I would pull my wire through and then ball up the excess so it's larger than the screw shaft... then when screwed into the connector itself it would compress the wire and hold in place. 16awg wire needed a lot of balling and had a lot of play left between the wire and inner barrel... so much, ended up allowing the insulation to go up in the inner barrel. 14awg and 12awg did not have this problem.

If you're having problems, contact them. They are helpful over the phone and will usually make things right. In the past I've had them send upgraded replacement cables and not make me return the faulty cable. They have surprisingly good customer service for a high-volume low-margin company.

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post #3 of 16 Old 09-02-2009, 11:12 AM
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I've used many of the same banana plugs with no issue. Sounds like you may be using smaller ga wire, I've always used 14 or 12 with them. I usually insert just enough wire through the barrel that the strands can be bent over the edge flat against the barrel to where the threads start. Others just create a ball at the end big enough so it doesn't come back through, either method works. Whichever you use make sure you twist the plug end tight which compressed the wire and holds it in place. Otherwise it can slide out.

As for RCA cables I've ordered many from them for years, composite, component, sub, etc and never had an issue. I may have had a loose fit every now and then but that can happen with any cable, it's happened with cables ordered elsewhere also and really no big deal and I definitely don't see it as a bad on monoprice. If people were getting them that fit to tight they'd probably complain about that to. It's a simple thing, quick and easy to correct just ever so slightly crimp it a little but not to much or it'll be to tight.

As for your last sentence, yes you were. If you don't disconnect and reconnect often or need quick access then no need to go to the expense of adding banana plugs.
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post #4 of 16 Old 09-02-2009, 11:45 AM
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I folded them over the lip and then soldered them in place. I am using 12 awg.
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post #5 of 16 Old 09-02-2009, 11:50 AM
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One issue I have had with the Monoprice Bananas has been loss of spring compression on the plug end itself. I ended up replacing the plug ends with some from similar side-insert plugs from Dayton. The Dayton ends had 6 leafs and have always held tight, where the Monoprice ends had 4 leafs and lost compression after about 1 year of use with only a couple of swaps.

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post #6 of 16 Old 09-02-2009, 11:55 AM
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This is why I like binding posts. Insert the bare wire into the post and crank it down - not too tightly - and it stays until you want to remove it. My little dog likes to wander behind the A/V rack - he can't dislodge wires - at least the speaker wires. Since getting a new sub - an eD A5-350 he can't take the 'tour' any more. He has to go back the way he came.

I keep thinking I should get some spade lugs but I've had no problems with bare wire into binding posts. The old spring loaded terminals were not so easy to use.

When all else fails - RTFM!

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post #7 of 16 Old 09-02-2009, 12:11 PM
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Hi,

Sorry for any difficulties with any of our connectors. I'm going to report the looseness issue with the RCA connectors to our purchasing department to see if there's anything we can do to improve them. However, I will admit, the molded connectors on the RG59 cable are fairly generic and won't have a tight a grip as the compound connectors on our premium cables. If they are just not working out, you might give the premium cables a try. In the meantime, you might try the following tricks.

The main issue with using a thick gauge coax cable like RG59 with RCA's is that with bundled cables, when you bend the cable, one connection will put pressure on the adjacent connector causing them to pull out. One trick is to fold the cables over to create a turn rather than bending them side to side. This way, the connectors maintain alignment. Another trick is that since the cables are molded together, they can easily be pulled apart. Just pull back the retaining band and gently pull them apart, this will give each connector a little more independence of movement from each other and reduce the pull one applies on the adjacent connector.

With the banana plugs, folding the wires over as already suggested is a good idea. Another would be to remove the plastic polarity indicator bands and just relying on the markers on the speaker wire.

If the leafs become loose from repeated use, please use our online return system to request replacements. The banana plugs are covered by our lifetime warranty and we want our customers to remain happy with their purchases.

Same goes for all our other products. If it fails, let us know so that we can replace defective items and work on ways to improve them.
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post #8 of 16 Old 09-02-2009, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monoprice_01 View Post

Hi,

Sorry for any difficulties with any of our connectors. I'm going to report the looseness issue with the RCA connectors to our purchasing department to see if there's anything we can do to improve them. However, I will admit, the molded connectors on the RG59 cable are fairly generic and won't have a tight a grip as the compound connectors on our premium cables. If they are just not working out, you might give the premium cables a try. In the meantime, you might try the following tricks.

The main issue with using a thick gauge coax cable like RG59 with RCA's is that with bundled cables, when you bend the cable, one connection will put pressure on the adjacent connector causing them to pull out. One trick is to fold the cables over to create a turn rather than bending them side to side. This way, the connectors maintain alignment. Another trick is that since the cables are molded together, they can easily be pulled apart. Just pull back the retaining band and gently pull them apart, this will give each connector a little more independence of movement from each other and reduce the pull one applies on the adjacent connector.

