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Homemade Speaker Cables Cut-Out

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by lethargytartare, Feb 7, 2006.


  1. lethargytartare

    lethargytartare

    Sep 7, 2004
    Chicago
    I know some folks here make their own mcgyver style speaker cables, and I'm wondering if anyone has had this problem: I've made two sets of cables out of some nice thick-guage speaker wire I have lying around. I solder ground to ground, tip to tip, plug 'em in, and play -- swr 350 into a 4x10 and a 1x15. The cables work great for one practice. Next practice, absolutely nothing gets through the cables. I've checked the joints, checked for shorts...for the life of me, I can't figure out what's wrong. Anyone have any suggestions? I've made four cables like this and all four followed this same pattern.

    Or if there's a thread that discusses this theme, feel free to post the link and I'll delete this post (I searched for matches first, of course)...

    Thanks guys!

    ltt
     
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Check the jack on your bass and amp?
     
  3. lethargytartare

    lethargytartare

    Sep 7, 2004
    Chicago
    Oh, the rig and bass themselves are fine -- haven't had problems with those ever. What I did both times the homebrew cables died was replace them with instrument cables, and everything was fine...I just don't like using instrument cables as speaker cables (for obvious reasons)...
     
  4. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    That's a weird one all right! When you say you've checked everything, you do mean with an ohm meter, right?
     
  5. lethargytartare

    lethargytartare

    Sep 7, 2004
    Chicago
    :eek: as embarrassing as it is, no...after the failures I just did visual inspections of the solder joints...well, I know what I'm gonna be doing tonight :)

     
  6. MacGroove

    MacGroove Brother of the Groove with a 'Pocket Full of Funk'

    Oct 5, 2005
    Calif.
    Might be that since you made both cables out of the one long cable, maybe the cable isn't any good. That happened to me with a guitar cable, kept cutting it shorter and shorter resoldering the jacks.
     
  7. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    Bro, sometimes it just takes a different set of eyes looking at the same problem. :cool: I've made lots of cables that look fine visually, but still need a tweak after I meter them. Best of luck!
     
  8. tadawson

    tadawson

    Aug 24, 2005
    Lewisville, TX
    1/4" connectors, right? And cheap ones, maybe Rat Shack? Welcome to the world of 1/4" jack failures . . . . . at the very least, if you have not already done so, get good quality connectors by Switchcraft or Neutrik, preferably the high power rated ones made for speaker use - not the generic offshore crap you find at RatShack and a lot of smaller parts houses, and you will have better luck. A lot of times, what happens with a 1/4" jack, is that the tip contact gets loose - either due to the cheap jack coming loose due to vibration, or sometimes the insulators get soft and loosen if you heat it too much when soldering. Myself, although I have converted everything I own to speakon, when I did use 1/4", I made all my own, and never had failures like you describe. If you built these with a soldering gun, and not an iron of 40 watts or less, my bet is you baked them to death . . . .

    - Tim
     
  9. lethargytartare

    lethargytartare

    Sep 7, 2004
    Chicago
    Well, still getting good connectivity through the cables...now I've gotta try using them again, see if they work, and if so, see if I can get them to fail again...and then check the continuity again...sigh...The connectors are pretty good -- three different types (4 pairs in total), two are really nice gold ones, one is a sturdy metal type (one angled, one straight), and the other is a type with a plastic body.

    I'll do some more experimenting and see what happens.

    'til then...

    ltt