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Posted: 2008-08-30 12:55
I've heard several people say that some of the best banana plugs are the Linn "Knekt" bananas, so when I had a chance to get what I thought were some of these recently, I jumped at the opportunity.
However, when they came through, I realised they were a different design to the Linn bananas I already had. I've tried to take a photo to show the difference:
The ones I already had are on the left (on the end of some K400) and are not gold plated. They are also slightly springy metal, and appear capable of handling thicker cable. The new ones are gold plated, use a springy metal strip to make a tight connection, and look as though they'll only just take K400. I certainly can't see how the new ones could take two runs of K400, if biwiring from an amp with only single connectors...
Are some of these fake, has the design changed over time, or are there "Knekt" bananas and other ones (perhaps intended for connecting up a Classik with K10)? Thanks.
Re: Linn Bananas
Posted: 2008-08-30 13:28
The obvious question for me is, "where did you get them from?"
They certainly don't look like Linn bananas to me.
Posted: 2008-08-30 13:46
I got them from a guy selling through another forum. He wasnt actually advertising them, just responding to someone else's ad, wanting decent banana plugs. He just said they were "Linn gold plated bananas". They are gold plated, and they do have Linn logos on, so I can't really complain...
Posted: 2008-08-30 14:35
Hmmm. Honestly don't know. I've never come across these and I'm sure that Linn only list one type of banana in their spares list, which I would expect to be the aluminium one. Perhaps ThomasOK will advise?
Posted: 2008-08-30 17:31
I remembered having seen these but I had to do a bit of detective work to come up with a clear answer.
The gold plated bananas are indeed a true Linn banana plug. They ship with the Komponent speakers and are listed in the Linn parts list as "Komponent loudspeaker banana plug" part #s CONN 1163 (red) and CONN 1164 (black). They sell for about $5.00US each. They appear to be quite similar to the larger Deltron plugs that are recommended elsewhere on the site but there are a couple of notable differences: the jacket is obviously custom made for Linn and is different in shape from normal Deltrons and the connection for wire is a solder bucket only whereas the large Deltrons can be crimped and/or soldered. Since I have seen a number of Deltron clones my guess is that these may be custom made for Linn in China (since the Komponent speakers are made there). They could also be custom made by Deltron but if so I don't understand why they are not included with speakers other than the Komponents.
In this research I also discovered that the KNEKT bananas that rowlandhills is looking for are no longer available from Linn. There was still a part number on the August 2007 spares list that would allow dealers to buy a pack of 50 red and 50 black Knekt bananas but it is not on the August 2008 price list. The single parts, KNEKT B/1 and KNEKT R/1, have not been available to order for some time. Interestingly, the Komponent bananas are more expensive than the Knekt bananas were.
The only other banana still available on the Linn spares list are the small Deltrons that they include with most of the other speakers - despite the fact that K20, K400 and K600 don't fit well in them.
So it looks like KNEKT bananas have joined the Tongyuan US power cables in the "Unobtanium" category. :(
Posted: 2008-08-30 19:20
Thomas - Thanks very much for a really comprehensive answer. It looks like they are now one of the only two options for Linn plugs.
I wonder if anyone's compared these with the Knekt bananas, Deltrons, or any of the other plugs out there?
Posted: 2008-08-31 21:07
Yes, those are the Komponent speaker plugs and in construction similar to gold plated Deltrons.
They also sound like the Deltrons - I tried them about a year ago and the aluminium Knekt bananas were clearly better. The gold plated Komponent plugs had more bass, were a bit dirty in the sound and overall less tuneful.
I have noticed that the Knekt plugs are missing in the spare part list since a while back, but last I checked they were still available. Hope they still are! Haven't heard anything better (but I still haven't evaluated the Van den Hul plugs another member recommended in an older thread on this forum - shame on me).
Posted: 2008-09-01 13:14
Good news: Knekt bananas are still available. Linn will continue selling them.
Slightly worse news: Price has more than doubled.
Posted: 2008-09-01 13:26
Thanks for the update.
I suspect that the Komponent bananas are probably still better than the fairly eclectic mix of old plugs I currently have, so I'll change them over but keep looking out for the Knekt bananas when I have a chance...
Posted: 2008-09-01 13:43
My advice if you consider changing plugs is to either
1) Fit Knekt bananas, properly soldered, OR
2) Fit Deltron's cheapest tin-plated plugs called type 550, properly soldered. These are so far the second best I have found and in my opinion better sounding than the Komponent plugs (or any of the Deltron spring-loaded gold or nickel plated brass plugs). They also cost next to nothing, I sell them for 10 SEK each - that's less than 1£.
bananas or spades?
Posted: 2009-11-06 09:01
Though this thread is headed as 'bananas' I felt it the right place for
a comment on spade terminals, too. The Linn Majik 109 manual
mentions explicitly the potential use of spade speaker cable terminals,
and I wonder if anyone tried them (despite we do not have a Linn supply
for them). My idea was that if tightened well, the spades would give a
large and solid contact area, whereas the bananas always have
an only small area which really makes contact. It is clear that a loose
connection of the spades can result in disastrous sound and the
bananas might therefore have a lower potential do mess up things, but
it should be possible to tighten spades solidly, so the mess up potential
is not really an argument in our context (even could torque setting them:).
