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INSTRUMENT CABLE FOR A SPEAKER

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by shakiroin, Oct 17, 2009.


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  1. shakiroin

    shakiroin

    Dec 17, 2008
    Is there a difference in sound if I use an Instument cables to hook my bass head to the cabs?

    Can this damage my head or cabs ? :meh:
     
  2. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    Don't do it! it WILL damage your head.
     
  3. In addition to damaging your head, it also fries the cable. I've heard they can literally melt from the inside out because of the high voltage.
     
  4. seamonkey

    seamonkey

    Aug 6, 2004
    The greatest invention is "Speakon" connectors so people don't get confused on what cable to use.
     
  5. yamaha

    yamaha

    Apr 7, 2006
    Montreal
    Instrument cables have very small wires in them to transmit signal from your bass.

    Then the AMPLIFIER AMPLIFIES that signal about 10 000 times more powerful.

    So the speaker wire must be of a much bigger size to handle all that power well.
     
  6. UncleFluffy

    UncleFluffy

    Mar 8, 2009
    California
    Head Tinkerer, The Flufflab
    I put a 1/2" wide ring of yellow heatshrink around the connectors for all the speaker cables as soon as I get them so that people can see which are which.

    Doesn't stop them doing stupid things, but makes it less likely and removes any excuse.
     
  7. grifff

    grifff

    Jan 5, 2009
    Towson, Maryland
    +1

    They lock too!
     
  8. RustyAxe

    RustyAxe

    Jul 8, 2008
    Connecticut
    Sound? Probably not. But it isn't safe. Speaker cable is a heavier gauge, and the conductors are different. Instrument cables are coaxial, a center conductor, surrounded by a braided shield (which serves as the ground). Speaker cable has two conductors of the same gauge (one pos, one neg) that may or may not be shielded with a braid (either way, the braid would carry no current).

    I agree, Speakons or binding posts are the best kind connectors because the save the unknowing from themselves!
     
  9. Rattman

    Rattman Supporting Member

    Wanna start a literal fire? Want to possibly destroy the amp? Speaker cable and instrument cables are NOT interchangeable. There are plenty of threads here on TalkBass that will clearly spell this out for you. A small-gauge center 'lead' conductor and a braided shield will not conduct high voltage transients without quickly heating up.
     
  10. Been using Speakons for 10 yrs., undenialbly the best speaker cable. DON'T USE INSTRUMENT CABLE, PERIOD.....:rollno:
     
  11. Bassman203

    Bassman203

    Mar 29, 2008
    Chicagoland
    Yeah, I love them. No worry about a stupid techy walking through and tripping over it. (common happening at school performances). I had two amps running, one my practice amp and pointed at my drummer because their were no monitors and the acoustics in the auditorium were terrible, but I found out after the plug had been yanked out when a techy ran through. That would never happen to my Genz Benz

    o, and to the op. Don't use speaker for instrument or instrument for speaker. They have different uses for a good reason. Mark your speaker cables to just in case.
     
    ahanfland likes this.
  12. Also:
    Larger contact surface.
    Contacts self clean every time you connect/disconnect.
    No possibility of exposed high voltage.
     
  13. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    It would be surpassed by a forum software that forces use of a 'search' before anyone was allowed to post a question that gets answered at least once a week. :D
     
  14. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    Colorado
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    It depends on how many watts you are pushing.

    150 watts no problem. 600 or 1000 watts problem.
     
  15. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Depending on the length, it can cause some power amps to oscillate (regardless of power level) and self destruct. CoAxial cable such as insturment cable generally has pretty high capacitance per foot which can cause the issues. Also, the smaller gauge wire mar cause heating of the conductor and insulation, not good.

    Speak-ons are by far the best solution to all of this, meet all the international safety standards regarding touchproof contacts, rugged, locking, reliable and unlikely to be mistaken as an instrument cable by even the most techniclly challenged ;)
     
  16. thisSNsucks

    thisSNsucks Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Yonkers, NY
    hmm so it would harm the head but not the cab. Thats interesting. I always thought it wasnt good for either.
     
  17. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Won't hurt the cabinet unless the amp oscillates but doesn't blow up before damaging the cabinet, or damages the cabinet as a by-product of blowing up.
     
  18. shakiroin

    shakiroin

    Dec 17, 2008
    Just click on a different topic.. Be happy :D
     
  19. shakiroin

    shakiroin

    Dec 17, 2008
    Thanks to you all for taking the time to answer.. I got real speaker cables now 16 AWG.. ;)
     
  20. seamonkey

    seamonkey

    Aug 6, 2004
    +1!

    Other forums do force this. Nice and simple, and it automatically builds FAQs if people click on the "Did this answer your question?"
     



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