I am just wondering if any Naim users have speaker leads with screw pressure fit connections as per many banana plugs rather than soldered.
My speaker leads have been screw fit bananas at both ends …until today .
Background …I just upgraded to 4 new NC250s driving my Keltiks .Prior to this I was using 300DR and 250.2 s.
On installing my new amps in rack with Xovers above ,I used my infra red thermometer to monitor running temps .Being new to the new range amps I did not know what temp they might run at and if I might not have enough spacing between each level .
After a week of monitoring I decided to adjust levels and and give an extra notch spacing on each level . This did not affect running temp tbh .each amp also had its own running temp all spread over 3 degs centigrade …not much to be honest .
Room temp is kept at a constant 18 degsC.
But I spent a whole afternoon soldering 32 pins to the leads , 4 power amps x stereo runs . I’ve used the new Naim pins as supplied at the amps end and banana plugs now also soldered at speaker end .
The result is lower amplifier running temperature but for me more amazing all amps are within 0.3 degrees running temp now .
My previous pressure fit connections were …tight .
Naim insist that their speaker cables should be connected with properly soldered plugs, and supply plugs that can only be soldered. Richard Shahinian, who designed my speakers, insisted that on no account should they be used with soldered plugs, and recommended a simple screw-down plug. I try to keep an open mind!
I have the standard Naim NACA5 types soldered to the cable.
On the speaker end there are insex screws to lock the banana plugs which is nice when cleaning as the plugs stay in place. The documentation blurbs about extra good connections as the speakers draws a bit of current.
Screw on plugs present problems in multiple ways from contact area inconsistency, to screw loosening over weeks, weakening individual strands, oxidisation etc. Honestly, bare wire screw terminals are preferable to screw on banana plugs.
While there are multiple solutions which I think are good if done right, (for the record I have several systems employing bare wire, crimp, deadbolt and solder), the Naim plugs, as stated are designed a certain way and they lend themselves to a very tight connection with a flush solder joint. I’d definitely use the solder on Naim plugs on the amp end.
What you use at the speaker end really depends on the speaker. Banana plugs (crimped or soldered) might be preferrable but only if the terminal’s bore hole is deep enough to accept the entire length of the banana plug. If a banana plug only goes in half way, a solder or crimped spade plug becomes a better option.
I have Naim plugs at the amp end which can only be soldered, and Deltron at the speaker end that are both screwed and soldered.
If done properly there will be no difference in electrical conductivity between solder, screw or crimped.
Over time, depending on how often the connections are exercised, soldered connections should prove to be more resilient.
What exactly from your monitoring made you decide to do that? If temperature what was it, and were you monitoring with music playing at the loudest you might do, until temperature equilibrium reached? (Just curious .)
As others have noted, Naim recommends soldered banana connections on their speaker cable so I generally follow that approach. I have used screw-down spades on occasion and did not detect any change in the sound. I suspect the main reason to go with soldered plugs is long term durability and I remember that back in the day, when the NAC cable was introduced, decent screw down connectors were generally unavailable. That has changed over the years. I think that another potential reason is that it required most people to get their dealer to install the soldered connectors properly rather than doing a potentially poor job themselves.
The interesting thing for me is the NC250s are powering different drive units with different impedance.The treble units 5.3 ohm the mid 6.2 and bass 7.2 ohm .
I put the different running temps down to the drive units it was “seeing”
This is all at idle of course . But could it be the varying levels of connect and how the amps see the cable and it’s interfaces with the plugs and how good each pressure connection was . The unknow in pressure fit is cable splay and oxidation.
In my case pressure fit refers to the little screws in the various banana plugs ,not the pro pressure fit supplied by qed etc…which I expect to be a very good way to terminate.
Obviously I have fitted the supplied Naim pins at the amp end . But I had a choice for the speaker end . I tried my 4 options at the speaker end and settled on number 3 .
The Naim pins felt slack and the Two z plug options were going to be ,for me ,harder to get heat into them enough to get a good solder . The "sliced " back banana plug gave good tight feel and a good solder bucket .
Thank you, OP, for the topic. I use the Naim speaker cables with Naim soldered banana plugs at the amp end. I used to have the bare copper cable ends at the speaker end with the screw-down posts on the speakers. I decided this looked ugly, and I was a neat freak perfectionist (OCD). I eventually went for these connectors. Whether the advertised sales blurb is anything to go by is up to question. However, it is included here for everyone’s benefit or not? Blurb below:
Direct Gold-Plated Beryllium-Copper Is Stronger And More Conductive
Cold-Weld System. Tighten Screws To Create An Ideal Connection Between Plug And Conductor, Which Is Better Sounding Than Solder