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Very Disappointed

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Posted on December 26, 2016 at 05:41:33
bcowen
Audiophile

Posts: 488
Location: North Carolina
Joined: December 19, 2015
Contributor
  Since:
January 1, 2017
Picked up a set of these for the speaker end of the cables. I like the BFA-style bananas as I think you get more surface area contact with them than with either spades or bare wire into a speaker binding post, and I bought the AQ's as they are one of the few available that have the outer gold plating applied directly to beryllium copper (no brass or nickel plating between). With the copper-only base metal I didn't expect them to be as rigid or have the "spring-back" that a brass or nickel substrate would offer, but what I didn't expect was the copper to be so thin that just the weight of the cable hanging off the end deforms it enough to marginalize the contact. Easy enough to pry the end back open to where it would offer a snug fit, until you insert it again and it almost collapses on itself. If I had to guess, I'd estimate the gold plating and copper together might amount to about 28 or 30 gauge thickness -- or about the same as a doubled-up piece of aluminum foil.

I'm going to try and return them (bought through Amazon), but as mangled up as they look right now from my trials to get them to stay in place it may be a long shot. I've been pleased or at least satisfied with everything I've purchased from Audioquest over the years, but these are a BIG fail...



Audioquest SureGrip 300



 

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Maybe something from the WBT line of connectors..., posted on December 26, 2016 at 09:33:43
RadioWonder
Audiophile

Posts: 1047
Location: Arizona
Joined: March 16, 2003

Just a thought... :)

 

RE: Very Disappointed, posted on December 26, 2016 at 09:41:46
DrN
Audiophile

Posts: 194
Joined: January 31, 2014
https://www.takefiveaudio.com/categories/191-multi-contact-speaker-cable-connectors

I used these most of the time but I don't care for mechanical connections.
I cannot imagine these doing what you described.


I don't think much of AQ anymore. Sorry.

 

those look great!, posted on December 26, 2016 at 11:49:15
hawkmoon
Audiophile

Posts: 356
Location: cleveland
Joined: July 11, 2003
I'd love to try the ag (silver) set.

 

RE: those look great!, posted on December 26, 2016 at 13:08:29
RadioWonder
Audiophile

Posts: 1047
Location: Arizona
Joined: March 16, 2003

Both the Nextgen WBT-0610Cu Signature Banana Plug Set

And the WBT-0610Ag Nextgen Signature Silver WBT Banana Plug Set are very good connectors...

 

RE: Very Disappointed, posted on December 26, 2016 at 13:45:10
Duster
Audiophile

Posts: 12236
Location: Pacific Northwest
Joined: August 25, 2002
As a simple fix, you might try inserting a plastic or wooden rod that fits perfectly into the hollow tube, going all the way into the body of the BFA connector in order for the structure to remain rigid.

 

RE: Very Disappointed, posted on December 26, 2016 at 18:23:34
mitch2
Audiophile

Posts: 1294
Location: Great Lakes
Joined: August 28, 2001
They look nice but another negative for me is that beryllium copper only ranges from about 22 to 45 percent conductivity per IACS (International Annealed Copper Standard (IACS) compared to pure copper ranging from about 100 to 101 percent IACS.
My Google search turned up only one BFA-style banana plug made of copper - the Nakamichi BFA Speaker banana plug connector linked below. Furez also makes a sort of like BFA style plug from copper. You might also considerVampire's Xhadow Reference Banana Plug, which is silver plated copper but not the BFA-style.

 

Another option..., posted on December 27, 2016 at 03:43:19
RadioWonder
Audiophile

Posts: 1047
Location: Arizona
Joined: March 16, 2003

Cardas CAB Banana...
Single Banana Plug, non-magnetic, eutectic Brass, Rhodium over Silver plate. Brass nut, Gold plate. Spring tensioner...Locking style... $9.52 US each...

Sonic Craft will be back January 3 2017...

