Gold-plated Banana Plugs - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 12-01-2011, 02:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi,

I will be hooking up a new 5.1 system soon using banana plugs from monoprice. These plugs came w/ gold-plated metal grips so I was concerned about them. Should I cover them with electrical tape to prevent a short?
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post #2 of 22 Old 12-01-2011, 05:18 AM
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Not sure what you are concerned about but if it makes you feel better (and you don't mind the left over sticky) then go for it.
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post #3 of 22 Old 12-01-2011, 05:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitabata View Post

Hi,

I will be hooking up a new 5.1 system soon using banana plugs from monoprice. These plugs came w/ gold-plated metal grips so I was concerned about them. Should I cover them with electrical tape to prevent a short?

Standard banana jacks are placed 3/4 inch apart on center. The only time they will touch is if you hold them together while changing them in or out. As always, one kills power when changing cables. Right?

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post #4 of 22 Old 12-01-2011, 05:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William View Post

Not sure what you are concerned about but if it makes you feel better (and you don't mind the left over sticky) then go for it.

Quite the opposite actually . I'd rather not put on extra tape since I got them for the clean installed look in the first place. I'm going to go in this direction since it doesn't seem to be a big problem.
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post #5 of 22 Old 12-02-2011, 04:46 AM
 
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There are two common styles of banana plugs (not counting the various methods of wire attachment)...

One style is a tandem design where the individual plug for each conductor is held apart from one another by use (generally) of a plastic substrate that prevents he two conductors from shorting - save it be placed upon a conductive surface that might provide a conductive bridge between the two conductors allowing a short from occurring.

The other style consists of the use of two separate plugs, one for each conductor. These are not held apart from one another and when unplugged, they can, and often do make contact and short the signal from the amplifier.

If the later is the case, I might suggest either replacing them with the tandem model that avoids the issue, or I would cover the upper conductive portion of the plug (all but the actual insertable pin) with color coded shrink tubing. This will not prevent the pins from shorting as the tandem model does when not inserted into the speaker, thus requiring continued due diligence, but it will provide a modicum of additional protection while avoiding the problems with messy electrical tape.

Personally, I would simply opt for a pair of tandem banana plugs and minimize the risk of the conductors shorting.

Edit: for clarification, as some do not seem to realize this - the potential for shorting is NOT when they are properly plugged in to the speaker! The threat is for when the individual plugs are NOT plugged into a speaker and the connectors then make contact and create a dead short to the amp!
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post #6 of 22 Old 12-02-2011, 05:18 AM
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Is there a difference in sound quality?
my speakers have gold inputs, so I get the point of buying gold bananas but my receiver has non gold inputs.

So what would be the point of buying gold when its going into a non gold input??

I like the idea of tandem plus for the receiver since ask the inputs are so close together. easy and faster to move !

I enjoy the look of the gold.

Comments?
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post #7 of 22 Old 12-02-2011, 05:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saltysteven View Post

Is there a difference in sound quality?
my speakers have gold inputs, so I get the point of buying gold bananas but my receiver has non gold inputs.

So what would be the point of buying gold when its going into a non gold input??

I like the idea of tandem plus for the receiver since ask the inputs are so close together. easy and faster to move !

I enjoy the look of the gold.

Comments?

It has always been my understanding that gold is totally inert and non-reactive, so there's no risk of corrosion or electrolysis when it contacts other metals, even when conducting electricity.

I could be wrong though.

And too lazy for wikipedia at this hour.
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post #8 of 22 Old 12-02-2011, 05:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Bull View Post

It has always been my understanding that gold is totally inert and non-reactive, so there's no risk of corrosion or electrolysis when it contacts other metals, even when conducting electricity.

I could be wrong though.

And too lazy for wikipedia at this hour.

