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(2) Speaker Cables for (1) Cabinet?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by georgiagoodie, Aug 6, 2012.

  1. georgiagoodie

    georgiagoodie It's all fun&games 'til the winged monkeys show up Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2008
    Atlanta, GA
    It seems it is advantageous to use 12-gauge speaker cables for bass cabs, especially Speakon cables. 'Supposed to be less resistance and better lows.
    Now my head has (2) Speakon connections, and my cab has (2) Speakon connections. Why not use (2) 12-gauge Speakon cables? This will double the amount of copper between the amp and the cab.
    Does anyone do this?
    Will this damage anything?
  2. skychief


    Apr 27, 2011
    South Bay
    In theory, it sounds right. In practice, tho, its just much ado without any real advantage. imo.
  3. Chazinroch


    Feb 2, 2003
    Ontario N.Y.
    Never tied it and I suspect the results would be bad, very bad. Can't give you the technical reasons, but I'm sure someone can give you the specifics.
  4. smogg


    Mar 27, 2007
    NPR, Florida
    I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell
    Do not do it on a full range cab. Bad things can happen.
    The only time I've seen 2 cables coming out of 1 head into 1 cab is a bi-amp able head driving a bi-amp able cab.
  5. Although theoretically it should work without problems the whole concept is pointless, there will be no audible difference.
  6. NOVAX


    Feb 7, 2009
    isnt the 2nd speakon a parallel jack?
  7. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Yes, the second jack is to run a second cab.

    You don't need 12 AWG for the 3ft. from amp to cab either.

    It won't give you more lows, it's a pointless waste of money.

    Stop reading guitar sites or voodoo hi-fi sites or wherever you're getting that information from.
  8. georgiagoodie

    georgiagoodie It's all fun&games 'til the winged monkeys show up Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2008
    Atlanta, GA
    It has always been my understanding thicker gauge speaker wire is better than thin. I do suppose the length of the cable does come into play here, but I would suspect the 12 gauge cable, 3 feet long, would sound better than a 26 gauge cable, 3 feet long.
  9. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Look inside your cab and look at how thin the wires are. As long as the wires are thick enough to safely supply current, they're fine, and any sonic gains from thicker wires are imagined.
  10. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    I would suspect that you don't need to go any smaller than 16 gauge, or 14 at most if you're extra twitchy. You're not gaining any tone by doing so, and you're just playing with cable impedance, which at 3 feet is extremely nominal.

    Now, before we go off and buy some 10, 8 or 6 gauge speaker wire, ask yourself what has been used in your cab and amp head. I'm guessing that unless you've gone in and retrofitted yourself you're working with 18 or 20 in those locations, so you're not gaining anything by using 'fat' cables.

    ...now before you go and change out all the wiring in your cabinet, remember that heavier wire becomes a mechanical problem at the connections, and you're better off with the standard stuff. ;)
  11. I assume you would be talking about rewiring your amp and cab to do this, because neither are wired to do what you are suggesting in their stock setup.

    As your setup is right now, if you were to connect two speaker cables to the two amp outputs and two cab inputs, you will damage both your head and speakers
  12. PlungerModerno


    Apr 12, 2012
    /thread. ;)
  13. Febs

    Febs Supporting Member

    May 7, 2007
    Philadelphia, PA
    Rewire the lamps in your house with thicker wire. Do they get brighter?

    If the existing wires were adequate for the task, there should be no difference. (If they were inadequate, they probably would have caused a fire.)
  14. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Eh, that came off kinda snarky....sorry.

    But, yes, you need thicker guage for long runs of cable, like the 30+ footers you might have on your PA mains and stuff. It's just not needed in the short runs you have in a bass rig. The wiring inside your cabs from the jack to the speakers is probably 18 guage. Some might even be 20.

    Somewhere around here is a chart for needed guages for various cable lengths. Or could google it I suppose. The really heavy wire can actually stress stuff like plastic jacks, etc. and break them just from the weight pulling down on them.

    Some of the more nefarious companies will even advertise "heavy duty" speaker cable that's actually too small of guage wire, covered in really thick insulation. Gotta watch out for that.
  15. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Oooh. Home DIY electrical work. I've always wanted to try that.
  16. wcriley


    Apr 5, 2010
    Western PA
  17. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Yep. The outputs are paralleled and the cab's jacks are in parallel. Shouldn't harm anything but it doesn't have any positive reasons that you should do it.
  18. john m

    john m Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2006
    Yes--Lights would get brighter if supplied with a higher voltage. If #14 wire were replace with #10 wire in a 30 foot run, there would not be a significant increase in voltage across the lamp. If you ran a lamp in your shed, 200' from the house, a 100w bulb would be dimmer than the same bulb in your house near the electrical panel.

    As far as fire protection---- proper fusing is in order.
  19. Febs

    Febs Supporting Member

    May 7, 2007
    Philadelphia, PA
    I don't know about you, but none of the lamps in my house have 30' cords, let alone 200' cords. They're more like four feet, just like the typical speaker cable from head to cabinet. In any event, the part of your quote that I put in bold is precisely my point -- if the original cable is adequate for the application, doubling it is not likely to yield any improvement.
  20. wcriley


    Apr 5, 2010
    Western PA
    I'm willing to bet there's a lot more than 30' of wire between the entrance cable and a lamp in 90% (or more) of all homes.

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