M1200s owners: spades or bananas?

I would be like to know which termination combo you are using with your M1200s using Iconoclast speaker cables and REL stereo subs.

Assuming, as in my case, your choice is bi-wiring.

I’m evaluating to purchase both Iconoclast speaker cables and BAV REL cables, therefore I’m trying to find out the best connectors with M1200s.

The spade size is 1/4” (6.3 mm).

My scenario is going to be:

  1. A pair of binding posts for Series 2 (mid-high) - SPADES
  2. A pair of binding posts for Series 1 (low) - BANANA
    and REL yellow/red wires together into the positive post - SPADES
  3. The ground post for the REL black wire - SPADE of course

Did you experience differences in sound quality, comfort, tightness?

On the speakers side, I’ll probably prefer banana connectors - best way to have tighten solid rock Sonus faber binding posts.

Some pics might help, thanks.

My bi-wiring choice is different from yours. My new speaker cables are bi-wire Audioquest Rocket 44 with 2 banana connectors at the amp end and 4 banana connectors at the speaker end.

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I know that AQ combo option very well, because I’m already using it, William Tell SILVER + BASS

My thread refers to my next step, because:

  1. REL suggests to connect yellow/red twisted to the same positive terminal used for speakers (I tried but honestly didn’t hear any difference)
  2. Iconoclast suggests to use 2 cables in parallel, it implies all 4 binding posts on M1200s
  3. BAV REL cables in that case must be connected with spades at the same positive post, sandwich like

In that particular scenario, using Iconoclast cables I mean, I’m curious to know which kind of connector M1200s owner members are using and why amongst Iconoclast spades (small size 6.3 mm I suppose) and bananas.


I’ve done both. Currently, Iconoclast spades. I have the cables pointed up like rabbit ears behind the amps. Works great for keeping them off the ground, etc.

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The GCD is out for repair so I don’t have them in the system. But just for you I pulled one out and hooked up a cable. I don’t know how they compare to Iconoclast but pictured are Audio Art Cable SE2.

I can’t hear a difference between cables so I couldn’t tell you if or how spades or banana plugs compare. The binding posts grip the spades very well but I don’t like the way the cables lay unless they have room to hang over the back the the shelf or amp stand.

If unable to lay naturally by hanging off the back of the shelf the cable is forced to lay on the shelf. This tends to put the wires in a bind causing the wire to flex or fold at the connector. You can see a crease on the grey strain relief where the wire exits the connector. I have the same problem at the speaker connection (Spatial Audio M4 with binding posts close to the floor). For the reason of flex at the connector I won’t install the spades from the top.

Next time I will go to locking bananas but will also use a smaller gauge wire. I think the SE2 is about a 9 gauge equivalent.

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Thanks a lot. I assume spade size is bigger than 6.3 mm looking at your pics, because the lug of the post is vertical and let small spades fit only vertically from top under or bottom up, not 45 degrees as yours.

Another issue in my question refers to using simultaneously a positive post both for speaker cable connector and REL wires yellow/red twisted. Now I’m going with bare wire termination and it reduces a lot the room for a spade if they need to share the same positive binding post of the M1200 (sandwich like so to speak).

The best solution, I suppose, is to use banana connectors for speaker cables and spade connector for REL cable, twisting yellow/red wires into one only spade (and Iconoclast can provide this termination as well).

What am I asking to members so? Anyone experienced different tightness and/or sound quality results using spades vs bananas termination in particular with Iconoclast speaker cables?


Which speaker cable termination is better is one of those topics that when somebody tells you one is better than the other it’s because that’s what they have. In reality you will not hear a difference and if there was a difference Galen wouldn’t offer it both ways. If what you have works then just stick with it as bare wire is preferred by some cable companies and if you are having a connection issue with using one set of binding posts and there are two parallel pairs use them both.

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Thank you for your answer, do you have M1200s?

My aim is to collect experiences from members who use same amps and cables I’m going to buy, you are right about subjective opinions as for SQ but maybe the ability of different connectors to give a better tightness in that particular combination I described above (2 speaker cables + subs cables) may help me, driving me in the right direction.

I’m not so happy with AQ spades for instance I’m actually using, it’s pretty difficult to keep them locked tight and they are not comfortable on speaker ends (where binding posts are very close one to each other).

I don’t want to open a debate about banana vs spade in general, just going deep in a specific scenario that others probably already had the opportunity to practically face.

Power amp side is prone to temperature changes and due to the mix of metals and coating things can get loose. When I ordered my AQ speaker cables, I asked for the 1000 bananas on amp side, and 1000 spades on speaker side. I check on them every 120 days or so. YMMV

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Yes. Sorry in my English standard mind they looked 6 like but are closer to 8mm.

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REL manual suggests to connect subs cables (yellow/red wires twisted) to the same positive binding post set where the speaker cables are connected.

Like the binding post set on the right side in my pic below (please do not consider the set on the left side, I’m just showing a test combining samples of banana and spade connectors for future cables)

For several months on the contrary I used to connect speaker cables to one set and REL cables to the other, as shown on the pic below:

Frankly I cannot hear any differences.

Please @jamesh what’s PS Audio opinion about these 2 different options, pic above or pic below? Or it doesn’t matter at all other than personal preference related to keep connectors better locked at our choice? TIA

I’ve had these experiences as well, and found using more binding posts more convenient. My sub ground wire is not attached, or is “floating”.

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Bananas, spades, don’t drive yourself crazy. Technically, spades are supposed to be better, but you’ll never hear the difference. Use whatever is convenient.


I much prefer to use the open, unused posts to plug the sub cables in. It’s easier to hook up this way. They’re tied together in parallel inside anyway so there’s not going to be a sonic difference.

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Thanks James, I’m experimenting exactly what you are saying in effect, I’m not able to hear any sonically differences! Don’t know why REL suggests a different way.

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