Are there any issues with connecting speaker wire in this manner?

I'm considering purchasing some 14 awg solid core wire to use as speaker cable.  I will be doubling this up to make 11 awg speaker cable. My amplifiers, Red Dragon S-500, have binding posts which DO NOT have a hole drilled in the center of the shaft for inserting wire (they are hollowed out for banana plugs but that's not what I am referring to here nor do I need).  I'll be connecting the speaker wire without attachments, no spades, bananas, nor pins.  To get a good connection, it would be ideal if I could take the wire and, at the half way point, wrap it around the amplifier binding post, then run the two ends out to the speakers.  Will this work or will connecting the wire in this manner be problematic?  Do I need to cut the wire into 2 runs?  Thanks!


Wrapping the wire around the amp posts is a real kludge! Get some good banana plugs instead!

Doubling the 14 guage wire as you plan is inconsequential. For a typical setup 14 guage is fine! Now if you want to run 50-100 feet ...

Will this work? Perhaps only as an experiment. Stranded with banana plugs is really a better option.

Are you an electrician? Cause this is how they’d wire a light switch. I really don’t recommend anyone use solid core wiring because they are pretty brittle. They want to be put into a wall or conduit and left alone for 30 years. Every time you move them you break them a little.

Next, there’s the hardness of the connection at the terminal. Very hard metal to very hard metal here doesn’t tighten down very well. The lack of malleability prevents the squishiness that creates a tight screw-down terminal. Light switches have wire guides to ensure the wiring is flat to the contact plate and to the screw head and allow for quite a bit of torque.

The one area where I’ve seen solid core wiring used professionally for speakers was at Magico and then only on certain models and internally. Everywhere else they used Canare.

If you want to use AC wiring as an example to follow, look at how AC plugs and receptacles are built instead of how the in-wall wiring is done.  You'll see tight spring connections being used.

That is the way electricians wire an outlet when they want to do it best.  There are videos on how to do it.  make the loop fit tightly on the screw and orient it so that tightening the screw pulls the wire in rather than pushes it out.  if done correctly, this is an excellent connection.  

The solid-core copper isn't inherently brittle, but it work-hardens. Each time it is bent, that area becomes harder, and after being bent a handful of times, it will break.

Use stranded wire, strip the ends, twist them together well, then the form a U on the end to put around the binding post.

Post removed 

I can’t see anything wrong as in dangerous in this.

I recommend you also go to Home Depot and get their 12/3 extension cord. Cut off the ends and try it as speaker wire in comparison to you solid core idea. A number of years ago one of the serious high end publications threw this in as a comparison with some low end solutions and it sounded really good. 

What you suggest will work fine.  As considerations:

