I use an Onkyo TX-SR876 A/V receiver as the hub of my A/V set up, and a most excellent piece of kit it is too. I bought this receiver from Richer Sounds about 18 months ago for half the recommended retail price to replace my ageing Sony receiver. My old Sony was very low spec when it came to video processing but the Onkyo is pretty full featured allowing upscaling and upconversion of any source, analogue or digital, up to 1080p. This forms the hub of my system with video and audio from all sources (Sky+ HD, PS3, Wii, Pioneer DVD) being upscaled to 1080p and output over HDMI to my Panasonic TH-50PZ700 50″ 1080p plasma.
Anyway, to cut to the main point of this post. This receiver has typical speaker cable binding posts allowing you to either bind in the bare speaker wires or to use banana plugs. However, the posts have black plastic plugs down the centre where the banana plug would be inserted, stopping you using them.
I’d not seen this before but after a bit of research I understood that it was down to some European directive prohibiting their use due to safety concerns. (My take on this is that if someone is stupid enough to stick something in there that they’re not supposed to, let them deal with the consequences, rather than making everyone else suffer!) When I first came to install the receiver I tried to see if these little plastic plugs were removable, but they didn’t appear to be, and rather than use excessive force to get them out when they may not have supposed to come out, I decided to simply wire up the speakers by binding in the bare cable ends.
So, I’ve been running the receiver like this for quite a while now but after reading something on the web the other day about the fact that these plugs can be removed after all I thought I’d just take another look to see if I could get them out…. and I have! By using a small bladed screwdriver inside the hollow plug pushing outwards, I’ve managed to get the plugs out so I can now revert to my preferred means of connection the speaker cables using banana plugs.