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Do WBT connectors make a positive SQ difference?


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I'm getting new speaker cables from Analysis-Plus, their Apex, top of their line. I need to decide on A-P connectors or WBT connectors. Does anyone have experience with the difference in how connectors sound?

 

Thank you

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1 hour ago, thotdoc said:

I'm getting new speaker cables from Analysis-Plus, their Apex, top of their line. I need to decide on A-P connectors or WBT connectors. Does anyone have experience with the difference in how connectors sound?

 

Thank you

I shouldn’t think so. After all, a connection is either a good connection or a bad one. And any connector worth using will give a low resistance connection. What WBT brings to the party is quality construction that leads to high reliability, and maintains that liability over time. It also doesn’t hurt WBTs reputation that users can see and feel that quality when they use those parts. Often such quality connectors are the final touch, the crowning glory, as it were, to a piece of high-end equipment; a touch that will help to justify the high price of a piece of luxury equipment.

George

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3 hours ago, thotdoc said:

I'm getting new speaker cables from Analysis-Plus, their Apex, top of their line. I need to decide on A-P connectors or WBT connectors. Does anyone have experience with the difference in how connectors sound?

 

Thank you

 

No difference in sound.  I prefer the WBT connectors, since the connection is always tight and stays that way. And it's easy to remove the cables when needed. (On the other hand, try loosening a lug nut securing a spade behind the speaker or amp with little access and under dim lighting.) In addition, I would use bare wire before using pin connectors.

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I once replaced the brass binding posts on my speakers with copper WBT ones. The difference was not subtle, more open and transparent sound. The build quality is a touch of class as well.

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The connectors are a link in the chain. And the weakest link will always dictate the subjective qualities of what you hear - not the strongest.

 

An audio system is, wait for it ... a system. Any area that lowers the integrity is going to make a difference, and it may be substantial.

 

So, yes, use WBT connectors if they're "better", Personally, I hardwire, solder all connections - because I hate the sound of the type of distortion that results from relying on push on, etc, connectors ...

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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1 hour ago, mozes said:

Do you do that on all of your chain components?

 

Yes. I work through the whole chain, dealing with the obvious ones, and then hunting out more obscure points where items are just plugged in. Either solder, or apply, very carefully! , silver paste enhancers - the SQ improves with each iteration; the end result is that the edginess, or unpleasantness, one usually hears with 'difficult' recordings is largely eliminated - a major step forward towards fully competent sound ...

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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Thank you for the replies.

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2 hours ago, fas42 said:

The connectors are a link in the chain. And the weakest link will always dictate the subjective qualities of what you hear - not the strongest.

 

An audio system is, wait for it ... a system. Any area that lowers the integrity is going to make a difference, and it may be substantial.

 

So, yes, use WBT connectors if they're "better", Personally, I hardwire, solder all connections - because I hate the sound of the type of distortion that results from relying on push on, etc, connectors ...

That was my question, are they better? If I knew they were better I'd spend the additional money.

 

I get the system part and that everything matters. I am trying to get information regarding the effects on the transmission of electricity through the various connectors. Does one connector offer less resistance, etc?

 

Re soldering the cables: my concerns-soldering a 5/16th "bolt" to a complex set of hollow core cables, and A-P is a top company that has spent much more time finishing their cables with all those intricacies than I have. So, I want to buy their expertise in this.

 

I certainly appreciate your approach, however.

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3 hours ago, mozes said:

I once replaced the brass binding posts on my speakers with copper WBT ones. The difference was not subtle, more open and transparent sound. The build quality is a touch of class as well.

 

Thank you, I'll look into this.

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41 minutes ago, thotdoc said:

That was my question, are they better? If I knew they were better I'd spend the additional money.

 

My best guestimate would be that WBT are "better" - I looked up the web page for that brand, Analysis-Plus, that is, and have to say that their geometry wouldn't be my first choice; I always use single strand conductors if aiming for best sound.

