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Mesa Boogie 400+ no speakon

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by dgovaerts, Jan 25, 2006.


  1. dgovaerts

    dgovaerts

    Dec 22, 2004
    I'm seriously considering getting a mesa boogie 400+ bass head, but there's one thing holding me. There's no speakon on it!
    Can anyone tell me why this bass amp doesn't need a speakon and that 1/4" jacks are good enough?

    thanks!
     
  2. tadawson

    tadawson

    Aug 24, 2005
    Lewisville, TX
    It most likely is just an older design. For that matter, what would be stopping you from changing the connectors to speakons?

    - Tim
     
  3. Why does it need speakons? Do amps not function without them? I may be wrong but I was under the impression that one or two songs were recorded in the dim past before they were invented. I'm probably wrong though.
     
  4. tadawson

    tadawson

    Aug 24, 2005
    Lewisville, TX
    Because most 1/4" jacks are rated for either 1 or 3 amps, which corresponds to either 8 or 72 watts at 8 ohms . . . and they FAIL! Sure, there are some higher rated ones, but it's rare you see an amp builder actually use them! 1/4" was designed for telephone patch panels, NOT power applications!

    - Tim
     
  5. 1up_SVT

    1up_SVT

    Jan 15, 2006
    Its just an odd thing that they've worked fine for the most part of the last 30+ years in bass amps

    I thought someone worked it out that its only on amplifiers over 750 or something watts that it became a disadvantage to use 1/4" jacks, but, that must have been use with higher current connectors, well, higher than 1 or 3 amps

    The only + side i see with speakons is that they lock in place incase someone walking past the back catchs the cable or something, but i dont think 300 watt amps really have concern for the extra power capabilities of speakons
     
  6. lo-end

    lo-end

    Jun 15, 2001
    PA
    Amp manufacturers started using Speakons just recently. All pro musicians have been using 1/4" plugs for years and years. I have an SVT-II amp (an awesome head) and I never considered not buying it for not having speakons.
     
  7. Plain Old Me

    Plain Old Me

    Dec 14, 2004
    I have a 400+. I use a 1/4 to 1/4 to plug into my Bergie 610, and 1/4 to Speakon to plug into my Bergie 210. There is no real advantage or disadvantage of either, unless you really need locking plugs that bad.
     
  8. tadawson

    tadawson

    Aug 24, 2005
    Lewisville, TX
    And pro sound companies have never used them, even when a 350 watt amp was considered huge (I still remember the racks and racks of Phase Linear 700's touring with Clair Brothers) . . . . but nary a 1/4" in sight. They figured it out early on - apparently musicians are a bit slower or cheaper . . . . the speakon is pretty much the first rugged, high current connector used for speakers that is actually affordable . . . . at least compared to 1/4".

    - Tim
     
  9. amper

    amper

    Dec 4, 2002
    US
    Because 1/4" phone plugs and jacks are good enough. Now can somebody tell me where I can get XLR speaker cables for my Trace Elliot gear?
    :bag:
     
  10. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    Sure. Speakons with switching that will short the output when no load is plugged into the amp have yet to be invented, as far as I know at least. Time for someone to get on it. That automatic switching protection is a very valuable feature on high power tube amps. It can easily prevent a blown output transformer, or worse. It's trivially easy to implement with 1/4" jacks, which at least IMHO makes a decent argument for using them in this case.

    Next? :cool:
     
  11. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    Try Markertek.com? They'll make pretty much anything that is physically doable in cabling. You'll need to know exactly what you want though.
     
  12. tadawson

    tadawson

    Aug 24, 2005
    Lewisville, TX
    No, but an interlock like the old SVT used would be trivial to implement by using the second pair on the speakon which is not used in mono setups. Probably a much better protection method than shorting anything anyway . . . . .

    - Tim
     
  13. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    You mean interlocking the plate supply voltage, no? That's a fine idea, as long as you don't try to plug a biamped cab into the amp with a non-jumpered cable, or insert a dual banana to Speakon cable, or... :cool: Even though I've seen many problems with B-15s where the interlock failed or where someone messed with it, I do think that's still potentially a workable solution. (edited out bogus speculation, still quoted in Time's response below)

    Know of any manufacturer who's implemented it?
     
  14. Joe Beets

    Joe Beets Guest

    Nov 21, 2004
    A 1/4 inch plug can handle 800 watts continuously for up to ten years. It will need to be cleaned up with a little emery cloth about once a year. Despite what some of the so-called "experts" on this forum say, these plugs have been performing this incredible feat for over THIRTY YEARs. I used to run four bridged Peavey CS800 power amps for my bass. Each amp put all of it's 800 watts through one 1/4 inch jack. The PA used two CS1000 power amps bridged into a pair of JBL 4735's and a pair of 4738's. All 1/4 inch jacks. This was with full time use, at max power, for years. During the sixties and seventies all of the touring bands used gear with 1/4 inch jacks. And they were plenty loud.

    One thing you need to remember when you read this forum. There are "experts" and then there is common sense. You might be able to learn a little something from 50 years of history. If your amp has Speakon outputs, that's very nice. If it doesn't, don't worry about it. Of course what do I know, I've only been gigging since 1965. :meh:
     
  15. tadawson

    tadawson

    Aug 24, 2005
    Lewisville, TX
    No more than 5 volts or so on the speakon - it's called a relay . . . . .

    - Tim
     
  16. tadawson

    tadawson

    Aug 24, 2005
    Lewisville, TX
    In the 60's and 70's, there was not a single amp that could put out much more than about 200 watts (at least until the late 70s, and not many then) so the problem didn't exist, 'cuz the power levels didn't exist. Regarding failures, I had at least 5 in 5 years on my PA running 600 - 700 watts per, before I went to speakon. Despite your claim of "self proclaimed genius" the specs AND the fact both show that 1/4" is clearly inferior to speakon. I honestly don't know why some folks are so danged adamant about wanting to do it poorly . . . it's like stupidity is a priviledge or something . . . . sheesh . . .

    - Tim
     
  17. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    Relays cost money and are one more thing to fail. But I was wrong about the scheme Ampeg used anyway.;) I still think making a Speakon with 2+ and 2- internally shorted is asking for trouble.

    However, I'm also not a fan of 1/4" plugs, even though they work fine and can easily handle the average power output of the amp in question, which will probably be around 75-100 watts in real world operation. I've also seen many failures in PA duty, and plenty in instrument amps. Thermal failure rarely was involved, except in one particular power amp where the plastic jacks would melt if you ran the amp bridged. I still think they're the better choice for tube amps though, all in all. If you think that's stupid, I can live with that. I seem to be in good company with many respected amp designers, eh?
     
  18. lo-end

    lo-end

    Jun 15, 2001
    PA
    Do you think an SVT puts out "just" 300W? What about a 100W Marshall? Ever heard of a little thing called overdrive?
     
  19. Joe Beets

    Joe Beets Guest

    Nov 21, 2004
    Tadawson - You're a bit mixed up. In the sixties and seventies bass players regularly ran 600 to 1200 watts. When you saw Noel Redding plugged into a Sunn 200S, what you didn't see was the stack of power amps sitting behind it driving the four Marshall cabs. PA systems for large clubs ran 1000 to 2000 watts. Outdoors, 10,000 watts. I was there both as a player and a roadie. But you apparently didn't get the point of this thread. It's about buying an amp with or without Speakons. Avoiding a particular head because it lacks Speakons is silly. Do you get it now, sonny?
     
  20. metron

    metron Fluffy does not agree

    Sep 12, 2003
    Lakewood Colorado
    net forums are funny