1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

4 pins speakon cable

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by JuanG, Nov 14, 2005.

  1. JuanG


    Oct 16, 2005
    New York city
    Guys one question?
    I was told about getting a 4 pin speakon cable instead of a 2 pin speakOn cable...what's the difference there (besides that one has 2 and the other 4) any differences in sound? how do I know how many pins it has? are most of the cable around 4 pins or 2 pins? Am I right if I say that is better to use a speakon to speakon cable than a speakon to 1/4 inch cable? thanks J :ninja:
  2. FireBug


    Sep 18, 2005
    I'll check my speakons later as I'm not sure ow many pins they have, but I do know my 1/4 to speakon adapter (and vice versa) is a two pin connection. When I looked into it the pin configuration was as follows. One pin in the North position and one pin in the East position. There is probably a tiny bit of an advantage to using 4 pin because you would get a better connection with more surface area. As far as I know though, 4 pin connections are rare and the 3 pin connection is even more so.
  3. tadawson


    Aug 24, 2005
    Lewisville, TX
    Speakons come in 4 and 8 conductor models, but I have never seen an 8 outside of large multi-way PA use. There should be no sonic difference at all between a 4 and 2 pin cable, assuming similar wire in either case. The 4 pin cable should work on pretty much anything, including bi-amp (as done by GK and perhaps others) and the 2 pin will work for full range, non bi-amp applications. As far as commonality, the two pin cables are much more common in the music store world, since very few amps bi-amp. Oh, Neutrik also sells what they call a 2 pin speakon, but it is a 4 pin shell with only two conductors - the same basically as using a two wire cable on a 4 pin connector, and they all interchange.

    In the 4 pin range, there is the original, the SPX and the STX series. The original is rated for 25 amps, and the SPX and STX for 40 amps. (The STX is basically an armoured version of the SPX). As such, unless you are running rediculously high power, the basic line should work, although I do like the SPX series a lot as well, and they are not much more money. I have never seen music store cables made with the SPX series, though . . . but they are so simple to put on that paying the premium for a store cable is something that I am not willing to do - I roll my own, and can do a 4 foot 4 wire cable with SPX connectors for about $12.

    There is no such thing as a 3 pin . . . . unless you are referring to the "Powercon" series, which LOOKS like speakon, but will not mate with it, and is designed for 120/240 AC power cables.

    - Tim
  4. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    There is no sonic difference (quality of the actual plug aside) but there is a functional difference. A "normal" speakon connection uses two pins, +1 and -1. So if you are running in stereo, or parallel mono mode, you only use those two pins. A 2-pole connector is fine. There are 2-pole speakon plugs made for that application IMO to keep the cost down.

    A 4-pole speakon has +1, -1, +2, and -2 connections. Just like it would appear, both amp outputs on a stereo amp share one Speakon. Amp outputs might use these in order to allow bridged mode output using +1, +2 terminals, or allowing both channels to use one connector. If you aren't running in bridged mono, or using something like the GK Biamp setup, then you don't need a 4-pole connector.
  5. Bob Lee (QSC)

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

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    Speakons come in three basic varieties: 2, 4, and 8-pole. The 8-pole ones are used almost exclusively in large sound reinforcement systems.

    Of interest to bass players are the 2- and 4-pole Speakon connectors. The 8-pole ones are a beast unto themselves, while the 2- and 4-pole Speakons are to some extent interconnectible.

    Your loudspeaker cable most likely only needs two conductors. So let's assume you you need a 2-conductor cable. Then the question is whether you use a 2- or a 4-pole Speakon connector on it.

    The 2-pole connectors have two pins, 1+ and 1-, and they're suitable for a single-channel connection. Similar are the 4-pole connectors, which have pins 1+, 1-, 2+, and 2-. The 4-pole ones can be used for a single-channel connection, too, but also are useful for bridging and two-channel connections as well.
  6. peter G

    peter G

    Sep 28, 2004
    ohio's northcoast
    please forgive thread drift: will a 4 connector speakon & aggie 1-12" with horn with the GK amp, access bi-amp feature or do I need the GK cab?
  7. JuanG


    Oct 16, 2005
    New York city
    Thank you guys.
    I'll go for the 2 pin speakOn cable. ... JuanG
  8. Mattski


    Jan 6, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    You can do it if you bypass the aggie cross over. Connect the +1 -1 speakon pins to the driver and the +2-2 pins to the horn.

    I have modified two Avatars that way. Works great if you have a GK head. Keep the crossover to reinstall in case you want to sell it.

    Good luck.