AudioQuest 1000 Series Banana Plugs (Silver)

Special Price $299.00 (Normally Regular Price $350.00 )
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Direct Silver-Plated Beryllium-Copper Is Stronger And More Conductive.

Cold-Weld System. Tighten Screws To Create An Ideal Connection Between Plug And Conductor Which Is Better Sounding Than Solder.

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AudioQuest are well-known for all the essential A/V cables we need to enjoy our music and movies. Their range in every area is well...extensive to say the least! Speaker cable is where they made their genesis and of course this eventually led to the need for cable terminations or connectors that matched their cables for quality and innovation. The 1000 Series is the top-of-the range and you can buy them with both Banana and Multi-Spade types and both a direct-plated in Silver. Read on to see why Silver has now surpassed Gold as the preferred option for finish.

Overview

The 500 and 1000 Series of connectors began as part of a mandate to equal or exceed the performance of the previous AudioQuest WEL Signature Spade Lugs while also being ergonomically easier to use and, if possible, affordable for use on more speaker cable models. At first glance, the AudioQuest Banana connector looks a lot like the cheap and dirty Radio Spares/Tandy parts from decades ago (and its many Asian copies) … but not only is the AudioQuest connector made with a vastly better base material, includes an ideal Cold-Weld screw-attachment system, but additionally the "spring" on the side is pure copper rather than steel or any other inferior metal. And of course there's the Hanging plating. We are truly grateful to those folk who ages ago invented this mechanically-effective plug design, and we can thank Bill Low and his team who have created new versions which clearly put the lie to "ah, those things (banana plugs) sound terrible." Well, bananas did sound awful, but it's a new day!

The main difference between the 1000 Series and 500 Series is the base material of Red Copper. Otherwise they are the same. This adds a significant premium to the price but this is also governed by supply and demand - the 500 Series selling in significantly higher numbers. However, on any decent system, these little improvements can contribute to a significant overall improvement. An AQ Multi-Tool is included with every package of Multi-Spades or Bananas. The Allen-wrench end allows secure tightening (Cold-Welding) of the electrical connection, while the Phillips-head end allows tightening the strain-relief screws.

Direct-Silver Vs Direct-Gold Plating: The plating is the same Hanging type as used for the previous AudioQuest WEL Sig. parts. This labour-intensive process requires that each part is attached to a hanger and dipped in a pure-silver or pure-gold bath, rather than conventional tumble plating. Not only does this provide a gorgeous finish (not usually a good thing as the standard way to get such a shiny finish is to first plate a nickel barrier layer under the silver or gold), but also the exact chemistry of the plating bath and the bonding of plating to underlying part can be more productively controlled … something you can hear. Over time you'll note that Hanging Silver is comparatively immune to turning black (though eventually cleaning with a silver polish cloth might become desirable). Hanging Silver versions are now considered standard and there maybe a significant delay in receiving the gold-plated versions. We don't even list gold versions of the 1000 series on our web-site. So phone us if you want to find out availability.

Connector Trivia

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?

Spring Type Speaker Connector

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 Banana Plugs are equal! There is an abundance of absolute rubbish and junk on the Internet. The 'external' springs loose tension in no time thus defeating one of the primary advantages of buying plugs in the first place. Sure, they're only $2.50 each, look like the real deal with Gold plating etc but you are wasting your money.

Our Take

These AudioQuest 1000 Series Banana Plug Connectors can be used to terminate your speaker cable with ease and do not require the use of any special tools - just wire-strippers and the supplied tool and you're done. They're designed to work with all quality and huge 9 AWG speaker cables although we personally wouldn't recommend them with solid-core cable. You will need two sets (8) if you wish to bi-wire your stereo amplifier and speakers that have separate terminals for low and high frequencies. A six-pack is available to special order, so please contact us to check on the delay.

Main Features & Specifications

  • AudioQuest 1000 Series Banana Plugs: Pack of 4.
  • Quantity: One pack of 4 plugs is required for each speaker cable length if you wish to have plugs at both the amplifier and the speaker ends.
  • Construction: Hanging-silver over red copper with no distortion causing nickel underneath.
  • Wire Size: Compatible with cables upto 9 AWG or 6.63mm - the lower the AWG number, the thicker the cable.
    • Also available in 7 AWG wire size to special order so please call or email
  • Two-Screw Fixing: This is a superior method to inferior sound-degrading solder.
  • Tool: Securing the cable to the connector is via the included Allen/Phillips tool.
  • Lifetime Warranty: Does not cover misuse or incorrect installation.

Note: Features & Specifications Subject To Change Without Notice. E&OE

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