  • Not a bad idea to eliminate the spade or banana interface between the wire and the binding post.
  • You can achieve the same 11 awg result by:
    • cutting the wires into the identical lengths you need to run from amp to speaker, while allowing a little extra for twisting (10%+ depending on diameter and frequency of twisting)
    • lightly twisting two identical lengths of the 14 awg wire together
    • stripping 1/2-3/4 inch at the end of each wire and then more tightly twisting the ends of the two twisted wires together, and
    • making a fish-hook shape with the twisted ends that can hook around your binding post
  • Don't go crazy on tightening the binding posts (snug+ should be good) and they should last for a long time.
  • You can further improve the "design" by:
    • using four identical lengths of the 14 awg wires which in your case is enough for both the +/- poles at each speaker (I assume you plan to use 8 wires total for two speakers, or 16 wires if you bi-wire?)
    • carefully twisting all four wires lightly to moderately together (like maybe 4-8 twists per foot) while keeping each wire oriented consistently with respect to the other wires (this is important)
    • untwist the last 6-8 inches of wire at each end of your "cable" to serve as the lead-outs to connect to your speakers and amp
    • take two wires that are opposite each other (not side-by-side wires) and twist the lead-outs of those two wires together and then do the same for the other two wires that are opposite each other, so you have now cross-connected the wires
    • finish the terminations as fish-hooks as discussed above and you will have one speaker "cable" (each cable made from 4 wires) that runs from the amp to each speaker
    • this creates what is called a star-quad geometry that lowers inductance even further than with twisted pair geometry, and lower inductance (along with lower resistance) is a good thing for speaker wire/cables
    • make a second set if you want to bi-wire  
  • Having all four wires twisted together as a "cable" allows you to cover them with a single sleeve thus reducing the fragility of the bundled "cable" compared to having four separate wires or two twisted pairs of wires running from your amp to speakers. 
  • Here is some noise reduction sleeving I like to use, otherwise I recommend the clean cut or even cotton, if your wire is cotton-covered.  You can then finish the ends of the sleeving with heat shrink and if you wish you can place red/black heat shrink over the lead outs for durability in handing and to make it easy to recognize pos/neg when you connect/reconnect your wires. 
  • My favorite speaker cables continue to be made from solid core wire - yes, I believe I hear a difference.  I have some multi-gauge, multi-strand, high quality, solid core copper in cotton speaker cables I made that (IMO, wrt SQ) continue to beat anything else I have here, including several types of manufactured stranded wire cables using PCOCC conductors (Furutech and others I have tried).  The manufactured cables I have here that I like are from Harmonic Technology and those use multiple strands of multiple small gauge, solid core PCOCC copper in PE dielectric, with an aggregate of either 9 awg or 11 awg.

I believe you are on the right path.  Give it a try and tell us how you make out. 

Sure it will work.

 Have gone to Lowe’s and bought 12/2 Romax and it works fine and if you can, get some Banana plug.  They will make things easier in the long run.

All the best.

If you've read my recent posts on using slugs instead of fuses, then you may recall that I've been experimenting with metals less used in audio applications.  To this end, I'm considering trying molybdenum, titanium, and niobium wire.  The latter two are fairly cheap but the moly is pricey.  Also, I don't see any of these wires offered in bundles as typical of speaker cable thus, I'll be using solid core and, in my experience, solid core actually sounds at least as good as stranded wire.  


Without using spades or bananas, the binding posts on the Red Dragon amps are a PITA, and wrapping the wire around the post would seem to offer the tightest connection without possibly stripping the threads (which I've done).  I'm obviously not much of a DIY guy and just wanted to make sure I wasn't going wire the speakers up in a compromised or possibly damaging way.  I appreciate the information all have given.  Now to go on an exotic metals shopping spree......

@lcherepkai So for slugs, you have a very short piece with a very large diameter. the higher specific resistivity of the other metals your are trying has little effect.

However, I think in speaker wires which are much longer and smaller in diameter the total resistance will be measurable and I think you’ll see significant degradation from the higher resistance of these materials, especially on bass and dynamic sections. So start with the least expensive.

As far as the original post of solid copper, there is obviously not a conductivity issue and people have been known to conclude that solid cores sound better than stranded so I think your plan sounds very interesting.

I also support your plan to eliminate connectors. connectors can be significant sources of bad connections, especially inexpensive bananas or any non-crimped/or soldered connectors. I use crimped and soldered naked bfa style connectors.

Best of luck,


Jerry--won't be using the experimental metals on the bass drivers so hopefully not an issue there.  Would doubling up the doubled-up 14awg wire to a total of 8awg significantly lower the resistance?  At $26/m for the niobium, that's still much cheaper than most decent speaker cable and the titanium can be had for even less.

Why can’t you just start out with using 11- or 10-gauge wire?

If you must use 2 separate wires, twist them together but leave enough length on each to run one on one side of the lug and the other on the other side and then tighten the ends together outside of the lug.

Then tighten the nut down or lug fastener.


Ozzy---the largest diameter niobium wire I found is 14 gauge.  I was planning on getting runs twice the length I need and wrapping the amp binding post with the mid-point and then running both ends out to the speakers.  I don't want to use separate wires at the amp end as I'm concerned about stripping the threads on the amp binding posts.  I did this already once and don't want a repeat.

