Twist and Heat Shrink versus Connectors?

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Twist and Heat Shrink versus Connectors?
« on: 15 Oct 2020, 09:48 pm »
I am looking to do some DIY speaker cables and interconnects

Pricing out the parts of RCAs, bananas etc. I thought to myself heat shrink is MUCH cheaper; though less convenient. The process should make possible improvements in the signal chain for a few more minutes to hook up speakers/amps going this route. I often read the debate on AC regarding which connector yields best results, perhaps no connector at all! I can see with speakers, pre amps and amps, the jacks could be removed and the wires extended out of the back of the speaker or chassis to utilize this process to connect things together.

Does anyone just use twist and heat shrink (or some other process) versus spending money and fancy connectors?


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Re: Twist and Heat Shrink versus Connectors?
« Reply #1 on: 16 Oct 2020, 05:08 pm »
I think you are overdoing the issue of connectors.  Despite a lot of what you read on this forum and other places it is unlikely that you will ever hear the difference between various decent quality connectors. 

For a connector to really have any effect on the signal it would have to introduce some significant amount of inductance, capacitance, or resistance.  And even modestly priced connectors do not.

Unless you have a very high performance system with outstanding speakers and critical placement of them that has been optimized for your room, the chances of hearing any difference between connectors is so small as to be completely ignored.

Plus the convenience of being able to easily disconnect and rearrange equipment  far outweighs the small cost of the connectors.


Re: Twist and Heat Shrink versus Connectors?
« Reply #2 on: 16 Oct 2020, 06:09 pm »
Heat shrink is certainly cheap, but not convenient to disconnect as required. Twisting together pure copper conductor wire is not a good enough mechanical connection if solder is not used. Pure copper is very soft, so it will loosen itself with temperature variations over time. This is why copper speaker binding posts must be alloyed to add tensile strength. Household copper wire is also alloyed for stiffness so it pushes back on connector screws so they don't come undone as the copper flows away through heat cycles. But the alloy metals reduce the copper purity and affect the SQ of the conductor. Also, heat shrink will not prevent moisture from entering the twisted wire contact to cause corrosion which definitely affects sound quality.

A cheap speaker binding post made of steel or brass can be used just as a clamp, not as a signal conductor, to hold two signal wires together. The spring tension of the brass or steel will maintain good clamping pressure over long period of time. When it's time to clean the conductors if they turn dark from corrosion just cut the ends off and strip new "connector."

You can also put a drop of olive oil or coconut oil on the twisted wire joint after you clamp it. This prevents corrosion and also prevents micro arcing. Oil is twice as dielectric as air and these two oils do not oxidize and dry like seed oil.

Those connector tubes that GR Research sells do sound very good and are the lowest cost speaker connectors made of pure copper, but they cost more than cheapo speaker posts for clamping.