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1/4" female to female Speaker Cable Adapter??

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ashtray, Feb 14, 2016.

  1. Yes. But it won't cause a ground loop
    A ground loop is caused by a difference in ground potential between two active devices.
    This can happen when two amps are on different AC circuits.
    Speakers are passive. The ground side of the amp connects to one side of the speaker, but the speaker does not have it's own independent ground when not connected to the amp. Plus and minus on a speaker is only for marking polarity. You can connect the amp out, plus to plus and minus to minus to a speaker or plus to minus and minus to plus. The speaker itself does not care because it has no ground by itself. Amp to speaker connection has a total of one ground in the circuit and nothing to loop.
    crentest likes this.
  2. samson3382


    Apr 26, 2009
    Boise, Idaho
    To be clear, OP, we're talking about a 1/4" coupler. (No shielding, either way right?)

    Not an instrument cable as a speaker cable.

    Just coupling two 1/4" (with proper speaker cable, I'm assuming) ends.

  3. Exactly. Shielding, instrument vs. speaker cables, etc.... all irrelevant. All you need is something with stout-enough internal conducting elements.
    Old Garage-Bander and crentest like this.
  4. Yes - just the coupler. Just wanted to make sure it was stout enough inside and wouldn't heat up the coupler, etc. I actually just ordered the GLS one so I'll try it and report back when it arrives on Tuesday or so. And yes - absolutely proper speaker cable. I prefer 12 gauge for bass, but that's a topic for another thread...

    Some labels on Amazon call them "gender changers" - which for a $15 DIY job, sounds painful! ;)
    Jim Carr likes this.
  5. That sounds like something that would take a nip & a tuck, LOL.
  6. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Correct, I misspoke. :banghead:
  7. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    Not necessarily. What happens if the metal coupler comes in contact with something at a different potential. What if someone touches it and they are grounded or if they are running through another amp and touching their strings while they do it.

    Stranger things have happened.
    Jim Carr likes this.
  8. Andyman001

    Andyman001 moderation must be taken with a grain of salt

    Feb 11, 2010
    I needed the same thing to run my GK MB-Fusion from a 15" combo amps speaker at my church. Made my own:

    DSC00346.JPG DSC00347.JPG DSC00349.JPG

    being old, i have a lot of these containers around :)
  9. LOL, I never thought of that, and I even keep my 1/4" adapters in a medicine bottle just like that.
  10. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Be sure the barrel is insulated. Many modern class D amps use BTL output stages and the barrel (sleeve) is not at ground. A short to another connector's barrel that is at signal ground could destroy the amp since signal ground is not usually part of the protection scheme, and can not handle the current from the output.
    Killed_by_Death and bassmeknik like this.

  11. Here is my home made speaker cable extender/coupler. I bought 2 1/4" jacks and a small project box and made it in about 20 minutes, I have 2 of them. The other jack is on the opposite end. The piece of blue and white tape is code for belonging to me, as there are 5 of us combining equipment to set up this is how I help the others (and myself) to identify my personal stuff...

    I have used the Radio Shack couplers at times and still have a few in my gig bag. I can concur that they are not 100% reliable.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 15, 2016
    Old Garage-Bander likes this.
  12. But that is something other than a ground loop. Might have a similar effect, like produces hum, but it's not the same thing. What you describe sounds more like a lack of grounding.
  13. My coupler is not shielded, and I bought my first class D amps (Crown XLS) at Christmas time and this is often used with the stage monitor speaker connections (main PA and stage bass rig is entirely speakon). Should I shield the inside of my coupler?
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2016
  14. For speakers it won't matter. For instruments it might. It may be that the coupler is shielded internally. If not just get a shielded coupler, the switchcraft one shown earlier should work. I wouldn't fool around trying to add shielding to one that is unsheilded. Depending on how it is built you might end up destroying it or the added shielding might touch something it shouldn't.
    Just mark it: "for speaker use only" to be safe.

  15. I made it and show a pic in my post and shielding it will be easy, and it is marked speaker only on the bottom. I am planning on migrating away from the barrel type couplers (presently I only use them infrequently for instrument level connections) as I have had a few signal cut-out issues with the cheap Radio Shack couplers. So I am planning on making a few more and shielding all of them so they can be multipurpose. I further intend using TRS jacks to further increase their usefulness for balanced and stereo applications, also to provide a second ground connection when using TS plugs.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2016
  16. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    Chances are slim but it is possible.

    An uninsulated coupler could cause a ground loop if it comes in contact with another potential. That hum is due to a ground loop.

    The return signal path of a speaker is usually connected to ground in the amp.

    Any signal at a different potential that comes into contact will result in a ground loop. The big difference here is that normally the coupler will not cause a ground loop. It will only do so if it comes into contact with another potential such as being touched while holding an instruments strings that is plugged into another amp. If you have ever been zapped in the lip by touching a mic while playing, that is due to a ground loop. Albeit at short lived one. :laugh:

    Ground loop (electricity) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  17. Shoot - I just remembered... I HAVE something like that already! Made one 20 years ago - a "series box" to allow me to run two cabinets in series instead of parallel. Could have easily modified it for this purpose. Then again, I haven't seen that box in the past decade... ;)
  18. Your series box will require rewiring to be used as a coupler, however based on your post you have what you need to make one.

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