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what kind of spade connector for 12 AWG speaker wire?
Posted by: clay
Date: December 03, 2020 06:22PM
Relocated some older speakers, replaced smaller gauge (16awg?) speaker wire with 12 AWG speaker wire. Now I need new connectors to connect the wires to the speakers. Old connection was a pretty basic crimp-style spade connector (very similar to this: [www.amazon.com] ).

This is essentially a permanent install in a public place (indoors), so would like to get something that will work reliably well for the long term (10 years?) without fuss. Open to spending more than the 10 cents/connector if it will make for a more reliable or better sounding connection. I'm not looking for any snake oil, though :-)

Should I just buy a 100 pack of appropriately-sized connectors for $8 from Amz, or is there a better option out there?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/03/2020 06:25PM by clay.
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Re: what kind of spade connector for 12 AWG speaker wire?
Posted by: Yoyodyne ArtWorks
Date: December 03, 2020 06:27PM
It will cost you a bunch more, but Blue Jeans Cable ultrasonically welds their connectors to their speaker cable, pretty cool:

[www.bluejeanscable.com]



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Re: what kind of spade connector for 12 AWG speaker wire?
Posted by: space-time
Date: December 03, 2020 06:40PM
did you already run the wire? 12 gauge is a very thick wire, it is usually used in 20A circuits.
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Re: what kind of spade connector for 12 AWG speaker wire?
Posted by: clay
Date: December 03, 2020 06:41PM
already ran the wire. I used it because they are somewhat long runs.
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Re: what kind of spade connector for 12 AWG speaker wire?
Posted by: space-time
Date: December 03, 2020 06:43PM
just out of pure curiosity: do you need special speakers wires or could one use ROMEX in a case like this?
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Re: what kind of spade connector for 12 AWG speaker wire?
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: December 03, 2020 06:50PM
This is essentially a permanent install in a public place (indoors), so would like to get something that will work reliably well for the long term (10 years?) without fuss.


For that, I'd use ring terminals, if the nuts that hold the connector in place are removable.

Barring that, next would be to cut the ring terminals.

'Digital ready' bits... gold-plated plugs, phono (RCA) connectors, 3.5mm jacks, don't oxidize, but aluminum will.

Shrink wrap the connectors.

I prefer uninsulated connectors and shrink wrap.

If the wires and connections will be undisturbed, I'd put a thin coat of silicone grease on the connectors, snug them up, wiggle them a bit and then cinch them down and check the sound.

I haven't had to do that in years, so there may be a more appropriate contact sealer, now.

Anchor the speaker leads close to the amp so as to have a strain relief on the connection.

I think not disturbing the connection is really more important than anything else, though.





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Re: what kind of spade connector for 12 AWG speaker wire?
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: December 03, 2020 07:02PM
12 gauge is a very thick wire


But it's a good choice for long audio runs.

I actually use it for all my speaker connections, long or short.

One potential downside is picking up EMI or even the odd radio station, but that didn't seem to be a problem with the 16ga run, so probably not with the 12ga.

Shielded speaker cable is available to prevent that, but I use zipcord with no worries.

Romex would work but the actual connection could be problematic, so suitable cable would have to bridge the connection.

But Romex could be tough to work with for some runs.





Your boos mean nothing to me, I've seen what you cheer for.

Insisting on your rights without acknowledging your responsibilities isn’t freedom, it’s adolescence.

We are a government of laws, not men.

Everybody matters or nobody matters.

When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
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Re: what kind of spade connector for 12 AWG speaker wire?
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: December 03, 2020 07:07PM
If it is going to be there a long time, use gold pated spade connectors. Maybe use silver solder (it is high temp, so it will take a lot of heat with 12 gauge).



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Re: what kind of spade connector for 12 AWG speaker wire?
Posted by: mikebw
Date: December 03, 2020 07:30PM
And for those who don't know- 12 gauge speaker wire would be stranded versus Romex which is solid. As noted, that could make the connections difficult.

Well, here's a bad idea, but imagine you ran 12ga romex in a wall to a receptacle on each end, then use a cut off power cord (stranded copper) to connect to your amplifier and speaker. Actually, since there would be no AC power in that line it wouldn't be dangerous at all, but you would really confuse someone.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/03/2020 07:31PM by mikebw.
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Re: what kind of spade connector for 12 AWG speaker wire?
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: December 03, 2020 08:08PM
Quote
mikebw


Well, here's a bad idea, but imagine you ran 12ga romex in a wall to a receptacle on each end, then use a cut off power cord (stranded copper) to connect to your amplifier and speaker. Actually, since there would be no AC power in that line it wouldn't be dangerous at all, but you would really confuse someone.

Yea, don't do that. If you really want the connections to be hassle free you need speakers with SPEAKON connectors. [www.neutrik.com]



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Re: what kind of spade connector for 12 AWG speaker wire?
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: December 04, 2020 09:04AM
Yes to gold bits.

Bare, gold spade crimp connectors, heat shrink tubing and anchor the cable close to the speakers and amp terminals.

I'd pass on the silver solder as it really doesn't add anything to this mix, and unless one is adept at working with it (it's more common to use it for 'welding' than wiring) it's not hard to over heat stranded wire.

It is used in audio, and in some cases has benefits, in all cases has a high price tag.

It's just unnecessary in this case.





Your boos mean nothing to me, I've seen what you cheer for.

Insisting on your rights without acknowledging your responsibilities isn’t freedom, it’s adolescence.

We are a government of laws, not men.

Everybody matters or nobody matters.

When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
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