Banana plugs on Amp vs. bare wire - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 15 Old 07-23-2017, 06:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Banana plugs on Amp vs. bare wire

I recently read an article (Sound and Vision?) and the editor mentioned that he NEVER uses banana plugs to connect his amp on his permanent system - only gear that he swaps out often.

I've been using banana plugs for years anywhere possible. Is there some unwritten rule about only using bare wire for amp connections, for a permanent setup?
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post #2 of 15 Old 07-23-2017, 06:22 AM
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I use banana plugs only on the AVR ends of my cables just because it's SO much easier to plug/unplug them in the confines behind my entertainment center. I use the bare wire to connect to my speakers. I've heard of people not liking banana plugs because it just adds a connection to the stream the could degrade the sound. That's really all I've heard on the subject.

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post #3 of 15 Old 07-23-2017, 07:06 AM
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I'm really interested in this topic as I was just about to order 20 banana plugs. Hooking up receivers with bare wire is a pain, but if it sounds better I'll do it!
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post #4 of 15 Old 07-23-2017, 07:14 AM
 
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Originally Posted by tedhontz View Post
if it sounds better I'll do it!
It doesn't sound better, or worse. I've never used plugs. I only swap out connections when I replace a component, so for me they serve no purpose.
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post #5 of 15 Old 07-23-2017, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by tedhontz View Post
I'm really interested in this topic as I was just about to order 20 banana plugs. Hooking up receivers with bare wire is a pain, but if it sounds better I'll do it!
I think some people don't believe it makes as good contact as other methods, but I doubt it makes any real world difference. I have both spades, banana plugs, also some bare wire(work in progress), and they all seem to make fine contact to me.

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post #6 of 15 Old 07-23-2017, 07:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tedhontz View Post
I'm really interested in this topic as I was just about to order 20 banana plugs. Hooking up receivers with bare wire is a pain, but if it sounds better I'll do it!
These media bridge plugs are my favorites.
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post #7 of 15 Old 07-23-2017, 07:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by drh3b View Post
I think some people don't believe it makes as good contact as other methods, but I doubt it makes any real world difference. I have both spades, banana plugs, also some bare wire(work in progress), and they all seem to make fine contact to me.
I noticed in your equipment list the Emotiva XPA3 gen3. I'm ordering that today for LCR's. Are you happy with that amp? I have have an XPA5 gen 2 for my other channels.
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post #8 of 15 Old 07-23-2017, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Schuyler Bain View Post
I noticed in your equipment list the Emotiva XPA3 gen3. I'm ordering that today for LCR's. Are you happy with that amp? I have have an XPA5 gen 2 for my other channels.
It's been great for me, I play at massive levels sometimes, never gets warm.

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post #9 of 15 Old 07-23-2017, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Schuyler Bain View Post
These media bridge plugs are my favorites.
Now this is getting more complicated. I was trying to find out if using banana plug VS bare wire has an advantage or not. Now I just got done looking at the Mediabridge banana plugs and they are very different from the SEWELL banana plugs that I was using. My plugs have two little screws that require a small screwdriver to contact the wire. So now its Mediabridge type VS Sewell type VS bare wire. One thing I remember about using bare wire is that the speaker wire gets oxidized and turns hard and brittle forcing me to occasionally remove the wire from the receiver and cut a new end on the wire to keep the sound quality good. The SEWELL banana plugs seemed to conceal the bare wire from oxidation. I still don't know what to do now.
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post #10 of 15 Old 07-23-2017, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by tedhontz View Post
Now this is getting more complicated. I was trying to find out if using banana plug VS bare wire has an advantage or not. ....
Well, yes there is an advantage. Ease of connection and less or no chance of a missed wire strand shorting causing an amp shut down.
Sonically, none.
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post #11 of 15 Old 07-23-2017, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Schuyler Bain View Post
...

I've been using banana plugs for years anywhere possible. Is there some unwritten rule about only using bare wire for amp connections, for a permanent setup?
No, there isn't a written or otherwise rule for using or not using. Sort of dealer's choice. And one is more convenient than the other.
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post #12 of 15 Old 07-23-2017, 10:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tedhontz View Post
Now this is getting more complicated. I was trying to find out if using banana plug VS bare wire has an advantage or not. Now I just got done looking at the Mediabridge banana plugs and they are very different from the SEWELL banana plugs that I was using. My plugs have two little screws that require a small screwdriver to contact the wire. So now its Mediabridge type VS Sewell type VS bare wire. One thing I remember about using bare wire is that the speaker wire gets oxidized and turns hard and brittle forcing me to occasionally remove the wire from the receiver and cut a new end on the wire to keep the sound quality good. The SEWELL banana plugs seemed to conceal the bare wire from oxidation. I still don't know what to do now.


The sewell and mediabridge plugs are functionally the same but the mediabridge plugs are much stronger. For every 20 sewell plugs I had one that the head stripped put from the body. The mediabridge plugs are much stronger and where the sewell is a plastic body the mediabridge is some sort of non conductive metal.




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post #13 of 15 Old 07-23-2017, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by tedhontz View Post
One thing I remember about using bare wire is that the speaker wire gets oxidized and turns hard and brittle forcing me to occasionally remove the wire from the receiver and cut a new end on the wire to keep the sound quality good.
I've used bare wire for many many years at this point, and haven't felt the need or seen any difference in re-terminating cables personally.
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post #14 of 15 Old 07-23-2017, 11:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Newbie789 View Post
The sewell and mediabridge plugs are functionally the same but the mediabridge plugs are much stronger. For every 20 sewell plugs I had one that the head stripped put from the body. The mediabridge plugs are much stronger and where the sewell is a plastic body the mediabridge is some sort of non conductive metal.




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My Sewell plugs aren't plastic but you've, along with the 5 stars on amazon, convinced me to buy the Mediabridge banana plugs. I have a new receiver on the way (Denon AVR-X4300H) and I just don't like using bare wire so hopefully I'll be happy with the MediaBridge banana plugs. Thanks guys!
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post #15 of 15 Old 07-23-2017, 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by tedhontz View Post
My Sewell plugs aren't plastic but you've, along with the 5 stars on amazon, convinced me to buy the Mediabridge banana plugs. I have a new receiver on the way (Denon AVR-X4300H) and I just don't like using bare wire so hopefully I'll be happy with the MediaBridge banana plugs. Thanks guys!


Probably a good call. The sewell deadbolt plugs are plastic. They look like the mediabridge plugs in the pics but they are black instead of silver




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