You are about 75% correct. The other 25% is marketing. Gold sales more and cables.
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post #9 of 22 Old 12-02-2011, 06:34 AM
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@saltysteven

There is no sound difference
Make sure your receiver can handle the double banana some can't (speaker post spacing not the same).
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post #10 of 22 Old 12-02-2011, 07:02 AM
 
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my speakers have gold inputs

Do you really think it's gold? or Cadmium chromate?
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post #11 of 22 Old 12-02-2011, 07:15 AM
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And yes then there is the corrosion issues, but I wasnt really referring to that. I think thats only when you have humidity involved.

I really just wanted to know about the quality gold to gold vs gold to receiver silver.

I did read that silver is best, then copper, than gold as far as conductivity goes.

So tandem or separate is just personal preference?

Tandem seems easier but doesn't look as fancy.

Comments?
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post #12 of 22 Old 12-02-2011, 08:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackbuzz View Post

@saltysteven

There is no sound difference
Make sure your receiver can handle the double banana some can't (speaker post spacing not the same).

Thanks, I just picked up a Yamaha so I'll be sure to check spacing. monoprice cheapys or another brand or all the same stuff??
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post #13 of 22 Old 12-06-2011, 01:32 PM
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Bump
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post #14 of 22 Old 12-06-2011, 02:37 PM
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I can't answer about the quality differences. Some that I had in the past became sloppy, they lost their tension. Since then I have used Spade connectors at the speakers, and Banana (single not dual) at amp.
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post #15 of 22 Old 12-11-2011, 12:26 PM - Thread Starter
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I've been using my banana plugs for over a week now w/o any problems. No extra tape and no plastic separator inbetween needed. My initial concern was reading some of the marketing for those tandem plugs and hearing how some people had actually taped their individual banana plugs to avoid shorts.

After reading up some more, I've decided this is just something not worth worrying about. Thanks everybody for your replies!
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post #16 of 22 Old 12-22-2011, 02:25 PM
 
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If you really want a good banana plug you should just pick up some of Sewell's Silverback banana plugs.

These have the dual screw lock with 24k gold plating. They are just like the Nakamichi plugs that are widely regarded as the superior plug. If you check them on Amazon they are not only the number one banana plug, but also have perfect 5 star reviews.

I bought some a couple of months ago on a slickdeal after doing some research and they are great. Very secure connection and fit my receiver great.
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post #17 of 22 Old 12-22-2011, 04:47 PM
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Often gold is (thinly) plated over cheap pot metal. If you must use banana plugs, it might be worth looking for some that use copper as the underlying metal. And as others have said - always turn off power before changing connections - you'll get away with switching live 90+% of the time, but one day you will get damage.

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post #18 of 22 Old 12-22-2011, 05:45 PM
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I don't like bananas, seems like an hold-over from the olden days, I like the spring-loaded kind, unfortunately they seem to only made them for small gauge wires.
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post #19 of 22 Old 12-24-2011, 12:01 PM
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The only good bananas I've used are the locking type from GLS Audio. All the other ones loosen up after awhile and keep pulling out. The monoprice bananas are probably the worst.
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post #20 of 22 Old 12-24-2011, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kensmith48 View Post

The only good bananas I've used are the locking type from GLS Audio. All the other ones loosen up after awhile and keep pulling out. The monoprice bananas are probably the worst.

They are too large. Blue Jeans http://www.bluejeanscable.com/store/speaker/index.htm has better ones from Germany.
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post #21 of 22 Old 12-24-2011, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kensmith48 View Post

The only good bananas I've used are the locking type from GLS Audio. All the other ones loosen up after awhile and keep pulling out. The monoprice bananas are probably the worst.

I like and use the GLS Audio (black chrome) as well.

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post #22 of 22 Old 01-02-2012, 12:02 AM
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WBT banana plugs are also a great choice.

FYI: gold plating doesn't mean anything if the coated metal is not a particularly good conductor. Gold plating is all too often used on top of really cheap metals.

"So long, and thanks for all the fish!"
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