 

RE: Maybe something from the WBT line of connectors..., posted on December 27, 2016 at 03:52:36
Jack G
Audiophile

Posts: 8787
Joined: September 24, 1999
I have those. I really like them. Sometimes that plastic piece vets in the way though.
Jack

 

RE: Very Disappointed, posted on December 27, 2016 at 09:29:09
Martythomas
Audiophile

Posts: 139
Location: No. California
Joined: May 16, 2001
Contributor
  Since:
December 11, 2003
I have had the same problem with that kind of connection. that's why I use quality lugs.

 

I am another fan of the WBT sort of Speaker ends. Plus you can swap the style leaving the crimp part.., posted on December 27, 2016 at 14:07:17
3+4=5
Audiophile

Posts: 245
Location: Midwest
Joined: December 24, 2016
WBT come in locking banana and lug. The system allows one to crimp the wires once. But also can swap the connector ends without damaging the crimp part.
The one 'downside' (for me, once) was the setscrew being impossible to remove as it fused to the body.
So IMO use a antiseize on the setscrew threads.
Lucky for me I could buy just one.
(I did not try to get it replaced under warranty. But it might have been covered?)

 

RE: Very Disappointed, posted on December 27, 2016 at 18:21:21
bcowen
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Posts: 488
Location: North Carolina
Joined: December 19, 2015
Contributor
  Since:
January 1, 2017
Thanks everyone for the suggestions and ideas. The WBT's look really nice, but a little too hard on the wallet right now. I'll keep them in mind though. I have some of the Nakamichi's (or maybe NakaKnockoff's would be more appropriate). I picked up 12 of them on Ebay a while back for $9, and they're worth exactly what I paid for them -- not much. Yup, there's some copper in there, but it's only one of a variety of unknown metals in the mix (I cut one apart to see). Directly gold-plated copper they're not. There are so many of these being sold all over from a bunch of different sources (and all dirt cheap) that there has to be some counterfeiter making these things by the truckload, and that's probably exactly what I got. Impossible to tell what's good and what's bad though.

I'll stop by Home Depot tomorrow and pick up some dowels to give Duster's idea a try. Great idea, and it may allow me to salvage what I already have. I'll post back with results.

 

Perfect solution... n/t, posted on December 27, 2016 at 18:31:07
tweakmenow
Audiophile

Posts: 124
Location: East Coast USA
Joined: March 26, 2012
.

 

Check these out, posted on December 28, 2016 at 18:40:19
mitch2
Audiophile

Posts: 1294
Location: Great Lakes
Joined: August 28, 2001
Try these...linked below
Tellurium Copper with a conductivity of 93% IACS, much better than brass, beryllium copper, etc.




 

RE: Check these out, posted on December 29, 2016 at 05:02:24
bcowen
Audiophile

Posts: 488
Location: North Carolina
Joined: December 19, 2015
Contributor
  Since:
January 1, 2017

Mitch,

Those are awesome! And priced right too. I've never seen those before, so many thanks for the link. The model you linked to will only accept 12 gauge wire (and I have two 12 gauge wires to shove in there), but the ones below will work nicely. Love the design on these all the way to the Torx setscrews.

I bought a few dowels yesterday to try out Duster's idea on the AQ plugs, but haven't had a chance to install them yet. I may order a set of the Furez anyway just because they're so well thought out. Thanks again for the link.







 

Those look quite good...., posted on December 29, 2016 at 11:31:17
alan m. kafton
Manufacturer

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  Since:
March 24, 2012
I also like the mass of the barrel, and the insert likely acts to dampen vibration.

 

RE: Check these out, posted on December 29, 2016 at 11:43:56
mitch2
Audiophile

Posts: 1294
Location: Great Lakes
Joined: August 28, 2001
I stumbled across them because I was looking for spades that would accept a huge wire size for a DIY cable I was trying out, and they sell them.
I ended up buying spades and a bunch of the bananas because they were so inexpensive.
I still like my Furutech spades best, and I mostly use the Furez bananas for my HT set-up, but I do have the bananas you are looking at. They fit my amp's WBT posts very snug. I suspect you will be satisfied. My only (minor) issue is the T6 torx size they use is quite small and susceptible to stripping - I purchased a few extra of the small screws. If you are careful and tighten incrementally it should be fine. They will even sell you a torx driver (screwdriver type) for just over $3 that fits their torx stuff.

