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Speakon cable Vs. 1/4"

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by smgleitch, Apr 7, 2011.


  1. smgleitch

    smgleitch

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Location:
    Napoleon, OH
    I am sure this has been discussed, but I cant find a answer to my specific question so I will ask.

    Someone said that speakon cables sound better than 1/4". Is this true. My understanding before was that the advantage was simply they stayed locked in place.
     
  2. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2005
    Location:
    Seweracuse, NY
    No. They sound the same but are better, safer, more secure connectors.
     
  3. Bongolation

    Bongolation

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2001
    Location:
    California
    Yes, but I would have loved to have heard the bubba-physics explanation of how and why they sounded better. :D
     
  4. BrBss

    BrBss

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    Location:
    NM
    Well you see, in high power situations, the current throught the cable incduces a magnetic field. The magnetic field at the jack creates a force between the jack and the plug. Because the 1/4 inch jacks are not secure, they will oscillate slightly at the frequency of the magnetic field, which means you are losing some power into this movement. The Speakon connections lock the plug into place, so maximum power is transferred.


    :bag:
    :D

    But BurningSkies is correct; the speakons are better connectors, but they won't sound different.
     
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  6. smgleitch

    smgleitch

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Location:
    Napoleon, OH
    I couldn't come up with any good expiation for why they would actually sound better. Just heard a guy say it and though that seemed odd. Thanks
     
  7. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2001
    Location:
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Disclosures:
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    The cables are the same. Speakon connectors are more secure and durable than 1/4" plugs.
     
  8. chucko58

    chucko58

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2002
    Location:
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    Disclosures:
    I paid for all my gear myself. Well, me and MasterCard.
    The biggest difference (besides cost) is that the act of plugging in a 1/4" phone plug can cause a temporary short. The Speakon doesn't have this problem.
     
  9. Downunderwonder

    Downunderwonder

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Anyone that plugs/unplugs a speaker while my amp is on is gonna get a slap whether or not it's a speakon connection.
     
  10. NoGraveConcern

    NoGraveConcern

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2003
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Speakons are capable of handling more current which makes them better suited for high powered amplifiers. Below ~300w the advantage is simply the secure connection and eliminating the risk of a short.
     
  11. Foz

    Foz

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2008
    Location:
    Jax FL USA
    Well if you run enough power through it the 1/4" phone connector becomes a bottle neck [1k watts???] which could yield an audible difference in performance - but I reckon the typical user would never see these levels in a instrument cab.

    The more practical advantages are as mentioned above. no short potential & locking connection - also they are field replaceable / repairable [with a screwdriver] and as some TB'er put it - Speakons are the future - convert your stuff whenever possible and you'll have an easier life hooking it up to new/different stuff.
     
  12. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

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    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
  13. Robby Hoinsky

    Robby Hoinsky

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    Disclosures:
    Art of Noise Audio, fEARful™ builder
    if by sounds better you mean it won't ever in a million years cut out on you, then yes, they sound much better.

    Speakons are the cat's meow, bee's knees, and cable terminator.

    If there is ever a speakon fan club, i call member number 1 :D

    Robby
     
  14. smgleitch

    smgleitch

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Location:
    Napoleon, OH
    I am only running 500 watts. So would buying a cheap speakon cable vs. an expensive one make much difference. I have only ever used the 1/4" cables but now both head and cab have the new connectors and since I spent a lot on the cab and head think it is time to upgrade the cable. Is there a brand who you guys would recommend. I cannot see getting Phil Jones cables but maybe something of better quality if there is really any point to it.
     
  15. Richard G

    Richard G

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    thanks for the thread i was going to post the same question...also i have been finding myself having to use speakon adapters as one of my heads is a genz benz and is strictly speakon but cabinets in rehearsals are 1/4 sometimes speakons but mostly 1/4...i think i noticed some speakons are able to take 1/4 straight into the speakon regardless adapters are needed for 1/4....1/4 to speakon....cooupling etc...
     
  16. gjbassist

    gjbassist Supporting Member

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    Kansas City, MO
    Make your own. It's much cheaper and very easy.
     
  17. greenboy

    greenboy

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    remote mountain cabin Montana
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    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Hard to remember when I first started using Speakon. Ages ago. Amazing that it's a topic still. Should google some DJ forums and see if the functions crowd is still not fully migrated.
     
  18. NoGraveConcern

    NoGraveConcern

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2003
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    As long as it has Neutrik ends and 16 or numerically smaller ga wire, cheaper is better. Caveat: Some have a preference for the push button ends over the twist lock type.
     
  19. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

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    Feb 20, 2005
    Location:
    Seweracuse, NY
    I can't remember when they started using them in regular production/consumer gear.

    I pretty much used the same amp for about 12 years before moving to an amp that was an old design as well...So I didn't get the memo on Speakons until about 5 years ago.
     
  20. Plstrns

    Plstrns

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    I put a speakon in my 89' Ampeg 810e 12 years ago, and it was considered sacrilege :)
     
  21. Foz

    Foz

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2008
    Location:
    Jax FL USA
    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f15/where-get-speakon-cables-151089/

    I suggest you learn to make em - I use 14 gauge speaker wire for highest power rating still easy to assemble but 16 gauge would be fine for your described use.

    For the ends I use Neutrik Speakon NL4FX for the higher power rating versus the NL4FC but either will work for you.

    Neutrik NL4FX - Google Search

    also you'll need a set of wire strippers and a screwdriver.


    ...or just snap up a generic professional made equivalent like the Hosa brand - this would work fine.

    Amazon.com: HOSA SPEAKER CABLE W/SPEAKON, 3FT: Electronics
     

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