 

Quote

 

I get the system part and that everything matters. I am trying to get information regarding the effects on the transmission of electricity through the various connectors. Does one connector offer less resistance, etc?

 

The problem is contact noise - a less truly gas tight metal to metal contact area opens the door for noise generating mechanisms to affect things; as a result, there's a whole area of engineering that deals with this - look up Ragnar Holm.

 

Quote

Re soldering the cables: my concerns-soldering a 5/16th "bolt" to a complex set of hollow core cables, and A-P is a top company that has spent much more time finishing their cables with all those intricacies than I have. So, I want to buy their expertise in this.

 

I certainly appreciate your approach, however.

 

A good alternative is to use an industrial silver paste contact enhancer, between bolt and the cable's connector - make sure beforehand that a mechanical very tight connection can be made; then carefully clean the mating surfaces, apply only just enough of the paste to completely coat the surfaces - too much paste doesn't make it better! - then join, and make it as mechanically tight as you checked earlier. Then, do not disturb !!! Fiddling with the connection point at all from then on will only degrade its quality - if you have to disconnect, clean all the muck off, and start all over again, as above.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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2 minutes ago, fas42 said:

 

My best guestimate would be that WBT are "better" - I looked up the web page for that brand, and have to say that their geometry wouldn't be my first choice; I always use single strand conductors if aiming for best sound.

 

 

The problem is contact noise - a less truly gas tight metal to metal contact area opens the door for noise generating mechanisms to affect things; as a result, there's a whole area of engineering that deals with this - look up Ragnar Holm.

 

 

A good alternative is to use an industrial silver paste contact enhancer, between bolt and the cable's connector - make sure beforehand that a mechanical very tight connection can be made; then carefully clean the mating surfaces, apply only just enough of the paste to completely coat the surfaces - too much paste doesn't make it better! - then join, and make it as mechanically tight as you checked earlier. Then, do not disturb !!! Fiddling with the connection point at all from then on will only degrade its quality - if you have to disconnect, clean all the muck off, and start all over again, as above.

 

Thank you. Very helpful.

 

G

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https://www.deringerney.com/techpapers/abstract/?DocumentId=pnk8SYvTdl5PBEYgylFWFjQO5IfWmXnrKiYltdIYKjM%3d

 

This is a (free) manual that describes the issues of low level electrical contacts/switches at a professional engineering level. The R Holm book is very expensive.

 

All this is over my head at this point, I have the wrong kind of PhD for this subject...but i thought I'd close the link on where to go to get the last word on the issues I was asking about.

 

Still interested in people's actual listening experience regarding WBT connectors used on speaker cables.

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FWIW, the attached is an observation made by Silicon Chip magazine during the design of their 15W Class A amplifier several years ago.

Gold Plated speaker connectors.jpg

 

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Nice to see an actual measurement of the impact of contact degradation! :)

 

However, it's easy to hear the problem, once one becomes aware of the effect - irrespective of measurability.

 

Yes, the Ney book is a good overview - Ragnar Holm is the Father of this field; there's a yearly Holm Conference on Electrical Contacts - plenty of material can be found around the net.

 

The point being, if you ignore the significance of contact quality then the subjective SQ will likely suffer; how one deals with it is then up to the individual.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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12 minutes ago, gmgraves said:

Try Stabilant 22a, before ruining your connectors by gooping  them up with solder. Stabilant is so good that NASA uses it on connectors as does the entire Aerospace industry and most automotive companies. It ain’t cheap, but unlike soldering one’s connections, Stabilant IS reversible.

 

Note that my experiences with these type of contact enhancers, years ago, wasn't positive - but Stabilant 22a may be an exception - I haven't tried it.

 

The silver paste treatments are long term stable, unlike the liquid preparations, IME. And, the application is also completely reversible.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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3 hours ago, fas42 said:

I looked up the web page for that brand, Analysis-Plus, that is, and have to say that their geometry wouldn't be my first choice

 

Their cables are way overpriced. Save your money. If it's burning a hole in your pocket, upgrade your speakers, etc.

