Monday, 17 March 2014

Z banana plugs

This is a Z banana plug. Various companies like Nakamichi, Atlas and Chord make these, but this is bare Milty CC124 "BFA / Camcom" style speaker plug - in this form (with it's plastic outer Camcom-ness removed) the Milty is just a generic Z plug aka BFA-Z plug aka Z banana plug.

For the non-hifi illiterate, speaker cables that go from the amplifier to the speaker have to be attached to the binding posts on the amplifier and the speaker. Most commonly, the cables are attached by either bare wire (the wire is held in the screw down section of the binding post) or by a banana plug which plugs directly into the binding post and the speaker wire is crimped, clamped or solder to the other end of the plug.

I personally like plugs over bare wire as they allow easy removal of the speaker cables for the amp/speaker and a little tidier than bare wire. The plugs also provide a nice contact point between the cable (via the plug) and the amp/speaker - not that this may make much audio-able difference.

I settled on using the Z banana plugs over the standard banana speaker plug in that as you push a Z plug into the amplifier's binding post, it becomes slightly compressed and thus giving full contact along the length of this plug. Furthermore, it requires effort to pull the plug out of the binding post and the ones I have (manufactured by Milty), like a number of other Z plugs, have 2 screws to clamp down the speaker cable.

Left: one type of standard banana plug, Right: Z plug

I've had banana plugs where the springs just aren't 'springy' enough to create tension in the binding post and can be yanked out accidentally. Not so great if both +/- get pulled out and then touch each other.

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