Bananas or spades?

Discussion in 'System and Room Tweaks' started by Try1256, Dec 26, 2017.

  1. TubeHiFiNut

    TubeHiFiNut Administrator Staff Member

    Bare wire is a young man's game. ;)

    Us old guys want convenience. ;)
    marantzfan and MikeT. like this.
  2. MikeT.

    MikeT. Senior Member

    Agree with that 100%. Too much bending over or crawling around with bare wire, unless of course you have stand mount speakers. With bananas, whoop, there it is!! :biggrin:;)
    TubeHiFiNut likes this.
  3. TubeHiFiNut

    TubeHiFiNut Administrator Staff Member

    Amen to that.

    The knees, neck and lower back ain't what they used to be. ;) :)
  4. I've got some of those - Pomona dual Bananas! They've got some set screws to tighten down on the wires but they can be a bit wonkely.

    Fran604g likes this.
  5. Fran604g

    Fran604g Just Call Me Junior

    Another problem is the size of the wire gets cramped if too large. I like to use no smaller than 18ga.

    Those set screws will come loose.
  6. Ernie

    Ernie Activated

  7. JP

    JP Junior Member

    I use bare when I don't need convenience. You want a gas-tight seal on the mating surfaces, which malleable copper torqued down a bit under a binding post gives you.

    BMWCCA Junior Member

    Since finding them to terminate my 6-Moons White Lighting cable project, I always recommend Neutrik dual bananas. For something from Neutrik they are extremely affordable, come in several colors, and will accept large wires gracefully with an integrated strain-relief/lock. Very well thought-out and I've owned probably every Pomona-style dual banana I could find. Among the worst were the Monsters where the huge thumb screw would invariably come loose.

    Here are the Neutriks used in my 6-Moons White Lightening project:
    SPL db, MikeyFresh and Fran604g like this.
  9. dowto1000

    dowto1000 Junior Member

    Bananas need to be avoided, except in your diet for trace minerals.

    Its basically an instrument connector, not an audio connector. A locking banana is a bit better, but the whole concept is wrong, and bettered by bare wire - or PROPER spades. Unfortunately, they don't make the Gold XLO spades any more.... proper spades.

    We can not solder-in speaker wires. ONE place in the system, we need the ability to reverse phase to properly hear back program material recorded out of absolute phase.

    In 2018, all my system wiring is soldered ( multiple paralleled runs of m22759/11 12 AWG ) except at the amp's output, where I use vintage XLO spades, Wonder Soldered, and Cardas Speaker posts from Percy.

    Have fun, I do !!

    Dowto1000....not 26,000.
  10. TubeHiFiNut

    TubeHiFiNut Administrator Staff Member

    @dowto1000 - I remember the old XLO spade connectors. Really robust.

    You can really get a solid connection.
    MikeyFresh likes this.
  11. Prime Minister

    Prime Minister Site Owner Staff Member

    What's an XLO spade?
  12. SPL db

    SPL db Junior Member

    The speaker cables I have use pin connectors terminated at the ends which works great with the five way binding posts.
  13. ICTWoody

    ICTWoody Junior Member

    I use both. I prefer banana's for their ease of use. I prefer the wave style ones that have a much larger contact area than the segmented kind of banana's.

    If a rig is going to be setup for a long time, and not one of my rigs I'm constantly tweaking and swapping on, I'll use some Caig product to protect the contacts a bit.

    In my main rig I use both banana's and spades on the amp ends cause I'm running a true bi-wire setup. One set of speaker cables gets clamped down on the amp end and run to the low inputs on my speakers, and then banana's plug into the binding posts and run to the high input. It's banana-to-banana on the HF, and spade-to-banana on the LF. I guess I'm pretty equal opportunity.

    - Woody
  14. Thermionics

    Thermionics Post Whore In Training

    Realistically, the difference in contact area between spades and lockable bananas is negligible in most cases.
  15. dowto1000

    dowto1000 Junior Member


    You post :

    Realistically, the difference in contact area between spades and lockable bananas is negligible in most cases.

    - - - - - - - - -

    Well, its not just contact area. A banana plug has a flexible thinnish set of " tines " whereas a spade has a substantial chunk of metal, not thin metal, non-flexed, not being " bent", but rather, capable of being torqued down upon.

    My present audio Mentor advised me that the NLA XLO spades are the best-sounding spades that act as speaker wire end terminations. The best sounding speaker posts were the old NLA Edison Price ones, better sounding than the Cardas Speaker Posts we buy today. He and I will never use bananas, nor did Mr. Bob Fulton, my first mentor - who derided them. Bob designed a for-audio speaker connector, before he passed away.


    I am willing to buy used Edison Price music posts at almost any high asking price that is reasonable. Anyone got a set or two to sell, used ??? I have the XLO spade lugs already.
  16. dowto1000

    dowto1000 Junior Member


    Email me sometime, if you would be interested :

    I have a natural ( all vegetable ) juicing - for- health recipe that a person can go on, between regular ( hopefully healthy ) meals, and in three weeks of doing this, you will know how great it is.

    I used it to fully-cure arthritis in my hands, within 90 days, and I still do this now, especially as I am getting older, to help with all the things you discuss above.

    Works like gang busters David ..

  17. TubeHiFiNut

    TubeHiFiNut Administrator Staff Member

    Appreciate the offer, Jeff.

    I have a nice Breville Juicer but never got the hang of it.

    Son and I are getting signed up for Tai Chi classes. Should help considerably.
  18. MikeyFresh

    MikeyFresh Moderator Staff Member

    Originally XLO Electric spades looked like this (photo taken from an eBay listing):

    XLO spade.jpg

    This spade was made of high purity copper and direct gold plated (no nickel substrate), and was also available in a somewhat rarer unplated pure copper version. The pure copper version oxidized easily, and needed to be cleaned of any such oxidization periodically with anything from steel wool, to Caig DeoxIt (as do the pure copper Edison Price Music Posts).

    The lack of any nickel substrate is actually quite apparent in the above photo, the dull looking finish is what gold looks like when applied directly to copper without any intermediate layer of nickel. When brand new they looked more like this:


    XLO Spade description.jpg

    Eventually, various different and cheapened versions of XLO spades replaced the above. I believe the originals were custom made for XLO Electric by Burndy, something not too dissimilar to these.

    Although they could of course be soldered to cables, these XLO spades were best terminated using a high pressure ratcheting crimper.

    The asking price for a high quality crimper can range from pricey to ridiculous, though a very nice quality said to be German made ratchet crimper is offered by Analysis Plus to this day for just over $36. I own that tool, only useful with pure/soft copper spades such as the aforementioned XLO however, brass spades can't be crimped this way because brass is too brittle and will shatter under very high pressure.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2018
    TubeHiFiNut and Prime Minister like this.
  19. cableguy

    cableguy Junior Member

    Z plugs actually have more contact area than a spade. Z-bananas get my vote.
    For locking bananas, Furutech are the best I've ever tried. And, I've tried them all ;)

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