Everything about speakon

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by BoomBoy, Aug 28, 2005.

  1. BoomBoy


    Apr 1, 2005
    I haven't been able to find this summed up in one post. Could someone explain everything about speakon? Things you need to think about when connecting. I've read about mono, bridged, 1+, 2+, 1- in different posts, but would like it in clear text.

    My setup is a GK 700 RB head and an Ampeg Portabass PB 210-H. Are there different kinds of speakon cables? Basically, what should I ask for in the shop to make sure I don't blow up my kit? Is it at all possible to use the bi-amp feature of the 700 RB with this cab or is that exclusively for GK cabs?
  2. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    Speakons have more than one set of lugs for bi-amping situations. With a non bi-amped speaker use only the 1+, 1- lugs. Bi-amping the 1+,1- lugs are for the low frequencies, 2+, 2- the highs.
  3. BoomBoy


    Apr 1, 2005
    Thanks! That clears things up a little bit. I guess my cab won't work bi-amped, but what the heck..

    To live up to the title of the thread, would the kind people of TB be interested in sharing all their knowledge about speakon compiled in one thread? I'm sure all the knowledge is out there spread across different threads, but I think it would be useful if everything there is to know about speakon could be found in one thread. If you find useful information in other threads could you quote it here?

    Kind of like an idiot's guide to speakon..
  4. The Clap

    The Clap

    Jan 5, 2004
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Though you do make it sound like a lot of work, perhaps you could try doing your own homework? Do a search for 'speakon' in the titles of all TB threads and you'll find all the information you need. You could also try Google. There's not a whole lot to speakon connectors.
  5. Steve Clark

    Steve Clark Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2004
    London ON
    They are extremely simple to make as well. Buy the connectors and cable . . .piece of cake.
  6. +1.. Alot easier than I thought they would be. Quick question: How many of you "tin" the ends of your speaker wire before clamping them in with the screws?
    It's usually a better idea to tin them (won't corrode, won't mash as easily and get loose), but I've also noticed the the screw/clamp thingy bites and holds better on bare copper wire.
    Any opionions?

  7. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge

    The Speakon on your GK is the biamped outputs with the Bass on pair 1 and the hi's on pair 2 as I recall. You should double check the GK doc to be sure.

    If your Ampeg cab has a tweeter, you can add a speakon female in place of the 1/4 inch. Take pair 1 to the woofers and pair 2 to the tweeter. I use the 1001 RB II with a Bag end 2x10 w/co-ax tweeter. I was thinking about doing that but the cab sounds so nice full range that I just started off going 1/4 from the GK to the cab and forgot about it...

    If my sound is a little brite, I drop the presence or the hi a smidge. Works like a charm.
  8. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    I don't tin for Speakons. I do tin for 1/4 inch. I'm not so sure about the "won't corrode' bit. The Speakon has built in strain relief and I'm not real worried about the set screws backing out ...
  9. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    The problem with tinning the wires before you insert them into the receptacles in the Speakon connector is that after you tighten the setscrew, the solder will tend to cold-flow, allowing the connection to loosen.
  10. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Also, I tend to find that squishing down on bare wire exposes more wire to the conductive surface. As far as corroding, I have never had cables long enough for corrosion to happen, but then again, I don't expose them to liquids or anything like that.
  11. Thanks for the tips concerning tinning. I didn't tin mine, but I usually do when it comes to bare wires that will be connected over and over. But Speakons don't fall into that category.
    The Speakons are great and super-easy to install. Much better strain-relief than a comparable 1/4 plug... The only problem is finding a good price on them..

  12. Be sure to use genuine Neutrik Speakons, and not the cheap Asian knockoffs. There is a world of difference in the connector quality, especially the locking slider.

    I bought a bunch of nice cables from www.speakerhole.com before they went broke. I'm slowly replacing the clone ends with genuine Neutrik.

    I do a lot of bi-amping, and use double Speakon dishes. This gives me a built in daisy-chain (parallel) in each cab. I wire Pair 1 to the Lows and Pair #2 to the Highs. Full range cabs are wired to Pair #1.

    Adding one or two Speakon to an existing cab with 1/4" is also a good idea. This increases cabling flexibility, and ease of handling an "oopsie" in the event of broken or missing cables. I have banana, 1/4" and Speakon in my floor wedges and JBL mains. The subs are Speakon only. My bass rig is entirely Speakon and bi-amped.