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Extending Speaker Cable - What Connectors..?
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Hi there

I'm after some advice and possibly salvation...I currently have some QED Silver Anniversary cable running from my amp to my speakers and need to extend the cables by approx 2 feet on all four speakers. My question is - what connectors do I use to join the extra piece of cable to the existing one ? I've spoken to various people/hi fi shops etc and the general consensus seems to be using either solder or banana plugs ? After spending so much on the cable (27 metres worth) I don't really want to put some naf connectors on that will cause any degredation or deterioration in signal quality or strength.

Can someone please advise on the best possible solution ?

(A.Everard - if no replies can you please answer as desperate for a swift reponse..!!)

Many thanks

Anonymous
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Re: Extending Speaker Cable - What Connectors..?

You already know the answer, don't extend the cable but I understand that you can't scrap that amount of cable and start again.

If it was me I would carefully solder with silver solder from Maplins. Whatever you do, joining cable is a compromise but I wouldn't think you'd hear any difference.

R

Anonymous
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Re: Extending Speaker Cable - What Connectors..?

R

Thanks for the reply, much appreciated. Any particular type of silver solder or is it all basically the same ? (Guess I'll just speak to Maplins for conformation). Also, when you say "carerfully solder" - any advice on how to specifically apply this ?

Once again - many thanks...

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Re: Extending Speaker Cable - What Connectors..?

If it were me I'd

a) not extend the cable at all

or...

b) untwist the two ends of cable to be joined, then push the two bundles together end to end so they enmesh to get maximum contact area. Coat the whole assembly with lots of good quality solder to fix it, then cover it with a piece of shrink-wrap tubing - from the same place as the solder - or electrical/gaffer tape.

b) is hardly ideal, but it's the best you can do in the circs. 

Anonymous
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Re: Extending Speaker Cable - What Connectors..?

Thanks Andrew.

Just for info, will there be a noticeable difference ? Also, I'm thinking of the "Wonder Solder" due to it's increased silver content, any suggestions or is this suffice ?

Many thanks...

Anonymous
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Re: Extending Speaker Cable - What Connectors..?

user="Red Marauder" wrote:

Thanks Andrew.

Just for info, will there be a noticeable difference ? Also, I'm thinking of the "Wonder Solder" due to it's increased silver content, any suggestions or is this suffice ?

Many thanks...

Seriously, if you can tell any difference then I'd be amazed.

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Re: Extending Speaker Cable - What Connectors..?

Take a gander at these......http://www.russandrews.com/product-BFA-Plug-Kit-5703.htm

As I understand it, a BFA plug is a female banana plug.  So, you can connect BFA plugs onto one end of your new run of cable and plug it onto the end of your old cable run..

Suggest you ring a retailer to check that my proposal will work before you buy.

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Re: Extending Speaker Cable - What Connectors..?

I agree with Andrew that splicing the speaker cables together is far from ideal. However if it cannot be avoided then the method that Andrew suggests would give the best results. I would only add connectors if you need to be able to disconnect the additional lengths.

Using a good quality lead and halogen free silver solder (with a high content of silver - ideally 4% or more) will give the best performance. The problem with such solder is that it requires a much higher soldering temperature and is much more difficult to work with. So if you are not proficient in soldering you may want to use a normal solder which will be much easier to use: a good clean normal solder joint is far better than a poor silver solder joint. I personally would not use wonder solder as it has a low silver content (approx. 2%) and is not lead free.

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Re: Extending Speaker Cable - What Connectors..?

As Mr Smith says, silver solder has a higher melting point.  In my experience even a high-power electric soldering iron isn't up to the job - a gas flame is really the only way to go.  In which case be very wary of the cable insulation melting (or even burning).

To approach this from a different angle, it sounds like you have a multi-channel system.  If so, are your rear speaker cables longer than the fronts?  You could move them to the front, which would mean you only have to buy new rears.  Also think about selling your current cables (eBay springs to mind) and buying new.  You won't get back what you paid for them but it might soften the financial impact sufficiently.

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