Help! My Head is missing Speakon Connectors

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by cheesesilk, Sep 23, 2005.

  1. Hello all, I just bought a used ampeg B4R from guitar center for 739, and when I got home I noticed caps over the speakon connectors. When I finally got the cap off, I noticed there were no speakon connectors behind it! How big of a deal is this? And furthermore I don't know if I can safely connect the head to one cab (mono bridged) without speakon cables. I know the buyer beware, but I hadn't even heard of speakon till I got home and researched it. Otherwise the head is mint. Should I throw a fit and return it? (After my gig of course) how important are the speakon jacks? Is it worth the 260 I saved by not getting it new?
    I never knew how much more complicated bass rigs were than guitar rigs.
    Thanks in advance.
  2. syciprider

    syciprider Banned

    May 27, 2005
    Inland Empire
    Don't even use it (it might crap out on you), just return it right away.
  3. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    It's supposed to be like that...US Spec Ampegs have their chassis' punched for Speakons but they fill them with plastic plugs and give you 1/4 phone jacks and 5-way binding posts (aka Banana jacks) in return. Follow the link below and read Item 25 on Page 6.

    The manual should tell you exactly how to bridge it. If you don't have one, you can get one here....

    Looks like you need a Banana plug to (whatever kind of connector your cabinet has) cable. The binding posts are there, right?

    The amp should have all sorts of markings on the back to guide you along.

    I hope that you didn't destroy the hole plugs. If you did, I'm sure that you could get some new ones from Ampeg. You could probably even have a tech install Speakon jacks for you, but you might want to PM Jerrold Tiers first (the fellow TalkBasser who works for Ampeg). He's very, very helpful.

    Nice amp! I hope you enjoy it!!!
  4. Ahh thankyou. Yes now that I think about it, it does look pretty professional to be a scam. No I didn't destroy it, I just managed to pry it off, it's stuck back in now. I played it at my gig and it sounded wonderful. What confused me was that the manual said I MUST use the speakon jacks/banana plugs to work in mono bridge mode, which I thought i was running in. I'll see if I can't contact the ampeg guy. Thank you thank you thank you thank you!
  5. KOakley


    Sep 26, 2002
    Hampton Va
    As I understand it, current U.S. models now come from the factory with speakon connectors installed. You can readily obtain cables and/or adaptors with a banana plug to whatever style connector your cab requires. Parts Express is a good source. The speakon mod is very easy to do especially if you just want to add 1 dedicated speakon jack for bridge operation. I made the change in about 45 minutes and daresay that a competent tech could do it in half that time. All that is involved is to rivet a NL4 jack into the center speakon hole and run 2 jumpers over to the back of the banana plugs. If you don't understand bridge theory get a tech to do it for you so as to ensure that the jumpers are connected to the proper pins on each end. I did this mod to my B4r after having a banana plug come loose in the middle of a gig which resulted in a few interesting minutes of embarassement untill I could figure out what happened. Banana plugs suck because they can pull out. I'll never use them again. Since I don't know your level of technical understanding I'm not going to give any more instructions except to say the mod is pretty much self explanitory if you know what you are looking at when you open up an amp. If you don't, get a competent tech to do it for you. Either way, I would get the mod done for the peace of mind that comes from knowing that you have a secure,virtually indestructable connection. Good luck. Kerry Oakley
  6. Jerrold Tiers

    Jerrold Tiers

    Nov 14, 2003
    St Louis
    Yes, new ones do have the Speakon.

    And yes, any decent tech should be able to put in a speakon.

    The whole thing came up some years back, for europe because of the need to meet new rules that technically made 1/4 inch connectors illegal. And of course banana plugs are illegal (they fit in the power outlets there) . Turns out, the quarter inch jacks were still being used, the rules weren't being enforced.....go figure.

    But, the speakon is a much better connector for the purpose, won't come out accidentally, etc. So now we just put it on for all units, domestic or export.

    And, now, Speakon are much more available here. When this deal first started, you'd get a blank look most places when asking about Speakon cables. People complained that they wanted their banana plugs, since they couldn't get "those weird round plugs" anywhere......
  7. KingFish22


    Jan 11, 2013
    I ran into the same issue. Here's a noob question though, I just got the banana plugs and they don't seem to fit into the binding posts al the way? Is it supposed to be like that or are they supposed to go all the way in?
  8. bluestarbass


    Jul 31, 2007
    Yea bannana plugs are kinda odd like that. It should take a bit of effort to go in, but they stick out a bit.
  9. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    If you are running in bridge you SHOULD use Speakons. It really is a safety issue. Both the tip and the sleeve of a 1/4" phone plug is live with respect to ground. The phone plug was never designed to carry the current or voltage of a modern high power amplifier. As posted, retro fitting Speakons is a really easy job for anyone with some technical expertise to do. The same applies to whatever cabinets you are using.
  10. Hi.

    There are several types of banana plugs and jacks, but for some reason most of the jacks found on MI and PA gear are short ones and plugs on the cords are either long or mid-lenght ones :confused:.

    That indeed leaves up to 1cm of exposed core that can (and eventually will) short the speaker outs for a reason or another.
    Call it Murphys law if You will ;).

    If You don't mind the slight rattle of the washer, just screw the thumb-nut all the way up and the sleeve should cover the exposed portion.

    Obviously, as a better option, You can get the shorter plugs and replace them.