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Neutrik Speakon connectors upgrade question.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by PrinceByTor, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. PrinceByTor


    May 25, 2019
    Spokane, Wa
    Hi again, I've got an older Ampeg cabinet that right now only has the 1/4 inputs and I've heard that Speakon connectors are the way to go. Now, before I tear into my cabinet and upgrade the connectors I have a couple of questions:
    1. My head is an Ampeg SVT-VR, which only has one Speakon and with the cabinet it requires 2 jacks to run both sections of the cabinet to get the impedance (2 OHM) that the head requires; otherwise it runs at 8 OHM in full mode. The question is: is there a way to "Y" off the head's Speakon to service the 2 connections on the cabinet so it is still at 2 OHMs?
    2. Is it really needed to upgrade from 1/4 to Speakon?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    The main advantage of Speakon connectors is that they provide protection against having a speaker cable suddenly yanked out of the head or cab while in use -- e.g., by someone tripping over it. Unless your setup/circumstance gives you reason to worry about this happening, I wouldn't hesitate to just use 1/4" connectors.
  3. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    That seems like an odd configuration. What cab is it?

    Modern Ampeg 810s default to 4 ohms. The jack panel has three 1/4" jacks and two speakON jacks. If you plug into either of the two lower 1/4 plugs or either of the speakON jacks, all of the drivers work together and the load is 4 ohms. The top 1/4" plug has a switch in it, and when you plug into it the cab is broken into two sets of four drivers. Each set of four drivers presents an 8 ohm load. This is called Dual Mode. In Dual Mode you can use the upper 1/4" jack for one amp, and then plug another amp into any of the other jacks. See page 3 of the attached manual.

    It's likely your cab uses a switching 1/4" jack as well. If the cab functions as you describe, you could rewire it so it is always in 2 ohm mode.

    Attached Files:

    PrinceByTor likes this.
  4. The head doesn't require 2 ohms. It will run at 4ohm just the same. I assume it's not so different from the CL so there should be a slider switch 2/4 on the back.

    I also question what single cab can set up at a 2 ohm total with dual inputs?

    Assuming you a wrong about everything isn't a good start to answering the question!

    Most likely you can easily rewire the cabinet to a single speakon and set the amp for the resultant impedance if it's 2 or 4 ohm. If it's an Ampeg 810 it's 2 x 8 ohm cabs in parallel for 4 ohm or dual mono 8 ohm.
    PrinceByTor likes this.
  5. PrinceByTor


    May 25, 2019
    Spokane, Wa
    Oh sorry, mine is an Ampeg SVT 1540he, and it's a weird old bird. 4X10s and a tweeter on top and a ported 15 on the bottom. Both sections are rated at 4 OHMs a piece and if you run it "Full Range" it's at 8 OHMs and if you run it as it says "Bi-Amped" it runs at 2 OHMs.

    Here's an image of wot the panel looks like; mine's exactly the same:
  6. You probably don't want to mess with that too much. It ain't broke...
    Spidey2112 and PrinceByTor like this.
  7. I think one or more of those jacks is a switching type of jack & if you changed to SpeakON you'd lose that.
    PrinceByTor likes this.
  8. PrinceByTor


    May 25, 2019
    Spokane, Wa
    Thanks for your input. Yeah, I think I'll just leave it alone as is and continue to use the 1/4 jacks. I don't see a benefit to modding the cabinet. Thanks again!
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  9. On the other hand, to do series and parallel that must be full of those interrupt switching 1/4" Jack's that cause so many problems in the toxic corrosive atmosphere you guys breathe. They fail open. Maybe you do want to disconnect the lot and permawire it to 2 ohm.

    Buggered if I know how a failure might affect your amp. Possibly by going open circuit when meant to be closed that would be a fatal so it would be interesting to find out.
    PrinceByTor likes this.
  10. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    00 images2b2. ;)

    FWIW: a 1/4" connector, while not as "secure," is by its very nature able to be yanked-out/stepped-on...but freed = more cable repairs, fewer amp/cab repairs when accidents happen. most folks don't need the security of speakon most of the time and they are the same folks who would benefit by being prepared for the accidents of yanking/stepping --- by self or others. (i'm one of those! :laugh: ) so: quarter to quarter has some advantages. just sayin'. (i have/use both.)
    00 images2b3.
  11. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011

    Not necessarily. Without seeing the insides I can't say for sure, but my guess is the biamp inputs are switching and the full range inputs are not.

    If everything is done with switching jacks and wire instead of a circuit board, it might be possible to change the switching scheme so the cab is 2 ohms when nothing is plugged into the biamp jacks, and the functionality of the biamp jacks is retained. If someone has the schematic for the 810E jackplate, I believe you need the same exact circuit configuration.

    If both biamp jacks are switching, I think the circuit would look something like this if you want to total load to be 2 ohms.

    It may be possible to not using a switching jack on the bottom.
    Spidey2112 and PrinceByTor like this.
  12. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Be careful using the cabinet in biamp or dual mode with any bridged amp as the 1/4" jack sleeves are not isolated. This includes most class D amps as well.
  13. Tim Skaggs

    Tim Skaggs

    Sep 28, 2002
    Spidey2112, Wasnex and PrinceByTor like this.
  14. JimChjones


    Aug 6, 2017
    SE England
    Speakons are also held to be more reliable and to make better connections than jacks.

    Your cab has a setup I'd describe as too clever by half. Very ingenious, well thought out, but very dependant on no dodgy contacts on the internal jack switches. No problem when it was new. When contacts get old and oxidised years on maybe not so good.

    I tend to the rule 1 opinion too, if it works don't f*** with it. I think a good Speakon conversion would involve pulling the whole panel out and replacing it with a Speakon based panel with no jacks and none of the versatility provided by the jack connections.
    PrinceByTor, thetragichero and Wasnex like this.
  15. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    I tend to agree with this. I think the biamp functionality is unlikely to be used, and it's doubtful the 15 would be able to holds its own against the 410 side of the cab in biamp mode anyway. It might be nice to keep the tweeter attenuator circuit intact though.
    JimChjones likes this.
  16. thetragichero


    Jan 4, 2019
    my issue with the too clever switching jacks is that it leaves a lot open to human error. I've lent guitar heads to friends before with the ot taps that didn't match their cabinets taped over so that they couldn't be used by mistake
    if the poster is going to use his 2 ohm capable head to plug into his 2 ohm cabinet, why run the risk of plugging into the wrong jack? save the tweeter crossover and get a piece of scrap metal cut to size, drill a couple holes and hit with black krylon, install a single speakon connector and don't leave anything up to chance
    JimChjones likes this.
  17. edencab


    Aug 14, 2013
    Toronto, On
    except, since they don't disconnect you risk pulling you amp head onto the floor or knocking the cab over or both
    PrinceByTor and Lobster11 like this.
  18. Kukulkan61

    Kukulkan61 Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2011
    Northern Arizona
    My Mesa Mpulse 600 has 1/4 jacks, I thought about upgrading to speakon but it would be a waste of time. Like Lobster 11 said, the only advantage of having them is they lock in so they can’t be yanked out, I use 3 ft cables that way no one is going to trip over them and besides that who the hell is going to be behind your rig anyway???
    PrinceByTor and Lobster11 like this.

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