Better to use 12GA stranded copper, single conductor for each polarity. Go to Lowes or Home Deport and get 12GA stranded copper THHN from Smithwire. Cheap and pretty darn good.

The advantage of banana plugs (as others have suggested) is that they are much easier to manage and connect to the terminals... and... eliminate the possibility of damaging the terminal connection inside the amp (if the terminals rotate as you tighten them - which I've done before).  I switched to banana plugs to avoid damaging the terminal connections inside the amp by overtightening the lugs on the outside as I fastened spades or wire to them.  

The other caution is that you can very easily short out / damage your speakers if you accidently touch the positive and negative wires together when you are fastening the cable to the the speakers, or amp - if you attempt to connect them while the amp is on... or... if a strand of wire from one side touches the other wire or terminal.  Of course, making sure the amp is off when you make your connections and that you have no stray strands touching the other wire / terminal, helps to avoid this.  And, using bananas is much easier to make the connections and avoid any shorts.  

You also may want to "tin" the end of the wires for each channel with solder, which can also make the wires easier to connect and help to avoid "stray strands."    

It’s not very effective ,their is a science to cable construction ,dielectric ,and connection silver or gold over Copper connection with quality solder or Furutech type screw down terminals , if it were that simple everyone would be doing it .

look at Wireworld Eclipse it is a very good cost effective Loudspeaker wire that addresses everythung from best in class Dielectric, Wire purity Geometry, and connector  type at a reasonable cost ,  it depends how far you want to go .

if you want lower price blue jeans cables for entry level wires.


I believe audioquest type 4 used twisted solid core wires of various sizes in their construction. It was an award winning cable and still popular today. I love mine. 

Post removed 

@lcherepkai Indeed using 8 ga will certainly make the resistance very low.  I'm not saying that it won't work, just suggesting to start with the lower cost metals.  Send me the metal and lenth you want to use first and I'll calculate the resistance for 8 awg wire and compare to copper.  

And I'm sure you saw the suggestions to lightly twist the 2 wires together.  You don't want a loop that will pick up induced voltages.


On Certain Circuits, especially Xovers, clamping in place of soldering is seen to be a upgrade for the Signal Path. 

I have not done this myself, but have clamped Speaker Wire, both Solid and Stranded to the binding posts., as a termination for Cable and Jump Wires. 

I have no wish to return to using additional connectors, that typically don't match as a metal the qualities the Wire has. 


Long ago I tried solid core wire under the floor in the crawl space for the rear surround and sub, figuring, long runs, ... Waste of time, didn’t sound that good, and who cares for rear surround and sub perfection anyway.

The wire is very stiff, and tightening a loop of two pieces of 14 awg solid will be difficult, and you can break the post if trying for a very tight connection. I suggest you hammer the ends together ’flat’ to get good contact and snug connections without too much stress on the binding post.

You could buy short run from Home Depot (they sell by the foot), try making the connection.

There is the issue of ’skin effect’ whereby frequencies on the outside of solid core are not perfectly time aligned with frequencies on the inner part of the solid core. Eh, at our lengths, a real issue?

Multi-Strand, many small gauge, individually insulated is the ’concept’ I chose to ’believe. 1st try was 8 conductor telephone wire.

I now use cat 5 or cat six, oxygen free copper, each pair foil wrapped, SFTP. Here is Cat 8, OFC, SFTP, 24 awg. The other day I found 23 awg. 8 x 23 awg is equal to 14 awg


cut the connectors off, and use WBT type bananas or spades



I twisted about 4 feet, taped, twisted other direction 4 feet, tape ... keeps you from having to flip the wire over for each twist.

I used two colors, red and black, so + and - were obvious at both ends.

wire stripper and crimper

Thanks for all the responses.  It's good to have a wealth of knowledge to draw upon but let me clarify this, I'm not doing this in an effort to save money.  I want to hear what titanium, molybdenum, and niobium offer as speaker cables.  As slugs, the titanium and moly destroyed the copper in every way important to me.  I also have solid silver slugs, which are very good and also leagues better than the copper.  However, I find the titanium to be quite obviously more detailed than the silver and the images are so clearly delineated, it makes the other metals seem somewhat indistinct.  Titanium tracks sounds better as well, moving across the soundfield.  Pink Floyd tracks are a joy to listen to with titanium.  And the moly sounds like the best of silver but smoother and sweeter.  As far as I know, no one is making cables with these metals.  A few have used tungsten, and the reviews are generally quite favorable.  I read that the niobium resistors are top notch so why not experiment with the wire and see where it goes?  

