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Speakers and Headphones What turns electrons into something you can hear? Speakers and cans, man! This is the place to talk about your tranducers.

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  #1  
Old 07-14-2017, 09:21 AM
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Copper VS Brass Banana plugs? Sonic change?

Understand most speaker binding posts are likely to be GP brass. Currently using Monoprice Bananas, and have started thinking about swapping them for some GP copper ones, or perhaps GP copper spades (which I've never tried in any system).

I wonder if a meter would show a slight change?

I DO understand I'm being OCD. ;)

Any thoughts? Hear a change in your set up?

TY, ST
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Old 07-14-2017, 04:10 PM
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I'd be extremely surprised if it made any difference whatsoever in sound, except maybe the fact that some metals are less prone to tarnishing than others.

The connectors on the back of my early '70s Zenith stereo are aluminium, and they work just as well as any other type of metal that's used, although occasionally they'll have connection problems.
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Old 07-15-2017, 08:41 AM
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I'm with SKGuy. Brass is a copper alloy. As long as they are kept fairly clean, I'm noit sure there would be any sonic difference. Certainly no resistive difference (or measured in pico mhos).
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Old 07-15-2017, 02:13 PM
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Well brass is supposed to be corrosion resistant but copper is not. Though OFC is supposed to oxidize slower or not at all vs regular copper.

If you are so worried about it just upgrade the 5 way binding post to 24k gold plated you will have better contact and won't oxidize anywhere as much as other metals.

And as a side note aluminum is HORRABLE being used for a electrical conductor. It sould NEVER have been used or allowed to be used as such except for some antennas.

As others have said unless something is real wrong you more than likely are not going to hear a diff. Except maybe if replacing cheep/crappy ones for one with better conductor metals, the improvement in sound would come a much better connection and electical contact/transfer.
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Old 07-15-2017, 05:05 PM
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A golden ear likely wouldn't hear the difference between copper and brass connectors. If they claim they do, it could be a placebo effect. However, copper is a better conductor than brass. So using long lengths of brass speaker wire (good luck finding some) you may notice some losses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by https://www.metalsupermarkets.com/which-metals-conduct-electricity/
Material IACS (International Annealed Copper Standard)
Ranking Metal % Conductivity*
1 Silver (Pure) 105%
2 Copper 100%
3 Gold (Pure) 70%
4 Aluminum 61%
5 Brass 28%
6 Zinc 27%
7 Nickel 22%
8 Iron (Pure) 17%
9 Tin 15%
10 Phosphor Bronze 15%
11 Steel (Stainless included) 3-15%
12 Lead (Pure) 7%
13 Nickel Aluminum Bronze 7%

* Conductivity ratings are expressed as a relative measurement to copper. A 100% rating does not indicate no resistance.
This is just a basic table comparing the conductivity of various metals to copper, it gets much more complicated than this, lots of math and physics involved to get the full electrical profile of metals.

Whatever you use for connectors, make sure they make good tight contact between the male and female contacts.
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Last edited by nitroengine; 07-15-2017 at 09:17 PM.
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Old 07-15-2017, 07:45 PM
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That chart is very misleading as you suggest. For example, silver is a great conductor, until it oxidizes (tarnishes) to silver oxide which is a non-conductor. If you have ever had real silverware, you know that it doesn't take long for that to happen. Silver oxide will also produce rectification in certain conditions. Now that'll clip your sound for sure. Might be why it's not used in a contact to contact system. But rather wire soldered to a contact.

Brass would depend on the actual mixture of Zinc to Copper. Typical yellow brass is 67% Copper to 33% Zinc. So I would think that brass being so low in that chart would be based on some other alloy. FWIW, common brass is 63/37 copper to zinc.

And let's not even begin discussing galvanic incompatibility of metals.
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  #7  
Old 07-15-2017, 08:38 PM
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I would suggest that any difference will be very, very small indeed. Here's an idea - use the current connectors for one channel and the new/better for the other channel. Turn your amp to mono output. If one channel sounds better than the other (use music with which you are very familiar), upgrade. Otherwise, return for a refund.

Better yet, have someone else do the connections so you dont know which channel has which connectors.

I would also suggest that these kinds of tweaks are for extracting the very last iota of potential from your system after you've already addressed room issues, got the best transducers within your budget, have amplification that is as neutral and linear as you can get, and source components that add as little distortion as possible. Oh, and if you are using an AVR for music, stop doing that!

The best connectors in the world will do nothing to improve a Lloyds all in one (for example).
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Old 07-15-2017, 10:43 PM
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Good idea KC, about the little test. Hadn't thought of that.

Brass is so low on the scale at 28%, I knew that and partly that's what got me contemplating copper bananas or spades as a replacement. Just don't want to get too carried away with anything expensive. Sewell Silver Backs are looking like a better choice than those brass Monoprice ones. Or even just some copper auto electrical spades might do the trick. IDK.

I DO use an AVR! Lol. It really does sound fantastic tho, and with the Anthem Room Correction applied it's even better.
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:11 AM
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Meter!

Just tested an exact 10ft spare set of speaker cable. At least with my junky little meter, I get the EXACT same reading at the tips of the banana plugs as I do directly from the copper cable. 0.06 to 0.07

Think I might consider this one closed!

TY gang.
  #10  
Old 07-17-2017, 07:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sawtooth View Post
Copper VS Brass Banana plugs? Sonic change?
Definitely there will be a sonic improvement.

That's why the musical instruments are made of brass and not copper, silver, rhodium plated gold and the like
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