Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Avatar does it again (now with a Speakon)!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by BillyB_from_LZ, Dec 22, 2003.


  1. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Chicago
    I just ordered a B210 today and was told that they're now shipping '04 models which feature a Speakon connector in addition to two 1/4 in. input jacks!:)

    Dave's been listening!
     
  2. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    getting warmer
  3. NJL

    NJL

    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    i really wish my 410 had speakons!

    :(
     
  4. Woodboy

    Woodboy

    Jun 9, 2003
    St. Louis, MO
    Speakons are the only way to hook up the cab! They make a huge difference in the solidity of the sound.
     
  5. seriously? explain. if so I may look into getting speakons installed in my cabs if it ain't a big time & money consumer:D
     
  6. sincity

    sincity

    Oct 16, 2002
    Connecticut
    But what if your amp only has a 1/4 inch for the speaker in jack? Do you think you will get any benefit from a speakon (cabinet) to 1/4 inch (amp)cable.
     
  7. Woodboy

    Woodboy

    Jun 9, 2003
    St. Louis, MO
    I had a high quality Monster Cable 1/4" speaker cable to hook up the head (GK 700rb) to the speaker I had at the time (Aguilar GS-112). I used it like that for months and then just for grins, hooked it up with the Speakon cable that came with my head. Everybody in the band noticed it immediately. I didn't even have to say "Hey, guys, what do you think?" The 1/4" cable was brighter and thinner and the Speakon was fuller and deeper with more punch. You would not gain anything by having a 1/4" plug at one end and a Speakon on the other, IMO.
     
  8. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    I'm a big fan of speakon's, but really, that's a bit much to believe. I think your ears were hearing what your head wanted them to hear. At that power rating, a connection is a connection is a connection. I'm certain that the internal connections of your equipment are a whole lot smaller than those made by a 1/4" connector, for sure . . .

    And as for the benefit of a speakon at the speaker end only, the benefit is "no exposed contacts" should the speaker end become unplugged while your head is powered on. Less of a shock hazard, especially if the floor is a big puddle of beer.
     
  9. natrab

    natrab

    Dec 9, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    Speakons are less prone to wearing out or becoming damaged. Maybe you thought it gave you better tone because your old 1/4" wasn't connecting all the way (I have so many old 1/4" cables and jacks that just don't quite fit right and cause sound problems).

    Unless there was a huge difference in the quality of the cable, the connectors shouldn't make much of a sound difference.
     
  10. Woodboy

    Woodboy

    Jun 9, 2003
    St. Louis, MO
    When I was using the 1/4" Monster Cable my whole rig was less than a year old. Age was not a factor. I can see that there are many lining up to say it can't make a difference, but until you try it yourself, it is just theory. I am lucky in that my amp and cab have both Speakons and 1/4" jacks so I could a/b the cables easily. Believe me, the difference wasn't minute. Even the drummer heard the difference immediately! Why should some get defensive that possibly a better connector has been devised in the 80 or so years since the 1/4" plug was invented for manual telephone switchboards?
     
  11. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    Can somebody say Tara Labs thread? :rolleyes:
     
  12. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    ahhh, the illustrious tara labs thread. Oh the memories...:rolleyes:
     
  13. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    As posted by "Ampeg insider" in another thread:-

    "I don't like 1/4 inch jacks for speakers, de-facto standard or not. I would put a speakon on everything. But the reality is that 1/4 inch jacks are out there and demanded.

    Here is my case against them.

    The standard type of 1/4 inch jack has a pretty poor current rating. The usually quoted one is 5 amperes. Some of them don't have a rating, because the cheesy manufacturers (typically but maybe not exclusively in China) don't even rate them.

    The connection in a 1/4" jack is made by what is usually a two-point contact between the tip of the plug and a contact in the jack. There is the strong chance for higher contact resistance, and various sound-related effects that go with that.

    As a side point, even well-respected manufacturers are going to China with their 1/4 inch jacks, and quality is suffering IMO as a result.

    OK, at 5A then.... since power equals I^2* R, you start to get to 5A (5 squared being 25)at a power of 25*4=100 watts at 4 ohms. So with a 100 watt 4 ohm amp you are reaching the current rating of the jack. You *probably* will not play at 100W all the time, so you are likely fine.