Posted: 2009-11-08 01:21
I have tried some spades, but no big success with them so far. I also have a customer who bought an expensive crimp tool made specifically for some well regarded spades. He found they sounded quite nice, but in the end preferred listening to music with soldered Linn Knekt bananas.
Posted: 2009-11-08 11:47
Thanks for the note!
As I could not find something that appeared suited and was accessible
to me on short terms, AND I did not intend to perform extended research
with respect to the subject, I simply used the standard Linn bananas.
Tri-wired the small Majiks - great.
As the brick-Majik amp has two connectors for the speakers only, I had
to bi-wire one of the bananas. In order to do so, I decided to cut
off about half of the copper of each of the two cables for the
first cm and introduce and solder them similar to a single wire in
a banana connector. Any concerns about that or is this method reasonable?
At least it does not sound really disgusting.....
Posted: 2009-11-09 11:15
k_numigl wrote:Any concerns about that or is this method reasonable?
That's a good way to do it. Preferably the two cables have their full thickness (all strands) just behind the banana, and the solder bonds all strands together.
Posted: 2010-01-24 07:22
Recently I managed to get some spade terminals for the speaker
cables: Brand is 'KS-Terminals', I guess from Taiwan. This was a
gold plated version. I soldered it
yesterday to a K20, to the amp-side of the cable, with a Knekt
banana at the speaker side. I fixed the spade connections as
tight as possible. Sound was disappointing. Instruments and
musical strands all mixed up in a strange way which did not
allow for an easy perception of the musical voices. I quickly
changed to the all banana K20, soldered freshly at the same time.
What a delight.
I would not have thought that such a tiny single piece could ruin
all the effort at the source.
Posted: 2010-01-24 18:03
Yes, it's strange, isn't it? That one detail can change so much. Source first holds true, but it's certainly possible to make a mess of the music in the other end, too!
In my experience, optimal mess up-results are usually obtained with the most expensive audiophile grade accessories.
Posted: 2011-08-14 08:34
Hi guys. I thought I would slightly hi-jack this thread rather than start something similar.
I too have been surprised at the sound different plugs introduce into my Ninka - K20 - 2200 set up. And I found the Deltron plugs that came with the Ninkas to be the best sounding so far. I find that gold plated plugs can sound a bit bright and artificial.
But recently, just for fun, I tried some of the Naim double plugs, which are meant to plug into their amplifiers. Its so happens that the spacing fits the Ninkas. So I have tried them - the best!
Of course if you have a set of Naim speaker leads sitting about, and try them in this manner, the cable will be in the wrong direction. Anybody else tried the Naim plugs with Linn equipment??
Just idle thoughts of an overcast Sunday morning.
Posted: 2011-08-14 15:20
The Naim plugs are based on Deltron 550 and I agree they sound good. But Linn Knekt are the best, have you tried them yet?
By the way, why do you keep your K20? Splitting a K400 into two K200 is just so much better.
Posted: 2011-08-15 11:04
Thanks for all the good advice, Mr L!
Given that I have Ninkas and a 2200, what would sound best:
Split K400, used as "K200" in single speaker passive mode,
or buy a bit more K400 and use it in bi-wired passive mode?
With my wooden floored small listening room, I have to fight against anything that makes the system sound too bright.
Posted: 2011-08-15 14:03
I didn't like bi-wired Majik 140s, but never tried my Ninkas. I can understand why some folks like the sound, but I didn't like what it did musically.
Here's Fredrik's work (K200):
Posted: 2011-08-15 14:17
That does look good Charlie.
Fredrik - are you going to offer custom lengths of optimally terminated "K200" as a service any time soon? I might be interested in some...
Posted: 2011-08-15 23:06
rowlandhills wrote:Fredrik - are you going to offer custom lengths of optimally terminated "K200" as a service any time soon? I might be interested in some...
I've been offering them for years, just not advertised it. Partly because of the tedious work involved in splitting long K400's. :)
For a while I contemplated making a simple cutter machine, but so far nothing's happened on that front...
I'd be happy making you a pair, Rowlandhills!
Posted: 2011-08-15 23:20
donuk wrote:Given that I have Ninkas and a 2200, what would sound best:
Split K400, used as "K200" in single speaker passive mode,
or buy a bit more K400 and use it in bi-wired passive mode?
I'm not sure about this, as I find that different speakers respond in different ways to multi-wiring. And it was too long since I tried it on Ninkas.
The more wires you use for a passive speaker, the bigger and more impressive the sound becomes. As if the sound of the drive units separate slightly. But it also reduces the integrity or cohesiveness of the music.
If you want to make the comparison, it's important to have identical cables (same type of cable and connectors, soldered the same way at the same time) to be able to draw accurate conclusions. If you mix cables that sound different, it's likely that single wiring with the best pair will be superior.
Posted: 2013-01-04 10:26
does anybody know if these knekt bananas are actually available and where to buy? With my kaber I use tri- wired audioquest midnight with spades. I have some older Linn bananas left. Will they sound better than the actual spades?
Posted: 2013-01-08 16:47
As far as I know the Knekt bananas can be found at Linn dealers only. They do not appear in the actual Linn price list. This is so since a couple of years while they were nevertheless available. I do not know the actual situation, however.
I once tried gold plated spades with K400/600 feeding A242s. This was a complete desaster and I quickly changed back to Knekts. I had no idea that such a tiny piece can make such a difference.