So, I'm not interested in copper wire, either Home Depot or the best Furutech/Neotech have to offer, which I'm sure sound incredible.  I really want to hear what these other metals offer as speaker cables and even though the convenience of spades/bananas are undeniable, I feel they would likely compromise the sound.  How could they improve the sound?  Less is more!  I just want to make sure I didn't wire the system up in a way that could cause probelems

Jerry---will be trying titanium and niobium for sure, probably molybdenum too if neither of those are the sound I'm looking for as the moly adds a bit of body without losing too much detail.  It is less precise however, so hopefully won't need to use it.  I'll be getting them in 14 awg with the length being 9' from amp to speaker and will be getting them in 18' sections to bend in half/doubling them up.  I could use 2 18' sections, folded in half and lightly twisted as per suggestions here.

If making your own cables just go to vh audio and buy some decent Furutech 

Copper gold connectors and Furutech has several grades of high purity 

cables which is far better then just plain insulated wire.

Did you replace all the copper wire inside your amp and speaker cabinets? If not, you might be appreciating an interaction effect of copper x ______. 😜

If you trial these blind, I’ll admit it will be interesting. If you go it alone and all is sighted comparison, the value in this thread will be for all the practical advice others weighed in with, IM(blunt)O.

If you don’t use connectors, do color-code tape the end of each solid core before you start wrapping them - it’s a definite time saver when those wires invariable slip out of your slipped out of my hands during assembly! 😉

axeis1:  You wrote," Sure wish I had the time to waste on such a fools errand."

Congrats:  You did have the time to waste.  You did so on a useless post

benanders:  I haven't messed with amps at all.  They're still 100% stock except the fuses.  I did internally rewire my speakers with doubled runs of solid core 18 awg silver plated copper and some of the crossover parts were upgraded a few years back but the main wire is solid core copper.  Perhaps if this experiment goes well, I'll be replacing that wire as well.   And regarding your second paragraph, I hope I haven't come across as unappreciative.  I am grateful when folks are kind enough to share their knowledge and experience.  Truly.  


@OP. Regular solid copper wire sounds better than cheap stranded cables but in the overall scheme of things, it doesn't sound very good.


lcherepkai OP

272 posts


And regarding your second paragraph, I hope I haven't come across as unappreciative.  I am grateful when folks are kind enough to share their knowledge and experience.  Truly.


Not at all! I meant that if there is any real world difference between the wires (for sound), then readers will only know if you try to nix expectation bias from your evaluations. Which would be interesting.

I’m doubtful of much if any difference between wire like this because while I also perceived differences in wires, if I do it blindly I suddenly start failing at predicting anything better than what chance alone would accomplish. Our minds can be funny like that. Or maybe just mine… grin.

Without an unsighted (= predicting = expectation bias) approach (i.e., someone’s help changing wires while you don’t peek, to try to keep you honest with yourself 😉), you may well still hear differences, but whether they’re real and induced by chemical properties or just imaginary, they’ll only be meaningful to your setup. 
But, obviously, that’s a fair bit of trouble and if it’s not of interest to you, then who really cares, right? Cheap harmless experiments should be more fun than perfect, I suppose.

Either way, good info in this thread, hey!? 