    At 350W 4 ohms, you are getting up towards 10 amperes RMS, which may or may not cause significant heating in a 5A connector, depending on how you play, power-wise. Peak currents are close to 14A. Now that 5A gets hit a lot more often, if you use the power.

    If you have a 2 ohm rating of say 800W and a couple cabs, the peak current is almost 30A, and rms is 20A. Not a great idea to daisy-chain them off one 1/4 inch jack........probably you will lose quite a bit of that power through the contacts.

    Maybe the power is not lost as heat, but it still is lost just as an effect of increased resistance. At 2 ohms, tenths start to count. Every 0.2 ohm would have used 80 watts. In reality 2.2 ohms simply draws only 727 watts instead of 800, at equal output voltage....still a loss, and a reduced damping factor, if you are considering that much-abused rating.


    The Speakon, by contrast, has a line contact almost an inch long. It is rated for at least 4 times the current rating of a typical 1/4 inch jack, which suggests both a power capability 16 times larger, and a considerably lower contact resistance.

    Your choice as to which you want. With all I say, the 1/4 inch jack is still out there and actually works pretty well, considering.

    Sorta like the bumblebee, which is supposed to be aerodynamically incapable of flying, but doesn't know it.


    Added note:
    I should have mentioned that in many types of 1/4 inch jack, the first thing the 1/4 inch plug does when you insert it in the jack is to create a short circuit from tip to sleeve against the barrel of the jack.

    Same thing if it falls or is pulled out and lands on anything else made of metal, like a mic cord connector. That is especially true of the all-metal type where the "handle" is a screw-on metal sleeve..

    That can make some amplifiers unhappy, although any decent one should be protected. And you generally have no signal as you plug in speakers. Still....

    Just another reason not to use them on speakers"
     
  14. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    The Republic of Texas
    Great post, Pb!!!

    One comment, if you use Speakons at both ends of a cable, do your best to make sure it can't catch someone's foot moving past your stuff. They won't give or pop out like 1/4" or banana connectors. If it's connected to your amp, your amp may take a dive.

    I have a Speakon to banana cable from my amp to cab at the moment, but I plan to replace the banana with a Speakon. My cable is short enough that someone would have to really try kicking at it to hang it (hopefully that won't happen).
     
  15. CamMcIntyre

    CamMcIntyre

    Jun 6, 2000
    USA
    Looks like all i have to do now is figure out how to open up the speakon plug :oops: Since he's doing that for the '04s this will work out nicely for me. Christmas money along w/paychecks are supplying the money for the cabs i want to order. :D Hopefully, i'll be placing an order within 2 weeks. Thanks for telling us and that's all
     
  16. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    You mean "great post AI". All I did was quote "Ampeg Insider".
     
  17. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    getting warmer
    I prefer Speakons for the positive lock they provide. However, the stuff about the sound being that different from 1/4" is pure BS from my experience...

    I own a couple of SWR heads, both with banana plugs for the bridge connection and I went about trying out different speaker wires and connections to figure out what the "best" solution for connecting to my Aguilar 410 would be. I set up cables: Banana to 1/4", banana to speakon, bare wire to 1/4" and bare wire to speakon. Difference in sound between all of them: none that were perceptible to me in quiet or loud, solo or group situations.

    I have my SM900 set up with 14 gauge wire clamped in the binding post with a speakon at the other end so that I can plug into a cab quickly and securely without loding my speaker cable and if I want to run the head in Stereo, the Speakon connection lets me leave the cable "plugged" in without worrying about accidental shorting. It is solely about convenience and electrical safety even at 800 watts.
     
  18. tornadobass

    tornadobass Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Iowa City, Iowa
    Endorsing Artist: Black Diamond & SuperSensitive strings
    It's a fairly easy job to change over the Avatar jack plate to have one 1/4" and one Speakon. I did that on mine and it worked fine. A Speakon panel mount jack is only about $4 at Parts Express, for example. I bought a hole saw made for metal to cut a new hole around the lower 1/4" jack cutout.

    I recall my 1/4" connectors getting crackly every once in awhile, but that hasn't happened yet with the Speakons. The secure connection is a big advantage to the overall sound if you know it will be 100% on all the time!