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I thought I knew what I was doing...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by JakeAndAirwaves, Dec 25, 2011.


  1. JakeAndAirwaves

    JakeAndAirwaves

    Jun 3, 2011
    TX
    Apparently I don't. I got a GK MB200 and a Hartke 210XL cab. I got a cable that I thought would work, but upon looking at the amp I'm not sure. It's a speaker cable, not an instrument cable. It's got 1/4 connections. Would I go from the line out on my amp? Or do I go from the one that says speaker? I would need a different cable for that which I don't have.
     
  2. christw

    christw Get low!

    May 11, 2008
    Dayton OH
    I want to be Tesla (tinkerer at Dayton Amp Co)
    Read up in the FAQ before anything: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f15/a...overunderpowercabs-diy-techtalk-links-166225/ (There's a lot of good info but sometimes you need to look for it.)

    Your answer is as follows:

    Bass into instrument cable into the head's input jack.

    Head's speaker output (center hole in the speakon) into the cabinet's input via a 1/4" speaker cable.

    Remember, a shielded instrument cable IS NOT a speaker cable and can't carry a lot of current. It can be dangerous to use them as one. A speaker cable is unshielded and a poor instrument cable. Don't interchange them.
     
  3. Hawkbone

    Hawkbone

    Mar 23, 2009
    Newfoundland
    You have to use the speaker connection to drive a cab. Looks like you need a Speakon (Neutrik) connector. You could get an adapter from Neutrik to 1/4", or get the right cable.
     
  4. JakeAndAirwaves

    JakeAndAirwaves

    Jun 3, 2011
    TX
    Okay, the cable I have is a speaker cable. It's 1/4 so that goes into the middle of the speaker connection?
     
  5. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN"

    Oct 11, 2009
    MEXICANADAMERICA
    yes
     
  6. JakeAndAirwaves

    JakeAndAirwaves

    Jun 3, 2011
    TX
  7. topcat2069

    topcat2069

    Dec 2, 2007
    Palm Springs
  8. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    If your cable is 1/4 to 1/4 you are fine (as long as it IS a speaker cable). I have the MB200 and they take either the neutrik speakons OR 1/4.

    So... 1/4 from back of amp (amp output) into 1/4 bass cab input.

    Another thing you can do is make/buy a speakon to speakon cable (assuming your cab takes speakons) and that way you'll always know that its a speaker cable, not instrument cable.
     
  9. craig.p

    craig.p

    Sep 28, 2008
    New Hampshire
    If you have a later model MB200, the speaker jack may accept only a Speakon plug. The earlier MB200s accepted both Speakon plugs and phone plugs.
     
  10. This! The last one I got wouldn't accept 1/4". I was really pissed as I thought, "would it have broken the profit margin to provide a 1/4" jack on this thing?" After all, its only 200W!! 1/4" speaker jacks have been the standard in amplification for 50 years and GK thought they'd use their low power entry head to kick off the new standard. I couldn't believe that I had to go back to the store to buy an adapter after buying it. It was either that or get a new speaker cable just for that little practice amp....
     
  11. Apparently the combo speakons are actually green. If it's black it's speakon only. If it were me, I would retrofit a speakon to the cabinet. Some micro amps have two power sections that are permanently in bridge. You should never use a 1/4" phone cable with an amp running in bridge.
     
  12. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    Man Law violation! Man Law violation! Real men never read manuals. Turn in your Man Card immediately!! :eek:
     
  13. That's interesting Paul. Why do they say a 1/4" phone cable wouldn't be sufficient to run with the amps in bridge mode? I'm not doubting you at all but would like to learn. I would have thought they served only to pass a power signal along to the speakers. I can't see how the speakons would do that function differently. What am I missing?
     
  14. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    I think what he is saying is that the amount of current that goes thru an amp when bridged is dangerous if a speakon is not utilized.
     
  15. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    The connection at the speaker end isn't the problem. The problem is that Speakon-1/4" combo jacks use 2 pole Speakons, while bridging requires a 4 pole Speakon. The obvious solution is to use a pair of combination jacks for standard operation and a dedicated 4 pole Speakon for bridged. But I would never bridge anyway. All is does is to double the likelihood of blowing your speaker unless you've got a 16 ohm speaker, and who does?
     
  16. In bridge, each wire in the speaker cable is hot with respect to ground being connected to the output terminal of each output stage. One output stage is fed with a positive polarity the other with a negative polarity, the total voltage across the cable is twice what the single channel puts out. With the power these amps can put out this turns out to be a significant voltage swing. It can be enough to give a really bad shock. With a speakon cable this voltage is safely separated from touch. A phone cable has them out in the open. The other down side to the phone cable is that the barrel of the jack is live just as much as the tip is. If the barrel touches a grounded object such as light stands or a microphone cable, one channel of the amp is shorted out. This can easily cause damage to the amp.
     
  17. JakeAndAirwaves

    JakeAndAirwaves

    Jun 3, 2011
    TX
    Yeah it's black. I'll pick up an adapter. But will using an adaptor have an impact on the sound quality?

    Also, I have no idea if this amp is bridged. Apparently the state of Texas doesn't have the stuff I want, so this is a floor model. I don't have the manual (as if I would have read it). So going from my amp to an adapter on a 1/4 speaker cable into the 1/4" input on my cab is a bad idea? I would think if it's that big of a deal they would have a speakon already there right?
     
  18. Speakons are fairly new arrivals. Many older cabinets don't have them. Literally all new ones do. A retrofit is a simple procedure. I've done with every speaker that I own.
     
  19. JakeAndAirwaves

    JakeAndAirwaves

    Jun 3, 2011
    TX
    My Hartke 210XL is brand new. Entry level cabs don't? How would I retrofit it?
     

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