If you can find high quality flexible (annealed?) copper then yes go for it. Solid wire does have some conductance advantages over stranded, but the lack of flexibility and the generally poor quality (re-cycled, repurposed) of industrial (ROMEX and MTW) would suggest not using building or machine tool, or distribution wire for audio. There are uses for flexible solid wire out there in the world. I purchased fine gauge silver instrument wire (my tonearm and cartridge lead supply) from a surplus dealer who in turn purchased from Gov't sources. In the pre internet days I was on his mailing list, and I think I remember seeing heavier single conductor wire. 11 gauge should not be needed for speakers. 12 gauge is overkill (the conductor operates most efficiently when sized correctly for the load). Unless exotic materials have superior numbers, inductance, capacitance, resistance, etc. stick with Silver, best condector by far, and copper, best compromise for cost performance and ease of fabrication. All mechanical connections with malleable wire can loosen over time.  Aluminum wire, no longer popular had a terrible reputation in older homes, some loans and insurance companies wouldn't approve Al wire

Keep track of your results, I for one would be interested in what you find.

Vintage Amps used bare wires, wrapped around a screw.

Note: there was a separate flat piece of metal, that made good pressure on the wire without twisting the wires when tightening.

Vintage McIntosh Speaker Terminals, the metal tab was spring loaded, pulled out, wrap your wire, tighten.


You could make some flat plates for your much larger binding posts, or simply cut off the crimp portion of connectors with holes for use.


doesn’t matter what they are made of, it is just a plate to hold your wire to the terminal without twisting



my home depot suggestion was just to see/try fastening two 14 awg solid core, get a feel of the combined thickness. Like I said, no matter what material you use, I would hammer them together, flat, and use a plate like above to prevent twisting. a whole lot less force on the binding posts

puptent:  thank you for a well thought out response but I'm afraid I've experience that runs counter to what you've stated.   May I ask why you think the following to be true?  You wrote, "11 gauge should not be needed for speakers. 12 gauge is overkill (the conductor operates most efficiently when sized correctly for the load)."

 I have a few hundred feet of vintage wire I bought a decade ago or so.  That wire is 18 awg solid core copper with silver plating.  There are two legs which are, each, 7 of these 18 awg wires or the equivalent of 10 awg.  The speakers I was using at the time were bi-wire capable but my amp only had a single pair of binding posts so I originally ran 3 of those 18 awg wires to the satellite portion of the speaker and the other 4 to the woofers.  This sounded just fine and when I began using another amp with dual sets of binding posts, I connected that amp in this fashion for a time but, as I had a lot of this wire, I eventually had to hear it with all 7 wires going to each of the speakers binding posts, so 10awg to the woofers and 10 awg going to the satellite portion of the speakers.  I heard to no down side this wiring scheme at all and the upper bass through the mids took on a fuller sound, more fleshed out and satisfying to my ear.  The lower bass also had more weight but not at the expense of any detail and it was just as dynamic as ever.  I went back and forth a few times and the single wire configuration always had me wanting to install the extra set immediately.  


And then you state, "Unless exotic materials have superior numbers, inductance, capacitance, resistance, etc. stick with Silver, best conductor by far,".   I've listened to several exotic metals, both as plating, and solid core as slugs in place of fuses.   Compared to the silver Wattgate AC plugs, platinum and palladium plated Oyaide and rhodium over pure silver IeGO 8095 AC plugs were quite a big step up.  Overall, I heard greater detail and delicacy from each and a smoother presentation.  The silver Wattgates would get aggressive while these others offered more detail without the brightness. This also applies to Xhadow xlr plugs vs Oyaide Focus1 but to a lesser extent.  

And with regards to my solid core experiences vs silver, I have on hand currently, slugs of pure silver, titanium, tungsten, and molybdenum.   I'm using them in a Bel Canto DAC 2.8, Bel Canto CDT-3 transport, and Red Dragon S-500 amplifiers.  The silver slugs are very good all-around performers.  They do nothing wrong, and I could have lived quite happily with them until I heard the other materials.  Eventually, I'd would like to do a thorough review/comparison but, for brevity's sake, let me just say that the tungsten slugs have all the detail of silver while being a bit tighter, more in control, more focused, and slightly darker in tone.  The molys are just as detailed as the silvers but have better tone, sweeter and fuller and, in my main system, sound more open (that's hard to define though).  And the titanium slugs, WOW, I really like what these do MOSTLY.  I'll say going all titaniums can make vocals sound a bit weird...some vocals.  Some vocals sound quite glorious. Thats about the only downside, where I might prefer (some) silver.  Otherwise, the titanium slugs are easily more detailed, especially with regards to the clarity of each individual sound.  Everything else sounds a bit smeared out.  And titanium's ability to track sounds as they move across the soundstage is awesome!  Much of those obscure, buried down low, vocals, mutterings...etc, those become intelligible for the first time.   Sorry to rant but I'm a detail freak and titanium nails it.  So, in my experience, silver comes in 4th place, using solid core slugs, in my system.  I don't know how silver compares to tungsten/titanium/molybdenum with regards to   inductance, capacitance, resistance, etc but it doesn't matter if sound quality is the measure.

