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!


@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!