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6 hours ago, fas42 said:

 

Note that my experiences with these type of contact enhancers, years ago, wasn't positive - but Stabilant 22a may be an exception - I haven't tried it.

 

The silver paste treatments are long term stable, unlike the liquid preparations, IME. And, the application is also completely reversible.

Yes, various liquid unctions are reversible, unlike the soldering of connections which is not. Believe me, the military wouldn’t give Stabilant a Mil-Spec number and the Society of Automobile Engineers (SAE) wouldn’t have given the stuff a spec number and NASA would not have spec’d the material for use in spacecraft, rockets, and satellites. I’d say that this is ample evidence that Stabilant does what it says it does. Also, when Dayton-Wright was selling Stabilant 22a as Tweek, this audiophile treated one channel of his system, the difference, with a mono signal, between the treated and the untreated channels was immediate and profound. It even fixed an intermittent connection in my Alfa Romeo’s speedometer. In short, it works.

George

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1 hour ago, gmgraves said:

Yes, various liquid unctions are reversible, unlike the soldering of connections which is not. Believe me, the military wouldn’t give Stabilant a Mil-Spec number and the Society of Automobile Engineers (SAE) wouldn’t have given the stuff a spec number and NASA would not have spec’d the material for use in spacecraft, rockets, and satellites. I’d say that this is ample evidence that Stabilant does what it says it does. Also, when Dayton-Wright was selling Stabilant 22a as Tweek, this audiophile treated one channel of his system, the difference, with a mono signal, between the treated and the untreated channels was immediate and profound. It even fixed an intermittent connection in my Alfa Romeo’s speedometer. In short, it works.

I completely agree with this. Furthermore, the silver pastes seem to go bad with time and well, I'd not want to scrub silver particles around high voltages or mains lines.

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This is all great stuff. It is helpful to everyone in the hobby.

 

Thank you.

 

 

G

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My experience with the liquid enhancers is that they go bad with time. When I was experimenting, and this is a long time ago, I noted that there was a very slow, but steady degradation in the subjective quality - it got greyer, and greyer, which is about as good a phrase to use. To confirm what was happening, put the connectors apart, thoroughly clean and replug with no enhancer added - ah-hah, full SQ restored. I repeated testing what was happening a number of times, and always got the same result. This is what motivated me to go the next step, soldering the connection - and then all the slow degradation issues vanished.

 

Later on I experimented with silver paint, paste preparations - this was just the normal stuff you get from electronic parts suppliers - and they always delivered a positive, and more importantly, lasted the distance. The downside is that you have to be meticulous in how you do it; just slapping it on, treating it like a car grease is not the way - a good approach is to think of it as very soft solder; and therefore treat it in every context as if it were indeed solder.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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17 hours ago, fas42 said:

My experience with the liquid enhancers is that they go bad with time. When I was experimenting, and this is a long time ago, I noted that there was a very slow, but steady degradation in the subjective quality - it got greyer, and greyer, which is about as good a phrase to use. To confirm what was happening, put the connectors apart, thoroughly clean and replug with no enhancer added - ah-hah, full SQ restored. I repeated testing what was happening a number of times, and always got the same result. This is what motivated me to go the next step, soldering the connection - and then all the slow degradation issues vanished.

 

Later on I experimented with silver paint, paste preparations - this was just the normal stuff you get from electronic parts suppliers - and they always delivered a positive, and more importantly, lasted the distance. The downside is that you have to be meticulous in how you do it; just slapping it on, treating it like a car grease is not the way - a good approach is to think of it as very soft solder; and therefore treat it in every context as if it were indeed solder.

But you said that you had not tried Stabilant!(?!). Stabilant is, by itself, non conducting. Only when used in conjunction with the mating parts does it increase the  area of the connecting surfaces. So one can use it without fear of inadvertently shorting out nearby connections by sloppy application. BTW, Stabilant is the goop itself, and Stabilant 22a is the goop diluted with isopropyl alcohol - which is how it’s supposed to be used.

George

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