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Bag End Cab Speakon Wiring

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Michael Vee, Dec 18, 2006.


  1. Michael Vee

    Michael Vee Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    I will be contacting Bag End about this as well, but thought I'd start by asking our group.

    Do Bag End coaxial cabinets have non-standard Speakon connector wiring? Edit: Yes, older ones do; see posts below.

    I've connected several of my amps with Speakon outputs to my Bag End S15X-D. I get no sound with any of them, connected to either of the two Speakon inputs. I'm using brand new Bayou Cables, and the cables work great when I connect my Eden CX-110 extension to my CXC-110 combo, Speakon to Speakon.

    The cab plays fine with a 1/4" to 1/4" cable connection, or a Speakon output to 1/4" input cable. I've removed the jack plate from the cab and examined it for any sign of burning, melting or whatever, resulting from overpowering. The connections and boards on the back look fine, and brand new still.

    The cabinet is a couple of years old; I bought it used from an eBay seller. It's in really good condition, sounds great and shows no signs of abuse whatsoever.

    I've done all the requisite troubleshooting other than testing the Speakon leads on the back of the jack plate with a multimeter. I do need to do that to verify my hypothesis, which is that Bag End uses a non-standard Speakon jack configuration, instead of the usual 1+, 1- scheme.

    Edit: See posts below.
     
  2. jkdahlman

    jkdahlman Ambitious But Rubbish

    Jul 13, 2004
    Baltimore, MD
    You could just rewire the jack or...
    from the Bag End website FAQ:[SIZE=-1]
    I would like to use the Neutrik Speakon connectors on my Bag End speakers. How should the cables be wired?
    [/SIZE]

    [SIZE=-2]The Neutrik Speakon NL4MP connector is a keyed, high current, four conductor device which allows both the high and low frequency signals for a bi-amped loudspeaker system to run through the same 4-conductor cable. Bag End uses pin 1+ and pin 1- for connection to subwoofers. Pin 2+ and pin 2- are used for mid/high loudspeakers. All four conductors on both Speakon connectors are wired in parallel, but only two conductors are connected to the driver(s) in the enclosure. This permits an easy parallel connection to other similar loudspeakers (if your amplifier can handle the lower impedance load) and allows the use of a short “jumper” between the subwoofers and the mid/high speakers in a bi-amped system. Banana and 1/4" phone jacks are also provided on mid/high loudspeakers. Subwoofers include banana jacks on each circuit ("Low" and "High").



    Hope this helps.
    [/SIZE]
     
  3. Michael Vee

    Michael Vee Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    Update:

    I just got off the phone with Dan at Bag End.

    Sometime in 2004, Bag End changed their Speakon plates on the S15X-D to the standard 1+ 1- configuration, with user-changeable jumpers on the back of the jack plate to allow reconfiguration of the Speakon pins.

    Prior to 2004, as jk has just posted, the mid/high cabinets Speakons were wired 2+ 2- and subwoofers were 1+ 1-. Or subwoofers had banana connections only.

    It's interesting that the S15X-D was classified as a mid-high speaker, instead of just full-range.

    When I gave Bag End my serial numbers, the S15-D came back as having been built in 2002, and the S15X-D in 2003.

    I went with Dan's recommendation, and have purchased replacement jack plates. This will give me correctly wired 1+ 1- Speakons for both cabinets, as well as the reconfigurable jumpers.

    Currently, the S15-D has 1/4" and banana jacks only. It'll be nice to be able to connect it via Speakon as well.

    I'd rather get new plates than to always be fooling with non-standard Speakon cables.
     
    Munjibunga likes this.
  4. Great info.

    It's just that, probably the primary reason BE had the Speakon on the S15X-D in the first place was because it's a two-way (woofer/tweeter) speaker, and they were giving you a way to access the tweeter independently (2+, 2-) with a one-cable hookup, in case you were wanting to bi-amp it (like perhaps with a GK head, except I would hesitate to do that). Not for purposes of high-current full-range use, which the dual banana jack takes care of.

    But the trend has gone toward routine use of Speakons for full range, so there you have it, and now it's more flexible.

    What kind of cost are we talking about for those replacement backplates? I might be interested in that.

    Also, how were those mysterious BE people to talk to? I'd like to talk to them, and give them some love for building me such great little speakers...

    Does Dan have e-mail?
     
  5. Michael Vee

    Michael Vee Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    Hey whacker, thanks for joining in! :)

    Call Bag End at 847-382-4550. It's very easy to call in and talk to an engineer. They have very efficient and polite ladies who answer the main phone there. Tell them you're calling about a Bag End bass cabinet and would like to speak to an engineer - or just ask for Dan. There's usually a short delay, and then if Dan isn't at lunch, BANG.. you're on. It's a long distance call, but it's so efficient, and rewarding, to talk to Dan, I'd recommend that over email any day.

    Dan is a great guy. He's an engineer at BE, but he's a super nice, and patient guy to talk to on the phone. I've spoken with him a couple of times already about my Bags, and he's been right there with good advice and info each time. I've been encouraging him to get online and register a Talkbass name, to raise visibility and support for their cabs on TB. He's probably going to do it in January. It would be a real godsend.

    He transferred me to Tara, in sales, to order the jack plates. The jack plates are $36 each. This includes two 1/4" and two Speakon jacks, as well as the circuit boards on the back that wire the jacks together in a neat, organized fashion, much better than other manufacturers' jack plates I've seen.

    If you call Bag to order the plates, ask to speak to Tara. She's a good kid and was very patient while I ran to the garage to get a flashlight to be able to read the serial numbers off the plates.

