The New Eichmann Bayonet plugs for speaker cables
The story behind the new Eichmann Bayonet Plug® 4mm speaker cable connector.
We all understand that your choice of speaker cable makes a significant contribution to the sound quality of your system. But have you considered which is the best choice of plug and why this is so.
Firstly there is the question of why we need plugs on speaker cable. The 4mm ‘Banana plug’ is the preferred connection system for the vast majority of the worlds loudspeaker cables, amplifiers and loudspeaker systems. Often these components will only accept a 4mm plug and so the choice is simple. Some components also accept both spade and bare wire connections. But many spade connectors are produced from low-conductive brass, and are often poorly shaped for the best transfer of electrons. Bare wire connection (tobinding posts) doesn’t always provide the ideal surface area contact, and the bare wire is also prone to oxidation. Bare wire connections, if not carefully managed can fray, creating a risk of short circuit and amplifier damage.
So there are also a good number of both sound quality related and practical reasons to select 4mm banana plugs as your preferred connection option.
In Australia, Eichmann (and also here in New Zealand, Slinkylinks) have tested dozens of plugs of all shapes and sizes from reputable manufacturers. Incredibly, both found that most all plugs sounded poor – adding colorations and distortions to the sound that amplifier manufacturers would have nightmares over! It became obvious that no one had invested any time to actually listen to banana connectors, or to improve their performance.
So, why do banana plugs sound poor? The reason is that all banana plugs use the conductor element for the mechanical means of connection. In doing so, the sound quality is neglected in favour of a solid connection.
In response to these frustrating findings, Eichmann Technologies set themselves the challenge of making the perfect banana plug. They started by designing the best possible contact element – and then designed an innovative means of holding the element within the binding post.
The result is the new ‘Bayonet Plug®’ – the best sounding 4mm banana plug available – guaranteed to improve the performance of ALL speaker cables. Why the Bayonet Plug® is better than the connector you presently use.
The Bayonet Plug® is a totally new approach to speaker cable connection where every aspect of electron flow has been considered. The result is a connector that offers better sound quality for speaker cables in all price ranges – from low-end to high-end.
What you should know about banana plugs
Most banana plugs use the conductive element as the locking system. By doing so, conductive performance of the connector is often neglected in favour of the mechanical means of connection.
Consider the following banana plug designs
A split-pin design where the conductor pin is sliced into 2 or 4 elements thereby creating a frictional springing action to lock within the binding post.
A barrel spring where separate leaf contact portions are arranged in a cylindrical fashion around the conductive pin, compressing on entry and frictionally holding the pin within the binding post.
A single compression type spring (often a stainless steel wire) that forces a hollow pin against the inside of the binding post.
A hollow thin-wall tube pin, split down one long side, that makes frictional contact via the inherent springing nature of the metal material used i.e. Beryllium Copper. All the above designs provide a secure connection, but sound quality can be compromised in a number of key areas.
You’ll also find that conventional banana plugs are often overly large, place mechanical strain on connectors and risk short circuit with ineffective or even no insulation. Most of the above banana plugs are made from gold plated Brass or Beryllium Copper with a conductivity rating of 28% IACS (International Annealed Copper Standard). As a comparison, the high purity copper used in most speaker cables has a conductivity rating of at least 100% IACS.
The large cross-section of many Brass banana plugs can also cause phase errors and smearing due to skin effect – where high frequency signals travelling on the surface of the conductor are conveyed faster than low frequency signals travelling at varying depths and speeds within the metal itself. The result is often a slow, bass heavy sound.
In contrast, the hollow thin-wall tube connector (Beryllium Copper) is compromised through a lack of mass – where the wall thickness doesn’t support the large current flow from amplifier to speaker. The result is often a lightweight, bright sound. And finally, the split pin plug and the barrel spring plug can induce eddy current distortion where the signal is conveyed through multiple contact points.
Many problems but there is a solution
The new Bayonet Plug® connector solves the problems of existing banana plugs and provides a faster, cleaner signal of high purity and detail. To achieve this Eichmann use a conductive pin of ideal thickness and mass -with minimal skin effect problems, and whose locking means is via a non-conductive frictional pressure insert (patent pending) rather than via the conductive pin itself.
The conductive pin is machined from high-purity Tellurium Copper (over 90% IACS) to ensure maximum conductivity. This provides up to 320% greater conductivity than gold plated brass plugs. A pure silver Bayonet Plug® is also available. The Bayonet Plug® is not only the best sounding banana plug available, but it also outperforms spade connectors, and bare wire connection. It’s also important to note that the Eichmann Bayonet Plug is also easy to fit and insulated for safety.
The Bayonet Plug® is designed with two things in mind – to provide the best sounding and best mechanical connection for ALL speaker cables.
Bayonet 4mm Speaker cable plugs
Bayonet Plug – pack of 4
Silver Bayonet Plug – pack of 4