Let me share a confession and a recommendation with you.
I have been known on occasion 🙂 to rail against incompetent engineers. Generally when I’ve run into something involving the technical workings of a device or system that clearly haven’t been thought through. Of course many such engineering shortfalls have their roots in the constraints — marketing, financial, etc. — that even competent engineers have to work within. Still…
But today I want to give credit where credit is due to a humble piece of technology that is, IMHO, brilliantly designed: the Deadbolt Banana Plug from Sewell (even though they don’t know how to spell “banana”, slipping a third ‘n’ after the first one).
I came across these after an hour of enraging activity re-configuring my home entertainment system, where every time I moved anything it seemed like one of the “simple” banana plugs I’d been using for years lost its grip on its wire. Which kinda makes them non-functional.
After giving up in disgust — and calming down — I decided to do what I should’ve done earlier: throw money, and Amazon, at the problem.
A quick search turned up Sewell’s Deadbolts. Here’s what they look like closed up:
The magic is based around the face that they unscrew, and there’s a path through the center of the back for the wire to pass through, which then gets crimped against the metal body of the plug when you screw it back together:
Of course, this only works with stranded speaker wire because you need to fan out the strands so they’ll catch on the teeth of the central pillar. But who uses anything else these days?
Here’s the instruction card for the plugs which shows the individual steps:
These babies are really snug when you put them back together!
Highly recommended. In fact, I’ll never use anything else again.