In 1996, ACS (my then-girlfriend) and I wanted to replace my Signet SL-280 B/U. We auditioned myriad speakers, and the Sonus Faber Concertino still appeared on our winnowed-down list. We heard it at multiple stores, and even brought a demo pair home. 'Round back, the Concertino had awful stair-step bi-wire binding posts. Nominally, the shaft in these binding posts was supposed to fit wide, 8mm spades. However, because of the screw thread, even 8mm spades did not fit.
The thin, poor-sounding, brass bi-wire trips had 9mm notches cut out of them. If you ever had spades that wide, yes, they'd fit over the screw-thread shaft. However, the binding post then had less metal to clamp down on, and those wide 9mm spades often worked themselves loose. Even if you had a wide-enough spade, by spades' very nature, check out the impossible hook-up angles. All this sounds kinky, but most certainly wasn't. Well, the only thing kinked was your poor speaker cable.
Furthermore, you know from this blog that, ever since I got spades in the mid-90s, none was any good, and most were bad. Still, as you've seen from my reviews of Jeff Rowland and Mark Levinson amps, many binding posts only accept spades. That is also why my colleagues do not like the otherwise very good Joseph Audio Pulsar, which uses Cardas' spade-only terminal.
Included in the XLO UltraPLUS U6's termination price is your choice of banana plugs, 6mm spades, 8mm spades, or a combination thereof. My friends do not have any amps or speakers necessitating 8mm spades, so we have no XLO samples. We do, however, have equipment which is compatible with the 6mm spades. Accordingly, we have some samples of the XLO UltraPLUS U6 with these 6mm spades.
The XLO 6mm spade is angled, which further limits and restricts how you can connect it to a binding post. Note that there is a smaller cutout in the crotch of the spade lug, so that a connection can be made with really narrow shafts. Sounds kinky, but isn't. Also note that the collar which wraps, and is soldered to, the bare wire conductors forms a block, which further complicates hookup.
Flipping the spade over reveals a smooth surface. Sounds kinky, but isn't. Even if the spade is on a new pair, using a contact cleaner will remove lots of dirt. The heatshrink wrap states, "Made in USA." Hmmm, with XLO's parent company being in Ontario, Canada, I'm not so sure about being "made in the USA."