I do appreciate your response!


elliotbnewcombjr:  good food for thought. I may get a set of the Morris terminals and just see how I could use them.  They would probably be a good way to combine different kinds of wire as I may want to try incorporating some molybdenum wire later if the titanium and/or niobium don't quite get the tone right.  Good call and thanks!

Hello jdavis234

Emmetropia refers to great eyesight and hyperosmia refers to great sense of smell but if you have great sense of hearing you currently are considered to be an audiophile.  If you are blessed with any or all of these conditions, exploit them to their fullest extent regardless of what others think of your passion.  It's a personal thing !

I’m sorry but is this some kind of a joke?  Using solid wire for speaker connections?   You’re kidding right?  Why on god green earth would anyone run solid conductors for cables that transmit frequencies?   The more strands in a cable the better to counter act skin effects.  If you’re serious, don’t even consider it.  Run good standing pure copper zip cord.  

make the loop fit tightly on the screw and orient it so that tightening the screw pulls the wire in rather than pushes it out.  if done correctly, this is an excellent connection.  

This is what I do with the 12-gauge single-conductor speaker wire I have running to my Maggies from my amp.  I have gotten in the habit or periodically reaching behind the amp to check the connection tightness.  Every few months there is a tiny, tiny bit of tightening that can be done.  I don't believe I ever come close to losing signal.  An occasional spray of CRC QD electronic cleaning spray doesn't hurt, either.  My listening room opens to the kitchen on one long side - and we cook.  A lot.  You'd be amazed at what a little electrical douching will do for SQ in such an environment.


Unless you’re willing to modify the chassis, run raw speaker cable internally, and direct solder to the exit points of the output stages, you’re going to be dealing some compromise in SQ. Each termination point introduces an additional "relay," contact point, inferior material, etc. into the signal path. But, us "consumers" want the convenience and flexibility of connecting things "easily."

While there is nothing "wrong" about connecting raw cable to speaker terminals, it’s not very convenient to do so, but certainly more convenient that direct soldering internally. And, depending on the number of predicted connect/disconnect events you see in your future, a direct connection (to the speaker terminals) may, in fact, be the most efficient connection method. The time spent terminating a cable so that it will be convenient to disconnect/reconnect later may be more time (and money) consuming than just connecting the cables directly IF you don’t foresee the need to move the cables for any reason.



"Why on god green earth would anyone run solid conductors for cables that transmit frequencies?"

It’s been know for some time that "skin effect" becomes a non-factor at a given cable diameter. Well-designed "solid core" cables can pass signals greater than 20kHz. In theory, ALL cables are "solid core". Some are just smaller than others. Even most miniscule cables have "solid cores." The differentiator is that "stranded" cables have muliple smaller cables grouped together to form a single larger gauge cable, and "solid core" cables have conductors that are individually insulated, thus not "talking to each other" until the sound arrives at the other end.

We can debate the pros and cons of the sonic attributes of "stranded" vs "solid core" (and, have for decades). The "skin effect" factor of well-designed cables is not one of them.

