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Networking & Cables

Installer Tip: Why You Should Love Banana Plugs Done Right [video]

A/V integrator Michael Restrepo swears by banana plugs for neater racks and more efficient installs, uninstalls and reinstalls, but warns the connections must be perfect.


Installer Tip: Why You Should Love Banana Plugs Done Right [video]
Integrator Michael Restrepo: I'll take this rack, and that's all I need. Except for this A/V receiver, and nothing else. And this banana plug. Just this rack and receiver and banana plug and some telephone wire ....
Julie Jacobson · March 14, 2018

In theory, screw terminals for speaker wires are a great idea for simple and secure connections, says integrator Michael Restrepo of Restrepo Innovations in Paramus, N.J. But the theory breaks down the moment you have to service components in an A/V rack, he says in a brief video tip shared on social media and CE Pro (below).

When we the installers have to "engage these devices," he says, "we need to be able to easily take it apart and easily put it back together."

Holding up a connector to emphasize today's important lesson, he continues: "And I know this little banana plug ...."

But then he trails off, as if saddened by the very idea that some installers actually despise the banana plug and everything it stands for.

Another Installer Tip: How to Square Up an A/V Rack to Perfection 

Undeterred, however, he soldiers on, delivering a message of hope for the connector and all who use it.

Even while acknowledging everything that can go wrong with banana plugs, Restrepo argues his pro-banana-plug case so eloquently, and with such heart that even those with no wires to terminate might find themselves aching for a case of the shiny little nubs.

​Watch the video below and tell us: What do you say to banana plugs ... yeah or nay? 

By the way, fellow A/V reporter Brent Butterworth does a magnificent job reviewing banana plugs for Wirecutter.




  About the Author

Julie Jacobson, recipient of the 2014 CEA TechHome Leadership Award, is co-founder of EH Publishing, producer of CE Pro, Electronic House, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and other leading technology publications. She currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. She's a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player currently residing in Carlsbad, Calif. Email Julie at [email protected]

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  Article Topics


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Comments

Posted by Steve Cooper on March 15, 2018

We’ve been using banana plugs for years—We install them on every job. It makes future moves and equipment upgrades much easier. Plus it’s a cleaner look.

In fact, almost a year ago, we produced a video showing how to install them:

  https://youtu.be/NKRoit6-w9A

Posted by wayne cavd.co.uk on March 15, 2018

That’s great advice, so much better than struggling to get all copper strands wrapped around a binding post on the back of an AVR. Its very easy for the copper strands to touch each other and/or just fall off. Banana plugs are essential. They can sound better too! Best to solder them onto the cable but man that can be tricky to do around the back of a rack.

Posted by wayne cavd.co.uk on March 15, 2018

That’s great advice, so much better than struggling to get all copper strands wrapped around a binding post on the back of an AVR. Its very easy for the copper strands to touch each other and/or just fall off. Banana plugs are essential. They can sound better too! Best to solder them onto the cable but man that can be tricky to do around the back of a rack.

Posted by Steve Cooper on March 15, 2018

We’ve been using banana plugs for years—We install them on every job. It makes future moves and equipment upgrades much easier. Plus it’s a cleaner look.

In fact, almost a year ago, we produced a video showing how to install them:

  https://youtu.be/NKRoit6-w9A