Have You Ever Considered Using Banana Plugs and Spade Terminals Together?

The debate about whether it is best to use banana plugs or spade terminals has been raging for a long time, indeed this is one of the oldest and longest running arguments in the AV industry and it is showing no signs of slowing down. This has led to many of you becoming totally confused as each of these termination methods has its advantages.

The problem is that a lot of the people who support banana plugs tend to say that you should only ever use banana plugs, you should use them throughout your whole system and that’s the end of it. It’s much the same story on the spade terminal side. Naturally, this leaves you in a bit of a tricky situation when you’re trying to figure out which option you should go for.

Well here’s an idea that will probably cause a few waves: why not use both? Why not use banana plugs AND spade terminals? Both of these products have their benefits and they both have limitations too, so instead of making a compromise by only using one method of terminating your cable, why not incorporate both methods so that you get double the benefits without any limitations or compromises.

If you like the sound, no pun intended, of a home entertainment system that isn’t held back by your choice of cable terminations then let’s take a look at how you can use both of these products in the most beneficial way.

Where To Use Banana Plugs

As you know, these are probably one of the easiest and most convenient terminations to use; no more messing about with fiddly connections that just won’t seem to fasten together; no more standing on your head while you try to get in a position where you can actually see the back of your device. With a banana plug all you do is insert the plug into the jack to make the connection and simply pull it out to break the connection.

So where would you use them? It’s best to use them on equipment that you hook and unhook on a regular basis, after all convenience is the main selling point of these plugs, so use them at the ‘speaker end’ of your speaker cables.

Where To Use Spade Terminals

Banana plugs definitely have their advantages, but one main drawback with them is that they add quite a lot of extra depth to the back of the component, so it can be tricky to use them when space is at a premium. Spade terminals on the other hand don’t suffer from this problem seeing as they sit practically flush against the back of the component, so therefore they are ideal to use at the ‘amplifier end’ of your speaker cables.

It’s true that spade terminals are slightly harder to hook up than banana plugs, but you are much more likely to shift your speakers around rather than your amp, so therefore you shouldn’t need to worry about it taking a few seconds longer to hook up the spade lugs.

Is It OK To Use Both These Methods?

Now, some of you may be worried about mixing and matching different ways of terminating your cables like this, but there really is nothing to worry about. So long as your banana plugs and spade terminals are properly fitted then you won’t be able to notice any different in performance between them, but you will be getting the benefits, so it’s the best of both worlds. Using banana plugs on the speakers and spade terminals on the amp really does make a lot of sense, so you have to wonder why these simple little terminals continue to cause such a huge outcry amongst audio lovers the world over.