Recommendations for top-notch banana speaker cable connectors

I have raised my appreciation of upgraded cabling recently with the addition of Silnote Morpheus II IC's.  I have 10 ga. ohno copper cabling for my 25' speaker runs.  I currently have banana jacks from GLS Audio (formerly Orange County Audio).  Once plugged in, one turns the connector to expand the pin internally, but they still seem to yield a less-than-secure fit and the metal they use is questionable.  

I have handled WBT connectors at audio shows and they are incredibly fine, but at a price that would bust my audio budget.  Furutech seems to have some more affordable connectors with high purity metals.  I am sure that there are banana connectors available that hit a sweet spot between price and performance and would value any insights you lads might willing to provide.  Thanks, Mark


You could look into the Audioquest 300 series banana plugs. I have used them and their design allows for a very secure fit when you insert the banana plug. (it’s phosphor bronze, so it is a decent metal and a very strong resistance to flexing). However, you may have a little challenge trying to get your 10 awg wire into this model. I have used 12 awg successfully, but you may need to trim some of the strands on larger gauge speaker wires. You could buy them from Amazon and then return if they don’t fit. Though, if your speakers are bi-wire, you can always split the 10awg speaker wire into 2 sets of Audioquest 300 banana plugs.

Please DO NOT get the Audioquest 500/1000 series. These look nice and are pure copper, but they have incredibly small set screws with hex head inserts. The threads on these strip very easy and so do the hex head inserts!!!

The Furutech has very nice metals and their banana looks to be similar design of the WBT, but I have never used them so I can’t comment. I have used several Furutech products for both XLR and power cord terminations and the Furutech items sound excellent.

If your speakers are bi-wire, maybe use the Audioquest on the speaker side and then get some Furutech/WBT for the amplifier side.

Parts Connexion is running a sale, and have the mid-line WBT's.  Around $160/4

I also like ETI/Eichman, Cardas and Xhadow.
My favorite banana plugs are the inexpensive, low mass, BFA style bananas. Nordost used to use them and several other speaker cable  manufacturers use them too. I don't know the manufacturer of the bananas, but I think you can get them at parts express and I've seen them on eBay at times. They make a very solid connection and have a very large contact area against the complete inside surface of your banana compatible speaker binding post.

I used to agree with the preference for spades, but the new BFA bananas (suggested by reubent and others above) offer better and more contact with the binding post than spades. I’m incredibly happy with the audioquest SureGrip100 BFA/Banana (Silver). They are crimp on connectors and form an excellent bond with the cables, much better than set screws. So between the stronger, larger contact with the binding post and the solid crimp connection with the cables, these connectors (or any other connector of this design) offer an extremely solid connection between the amp and speakers. They are also inexpensive, which is a big plus. Regarding auxinput's worry about getting 10 awg cables into the connectors, I wouldn't worry. My cables are 9 awg and I was JUST able to get every strand into the connector, though, being made from cat 5 cable, the conductor strands are rather stiff.
Thanks for the input from you.  I am thinking I will plunk down a few shekels for the AQ connectors you have recommended.   I am with Todd on the utility of banana connectors over spades.  The GLS connectors, in spite of their purposed ability to be able to be expanded once plugged into the female jacks is ineffectively executed and leaves the connection poorly secured.  Again, thanks for the input from you fellas.  Mark

I've had good results with Cardas copper banana plugs while bi wiring at the amp end. Same success with Cardas binding posts at the speakers. 
Since the header say, top notch connectors, here is my recommendation - 


For your cables, Cardas copper or silver will yield best results within your 'budget'. 

Thanks for the additional recommendations.  I just looked into the Cardas connectors and they have a vast array of them available.  I ran with Todd's recommendation and ordered a set of the AQ jacks for what I recall was $38.  Thanks again for your input.  

This AG forum has been an invaluable source of information on my quest for sonic excellence over the years and it is the good will of lads like you sharing your knowledge that moves me in the right direction.  Cheers, Mark

Sorry, I'm late to the party with this recommendation. But if anyone else is looking, this is what I would get:  Dyson Audio 24k Beryllium Copper Low Mass BFA Z-plug Bananas

They look nearly identical to the Nordost Z-Plug and other low mass BFA banana plugs that I've used in the past. They work tremendously well and provide excellent tight fit with very high surface contact to the inside of the banana compatible speaker binding posts. They will not loosen over time as spades may do.
Indeed. These new BFAs of all makes are such an elegant solution. Their simplicity and effectiveness is just so freaking Zen.

@whitesix (why can I only get @ to work half the time?) Get a good pair of crimping pliers. I bought some at Lowe’s for $10. Wire stripper crimpers won’t cut it on these. 

This shouldn’t be an issue with 10awg, but if there’s space around the cable (if you use a higher gauge), it will deform the connector less when you crimp it if you fill the space with strands of speaker wire. I had to do this with my cables on the speaker end because I biwire to the speaker terminals, thus it is no longer 9awg, but 14awg and 11awg.

