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Advantages to Speakon Cables?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by BassIsBad, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. BassIsBad


    Sep 10, 2012
    I'm considering buying speakon cables just for the locking mechanism, but I am wondering if there is any actual difference in sound or tone quality (as opposed to a regular old speaker cable).
  2. As long as the wire is the approrpriate size, a speaker cable is a speaker cable. How ever, I only use Speakon connectors for a few reasons
    1) You never touch the ends, so grime and oxidation is lessened( not that its common)
    2) You cant short an amp out by plugging and unplugging them
    3) They just look cooler IMO
    4) they lock in to place and don't get pulled out as easily
    5) Your guitarist cant forget his instrument cable and use your speakon cable for his guitar. With a regular 1/4", he can
    6) The main reason, They are field serviceable. And they are easy to put new ends on, takes about a minute.
  3. oerk


    Oct 16, 2009
    7) Connection area on the plug is bigger than on a 1/4", making for a more efficient connection.
  4. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    It's not a question of tone, but of reliability and safety.
  5. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    No difference in tone.
  6. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    For those managing the PA or using conventional power amps, you may want to consider going Speakon (speaker end) to banana plug (amp end). I recommend the Neutrik REAN w/ strain relief, BTW. You can switch between stereo and bridged mono applications without changing cables. Gotta love those binding posts!

  7. 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
    The advantage is not in the cable itself (the wire really could be almost any size or length) but in the Speakon connectors.
  8. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I've had people give me broken or questionable 1/4" plug-equipped cables just to clean out their rig boxes. 9 times out of 10, if you cut 8" off each end (the suspect portions) and install the Speakons, you'll end up with a bunch of nice viable cables for the cost of the Speakons (~$5-6 each).

  9. jastacey


    Feb 8, 2009
    The Speakons system of jacks and plugs can handle 10/12 amps of current
  10. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's Supporting Member

    1/4" plugs and jacks were never meant to handle speaker level current. The contact area where the round plug meets the flat terminal of the jack is so tiny it is amazing that they work at all without blowing up. We would have been much better off using dual banana plugs if there had been a way to ensure polarity.

    The Speakons have huge contacts that match each other, and they wipe each time you plug them in and out so they keep clean.
    You can double them up for large currents or you can bi-amp with a single connector and 4-conductor cable.
    They lock so they can't get pulled out accidentally.
  11. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    You really only need speakons in amps that do better than 500w to protect you from any shock hazards, but they do have other advantages already listed. Still, all my amps and cabs have 1/4" speaker jacks and I'm perfectly fine with them. The 1/4" jacks take up less room in my cable bag ;)
  12. BassIsBad


    Sep 10, 2012
    Thanks for the help guys