What say you binding posts or direct wire?

If I can get away with it I don't use BP. I find even the best like Mundorfs etc all sound inferior to direct wiring. Seems illogical to me to use costly cables hooked up to a binding post and then having just hook up wire after the posts. I get better-sounding results just by using quality speaker cable wired directly into my networks with the same cable type after to transducer. 


I agree with your logic, but the same logic can be applied to every connector and wire within the speaker, and every component for that matter. Every connector and type of wire within components are subject to dissimilar metals and/or possible inferior quality. I'm a modder so very aware of all this, do upgrade wire and avoid connectors in most cases.


In the case of elimination of binding posts, not yet tried. Would require cutting into my best speaker cables, just not something I've been willing to try up to this point. Perhaps some may desire binding posts vs none, colorations imposed by bp may be pleasing in some cases.

I'm OK with my binding posts.

Perhaps not having them might make a slight difference/improvement, but there are just some things that convenience is going to win out on.

Binding posts are definitely on that list.

“I get better-sounding results just by using quality speaker cable wired directly into my networks with the same cable type after to transducer. ”

This sounds like a case of,

1) Cheap binding posts with poor metallurgy or

2) I have tweaked everything else in my system to nth degree

+1, @coralkong

Every connection is an additional risk of signal degradation but I’ve never had any issues with simply using bare wire on binding posts.

Basically all non tarnishing connectors should be fine.

Therefore I’d avoid cheap banana plugs, especially the soldered kind that need cleaning/polishing every few months.

I am a believer in the low mass theory of connections.  To summarize it simply, don't put a large mass of copper that the electrons have to "fill up" as the signal goes out of the amp or into the speakers.  I'm not saying it is a game changer or that those of you that use binding posts can't sound great.  It's just a tweak I believe in.

I make my own low mass binding posts out of 3/16" diameter 6N copper bored out to accept a connector.  I mount them in the center of a piece of 3/8" threaded nylon to fasten them to the amp or speaker.   For low mass connectors I use the bodyless BFA connectors (google them).  Excellent results.  


Forgot about binding posts on amps, kinda defeats the purpose without eliminating those as well. Now you got me thinking, I just may have to try this.

I use the binding posts on my 3 amps (Neutrik connectors on the bass bin amp), as well as the EV bass bin (simple screw terminals with star screws - industrial style) and subs (Neutrik connectors). The EV compression driver sits exposed in free air, and so the Mundorf silver/gold solid-core wires are connected directly to its screw terminals from the Belles amp (no passive XO's in between; actively configured). Haven't tried bypassing the amp binding posts, nor the ones on the speaker sections mentioned - don't know if I care to, but I suspect there'd be a sonic advantage avoiding them, like Johns findings dictate.  

What I don't use on the speaker cables is any kind of termination like banana plugs or spades, except the sub cables which have Neutrik connectors on the sub side. The Mundorf wires do get a silver sulfide layer after time exposed to air, but I polish that away on a regular basis. 

I also don't use a power rail to my power cables, but have the respective bare solid-core copper wire ends bundled in copper screw terminals. Works very well. 

@carlsbad wrote:

I am a believer in the low mass theory of connections. [...]

+1. At one point owned a pair of Raidho Ayra C1's (later upgraded to C1.1) which were born natively with rather chunky WBT gold-plated terminals. Then Lars and Michael invited me and some other Raidho owners to their factory/demo facilities in north Jutland for a demo of the yet-to-be-released new C4's, and at the same juncture asked us (if we cared) to bring along our Raidho Ayra series speakers to have their WBT terminals replaced with the own developed low mass, simple looking and pure copper dittos, and it made for an obvious sonic improvement. 

Forest for the trees, as they say. Terminals amount to gadgetry in audiophilia; the more they cost and the more impressive they look the more they're very often sought after. In this case certainly: less is more. 

In the case of elimination of speaker and amp binding post, I have not yet tried that tweak, I do use bare wire into the binding post. That said, I did an AC mains tweak eliminating the power cord and wall plug from my two monoblock amps, by installing the female IEC C13 plug onto the direct line from the electrical panel into the IEC inlet of the power amps. The two direct lines to the monoblock amps are 10 AWG BX/AC cable.😎 


My first McIntosh component was an MA6200 integrated amp, purchased used from an audio retailer in 1988 while it was still a current model still in production.  The speaker terminals took bare wire only and one had to hold down the spring clips with one hand while you inserted the wire into a little hole with the other. My first impression was that It was a flimsy method but it sounded great driving my Thiel speakers. Later I had the unit modified to convert one of the speaker terminal pairs (the MA6200 had 3 pairs) to accept banana plugs om pre-terminated wires. I could not discern any diminishment in sound quality and it was a hell of a lot more convenient and the wires could not be accidently pulled out.. Current MAC equipment take bananas or spades. I haven't noticed whether you could clamp bare wires in lieu of spades  - I suppose you could - but my ears are not golden so as to detect any difference,  I default to convenience.