Sweet Jesus. I hope that makes sense.
I catch the main part of your drift and am thinking you are suggesting crimping the wire to the BFA connectors in lieu of soldering, which is required (?) with the Dyson BFA connectors reubent suggested above, which are inexpensive and doubtless provide an excellent metal-to-metal contact.  Can you clarify your post or send me private message?  I am of a mind that these BFA connectors are just what I need.   My GLS plugs yield a poor connection, to say the least.  Many thanks.  


I contacted Jeffery Dyson a couple of days ago. He recommended soldering them and cutting off the tab/flag on the barrel. That's also what I've done when I used other low-mass BFA banana plugs in the past.

You will love the BFA connectors. They are excellent......



Todd and reubent,
I got the AQ Suregrip100 BFA connectors and swapped them for my GLS connectors.  It was a very tight fit with my 12 ga Mogami 3103 wire, but I got these simple twin-screw-secured connectors put together rather easily.  AQ is a genius including a few extra screws as I dropped one in my carpet never to be found again.  

I got what I wanted out of these connectors:  a super tight connector to the female jacks in my amp and my speakers, better than any banana jacks I have ever used in 45 years. I will admit to that i hear no difference in the sound of my system, but that wasn't may goal.   I shouldn't bad-mouth the GLS connectors as they are very well made and reasonably priced, offering a decent fit, but these AQ's, and no doubt the Dyson's, are in a different league.  I am gonna get the Dysons for my bedroom system and one of my pals to solder them up.  

In this price range of connectors, I pity the fool that hasn't adopted the BFA connectors over conventional banana connectors. Cheers, Mark

Hmm, my audio quest plugs were crimp on.. I'll have to double check which model I bought. I crimped instead of soldering. I lean towards crimping because of the cold weld, which I think is more durable than solder. But really, I doubt it matters, as long as the wire/BFA connection is solid. 
Thumbs down on the inexpensive Dyson BFA's for my Von Damme cable, which is perhaps 10 ga. stranded wire.  At $12, they are cheap enough.  
Dear Tod,
It matters a lot!

AC is very sensitive to soldering. 
If you solder with "multicore" (very strong and hard to cut & melt) the sound differs from the very soft WBT solder.

Durability is just one thing, as contact area is another, but adding a soldering compound to the signal chain, is a thing of big interest.
Unfortunately, in most of cases, you must to choose priorities.

A pure silver plug that is soldered, sounds better than a crimped of lower quality metal.
But then, even this, is dependable upon the rest of materials and the whole philosophy by which the conductors and the insulation is made of.

e.g.1 : Even the highest quality soldering may easily rejected by a cable design of cotton, silk, beeswax, paper, wood, leather, oil, .....
and degrade the cable's signature as seriously as the poorest quality plug, or a shrinking tube at the end (if makes direct contact with the plug or the conductor).

e.g.2 : In a cable design which philosophy has another direction, with active shielding, or passive components inside blocks, PTFE, PVC, foam, epoxy, heavy duty triple wafer spades wrapped on acrylic, .....
 the solder is an essential part, no doubt, no concern, or second thoughts.

You know the importance of the plug at the end and how can change the perceived outcome if it is silver or copper or rhodium or gold plated.
The solder reinforces but hurts the signal flow with impurities.

Hello Randy,

The unshielded solid core: Physic Harmonic "ECO"
The shielded stranded : Belden 1800F/KLEI Absolute Harmony

Speaker cable:
The solid core : Physic Harmonic "ECO"
The stranded : Duelund DCA-16GA

Power cables:
The solid core : Physic Harmonic "EXTREME"/Iego 8095
The stranded rectangular : Yarbo SP-8000PW/Sonar Quest Gold plated (Aluminum body)


@geoch that’s exactly why I don’t solder. I crimp the ever loving crap out of it. Then heat shrink it.

For AC I do the same with copper spades, but give it a could of wraps of plumber’s tape before I heat shrink. I’m probably just doing it wrong, but solder seems to weaken after repeated connect/disconnect.
But that’s just my finding. I never decided to try to improve the solder connection and just focused on better crimped connections.

That being said, the quality of the crimp and the connectors used affect the sound.

Everything affects the freaking sound.
It never ends...
@whitestix I’m even more confused now. I used the SureGrip100 BFA/Banana (Silver). I looked on their site and they say it’s a cold weld connection, which means crimp. The 100s aren’t supposed to have screws..

I’m psyched you’re happy with them. The new BFA style blows my mind with it’s simplicity and solidity. I’m sure playing around with even more refined versions can bring improvements and, like @geoch says, you can refine your connection to the nth degree, as you so choose.
I see what you see on the AQ website, but it you Google the connectors, virtually all of them show the connectors with a little allen wrench, which indeed mine has.  The literature on the box states the following:  "Cold-Weld System for an ideal connection, better than sounding that solder: Tighten allen-screws ...  to create an ideal connection between the plug and connection, then slide the non-magnetic-interference ABS casing over the banana and screw in place."   This might be hype, but I can't solder worth a damn so these work fine.