Tightening Spades

Just unpacked my new Witch Hat Phantom speaker cables and jumper leads.
Mightily impressed by the “carbon fiber” cable ties.

The speaker cables are connected with bananas, but the jumper leads have spades
Just wondering the best way to tighten the spade connections on the speaker binding posts.
Finger tight or a pair of mole grips?
Maybe something in between?

The speakers are Audiovector and wired for tri wiring. Therefore 3 sets of binding posts requiring 2 sets of jumpers per speaker.

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Just do them as tight as you reasonably can with your fingers. If you use mole grips you are almost certain to start twisting the terminals themselves.

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Worth checking them every year as mine get loose somehow from time to time.

Thanks HH
The mole grip thought was meant to be a bit of an exaggeration. but I was thinking that a little bit extra mechanical force might be beneficial.

You could try finger tight with a pair of marigolds…

That should prevent me ripping my skin and getting blood all over the binding posts :slight_smile: :grinning:

That too…

(Works for me - slim binding posts with not much in the way of moulded grip. Don’t think they’d invented ‘audiophile’ binding posts when my speakers were built… )

Some spades have the rubber shielding shrink wrap fairly close to the termination.
Just make sure you don’t clamp some within the binding post.

I like to do them up just a little tighter than hand tight when using spades as I find they can work loose over time. I give them a final tweak with a spanner or pliers, but not too hard.

Thanks guys
I have tightened them as much as I can by hand, but a slight nudge on the wires seems to loosen them again. Hence the question about tightening them a bit more than finger tight.

More leverage on the spades than you can apply with fingers on the posts…

Are they the knurled metal type?

I’d try the marigolds - or builders grip gloves.

I keep thinking I should take a soldering iron to the wiring between posts and crossover, but the only way in is by taking the bass drivers out and, after 30 odd years, I’m not sure the gaskets would survive!

I wouldn’t trust myself not to overtighten with any sort of toolage. At the risk of being glib, if a nudge loosens them then, erm, don’t nudge them.

Also definitely worth checking and retightening every few months - as well as spades, I find woofer fascia bolts work slightly loose over time. Must be all those loud listening sessions…


Yes they are the knurled metal type

Where’s Ron with his adjustable spanners when you need him ?

Don’t use tools! You will muck something up (damhik) Get them as hand tight as you can, then check them in a week.

Always just hand tightened jumpers to posts with no problems. Check them periodically.

Some years ago I went over to spades for their greater surface contact area and tightness. However I found tgat no matter how right I dod them by hand, after a few months I’d find them loose. Not wishing to risk turning the whole connector by using a wrench I ended up reverting to bananas. The alternative of course, that I didn’t think of at the time but may well try in the future, would be to also use spring or ‘shakeproof’ washers with spades, ideally also gold plated if the connector and spades are.

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