To Solder or NOT to Solder - Speaker Connections

hardys

Member
Messages
1,738
Okay, let's hear from you amp gurus. What are the pros and cons of soldering speaker connections as opposed to using clips?
 

John Phillips

Member
Messages
13,040
Pros - strength, reliability and possibly better tone. Push-connectors can work loose over time and/or corrode internally, making a bad contact or coming off entirely. Many are fairly cheap and flimsy, which doesn't help. The problem isn't just between the clip and the speaker tag, there's another contact between the wire and the clip, which is just crimped.

Cons - makes it harder to swap speakers. That's all.

I always solder, on my own stuff - and often as a reliability upgrade on customer's amps too.
 

rockon1

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
12,980
I will be soldering soon I believe. Ive been swapping speakers like a mad man in the last two years and been using connectors because of it. I seem to have settled on mostly Tonespotters and G12-65's and I think I done. Bob
 

VacuumVoodoo

Member
Messages
1,547
Both methods suck if done improperly.

Solder - cold solder joint due to too much tin (a blob), solder creeping up into wire under the insulation will make the point where insulation a potential beak point. There should be just so much solder that wire strands are still visible but tinned.

Crimp terminals: wrong terminal type (size, one time or multiple use) crimping method - use dedicated crimping tool, don't squeeze with pliers etc.

Wire: don't use tinned stranded wire for crimping, use stranded copper.

When properly crimped the copper strands are pressed together to form a homogeneous cross section and copper is also pressed into terminal material so this also forms a homogeneous contact area.
Such terminal when pushed onto a proper receptacle will press into receptacle material and form a complete homogeneous copper wire to receptacle connection.

Crimp terminals are often preferable to soldering, but here is a trap: even if you crimp the wires properly the receptacle on the speaker is the weak link, this one is often tinned and after a couple push on pull off cycles will no longer make good reliable contact.

To summarize: it's easier to solder correctly than to crimp without proper tools.
 

pdf64

Member
Messages
7,233
Have your tech fit a pair of EV type spring loaded terminal posts to each of your speaker collection, and swap away, plug and play to your heart's content https://www.simplyspeakers.com/ev-speaker-binding-post-33750-33751.html
I guess there would be significant increase in parts cost to fit them to all speakers, the vast majority of which will be 'fit and forget'. And the least desirable market trend would be for cheap, low spec spring terminals to become the norm.
 

gldtp99

Member
Messages
3,784
I just solder them together to make a permanent, solid connection.

It really isn't that difficult or time consuming.

And you never have to worry about a crimped connector falling apart or the slide connector working its way off the speaker terminal due to vibration.

It's the best and most secure way to make this connection.
 

MIM#1

Member
Messages
1,686
Solder the wire to the push on connector, then slightly 'crimp' the connector [if needed] so its a very snug and tight fit on the terminal. Road worthy + easy speaker swaps and your not de-valuing a nice speaker.
 

rockon1

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
12,980
Ive ended up tinning the spade connectors and soldering them in place on the speaker tab. A bit of heat and they come off.
 
Last edited:
Messages
5,876
Sometimes the connectors just don't fit and, as suggested, can work loose even with perfect fit. And if You like the speakers and wouldn't consider to sell them off any time soon... bring forth the solder!
 

Wag

Member
Messages
458
Solder the wires. If you really, really, really feel the need to have solderless connections then install bullet connectors or some other type of quick disconnect plug(s) in the wiring
 




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