    Since I bought the cabs used, I had not registered them for warranty. Tara checked the serial numbers and was able to tell me that the cabs had never been registered for warranty. She also told me what year they were built.

    They are shipping the plates to me via UPS ground, so I'll have them sometime next week. I'll take pictures of them when they get here and post them in this thread.
     
  6. jondog

    jondog

    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    No, you cannot access the tweeter independently via the speakons. It's all or nothing whether you use banana, speakon, or 1/4".

    I made my own 2+2- cable. It's not really "non-standard," it's just not common with bass gear. It is the standard for bi-amping PA gear, that's why speakons have 4 pins in the first place.
     
  7. Michael Vee

    Michael Vee Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    Jondog, I didn't know you were a fellow Bag Ender! Welcome!

    At this rate, we may have to start up a Bag End megathread! Who's game? I'll do it if a few votes are cast..

    If you order a standard Speakon cable, without saying otherwise- it's wired 1+ 1- so that is a defacto standard for bass amps, or most power amps, anyway.


    And, Jon, I've told you this before - Never change your sig! It's priceless.. "Now everything is clear -- in mind and in tone. I have dewired all of my amps. They now run off of broadcast power from the mothership. ALL YOUR BASS ARE BELONG TO US!!!" Heya Hootie-oh!! :bassist:
     
  8. Michael Vee

    Michael Vee Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    Since I have this particular BE thread going, I better stick the S15 stack picture in here too:

    [​IMG]
     
  9. jondog

    jondog

    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    :D I've been working with the Tara Labs R&D staff on new broadcast power transmitters but the Venusian engineers are a real PITA to work with and the government keeps checking up on where our anti-cables are made so they'll probably never make it to the general market. :bag:

    I've been using an S15XD for the past 5 years or so, it totally cured my cab gas! For loud gigs I pair it with an EV1x18. The only thing I'd change is to add an attenuator for the tweeter, but it sounds good so I really don't mind :)
     
  10. Michael Vee

    Michael Vee Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    This afternoon, I received replacement jack plates from Bag End. FAST turnaround on my order! Three days! Plus Tara, in sales, is a babe.. :)

    S15-D's don't have Speakon jack plates. I ordered a plate from BE for both my S15X-D and S15-D cabinets. (The S15X-D had a 2+ 2- speakon configuration.)

    Wow- this should not have made a difference, but it did! My S15-D is somewhat louder and even fuller than before. I am incredibly impressed by the sound of this small 1x15 cube!

    Replacing the jack plate on an S15X-D is a little more involved. You have to pull the grille and speaker to get to the crossover. I'm going to do that tomorrow, when I have more time free from work, Christmas shopping (UGH! :mad: ) and can take my time and do it right.

    Reports to come. I'm impressed, being able to hook up the S15-D via a regular 1+ 1-(and VERY high quality!) Bayou Cables Speakon cable.
     
  11. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Actually the reason that the BE cab's were non-standard was that the 15's and 10's are considered mid range cab's rather than bass cab's - remember these guys have a sound system background. Their 18" cabs are considered bass cab's so the idea was that the 1's were bass signal. SO the 1's were used on the 18 and the 2's were used on the mids & high's cab. Kind of like the GK concept in a way except that the whole full range cab is the tweeter and they expect their 18 to be the low's.

    I'd love to hear my D-10-BXD on top of a BE 18. That's gotta be able to move the earth...
     
  12. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    If you search the archives, you'll find a post where I changed my pair of S15-Ds over to the new Speakon jackplates when they first became available in 2002 or 2003. I felt the same way - I didn't like having non-standard cables.
     
  13. Chuck King

    Chuck King Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2006
    Chicago
    Do it! I just got a new (old) Bag End cabinet that I'm stoked about.
     
  14. Michael Vee

    Michael Vee Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    Ken, how about a Bag End S15-D/S15X-D megathread? Pick some of the more recent, useful threads and merge them.
     
  15. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    "Do it!"

    Yes, please.
     
  16. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Just to clarify...

    Are the new S15Ds coming with speakons on the jackplate?
     
  17. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Maybe that should just be a Bag End thread as there are a few of us 10's & 12's users here...
     
  18. Michael Vee

    Michael Vee Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    I agree, let's make it all Bag End bass cabinets.
     
  19. Michael Vee

    Michael Vee Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    Okay - update - after much wrestling and doing, I got the new jack plate hooked up and installed on the S15X-D, having done the plate for the S15-D yesterday.

    It was complicated by one of the little spade lugs on the positive (red) wire on the new plate being too small for the terminal on the crossover. I had to cut the lug off the old plate, and then solder it on to the red wire on the new plate.

    The compression driver was loose on the back of the speaker; a clockwise turn secured it. As it turned out, the speaker clamps were not tight either. The big clamps and allen screws make a good tight seal possible, so I tightened it up too.

    So did the sound improve? Yes, it did. I connected my Eden WT-390 (in my CXC-110 combo) to the S15X-D with one Speakon, played a while, and then connected the S15-D to the S15X-D using another Speakon.

    Wow! I would not have thought passing more current, using Speakons, could make that much difference! I was getting a lot more punch, detail, and clarity. These really are some sweet, punchy, loud cabinets

    The only thing I could figure out was that the 1/4" jacks in the cabinets were dirty or corroded. Both cabs are over 3 years old. Or, possibly some of the internal wiring connections were not tight.

    Any of you BE players out there who are connecting amp to cab using 1/4" speaker cables should definitely consider the upgrade!
     
  20. Michael Vee

    Michael Vee Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    That's a good question. I don't know the answer, since mine is used. I don't think new ones do, no- but you will find out pretty soon!
     

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