With the banana plugs, folding the wires over as already suggested is a good idea. Another would be to remove the plastic polarity indicator bands and just relying on the markers on the speaker wire.

If the leafs become loose from repeated use, please use our online return system to request replacements. The banana plugs are covered by our lifetime warranty and we want our customers to remain happy with their purchases.

Same goes for all our other products. If it fails, let us know so that we can replace defective items and work on ways to improve them.

Glad to hear this. I have very loose banaplug leaves in new plugs from your company. Some were fine, but I'd say 30% very loose.

Thank you very much

Fury
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post #9 of 16 Old 09-02-2009, 04:04 PM
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I have mostly monoprice banana plugs, no problems at all. I also have the premium monoprice cables with no problems. Only get the premium cables from monoprice. It takes some practice setting up the banana plugs. I have the screw in kind and a couple of side screw screw ins.
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post #10 of 16 Old 09-02-2009, 05:23 PM
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I had the Monoprice premium RCA cables and noticed a light hum/buzz through my speakers with using them. Testing each one, one at a time, half of the cables where causing a hum and the other half wasn't. For the price I paid I wasn't going to complain and I ordered and replaced them all with a 5 channel RCA cable kit from Bluejeans cables and no noise with them. Bluejeans are a definite step above Monoprice cables and they will make them to the exact size you want. I do however use Monoprice cables for everything else with no problems (HDMI, DVI, Optical, and S-Video). I think the ground wire might of been faulty in some of my Monoprice cables.
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post #11 of 16 Old 09-02-2009, 06:54 PM - Thread Starter
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I am using 12 gauge wire (from a spindle of 100', also from Monoprice) and since soldering is no problem for me, I'll do it that way to feel better about the connection strength.

As for the RCA ends, they are the premium ones, I made sure I didn't want the low end ones because that's what I already have. I figured for an extra couple bucks I could have some better quality ones (definitely cheaper than buying local). I'll just crimp the ends tighter. It just seemed wierd that so-called audiophile shoppe's premium cables don't seem to make a tight connection without extra diligence by the end user (particularly when a loose connector can result in a catastrophic failure of expensive gear).

I have ordered from Monoprice in the past and have generally been very happy. I might replace these RCA jobbies if I'm not thouroughly satisfied by the weekend when I have more time to fiddle with this stuff. Thanks for answering anyway.

Bottom line : RCA ends are way too loose on the premium cable ends, and "solder-free" banana plugs probably require soldering. Not a big deal, but I'd check on those 3 feet RCAs, Monoprice, there is something wrong with having to crimp your RCA ends to your amp to avoid it short-circuiting. Doesn't really inspire confidence.
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post #12 of 16 Old 09-03-2009, 09:28 AM
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Setting the tension on the premium connectors can be a little tricky. We've hae instances where the same cables were loose on some equipment and tight on others. When they are too tight, people complain that they can't remove them or that the grip is so tight that it could rip the jacks off of their equipment.

The connectors will grip in two ways, the outer conductor sqeezes the female jack and the pin in the middle is split so it will exert tension on the inside of the connection. To tighten, just pinch in the outer conductors a bit and splay out the center pin a little. That should exert more pressure and make them harder to pull out.
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post #13 of 16 Old 09-03-2009, 09:45 AM - Thread Starter
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I'll try that! I figured there must have been a technical reason for the looseness. This makes sense. Although, whoever has RCA terminals on their equipment that's of larger radius than the spec should be dragged into the street, tarred and feathered.

Specs are there for a reason, no?
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post #14 of 16 Old 09-03-2009, 09:59 AM
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What can be done to adjust the very loose banana plugs (just hanging in the connection)?

Thank you very much

Fury
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post #15 of 16 Old 09-08-2009, 10:34 AM - Thread Starter
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so, to recap :
-loose RCA plugs, fixed (pincered them till they were tight enough)
-banana plug wire attachment, soldered, now OK

now I believe one of the plugs is too loose as far as the squishy spring part goes. so, the same issue others are having. I might try using one from a spare, or some kind of hack solution. If I had to buy banana plugs again, I probably wouldn't buy these because of this weak spring issue. Everything else is fine. (although, I ordered 5 pairs and only got 3, so I'm not sure if there was a mistake in the ordering or the shipping, or they were out of stock). It's not worth me worrying about, really, except if/when I decide to order from monoprice again, at which point I'll ask for the extra plugs I paid for.
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post #16 of 16 Old 09-08-2009, 03:06 PM
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If any of the banana plugs are unusually loose, just use our online return system to request replacements.

We have automated the returns procedure to make the process easier and more efficient for our customers. Please log onto your account on our website. From there you will see a “Request Refund/Replacement” link on the left column of the page. Click the link, select date range and the order from which you have items to return and follow the prompts. Thanks for your cooperation.
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