Originally Posted by V=IR
If you've never used them before, I recommend you go with the banana plugs.
They're the most easy to use, and are not any more difficult to attach, than the
spades or pins. There are different brands/styles of banana plugs out there. Some
are a little better made, and thought-out, like the Monster Cable versions, but they
are also a lot more expensive. For your power levels, I would think pretty much any
version, you pick up, will do well. Try to stick to gold plated, if possible. Ebay, Amazon
etc ... have lots of options available. Most attach to a stripped wire end, using set
screws, or capture the splayed wire between two parts of the plug body. Better quality
versions will include paint/marking to identify which is the positive/negative terminals,
and will often have more spring contacts. Also useful is any sort of cable strain relief.
Some versions grab the insulation, others can be tie-wrapped to the plug body (dual
plug versions). I like to "tin" (solder) the stripped wires, if I am using the set screw
versions (more set screws the better), but that's not mandatory. Solder just keeps
the oxidation down a bit, and improves the connection between the wire body and
the plug. If you do not solder, you might consider reattaching you banana plugs
every few years (cut the speaker wire, strip and re-attach). Pay close attention
to the speaker wire markings. There is usually some way to identify one conductor
over the other. You want the positive and negative terminals, on the speakers, to
match up with their equivalents on the receiver. Also be careful to assure that there
are not any strands of wire protruding from the plugs. Shorting an amplifier output is
a bad thing.
I've never used that style of stand. It looks pretty well made, and appears
well suited for the Energy set. The triangular base may be a bit of a tipping
hazard, if you have the poles extended, and you are on carpet. It also depends
on how heavy are the speakers. You can always attach a stabilizing board to the
bottom of the stands, if necessary. Without seeing how they attach to the speaker,
I can't say if they will have a noticeable impact on the sound quality. Probably not,
as long as they are not allowed to vibrate. They look like a pretty good deal,
especially since you are on a tight budget. In the $30 range, I have found this
style Sanus stand works well. The spiked feet help isolate the stand from the carpet.
They are sturdy, hide the wires, and look pretty good. They come in different heights,
if 24" is not tall enough.http://www.amazon.com/SANUS-SYSTEMS-...5387685&sr=8-3