Perhaps someone will inform my why any form of connection isn't fine as long has it has non-oxidising large contact areas and can be tightened good and tight....

I don't see why the topology should have any effect.

It might be argued that some systems are easier to work with but none of them takes more than a few minutes to connect.

For many many years I just rant bare wire connections from my amp to speakers. I just switched to a very neat array of banana plugs. When I installed the banana plugs I noticed the tarnish, grime whatever on the ends if the wires and what a mess it all looked. Now, I can say I noticed a big improvement in sound. My amp seems to put out more power that I can see on my meters, more definition, more high end etc etc. Perhaps the old connections needed the cleaning and retiring but I am more please with the banana plug connections. All looks neat clean and sounds better. That’s a win for me.

I must be  missing something, if you don’t have a binding post of some kind, how do you connect your speaker wires? You are not suggesting soldering your speaker wires inside your amp?


Anyone tried GR Research Electra tube connectors that Danny touts?  I use Parts Express BPs on my DIY speakers and Madisound’s 15 ga Swedish wire for all internals and solder everything except at the driver terminals, where it’s  crimp connections. Am I potentially suffering FOMO?

Referring to binding posts on speakers. But if one wants I could see where a soldered connection no posts on an amp would most likely be an improvement it would just be a bit impractical to have to desolder amp from speaker to move it. A directly wired speaker is easy to move just roll up the cable. I can see where most couldn't explore a no-posts direct wired speaker but if you DIY a speaker it's a great option to explore. I tend to use fairly high-quality wire when I do so and keep it all the same and eliminate the many extra connections BP requires. 


If wire made of gold or platinum it could work. Copper or silver will oxidised on air  shortly and contact will be compromised. 

Dear @johnk  : You are just rigth. The best connector is NO-connector at all.


In my system I only have the essential whole connectors.


The speakers are hard wired from each driver directly to the external crossover hand from here hard wired to the amps output Fisher connectors.

The amps are hard wired at its inputs directly to the phonolinepreamp output connectors and all the power line cables are hard wired from inside the electronics to the fully regulated power line. Inclusive I take out all the input power fuses.


Yes, there are high differences for the better in quaklity levels.


Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,


@carlsbad Hoping you see this. I would be very interested in getting a bit more info on how you make your binding posts. I have been wanting to do something similar. Thanks.

I wonder what no outlets or power cords would do for sonic effect?

Instead of hooking the Romex to an outlet, continue the run straight to the equipment and then solder it in?

I knew someone who did that sort of thing and it created massive inconvenience.  this person also eliminated the selector knob on his linestage so that changing source components meant switching RCA cables (at least that wasn't hardwired).


A couple of months ago me and a friend of mine compared, just for fun, his Exposure 3010 integrated amplifier to my Accuphase E470. As expected, the Accuphase proved superior. We did the comparison in my system, where I use the bare wire at the speaker end of the speaker cable, while the amplifier end benefits from some WBT gold plated cable sleeves (WBT-0437). However, his amplifier only accepts bananas, so we inserted the sleeve terminated ends of the speaker cable into 4 WBT Nextgen gold plated copper bananas (WBT-0610 Cu). After we finished, I removed the bananas and reconnected the sleeved cable to my Accuphase. Both me and my friend were astonished by the positive difference made by the removal of the (expensive and well regarded) WBT bananas: obviously better texture, detail, mostly everything was better. In a way, this was a more impressive improvement than going from the Exposure amplifier to the Accuphase because, although (somewhat!) lower in magnitude iirc, it did not included any back steps at all (even moving from Exposure to the much more expensive Accuphase was not an improvement on all fronts, the Exposure had a bit more drive / punch in the midbass).

So in my experience sleeved wire = or > bare wire >>>> WBT bananas. 

I have also experienced with WBT spades, they are sounding slightly different to the bananas (the bananas have more drive in the bass, the spades have a more euphonic, warmer midrange). Generally speaking, I didn't like the sound of the silver or rhodium plated connectors I've tried so far. The speaker cable is OCC copper and even the oxidized bare wires at the speaker end proved clearly superior to the WBT connectors (bought from the authorized dealer, so I have no suspicion they could be fakes).

I bet removing the binding posts will improve the sound. I'm firmly in the fewer connectors = better sound camp.

this person also eliminated the selector knob on his linestage so that changing source components meant switching RCA cables (at least that wasn't hardwired).

Thus putting the plating on his connectors at risk. If RCAs and gold-clad, they won't last very long...

If I can get away with it I don't use BP. I find even the best like Mundorfs etc all sound inferior to direct wiring.

@johnk The next step of course is putting the amps inside the speaker so the connections are soldered at either end and the length is short. But if you have  tubes you might have problems with microphonics... Plus you'd be best off driving balanced lines to the amps to prevent the colorations otherwise caused by interconnect cables...