AudioQuest don't just make high quality speaker cable, but also a range of matching connectors that can be used on most brands of quality cable with ease. By using AudioQuest Spade lugs you are ensuring that your speaker wire is terminated in the best possible way.
We just thought it would be a good idea to write a little about our experience with speaker cable and terminations which dates back to the mid 1960s as well as the reasons why connectors like Banana Plugs and Spade Terminals are no longer considered a luxury.
Of course, speaker wire or cable has been and will continue to be an important part of the audio video chain for the foreseeable future. You need speaker cable to connect between your Amplifier or A/V Home Theatre Receiver and your speakers. You can use bare wire, but this is the # 1 enemy to causing expensive damage to your Amplifier/Receiver. How so?
Up until the mid 1980's, most Amplifiers had a spring-clip connector and speaker cable was simple 18AWG to 24AWG (thin) stranded cable. It wasn't difficult to get it right although many did get it horribly wrong. Note: AWG stands for American Wire Gauge a USA standard for cable thickness.
We've seen plenty of people strip back even 50mm (should only be 8-12mm) of the insulation thus exposing lots of bare wire and danger! When the positive and negative "touch" disaster is only micro seconds away as well as a nasty burning smell from your precious Amplifier/Receiver!
As speaker cable came under the spotlight as a way of improving sound - Bill Low from AudioQuest was one of the first - and thicker cable was the first theory, a better way had to be found for connecting this thicker speaker cable. The first idea was thin brass pins that were crimped to the cable, and although an improvement, were tricky and often popped out of the spring connector - voice of experience here!
Spade Connectors: These had been around for many years in the electronics world and so the "smarties" among us started using these, particularly at the speaker end which often had thumb screws. However, these still only suited thin cable. So, not long after the brass pins came to market, so did some decent Spade Connectors.
Banana Plugs: Can only presume that somewhere in the electronics world many moons ago, someone decided to make a smaller version of the standard 'phone' or headphone jack. Size is 1/4" or 6.35mm. Today, even entry-level Amplifiers/Receivers have provision for Banana (4mm) plugs and although Spade Connectors and Banana Plugs are still optional - yes bare-wire is also still a choice you have - quality connectors are chosen by most of our customers because (1) they keep everything a lot tidier; (2) are easier to remove and relocate on equipment that needs to be moved and (3) of course minimise the risk of damage to your expensive electronics. They also have one other benefit. Both Spade Connectors and Banana Plugs have a larger surface area than bare-wire alone and so more of the 'electronic' signal passes from Amplifier to Speaker.
Note: Please don't conclude that all spade lugs are equal! There is an abundance of absolute rubbish and junk on the Internet. Sure, they're only $2.50 each, look like the real deal with Gold plating etc but you are wasting your money.
These AudioQuest Spade Connectors can be used to terminate your speaker cable with ease and do not require the use of any special tools and they are suitable for all quality 12 & 14 AWG speaker cables.
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