Unusual(?) spade connection


Hi everyone,

I have seen some speaker cable spade connections on the amp side where one prong of the spade is inserted into the post hole rather than how it should be placed, where you would insert bare wire.  

The old MIT2 biwire cable I have has spades that are too narrow for the posts on my Hegel and Ampzilla monoblocks. I have never had biwire fitted speakers until obtaining a pair of B&W Matrix 801 S2s and would like to "get the whole experience".

I can fit one prong of the MIT2 cable in each of the amp post holes. But I didn't tighten the post cap(?) in fear of bending or breaking anything.

It just seemed rather strange but if there are no reasons against doing this, I could save a lot of time and expense by not needing to purchase cables (or modify the MIT2s).

Is this a bad idea?

Thanks and stay safe everyone!
hleeid
Yeah, bi-wire is a bad idea. But the spade thing will work just fine.
@ millercarbon - Good to know the spade thing will work.
Why is bi-wire a bad idea?

btw. Thanks for sharing the Geddes Youtube link!
Watched it a few times.  I have experimented with sub placements as described in the video.

First thing I noticed was increased overall sound quality by just inching two subs away from their respective corners.

Second thing was staggering the heights of my ceiling facing subs seemed to even things out.  Had to decrease the gain.

The concept of room nodes is becoming more clear to me now.

I have a few ceiling mount rigs which would allow me to try facing the subs straight down towards the floor.

Will post results if I get around to doing this.


I had an amp where I positioned one prong through the hole on the post. No worries, just don’t overtighten.

Since you have the biwire, might as well hook them up and have a listen. Often I can’t hear a difference between a biwire setup and a single-run plus wire jumper.
You may find doubling the biwire cable to one speaker binding post will provide the best sound. 

Biamp is where there’s the most audible difference.


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@elliottbnewcombjr & @tvad -- Thanks for the resources!

I have never replaced spades or banana plugs. When cutting off the spades, is it crucial measure where to cut?  
Just concerned about cable lengths being the same.

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@ millercarbon - Good to know the spade thing will work.
Why is bi-wire a bad idea?

Not so much bad as poor use of funds. If you have bi-wire use it. Where it becomes a bad idea is going bi-wire. For any given amount of money you can always get better results buying a normal cable than bi-wire. So use it if you have it but don't buy it thinking its better. Its not.

@tvad - Thanks for the info! I feel better about doing this now.

@millercarbon - Ok. That does make sense!  Once again, thanks for your input!  I'll try with the MIT2s for a while, experiment with cable elevators, speaker placement etc. 


@lowrider57  - You mentioned:  You may find doubling the biwire cable to one speaker binding post will provide the best sound.

Interesting. I guess I should plan on spades vs banana plugs.
Thanks for pointing this out! 
I will try doubling as you suggested.
Try both ways since you already have the biwires. My point is you'll have a heavier gauge cable if you double it.


Bi-wire and shotgun were the first two things I tried that convinced me to look deeper into wire. This was decades ago, back when I was using ordinary hookup wire. So it cost next to nothing to try. (Even then I was so cheap- did I really want to cut 15 ft of wire off the roll to try this unlikely idea out? Lol! Seriously!) To this day I still recommend trying the easiest/simplest/cheapest thing first just to see if it works. If the idea has any merit at all then you should be able to hear it regardless of how well its done.

But this is merely the first step. Then once you know the next is to figure out what is the best way to go about it. So once I knew cables really could make a difference the next thing was to figure out just how much and what is the best value way to go about it. In other words what you are doing, trying elevators and all these different things. 

If you keep going like this, trying a lot of different things, listening close as you can for all the differences, noticing which are better and in what way and by how much, you will very soon be looking back in wonder at how much progress you have made. This is roughly somewhere between a thousand and a million times better than read/talk/buy.
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Thanks for all the replies!
Looks like I just filled my schedule for the week!

Excited to experiment with the cables and speaker placement.  Thank God these speakers are on wheels!

And yes, what a difference the simple/cheap things can do!

