Spades or bananas connectors?

Hallo out there,

Which connector would you recommend me between my speakercables and my single wire speakers (Dynaudio)? Spades or bananas? The speakercables is Supra Sword.
In the case of signal transfer to speakers less is more- bananas
I prefer bananas because of the convenience. I can't speak to which is technically better but I do know I have never heard a difference in sound between bananas and spades.
Bananas for me. They are more practical and after years of trying different connectors, I can hear zero difference between the two.
I agree with the other posters concerning bananas, but not just any banana! By far, I prefer the BFA style banana such as these used by Jeff Day of 6Moons fame to create his White Litning Moonshine cables:

BTW, they appear to me to be identical to the Z-Plug banana used by Nordost.

These type of bananas provide a very secure connection as they provide constant outward pressure on the inside of your binding post, so they can not loosen over time like spades. Also, they provide great contact area over the entire surface of the banana, unlike those bananas that use a spring on the outside to maintain pressure.

They are very good and very inexpensive. Give them a try....


I haven't experimented myself, so I am just relaying information from two friends who are high end dealers. For convenience, dealers love Banana plugs because they change out gear all of the time. However, neither use banana plugs because they find spades to be substantially better.

I actually got to hear a pair of small spendor speakers outfitted with a pair of extremely large binding posts from Australia that where silly expensive (sorry, I can't recall the brand name). The matching spades were thin, but also really big so they had a large contact area that corresponded with the large area of the binding posts. The improvement in dynamics and bass response was shockingly big -- you could not imagine that these were the same speakers as the ones equiped with OEM spades.
In spades is Spades. IMHO, bananas are convenient but do not allow for the same contact surface as spades.
Bared end termination.
Spades.Almost always.
I am getting increasingly frustrated (and bored) with the same topics repeated because someone was too lazy to do a search.

Less than two months old:
Don s, just pass them by and you won't get frustated and bored. :)
I always thought this was an interesting question to be overheard by a non-audiophile . . . "Spades or bananas?"
Imagine the reaction . . . "What tha . . .?"
It's not a big deal.

In a series of blind tests not a single poster here could tell if he (she) was listening to spades, bananas, or bare wires.

Buy and use what is convenient.
Don_s, I can understand your frustration at seeing the same questions posted over and over but, in fact, that's absolutely necessary for forums like this to accumulate good information. No single thread is going to contain the best answers to the question.

When a question is posted it's usually visible only for a day or two and gets pushed down the list quickly by newer posts. It may be that you're lucky and the people who actually have good information happen to see it on a given day but it's just as likely that it will be seen only by the uninformed but highly opinionated.

This isn't an encyclopedia, or even Wikipedia. It's amazing that there's as much great information as there is but, in part, that's because the same questions get asked over and over and, eventually, the good information gets sifted out.
Have to agree with Don S - is everyone's search function broken?

Best way to break in speakers, spades or bananas - and no, there isn't much new stuff DO A SEARCH and find the same answers over and over and over (and over).

Maybe there's only so many questions in audio, but my gosh, can't anyone try a search and find the dozens or hundreds of threads on the same subject and use that instead of the endless repetition?
If people are so frustrated by the repeated questions, why don't they just skip these threads and move on?
Why this great discussion about frustrations over duplicats issues. It was not that there was the issue. The question was: Spades or bananas? So, move on...
I use bare wire ends.....
Bare wire... why introduce yet another physical contact (barrier?) in the audio chain?
2 reasons for not using barewire from hi-fi point of view:

1]The metals get oxidized very rapidly and result in deterioration of sonic transfer especially at the extreme frequencies.You will lose the 3-d image , the emotions of the performers will be missing and the ambiance of the hall will also be gone.These are the things we hold dear to our heart,andcan easily be heard in very transparent systems.

2]The amount of stress induced on the wire will be much greater.stressed wire produce muffled sound.

the solution?Use the best connectors you could afford.Bocchino and WBT{nextgen series are especially good for banana] make the best connectors IMHO
BFA bananas for me...
Let's clear some misconceptions shall we?

By: Nelson Pass

"Copper and aluminum oxidize quickly and oils from our fingers find their way to the conductor surfaces, causing poor contact; so on more than one occasion the dramatic improvement provided by an exotic cable has merely demonstrated the extremely poor quality of the previous cable's long neglected connections. Wire connections can age, and anyone wishing to accurately evaluate the newer cable's improved quality should first renew the contacts on his current set. Banana plugs and five-way binding posts make excellent connectors as long as they are kept clean; however, while the connector's plated surface resists corrosion, the wire to the connector interface can become bad and should be periodically checked, especially if it is subject to motion."

"Speaker wire terminations are optional and largely for convenience, as bare wire ends work just as well electrically, and may work better mechanically as adding a termination introduces another potential point of error in installation or of failure over time."

Doesn't the use of dissimilar metals create ultimate changes in cable conductivity?

The brass that is used in most cable connectors.... Bananas, Spade lugs, etc. have a conductivity rate of about 40%. Is that how YOUR cables are terminated?

