UHF's economy line
These are our lowest-cost connectors, from Nakamichi. Most connectors in low-price ranges don't work, and it seems evident that no one has ever tried them. These two do. Insert the wire, tighten the first screw to make contact, and then the second for strain relief. Done!
They come off withe the same screwdriver...good to know if you plan to upgrade later.
On top, Nakamichi's basic bananas, set-screw installation, no soldering needed. They fit most binding posts tightly, and they're easy to install.
ORDER NAK-B kit of four bananas, $10. Click to buy
On bottom, Nakamichi's locking bananas, set-screw installation, no soldering necessary. Tighten the collar, and the banana opens out to connect under pressure.
ORDER NAK-L kit of four locking bananas, $28. Click to buy
The best reduced-mass connectors
From Furutech, the new low-mass, high-performance connectors. We now know that hanging a huge chunk of metal on the end of a cable does not give the best performance. But some low-mass connectors are relatively fragile. Furutech's new low-mass connectors have massive metal bodies for protection, but those bodies are insulated from the circuit. Turn the collar to lock the banana in place. The contact parts are pure copper, plated with either gold or rhodium. Effective, and beautifully machined. We consider these to be the world's best speaker connectors.
Which plating should you choose? Gold is the better electrical conductor, and can't tarnish. Rhodium is much harder and resistant to wear, and it can't tarnish either.
ORDER: FT-212(G), set of four gold-plated locking bananas, $139.95 Click to buy
ORDER: FT-212(R), set of four rhodium-plated locking bananas, $159.95 Click to buy
ORDER: FP-211(G), set of four gold-plated spades, $139.95 Click to buy
ORDER: FP-211(R), set of four spades, $159.95 Click to buy
Classic Furutech solderless connectors
From Furutech, sets of locking bananas, or spades, both plated with gold or rhodium (your choice) These connectors are easy to install. Insert the wire, then use an Allen key to tighten the two screws. On the banana, tightening the big button at the back makes the banana expand and lock into the binding post..
ORDER: FP-202G, set of four locking gold bananas, $99 Click to buy
ORDER FP-201G, set of four gold spades, $99 Click to buy
ORDER: FP-202R, set of four locking rhodium bananas, $120 Click to buy
ORDER FP-201R, set of four rhodium spades, $120 Click to buy
Eichmann Cable Pods
Eichmann (ETI) is now famous for its outstanding connectors using the strict minimum of metal, and good metal (tellurium copper, 24K gold plated) at that. Now come the Cable Pods, replacements for the binding posts on speakers or amplifiers. It mounts in panels with thickness ranging from 1mm to 10mm. The blue panel can be removed if your mounting holes are not the standard distance apart. A non-rotating washer makes it easy to tighten them against a spade. They'll take a banana (just pop off the safety cap), spade or bare wire. You can solder the wire, or -- this is unique -- you can actually connect to the rear with a banana, and no solder needed!
ORDER ECP, set of 4 binding posts, $119.95 Click to order
The famed Bullet Plugs from ETI
Built with the strict minimum of metal, and thus minimum magnetic interference, the Bullet Plug has become famous, and is being put on a lot of surprisingly expensive cables. Two easily accessible solder lugs. Got silver cables? Order the Silver Bullets.
ORDER: EBP, set of four Bullet Plugs, $77.95 Click to order
ORDER: EBPA, set of four Silver Bullet Plugs, $154.95 Click to order
Two cables into one (or vice versa)
Need to connect two cables to one jack? You do if you have a subwoofer or a video system. Or if you want to biamplify. Our FYA adapter, for $20 a pair, is gold-plated and is insulated with Teflon.
ORDER: FYA, pair of Y adapters, $20 Click to order
ProGold treatment for connectors
We know people who use alcohol to clean the gunk from their connectors. Alcohol is just great for corroding the metal! We use ProGold (and so does NASA), because not only does it remove oxidation, but it inhibits its buildup and enhances connectivity. The spray can comes with a plastic tube, so that you can squirt it into jacks (with power disconnected, of course!).
ORDER PGS, Pro-Gold spray bottle, $43.95 Click to order
Furutech silver solder
It's amazing but true, the majority of electronic supply stores sell traditional lead solder. What's wrong with lead? It's toxic for one thing (try Googling Minimata disease), so you may not want to breathe the fumes from a hot soldering iron. For another, it's now illegal in a lot of countries. As if that weren't enough, lead is a lousy conductor of electricity. This solder from Furutech is lead-free, with tin plus 4% silver. It has a low melting point of 200ºC, with recommended operating temperature of 380ºC to 450ºC for 15 seconds. Furutech solder is designed to require minimum flux, yielding a purer connection.
ORDER FSS-10, Furutech silver solder, 10m roll, $39.95. Click to order