1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Making Speaker Cable

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Grooveline, Apr 27, 2015.


  1. Grooveline

    Grooveline

    Jan 24, 2012
    I've installed hand fulls of car stereo's but tonight I'm struggling tonight to make my first speakon to ts cable. Speakon part was fairly easy but it looks like my 12ga choice of wire pretty much effed me when it comes to my neutrik ts connector. Not only is the wire to big to be soldered to the ts tip but the wire jacket is to big to fit through the boot as well. I even bought the neutrik tip advertised to take bigger wiring. Just thought others should know to stay away from 12ga wiring if making cables with ts connectors (don't remember previous warnings or maybe they weren't this clear).
     
  2. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Yep, I think 12 gauge wire is definitely overkill for this project. You just don't need that much wire - and clearly don't need the bulk that goes with it. There's a separate discussion about wire gauges, but 16 gauge would be more than enough for this application.

    Edit: I suggest saving the 12 gauge wire for some other application and using a lighter gauge for this project.
     
    Gabbs and BurningSkies like this.
  3. Grooveline

    Grooveline

    Jan 24, 2012
    Also, any suggestions on where I can get somebody to solder together the ts end or should I just cut my losses on the cable and the ends?

    In all fairness yes it may be overkill (in your opinion) but it's not that much wire or bulk (2 feet of wire). This isn't to start an arguement on what guage to use or can be used as much as it is to tell those who don't already know that 12ga wire is a no no for making cables with ts connections. Not once in all the gauge arguements have I found this information easily available and clearly stated.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2015
  4. You may be able to use your #16 slot in your stripper for that end to trim the cable strands down to where they're usable?....or just cut some strands off with your cutters till it fits?
     
  5. agedhorse

    agedhorse SUSPENDED Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    A lot of 12 gauge cable (specifically type s, so, sow) will not fit into 1/4" plugs, even the jumbos, the jack and conductor insulation needs to be measured first. Even using the type sj, st styles are very tight at best.

    Because of the danger of shorts in the construction of 1/4" cables, I do not recommend 12 gauge. Besides, in a short length (under 10') there is zero benefit to 12 gauge over 14 gauge, even at 2 ohms, and the distinct potential for amplifier damaging shorts.
     
  6. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    FYI, you can get special ¼" plugs intended for use in speaker cables. They have larger screw or soldering pads than those used with instrument cables. Also the handle is larger and they can accommodate larger cables.

    You can buy 14ga cable with ¼" plugs. That might be the largest gauge that you can use with a ¼" plug.
     
  7. Grooveline

    Grooveline

    Jan 24, 2012
    Thanks for the replies guys. All the different ideas helped me decide to just use the new 12 ga. cable as speakon to speakon (will need to buy one more speakon end) and then take my old speakon cable, a 5ft 14ga planet waves cable with nl2fc ends, and snip of an end to connect to the np2xl that I had originally planned to use with the 12ga.
     
    tedious1 and beans-on-toast like this.
  8. BTW if you have not heard before DO NOT tin the wires when used in speakon cables. The wires need to be raw/bare with speakon connectors.
     
    tedious1 and agedhorse like this.
  9. Grooveline

    Grooveline

    Jan 24, 2012
    Thanks, I have not heard that. The gauge of the wire was so big I actually had to get rid of a couple strands.
     
  10. B-String - why is that?
     
  11. agedhorse

    agedhorse SUSPENDED Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Tinned wires under pressure cold flow, the solder is too soft and the joint will not remain tight. It's mentioned in Neutrik's application notes.

    12 gauge wire will fit into the terminals, but you need to be quite precise, and neat. Even more of a challenge with 4 wire cable.
     
    GregT, BurningSkies and B-string like this.
  12. Solder interferes with the clamping force inside the connectors. In addition instead of the wire staying flexible, the clamp can create a brittle failure point. Worth injecting here I guess, any soldered connection should not have the solder running all the way up to the stripped insulation or under it. Some bare wire should be available to help avoid breakage if the wire should flex.
     
    ExaltBass and GregT like this.
  13. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    You're telling me. I have 2 speakons made with this quad 14AWG...what a serious pain to wire neatly.

    4S11-01.
     
  14. agedhorse

    agedhorse SUSPENDED Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    I have about 100. That's an odd color code for 4 conductor speaker cable. What is it?
     
  15. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    It's the Canare 4S11... I can say that it definitely has these colors for the individual conductors...solid and semi-transparent red and white.

    Canare 4S11 | Redco Audio

    The thing is that I don't even need the 4 leads, but at the time I was building I was keeping my options open. I have the two unused leads snipped and then just clamped as extra support for the heavy cable. While all my amps/cabs are 2L, I don't want to cause problems for anyone who might have a different setup and errant wired 4L speakons.
     
  16. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    I also have one of these using the same cable, but then set up in a "Y" cable for bridging. Lots of heat shrink to keep things neat and easily identified and solid.

    14779975863_a5e987bf22_o.
     
  17. agedhorse

    agedhorse SUSPENDED Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    I haven't seen that before, was wondering how to tell the difference in the pairs because they look the same in the picture (at least on my computer).
     
  18. When we do speaker cables we use 100 watt pistol style irons or the butane fired ones. Biggish speaker wire tends to wick the heat up the wire almost as fast as a 35-50 watter can put the heat on.

    Kurt
     
  19. I thought speakon was all screw terminal (I could be wrong) if so why would you have to snip the ends?
     
  20. agedhorse

    agedhorse SUSPENDED Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    SpeakOn female cable connectors are screw termination and should not be soldered. The amount of heat required can damage the contact retainers within the housing and this damage can ruin the mating make connectors when the contacts snag and rip their guts out.
     
    Bob Lee (QSC), ExaltBass and B-string like this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.