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High power quality 1/4" phono plugs for loudspeaker cables?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by AlexanderB, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. AlexanderB


    Feb 25, 2007
    Being an "early adopter" of Speakons for all my gear I have no clue what brand and type of 1/4" phono plugs that are worth getting today. I do not like the general flimsy-ness and tight space in them but is there something that is a bit more robust and "high power friendly" in the market today? I would be especially interested to hear what is used for big tube amps!
  2. I use speakons with my tube amps. If the cab doesnt have them. Add/replace one.
  3. AlexanderB


    Feb 25, 2007
    Brand new Peavey VB-2 on its way here. Peavey decided 1/4" jacks were good enough for it. I can/will/must hardly convert it to Speakons during warranty period.
  4. So build a 1/4" to speakon cable to use with your cabs?

    I just go buy ends and 16ga speaker cable, fine for short runs.
  5. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    I would probably just make a couple of 1/4" to speakon cables - they're handy to have, anyways - besides being cheap and easy to make...

    If I were to guess, Peavey used 1/4 outs on that head because it wasn't all that high wattage, and they're probably also shorting jacks...

    - georgestrings
  6. AlexanderB


    Feb 25, 2007
    I DID prepare a pair of 10 cm short 1/4" to Speakons using generic Switchcraft and Neutrik plugs I already have for instrument cable repairs. I am still looking for something a little better (if available) than those.
  7. If you have to use jack plugs, then use Neutrik. The internals are substantial and heavy gauge cable can be connected.
  8. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    Sounds like you'll be fine. Neutrik ¼" plugs are good quality if you want a plug better than the generic Switchcraft. The quality of ¼" plugs can vary. You can get ones that are specific for speaker connections. They have heavier contact tabs with larger surface areas. This makes it easier to solder smaller gauge (heavier) speaker cable wires.

    For the cable I use two conductor, 18 gauge, rubber jacked power cord that I buy from a hardware store by the meter. Don't use shielded instrument cable.

    You are buying a new amp but as it ages, it is a good idea to clean all the jack contacts, tube sockets and tube pins, and pots with Deoxit. An oxidized jack contact will affect the quality of the signal going out to your speaker.
  9. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Neutrik is good, so are a few others. Just stay away from the really cheap stuff like chinese radio shack and stuff where they use really weak, soft metal.

    Phone plugs have worked for 100 years and still do. There is something to be said for the increased contact area of speakon's, but it doesn't really matter until you get to higher power, which a 200-watter is not. There is a possibility of shorting if you plug them while the amp is running but that won't hurt a tube amp either.

    The speakons are easier to make/fix on the fly...no soldering.
  10. The old Switchcraft, G&H and Neutrik.
  11. It doesn't matter. The weak link in the 1/4" phone system is the spring in the jack that only makes contact at one little point between a flat spring and the cylindrical surface of the plug.
  12. +1. About the size of the head of a pin. Very small area of contact.
  13. AlexanderB


    Feb 25, 2007

    I will probably stick to my "vintage", pristine Neutriks and Switchcrafts then. Yeesh, I must have had them in my PA-repair-kit since 1995 or so. Well, finally they were needed!

    If the amp is a keeper I will probably upgrade to Speakons. It seems the jacks are Circuit board mounted but there are Speakons for PCB applications, too.
  14. BbbyBld


    Oct 13, 2005
    Meridian, MS
    I believe I used jacks with double tip contacts on that one. Power threshold for Speakons is 300 watts by regulation.
  15. AlexanderB


    Feb 25, 2007
    Wow! Reply from a Peavey designer - the man who designed the amp! I am impressed! :) It seems Larry Hartke is not the only one... ;)
    Well, BbbyBld, so far it seems very good (and the plugs went in place with a firm and reassuring >click<).

    I just had a couple of minutes to spend with it but my first reactions are positive; no mechanical noise from trannys etc, smooth and distinct action in switches and pots, good, clear tone on low volume, not much noise for a tube amp.

    I really look forward to next band rehearsal now! :bassist:

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