1/4' vs. Speakon

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by LiquidMidnight, Apr 7, 2005.

  1. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    I was wondering if there was a major performance difference between using Speakon cables instead of 1/4' cables.
  2. I know I've seen threads about this, but I'm interested to see what the consensus will be.

    I, personally, don't think it's much of a difference, except for the locking factor in Speakon.
  3. DubDubs


    Aug 23, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Speakon is designed to handle more power. It also has a locking plug and jack so it wont come unplugged by accident.
  4. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    Are those the only differences? or are they more or less versatile for connection combinations with multiple speakers?
  5. The contact area looks about the same. It would seem that banana plugs are superior for contact area, but those don't lock.
  6. Speakons, with the right connector on the end, can be wired for power amps in bridged-mono use. (use the 1+ and 2+ signal instead of the 1+ and 1-)
  7. After several recent incidents with broken bodies on speakons I am more inclined to use qtr cables these days, or bananas for bridging.


  8. Where did you get your bad speakons? I have the ones from procablesnsound.com (EXCELLANT customer servive btw), and they are the beefiest, strongest feeling cables I've ever seen/held.
  9. Jerrold Tiers

    Jerrold Tiers

    Nov 14, 2003
    St Louis
    I posted this a while back, but its buried in a thread that also has a major flame war or two in it, so I extracted it.....

  10. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Thanks for the info!

    I asked because I'm in the market for a power amp right now. I've pretty much narrowed my choices down to a Carvin DCM1000, Qsc RMX1450, and if I can find one for a good price, a Crown CE1000. The Carvin has 1/4 outputs, but the Qsc doesn't.

    Also, if I get the Qsc, will I need a certain type of Speakon to run in bridged mode? Will I need a special chord for the Carvin?

    Jerrod, thanks for digging up that post; it was VERY informative.
  11. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    I have a ce1000, and I love it. The QSC's are good as I have heard, and a bit lighter.
  12. To run in bridged mode you will have to have a speacial speakon cable wired 2+, 1+ at one end (amp side), and 1+, 1- at the other end (speaker end). This can also be done with a cable with banana ends at one end, then whatever you need to go into the cabinet.

    If you go the speakon cable route, I highly recommend getting it off here: http://www.procablesnsound.com/ . Great guys to work with, and by far the highest quality cable Ive ever had. Was about 25 shipped I believe.

    About the Carvin, Im not sure, but Id highly recommend QSC, mines performed wonderfully.
  13. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    I ordered some nice fat banana to 1/4" cables from that site. I agree that their customer service is fantastic.
  14. Yeah, I had a cable end snap on me, and he offered to fix it for free, I just had to ship it to him.
  15. Plain Old Me

    Plain Old Me

    Dec 14, 2004
    Steelsound.com has Crown amps for a very good price new. However, the QSC is a bit lighter, but I used to use a Crown before going all tube and it was a great amp.
  16. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    That's awesome to know. Fortunately I haven't had any problems... I was very pleased because I ordered something he didn't have listed on his site, but he said he could make 'em and then created a webpage just for me where I could place my special order.
  17. I had an instructor for a while and I asked him the same thing and whether or not it made a difference in the sound. He, Trip Wamsley http://www.tripwamsley.com, took out several cables: 2 speakons that were different because of their construction/ materials, and a regular 1/4 inch speaker cab cable. Using the same bass, amp head, and cab he played through each. While I do not remember the real details, almost 2 years ago, there was a distinct difference in the sounds. One being more clearer, one sounding more full and rounded, and then the 1/4 sounding almost as good as either one but did lack some clarity.
    Overall I was impressed but he explained it best by saying that most people would never hear the difference so it's your choice. I agree.
  18. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    For my DIY cab, I chose a Speakon because I like the idea of not being able to short out the conductors to ground, or to one another, in any amplifier mode.

    For 1/4" I recommend using only Switchcraft. Type 270 is the standard plug. Type 70 has a bigger shell, and screw terminals. You can take the screws out and solder fairly heavy wires into the screw holes. It is probably the speaker connector of choice if you want to use 1/4". On the other end, the jack of choice is type 11, the good old open frame with heavy duty spring contacts. All of these are at www.mouser.com for reasonable prices, along with most types of Speakon connectors.
  19. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    What about XLR speaker connections?

    My QuatraValve has an XLR speaker out and my 1524 cab has an XLR input. Would it be better than the 1/4 and/or Speakon? I would like to know if its worth getting a cable to connect them.
  20. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    XLR's have a pretty good connection, and they lock. You may want to get some that are built well for handling speaker loads. Ones with larger soldering lugs would work well. I think it's worth it.