I've yet to see anyone run the numbers on skin effect on speaker cables and show a significant difference in audio frequencies.

waytoomuchstuff:  thank you for responding to ktarver's post.  I had wanted to but just couldn't get motivated.  As to your 1st response, I've been using speaker cable that is 7 solid core 18awg silver plated copper wires per leg without termination for years.  The Red Dragon S-500's are the first amps I've used without the center pin drilled for bare wire.  The wire is big enough that it fits nicely as if they were banana plugs.  It's not a tight fit, just snug, but that's what I've been doing ever since I received the Red Dragon amps.  I never move speaker cables unless I am forced to move the speakers.  I was one of those fools that spent big bucks (back then) to get the huge Monster Cables banana plugs and, soundwise, they sucked!  That's when I discovered less can be more in audio.  Thanks!


So I see that I have at least got some of you to start thinking and respond.   So for you naysayers, I understand why you don’t understand skin effects of conductors but it’s a matter of physics and electron flow on the outside surfaces of the conductor.  As frequencies increase, current flow increases on the outside (skin) of a conductor.  Much better to have multiple conductors (i.e. stranded wire) to increase the overall surface area as the inner areas of the conductor carries very little of the current flow.  Im an EE that has had to deal with this my entire career.  From a purely practical perspective, a large enough single conductor (solid wire) has enough surface area to not restrict flow much.  It’s all a matter of resistance to how much current is being conducted.  

@Icherepkai, I applaud your experimental efforts. I use solid core for just about everything simply because I find it superior to stranded. I have Harmonic Technology Pro 9 speaker cables which use different sized solid cores and these are my reference.

Your suggestion to wrap and twist 14AWG is fine at amp side but a little more difficult at the speaker end. Let me suggest finding a rod the same size as the binding post diameter (I select-from my set of drill bits) tightly twisting the 2 wires about 50mm from the end using 2 pairs of pliers to do this then splaying them apart and forming them tightly around the bit and twisting again with pliers which now resembles a lug but without any soldering or additional random pieces of metal. I place a copper washer over the post and tighten against that to prevent deforming the ’lug’ For Cu. washers I visit auto suppliers for a close fitting annealed soft Cu. washer. These are used on diesel injectors and are pure Cu. The Cu. washers from hardware stores are mass produced by stamping and are manufactured from dubious quality metal and partially hardened during the stamping process. Once firmly tightened the excess wire on the final twist can be neatly trimmed leaving about 10mm to maintain integrity. Hope I’ve explained that clearly. Some advocate soldering the lug so formed but I strongly disagree because you are essentially creating a failed solder joint whilst introducing unnecessary and unwelcome extra metals into the connection.

Pliers: I superglue pieces of leather in the jaws to protect the wire when twisting.

On my speakers and amps I take it further by bringing the wires from the XO or amp modules outside the box or chassis to a pure Cu. lug and place the speaker wire in an identical lug, mating them back to back and tightening securely. This IMO is the closest second best to an inconvenient direct connection. Sure, this will void any guarantee but my speakers and amps are DIY

One more point, you mentioned running 7 solid core wires together. If they are not individually insulated then you are back to a stranded cable.

Regards listening blind or sighted I approach this another way which IMO provides a better grasp of any difference. Simply listen for at least a week before swapping, so allowing you to relax with the music and determine which entertains the most whilst fatiguing the least.

Very keen to hear results of the unusual metals as speaker cables. A higher DCR (lower IACS) is not an issue.

lemonhaze:  You've given some very good and specific instructions which are so hard to come by.  And wrapping the end of pliers in leather, that's one of those life hacks that should have been common sense.  At the speaker end though, I'm good.  I've run the wire directly from the crossover THROUGH the binding posts.  Their only purpose is to hold the speaker cable directly onto the wire coming from the crossover.  I am considering building a short power cord using the niobium wire first as it would require a lot less wire and I really don't know how it will sound as speaker cable, of which I'll need about 24 meters so.... Maybe a meter long power cord would be the wiser first project.  And I'm finding that the molybdenum slugs I had cut recently are finally burning in completely (assumption here) as they are really sounding fine so might try to incorporate a run of that in the mix as well.  Thank you very much for sharing.  Lot's of good info here

You're welcome, please keep us informed on further findings. I am, for one, very interested.