Speaker cable termination

I have a pair of old Audioquest Midnight 2 speaker cables and I need to change the termination from banana plugs to spade lugs. Could anyone recommend where to purchase the spades ? Would the quality of spades make an audible difference ? Can I solder it myself easily ? Is it worthwhile to send it back to Audioquest for re-termination ? Thanks.
Personally I would send them back to Audioquest. Otherwise the Audioquest spades are amongst the best I have heard and very cheap compared with the very best spades.
Yes, send them to AQ. I had Nordost re-terminate some of their cables for me, and it was work every penny.
your cables aren't worth sending to the manufacturer for re-termination. lugs are readily available in all qualities (at least in the us) & are easy to install on your own. if you have trepidations as to your soldering skills, find a friend, ham radio hobbyist or cable dealer to do the job.
Buy the Audioquest(I forget what the model name is) lugs. They are silver, and were used for all speaker cables, from Indigo on up. They are cheap. Solder them yourself(or have your local tech do it) with silver solder.
Forget the spades and go with a direct connection if possible - it is just one less element the signal has to pass through.
I agree 100%.
The only downside to bare wire connections is that the ends will need to be cleaned as general maintenance to prevent oxidation. I use and prefer bare wire connections for my speaker cable and currently use De-Oxit though I read that Kontact is a superior one step product. I do not power down when cleaning and am very careful.
Dekay, I used to worry about this also. But, if your amp and speakers have good quality connectors(which can be tightened down a good bit), you are in effect making a gas tight connection. Now I do not say this is the same force being applied during crimping(cold welding) with a real crimper(not what is used 99% of the time), but I feel the connection I am making is good. I see metal deformation of the wire, and absence of oxidation at the contact with the speaker or amplifier. By the way, I got a real crimper from the Boeing helicopter assembly plant outside of Philadelphia. See if you can get one of this type. To compare the connection it makes to what most people call a crimper is an absolute joke.
Soldering is not advised; read the Audioquest White Paper regarding cold crimp connections. You can order their high-grade silver-plated soft-copper lugs (in whatever size you need) very inexpensively. However a low budget hand crimper will not give you nearly the compression as what Audioquest (or any real pro quality crimper) can do for you. Those who are mocking the quality of a home-brew crimp are barking up the wrong tree, if they think that hand tightening on a bare wire is any better. And if you plan to change ends occasionally, is definitely not the best approach, but it will work. Midnight is just too good a cable to compromise (unless you're pinching pennies) but cost savings is an insignificant issue, considering the price of your wire, etc.
Trelja: I take a good contact maybe too seriously. I have stripped two of the binding posts on my Castle speakers and they are less than 4 months old. I either need weaker fingers or more self control. I rigged the missing threads with part of a scouring pad to tide me over until I replace the posts with something a lot sturdier. Don't even feel like taking it up with Castle as I would not want to use the same posts again. I plan on running the internal post wire to the outside of the speaker and clamping/binding it with the speakers cable to form a wire to wire connection. I should reiterate that I have not yet experienced oxidation of my copper cables, though I have been warned that it will happen, and of course it will with time. I have cleaned the connections once in a three month period. I live in the LA area pretty close to some areospace shops and also near a small (Santa Monica) airport. I will see if I can pick up a pair/set, whatever you call a crimper. The Kimber cable that I use is brittle, a good crimp would make it more user friendly.