Amp newbie here - why isn't my SpeakOn cable working?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by LamarKafka, Jun 5, 2021.

  1. LamarKafka

    LamarKafka

    Oct 25, 2015
    Edinburgh
    I just got my first proper head and cab (Tech 21 VT Bass 500 head, Fender Rumble 1x15 cab) and when I plug the head in, I just get a click/squeak through the cab every few seconds and no amp signal. The cable is just a standard Stagg SpeakOn from Amazon and, based on eyeballing it, seems to have the right pins. What am I doing wrong?
     
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  2. Redbrangus

    Redbrangus Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2018
    Under The X In Texas
    Can you find the "Neutrik" brand name on the speaker cable connectors? Do you know someone you could borrow another Speakon cable from for test purposes?

    Edit: Actually, if you're getting any sound through the speaker at all, the speaker cable isn't likely to be the problem. It's possible that you have a problem with the amp -- but you need to be able to do some isolating to troubleshoot whether or not that's the problem.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2021
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  3. abarson

    abarson

    Nov 6, 2003
    Santa Cruz
    Speakon cables are inserted, then rotated until they click securely in place. Make sure you get the click.

    Stagg does not use genuine Neutrik connectors, which can be an issue. I also see that the are made with wire that has “conductive rubber”, which sounds like an oxymoron. I would return it for a better product.
     
  4. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Inconclusive...not enough information. I'll assume you don't have the gear-on-hand to do component swap-outs to isolate the culprit. Any way you can hook up with somebody locally (...with amp>Speakon cable>cab) for some proper diagnostics? Load up, hit the road, and you can be at my place in a week.

    Riis
     
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  5. Redbrangus

    Redbrangus Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2018
    Under The X In Texas
    :laugh: A generous offer, I'm sure.
     
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  6. LamarKafka

    LamarKafka

    Oct 25, 2015
    Edinburgh
    I think you're right, though I don't have any idea how to diagnose the problem. The cab seems to work fine, as the 'click' responds to different horn settings. The head puffed out smoke the first time I turned it on, though it does work fine through headphones.

    They were inserted properly, but you're probably right about them being subpar cables.
     
  7. Smoke? There's nothing normal about that. I believe your power amp section is damaged. Either your cable damaged the amp, or the amp was already defective.

    I don't know why people buy crappy cables and connectors. The are the cheapest investment compared to instruments, amps, speaker boxes, etc, so why scrimp to save a few dollars rather than buying quality connectors?

    But, I guess you learned your lesson the hard way.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2021
  8. LamarKafka

    LamarKafka

    Oct 25, 2015
    Edinburgh
    Indeed, I don't have any components to swap out. I was hoping to avoid an amp tech visit for a head I got a few days ago (and waited an extra month for - thanks UPS), but things seem to be heading that direction. I've just relocated to the UK, so driving to VA might get a little bit soggy - appreciate the offer though.
     
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  9. Redbrangus

    Redbrangus Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2018
    Under The X In Texas
    Hopefully, not by a defective speaker cable. :(
     
  10. abarson

    abarson

    Nov 6, 2003
    Santa Cruz
    Find someone with a multimeter and test if the cable is shorted. If it is, you have a claim against Staff for frying your amp.
     
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  11. Redbrangus

    Redbrangus Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2018
    Under The X In Texas
    I defy anyone to do this with a multimeter alone -- the terminals resist being contacted by the meter's probes. Now if you happen to have two extra NL4-MP connectors, it's pretty easy.... :D

    Edited for correct Neutrik part number.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2021
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  12. Redbrangus

    Redbrangus Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2018
    Under The X In Texas
    Maybe lug your amp to a music store...beg pardon, I mean 'shop' :)... where you can plug into a cab with a Speakon cable that's known to be working. If the problem turns out to be the cable, buy the replacement from the shop where you did it.
     
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  13. Redbrangus

    Redbrangus Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2018
    Under The X In Texas
    Uhmmm...how are you accommodating the different voltage?

    Edit: I.e., did you change the power mains selector at the IEC connector?
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2021
  14. LamarKafka

    LamarKafka

    Oct 25, 2015
    Edinburgh
    It's set to 230V and I'm using the UK plug it came with (no adapters or anything).
     
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  15. Redbrangus

    Redbrangus Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2018
    Under The X In Texas
    I know it probably seemed bleedin' obvious, but I figured I'd check, since you'd relocated from the New World. Dumber stuff than that comes up every day here on TB, IME. :laugh:
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2021
  16. bherman

    bherman Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2009
    Grand Junction, CO
    If it works properly with headphones, it sounds like the cable is the culprit.
     
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  17. SemiDriven

    SemiDriven Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2012
    Milwaukee, WI
    o_O So, the amp still works through headphones even though it started smoking a bit.

    Cool!

    Hopefully it's just the cable!
     
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  18. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Columbia, MD Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Could be the speaker, could be the cable, but your cable is fried. The cable is cheap to swap out, but if something is screwed up with the cab, do you want to risk another head to test it? You will need to replace the head, I would definitely get a proper Neutrik cable and would toss the old one because of relative low cost, high likelihood of being the culprit. Somebody will have some suggestions to test the cab, maybe a multimeter and/or the 9V battery check? If you don't have the skill or gear to test the cab, probably take it to a shop for a quick bench test. It would be cheaper than blowing another head.
     
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  19. Except for the smoke. Power amp could be dead.
     
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  20. LamarKafka

    LamarKafka

    Oct 25, 2015
    Edinburgh
    I think that's the culprit, the cable and cab seem to work fine. I'll get it checked out to see what the damage is. It should be noted that when the head smoked, it was not hooked up to a cab - poor choice on my part, but conventional wisdom seems to be that only tube power amps will fry if you do that? It was shipped from Thomann and sat in the UPS warehouse until I strongarmed them into delivering it, so perhaps it was damaged or accumulated dust?