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Bass Heads and Speakon Connections, What Gives?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ibz, Jan 16, 2006.

  1. ibz


    Apr 14, 2005
    Columbus, OH
    I see a lot of cabs from really expensive to cheaper Avatars w/ speakon connections in the back. Which got me thinking...

    There doesn't seem to be many bass heads out there with speakon outputs, why is that? It seems 1/4'' connections reign in the bass head world. Sure there are plenty of poweramps with speakon outputs (some only have speakon), but why bass heads? If speakon connections are that much better for transmitting signal why aren't they more widely used.

    I know there's heads out there with speakon capability, but why isn't it much more common? The price difference in cable's isn't horrendous.

    Also, out of curiosity, i'd be interested in knowing what heads do have this capability. Also, I don't recall seeing any tube bass heads with speakon outputs... although, I have seen XLR before.

    Interested in your thoughts/opinions here.
  2. Dan1099

    Dan1099 Dumbing My Process Down

    Aug 7, 2004
    Many higher-power heads have speakon connectors. Eden, Aguilar, etc.
  3. My first guess is that most bass heads were designed before the Speakon became the higher-end standard for connections.
  4. OrangeSun


    Jun 26, 2005
    Boston, MA
    I just got a eden WT800B, and you can only use it bridged through a speak on output. Is there anyway to connect a speakon output to a regular speaker cable input? I'm afraid the cab I got doesnt have a speak on input, and im gonna be kinda pissed if I ****ed that up. I assumed that all the modes would have regular cable outputs, guess I was wrong.
  5. JohnThomasson


    Feb 3, 2003
    Nashville, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Supro, Mesa Boogie, DR Strings, Source Audio, Pigtronix, & Fishman
    You can buy a Speakon to 1/4 inch cable, or any combination that is set up for bridging. (Banana, 1/4, Speakon, etc.)
  6. ibz


    Apr 14, 2005
    Columbus, OH
    +1 You beat me to it.
  7. ibz


    Apr 14, 2005
    Columbus, OH
    You are right some other high end manufacturers do like EA, and Epifani do as well. But some of these amps are in excess of one grand.
  8. soholounge


    Aug 11, 2004
    the SWR workingman series heads ($600 or so) have speakon output jacks.

    i wouldn't consider that high-end at all.
    pretty standard (some would even say entry-level)
  9. AxtoOx


    Nov 12, 2005
    Duncan, Okla.
    I thought it was pretty standard now. Both my Ampeg and Eden have them, though they are not needed for low power, but they do keep your cable from shaking loose while the cab is vibrating.
  10. dave_bass5


    May 28, 2004
    London, UK.
    Ashdown ABM heads have speakons as well

  11. BassNoob?


    Sep 18, 2005
    Redding, CT
    A lot of GK's have Speakons.
  12. The Genz Benz GBE600 and GBE1200 both have speakons; in fact, the GBE1200 has speakon outputs exclusively (no 1/4'' outputs). The Mesa Big Block 750 has speakons, as well as the new M-Pulse 600's - many people griped about the older models not having them (thanks, Mesa!). The Walkabout is the only one that doesn't have them (however, I don't know about the Bass 400+).

  13. fatsobasso


    Dec 24, 2005
    Ormond florida
    gk 1001rb-2 and 700rb-2 use them,and are a big part of the heads biamping capabilities.
  14. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    There are very few bass heads out there without Speakon's anymore.
  15. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    Speakons sort of evolved into head design along with the increases in output capability. For the same reason as banana but they won out because of superior design.

    There's no point in having them on a 300W amp (although some do) but they do make some sense on a 1000W amp.

    Although we were pumping 1KW into PA columns using phone plugs long before the speakon ever came along. I don't really see all the rave.

    Although I did see, not too long ago, a 60 lb. monitor wedge dangling from the stage, held up from smashing to the concrete only by a speakon connection. I don't think a phone would have held on. :)
  16. K Dubbs

    K Dubbs Just graduated from OSU, Go Bucks!

    Mar 16, 2002
    Toledo, Ohio
    I wonder when Walter Woods is going to give in and install speakons on his amps...although maybe there isn't room, haha
  17. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    if i dont see speakon's, i get very scared.
  18. OrangeSun


    Jun 26, 2005
    Boston, MA
    I was told that a 1/4 inch cable cant handle the 880 watts bridged of the eden amp. If I run a cable with a speakon on one end and a 1/4 inch on the other end, will that damage anything in the process? it sounds like it wont, but im just trying to make sure, because it seems like if it was okay to do that the amp would have a 1/4 inch output as well for bridged mode.
  19. Fred312b

    Fred312b Proof that gear doesn't make you a better player Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2002
    Chicago, IL
    ampeg svtcl has speakons and is all tube... i've also been looking into amps, and other than really lower end stuff, most mid-priced and higher amps seem to have them as standard... i'm no scientist, but i like speakons better- they just seem more substantial to me... i have never ab'd them or anything, and never had any problems with 1/4" connections in the past, but still, i doubt i'll ever go back from speakons
  20. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    My GK has them!