 

RE: Check these out, posted on December 29, 2016 at 23:54:17
Duster
Audiophile

Posts: 12236
Location: Pacific Northwest
Joined: August 25, 2002
BTW, I suggest wrapping the wooden dowel insert with a layer of PTFE plumber's tape before you insert it into the tip of the BFA connector.

The Teflon tape wrap may provide a level of vibration control, while also allowing a snugger-fit based on how many layers are wrapped around the dowel.

 

RE: Very Disappointed, posted on January 1, 2017 at 05:12:46
bcowen
Audiophile

Posts: 488
Location: North Carolina
Joined: December 19, 2015
Contributor
  Since:
January 1, 2017
Duster,

This worked like a dream. Took a little work, but the end result is perfect. As I correctly guessed at the outset, Lowe's didn't have a dowel that was the perfect size. Of the two that were closest, one was a little too small and the other a little too large. I tried wrapping the smaller one with teflon tape as you suggested, but the thin, razor sharp edge of the serrated opening on the plug just sliced it to pieces no matter how I tried to push or twist it into place. So I put the larger dowel in the drill press and shaved it down with some sandpaper. Probably could have done it without the drill press, but I wanted to keep it as perfectly round as possible. Took a little time to get all 4 pieces to the right size, but after doing so the plugs now take a good, firm pressure to insert into the binding posts, and then stay there nice and tight. I had worked carefully to get a good contact pressure when I first installed the AQ's, but when I took them out to add the dowels, two had already vibrated halfway out of the binding post and were really only held in place by the stiffness of the speaker wire. Ugh. But the dowels fix all that, so many thanks for the suggestion!

Now, I wonder if a maple dowel would sound better than oak... :)

 

Puresonic, posted on January 1, 2017 at 14:26:02
erik
Audiophile

Posts: 865
Location: New England
Joined: April 3, 2000
I really like Puresonic's BFA connectors. Good quality, tight fit.

 

RE: Very Disappointed, posted on January 6, 2017 at 07:25:11
readargos
Audiophile

Posts: 47
Location: readargos
Joined: October 31, 2002
Yes, I think those AQ-style banana barrels can be easily bent. The fact that AQ uses solid-core wire in their products helps, because you kind of have to bend the wire in a way so the cable supports itself; therefore, all the weight is not suspended directly from the banana connectors (and speaker binding posts). However, while I've had AQ BFAs on Gibraltar cables, I'd be leery of using them on a stiff, heavy wire like Volcano.

I used Knu Konceptz BFAs for a DIY project a while ago. Mine have slightly different cosmetics. The screws on mine were flathead, not easily stripped. I used and re-used them several times, and built a set of speaker cables for a friend using Knu Koncepts BFAs, as well. I am not sure the spec on the metal purity, but I thought they sounded better than bare wire and better than Monster Cable twist-on (twist-and-crimp) banana connectors.

I have been using AudioQuest and Cardas speaker cables in my system, but I still use the Knu Koncetpz BFAs for DIY binding-post jumpers. I think my DIY jumpers sound better than AQs solid-core jumpers.

The biggest negative on mine was the outer barrel (that designates +/-) is metal, simply screws on, and easily works itself loose. I supposed some plumbers tape might fix that. My friend ended up putting mesh around his cables, and heat-shrinking the ends, so he got rid of the outer barrel in this way.

 

RE: Very Disappointed, posted on February 13, 2017 at 05:57:32
Duster
Audiophile

Posts: 12236
Location: Pacific Northwest
Joined: August 25, 2002
Glad it worked-out for your needs. I'm impressed with your DIY fabrication effort...

 

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