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! :)

Banana jacks broke on cab - replace entire input plate?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by K2000, Mar 22, 2014.

  1. K2000


    Nov 16, 2005
    I stupidly moved my Bag End cabinet before unplugging the banana inputs. I broke the two plastic cylinders that help support a banana jack.

    Generic pic... black and red cylinders are cracked and missing on my cab (one partial, one totally).


    These in the photo seem short... on my cab the plastic cylinders somewhat support the jacks. The possible good news is that the actual input (metal barrel) is a "C - mount" (screw-on fittings). I'm hoping that I can just replace the plastic cylinders and not have to replace the entire input panel (plus do the wiring).

    Anybody know if these banana input plastic bits are replaceable?

  2. Hi.

    On some banana jacks the plastic part is the nut, on most IME it's just a piece of molded plastic providing the insulation.

    I wouldn't bother with spares, good quality banana jacks are cheap and easy to find.
    Not to mention very easy to replace.

  3. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    It could be a good time to install speakons.
  4. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Those kind of jacks are recognizable, so here's my best guess. The colored plastic part is threaded on the other side, which engages the metal nut that holds the jack to the panel. Then there's a metal terminal on the end of the jack, to which a wire is soldered.

    Replacement is "easy" to the extent that some soldering is required. I agree with Jazz Ad about changing over to speakons. Banana jacks are teh evil. It would be an OK compromise to just get rid of the bananas and use those 1/4 inch jacks.
  5. AltGrendel

    AltGrendel Squire Jag SS fan. Supporting Member

    May 21, 2009
    Mid-Atlantic USA.
  6. K2000


    Nov 16, 2005
    Hey, that's a pic I found online. I should have taken a pic of my actual cab and posted it. My cab already has Speakons. (Bag End SE-18). I couldn't find a photo of the input panel for that specific cab, and my cabs are at my practice space. I posted the only Bag End input panel photo I could find a link for.

    One reason I use the Bag End banana plug inputs is that my amp only has banana outs (Crown K2).

    Another is that I am under the impression that Bag End wires it's Speakon jacks differently, and I don't know what I need to do to use their Speakon jacks.

    On other threads here, I've read that banana jacks are not connected to ground - I don't know what that means either (on a practical level). I never touch the jacks while the amp is on, or disconnect the speakers. What are the practical implications - I can get shocked?

    I can call Bag End next week and talk to them - I'm hoping that the broken bits are plastic 'sleeves' which are just screwed on, and maybe they have extra ones (but I doubt that's how they are built, since nobody has confirmed that here). :(

    I see home audio speakers with metal banana inputs, so it seems like plastic jacks on 'pro audio' speakers would be considered a weak point and design flaw.
  7. Hi.

    The sleeve of the phone jack is usually grounded, at least to the dish/back panel, but the other connector possibilities usually are not.
    The other popular possibilities in MI/PA being of course Speakon, XLR and Amphenol AP/EP.

    The "not grounded" with banana connectors provide the possibility of changing the polarity by just reversing the leads.

    Grabbing the uninsulated parts of both + & - banana jacks when there's signal being amplified will shock You, but why would anyone do that?

    Those metal banana jacks can be used if insulated, or if the panel is made out of plastic.

    Design choice than a flaw more likely, I'd use the combination banana jacks used on PA amps that take a wire and a spade connector as well though, but the length of that connector requires very deeply recessed panel.

    From http://www.bagend.com/faqs.htm#anchor191186:

    The bolded out part is a industry "standard" with biamped cab combinations.

  8. darrenmt


    Dec 15, 2004
    If you're talking about banana jack binding posts, u can find a bunch off ebay. Usually chinese source at low prices. Would require disassembling the old ones and replacing with the new ones.
  9. scowboy

    scowboy Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2006
    Sacramento area
    Ebay, parts express, amazon would all have the exact or very close to exact replacements.
  10. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Yep. I usually use www.parts-express.com or www.mouser.com. Easy fix, relatively cheap, and both retailers provide great customer service.

  11. K2000


    Nov 16, 2005
    So I called Bag End's offices to talk to tech support (recommended... emails have been ineffective, but their over-the-phone help is unbeatable). They told me the easiest thing to do is use the Speakon inputs, because there would be a fair amount of desoldering involved on the input plate. The Speakons can be daisy-chained, and seem fool-proof. I'll replace the banana plugs where I can (everywhere except the outputs of the K2) because the Speakons just seem more secure.

    Okay now I have a Speakon issue... I have an extra Speakon plug on hand already. I have it disassembled but I can't figure out how to loosen the screws to pull the existing wires out (and the other 2 ports are also tightened down all the way). I believe a screwdriver is used (?) to back out the screws to release the individual wires (or tighten them down). But when I look down the "barrel" there is no slot for a screwdriver. It's smooth on the bottom, and the barrel is threaded but I don't know how to back it out. Help?
  12. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Hex wrench, not screwdriver!