Sorry folks I didn't mean to abandon the thread today, I was traveling (a 7 hour drive) so I've just tried to hit some hight points.
The only bananas I use are pure copper with locking mechanisms, they are more expensive but don't negatively affect the sound. Pure copper spades tend to be less expensive and perform about the same. Bare wire sounds about the same as a cable with high quality connectors but it is less convenient and there are usually issues with corrosion so the sound will get worse over time unless you keep the contact area clean.
From the Furez info "Tensioned Split Tube Contact Pressure Near that of Locking Banana Plugs". It's basically a BFA style plug but instead of just being hollow it has a semi-rigid foam like material in the barrel. That's part of what turned me onto them since I HAVE to have them on the amp end. Also, "Machined from C14500 93% IACS Tellurium Copper" and I figure the non-plated version is as close to the bare wire as I can get.
Are BFA bananas considered "quality" connectors? I'm not up on all the techno speak -- just a simple man who trusts his ears. But purely from an ease of use perspective, they are my favorite connectors.
BFA bananas are, I think, considered better because there is more contact with the inside of the jacks than with the spring loaded bananas. If the hype is to be believed the spring loaded ones have less copper and more iron in them to actually make that springy action.
No, BFA are brass tubes... they are cheap and convenient but not the best sound quality. Copper is too soft to use like BFA so they must lock, which also makes them more complicated and expensive.
These that I have found, as previously stated, are completely machined from a single piece of copper. but the actual plug is reinforced with another nonconductive material.
Zenwave cables (DaveC113) makes a very good cable that is voiced with Omega speakers. A no brainer IMO.
That is pretty awesome.
I use ZenWave/Dave's speaker cables with bare terminations. I read a paper that was published by the Boston Audio Society that made me re-think loudspeaker terminations and have use bare terminals ever since. I do however live in a desert climate with little humidity and a fairly stable temps year around.
I’m going to read that tonight.
If I ever had Louis build me another pair of speakers I would like to use ZenWave cables from the drivers, exit the cabinet and run all the way to the amplifier without any stop gaps in between. The main issue with that though is ... if I ever move I wil be limited to placement, but I still think this would give the best performance possible so it would be worth the risk to me.
That seems a little iffy to me. It would basically create another port in the speaker, albeit small, and any inadvertent tension put on the cable would pull directly on the driver maybe?
Two other options to consider if you control the interface on the back of the speaker and the terminations of the interfacing wires:
I'm in the middle of rigging my active 2-way system and had every intention of doing what beowulf describes (pass-thru in back of speaker direct to spring-slips on drivers), but I'm finding that there are practical limitations making me reconsider it in favor of one of the above two options.
The Electra Cable Tube Connector reminds me of ESC bullet connectors for RC planes (another hobby of mine), except the Electras are crimped while the bullets are soldered. http://blog.oscarliang.net/choosing-gold-bullet-connectors-motor-esc/