I was so anxious to hook up the B&Ws as I never owned speakers like this, that I used short Kimber Kable cables.

The short cables didn't allow me to pull the speakers far from the front wall.  So after using the much longer MIT2s with one prong on each amp binding post, I was able to move the speakers around.

Huge difference!  Especially in the bass.

Then I discovered that the midrange/tweeter units atop each speaker can rotate.

This helped to tame the brightness (which may be due to the untreated living room).  

I also followed a suggestion by millercarbon to another poster to first try Styrofoam cups to elevate cables.  Had to triple the cups and wrap rubber bands around them because the MIT2 cable is thick as a garden hose and very heavy.

Although I couldn't really tell any difference with the short cables that I have, there was a difference with the much longer (20 ft) MIT2s.

Makes me wonder how many have purchased a nice pair of speakers, set them anywhere, no thought to basic experimentation and sell them because they didn't like the sound.

Stay safe everyone!
The vast majority just plop em down. A few move them to where they look good. Almost no one knows there is an actual science and method to speaker placement.

Normal first step is like you noticed, to move them around listening for the best/smoothest bass response. More bass closer to walls, tighter bass further away, and where you sit makes a difference as well. At this stage you don’t care much about precision you’re just listening for bass and bass/midrange balance.

Next step, is to listen for midrange/treble balance and imaging. First use a tape measure to make sure they are precisely equidistant to your sweet spot. Then tweak them for toe in. In your case you can also tweak the midrange/tweeters.

Then check again, this time measuring to eliminate even the tiniest fraction of an inch of being not perfectly symmetrical. I've used a framing square and string in certain situations. Because I have found as little as 1/8" to diminish image focus. Its that big a deal. 

Finally, now that you have them dialed in, you can start looking to see what if anything you might want to do in the way of treating side wall reflections. You don’t have to go all GIK there’s dirt cheap things like a folded blanket you can try, or pick up a 2x3’ panel of Owens Corning acoustic panel at the hardware store for a couple bucks. That exact same panel that costs a few bucks is what’s inside a lot of expensive panels.

Its real easy to spend thousands and thousands of dollars and not get as good results as you can get for free or cheap, with just a lot of time and effort.
The old MIT2 biwire cable I have has spades that are too narrow for the posts on my Hegel and Ampzilla monoblocks.

How about Spade to Banana Adapter

https://www.transparentcable.com/products/transparent-spade-to-banana-adapter
https://www.thecableco.com/cab-banana-single.html
http://www.cardas.com/cabd.php
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@imhififan - The adapter looks like a great solution! Appreciate the tip!  I will have to call these companies asking if they can somehow tell me the diameter of the adapter where the spade goes.
Hopefully the adapter is slimmer than the posts on my amps.

My listening room is very small.  The amps are on a rack against the front wall.  I have banana plugs on my cables that would cause a severe bend in the cable without pulling the rack several inches forward.

If the adapters fit the spades, I can push the rack back against the wall without bending the cables.  That's a noticeable saving in space in this small room!


I like tvad’s recommendation, I was just too lazy to look them up. I use WBT parts, very high quality.

If you have enough extra length, you can leave the original spade on, cut further back, complete new WBT connector, and have a short piece with original factory spade connection on one end for ... ?

and imhififan's adapter sure looks easy!
@elliottbnewcombjr - Nice one! Hadn't thought of that. I like the idea of preserving the cable.  Guess I'll have to cover up the spades once done to prevent accidental shorting.

Looks to be the best solution.
@imhififan -  Thanks again!
Spade to Banana Adapters came in from Transparent.
The spades fit the adapters and I was able to push the rack back to the wall (makes a big difference in this small room!).

No more worries about the really heavy cables bending/breaking the posts. The only way to fit one tip of each spade prong was from the top requiring an unsightly array of supports to prevent the cable from leaning/sliding and damaging the posts.

Really cool that I didn't have to modify the MIT2 cable.  Preserving it is probably a plus as well.

Appreciate everyone's tips and advice!
@hleeid, glad it worked out ... thanks for letting us know.