Check out the conductivity of "Audiophile" beryllium coppers on the link below:[/url]

Should we now discuss the capacitance issues sometime created with termination?

BTW.... Cable terminations, no matter what type/brand, require the SAME amount of cleaning/maintenance as any bared end termination. If you may think not, clean yours and be surprised.


I think Nelson pass's statement might be true if you are referrinng to nonspecialized connector manufacturers.

BTW have actully TRIED Bocchino or WBT connectors,or it is just an armchair observations?
Fafafion. Agreed. "Specialty termination manufacturers are using better materials in terms of electrical conductivity, resonance control and minimizing the introduction of capacitance issues.

Personally? I don't own an interconnect that doesn't use DH Labs "Ultimate RCAs". I absolutely subscribe to the logic of quality connectors.

However, for speaker? K.I.S.S.

Of course, the physical/mechanical connection capability is the most demading element in this equation. But how much you wanna bet that removing those wonderful connectors you speak of, wouldn't actually reveal a higher degree of as you stated?:

"the 3-d image , the emotions of the performers will be missing and the ambiance of the hall will also be gone.These are the things we hold dear to our heart,andcan easily be heard in very transparent systems."

A properly silver "tinned" speaker cable will have a higher degree of susceptibility to oxidation. It will require regular cleaning as ANY connector. However, keep in mind, when using a high quality connector.... It still needs a method of physical connection (solder joint). That becomes the area of concern and no different in terms of maintenance
than any bared end.

And ultimately? You will need to be comfortable with the signature that ANY termination component will impart on the sound in which the unterminated cable will be devoid.

My favorite sonic signatures are the ones you can't hear. :>)
Coming back to the question between spades and bananas, my speakers accepts both and I can tell you that the spades outperforms the bananas when music is played in my system.
As stated the bananas are more convenience but for what, it is being unplugged weekly.
I know I have listened to music with both configs.
I hope this is a direct answer to your question.

(A lot of Agon members seems to get upset with repeated questions, poor spelling/grammar, incorrect terminologies and so forth. This is not only an English speaking group.
What really disappoints me is members who are answering questions with their guesses, or they read it somewhere written by someone else. If you haven't listened to it then you have no comment)
In a series of blind tests you couldn't hear the difference among spades, bananas, and bare wire.

Don't kid yourself.
"In a series of blind tests you couldn't hear the difference among spades, bananas, and bare wire."

Q Tips are generally available for less that $2.00 a box.

They would more than likely change the results of such a test.
I totally agree with Audiofeil. And, IMO, if you can hear a difference, then the spades and/or bananas are coloring the sound. If that's what you want, so be it.

Wake up and listen to the music and quit fretting the little stuff....
Bare wire is distinctly better, I have tried spades and banana plugs and couldn't believe the difference when I took them out of the system. I am using silver litz solid core cable, and oxidation is not a problem. I think cable stress doesn't degrade the sound whatsoever and people are trying to get you to buy the expensive connectors to make a sale. No connectors are always better, since even if there would be a stress factor, that would not have an effect as great as adding a spade or banana plug.
You could never tell the difference in a series of blind tests.

Don't kid yourself into thinking you could.
My experiences tell me that as long as there is that big, fat, hunk of metal called a binding post in the circuit it doesn't matter too much what the termination is. Realizing that removing the binding posts is not feasible for most people, I vote for getting the termination that works best for a given situation. I am assuming that which ever terminal connector is chosen is of good quality.

For those who can do this, try bringing the wire from the speaker out and connect directly to the speaker cable. You can use the binding posts to pinch the wires together. It is very surprising how much is lost going through those posts.
That's why Vandersteen speakers don't have binding posts.
Dynaudio is difficult for spade connectors,bananna is the best way to go with Dyns..
Audiofeil - I might never tell the difference but purists prefere crimped (not soldered) spades. I installed AQ spades by crimping and then soldering with 4% silver solder heating wire first to avoid expansion (loosing oxygen free connection). Audioquest does not solder their ICs to avoid additional metal (they weld). I know, I know - I won't be able to tell in blind test but I don't see reason not to - doesn't cost. Each small thing like that might not bring noticable change but it adds up - like peeling almost clear layers from pink sunglasses. Each peel is not noticable but eventually glasses will become clear.
That's nice in theory Kijanki and I'm glad you view cable terminations through rose colored glasses.

It all seems so appropriate.

Good luck getting to 20-20.
Damn! - I should've said "Blue glasses"

20-20 vision? You must be kidding! It's going other direction and fast.
Vandersteen used to provide only for bananas. Now, some of them at least, only allow for spades of a certain size. The only thing you don’t get is a choice.

While theoretically there may be a difference, and logically spades appear to be a tighter connection, it’s actually about surface area, not pressure. I use bananas because they are more convenient and I hear no sonic benefit from going to spades (my mit cables allow me to use either). Imho, there are just too many variables for there to be one correct answer in any event.

edit:  lol - just realized I’m posting to a 10 year old thread. Oh well...