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Neutrik Speakon jacks

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by submelodic, Jun 4, 2002.

  1. submelodic


    Feb 7, 2002
    Seattle, WA
    What are the particular advantages of these jacks over 1/4 inch or plain wire? I've always thought they just provided a more solid connection with foolproof correct polarity. Am I missing anything?

    I've noticed some manufacturers (such as Eden) don't use them in their current designs, while others (such as QSC) do.
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Higher power handling.

    No short-circuit while plugging in.

    In Germany (EU) large poweramps <b>must</b> have speakons.
  3. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    South Shore MA
    They don't fall out.
  4. bassplayajew


    Mar 14, 2002
    Bethesda, MD
    They never die? Both my cabs are hooked up through Speakon jacks. I have no idea what the advantage is, but considering the transistor or speakon converter (whatever they're called) cost $6 alone, there must be some advantage to using Speakons instead of 1/4''
  5. chucko58


    Jan 17, 2002
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    I paid for all my gear myself. Well, me and MasterCard.
    Speakons are fully insulated. You cannot inadvertently touch a live conductor on either the socket or the plug. This is why they are required in Europe. Old-fashioned binding posts and 1/4" plugs are too dangerous for use, since power amps are now putting out on the order of 200 volts peak!

    Speakons are made with up to 8 contacts, but the most common ones here in the US have either 2 or 4 contacts. You can hook up both channels of a stereo power amp with a single Speakon connector.
  6. lo-end


    Jun 15, 2001
    I think the coolest thing about speakons is how they have multiple conductors and you can do biamping and briding and other stuff that used to require more than one cable when we used 1/4" plugs.
  7. Golem II

    Golem II

    Jan 4, 2002
    Macon, GA, USA
    Lo-end, how does this work? I mean, I thought that speakon cables just had one big, fat plug on each end. Do they make cables with multiple connectors on each end, or is there some way to chain them together?
  8. submelodic


    Feb 7, 2002
    Seattle, WA
    Ok, so they're safer for high voltages. I have a QSC amp on which I'm using an adapter to convert the Speakon output to 1/4 inch because the Eden cab I'm using it with won't take a Speakon input. Considering the Eden cab has a high power rating, it's too bad I can't take advantage of a Speakon connection. I wonder why Eden doesn't use them. Maybe something to do with licensing costs.

    Any industry folks on this board who could provide more info.?
  9. incubus2432


    Mar 21, 2002
    Grafton, Ohio
    You could always add the Speakon "jack" to your Eden cabinets. I'm in the same situation with my Mesa cabinets and when I get around to it that is my plan. Just a thought.........
  10. you can buy speakon to 1/4 cables too if you want.
  11. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    It has nothing to do with licensing costs, only with the cost of the jacks.

    Ordinary jacks are cheaper than SpeakOns, so they use them to save money. That's all. Neutrik is not Micro$oft ;)
  12. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    I never thought I'd derive so much joy from that satisfying little 'click' when I plug both my cabs up with Speakon connectors.

    I guess the more ways I find to enjoy the $2K I spent on my rig the better.....:D
  13. FalsehoodBass


    Jul 22, 2001
    Denver, CO
    The reason I wanted speakons was that they have a lot more contact surface than your standard 1/4" plug, so there's a better power transfer, less loss, etc.
    Bananna Plugs also have this advantage, but they can be pulled out easier, and it seems to me like they're being phased out of production. I see them less and less.

    Golem, inside the big fat plug, there can be up to 8 different conductors. The ones that most bass applicatons use have slots for 4 wires, but we only use two of them.
  14. How would you go about bi-amping with speakon connections??I'm lost on that.....help?
  15. incubus2432


    Mar 21, 2002
    Grafton, Ohio
    You can get Speakons with 4 (or more) connectors inside of each end so if you use those ends a "4 lead" cable then you can hook up 2 separate positives and negatives with one connection. The Ampeg PR-1832 HE cabinet is setup like this and it is nice to just have one connection and know that it is always right without double checking.

    Sorry my explanation isn't too technical and my terms may be wrong but hopefully you get the idea.
  16. Are there commercially produced Speakon-Speakon cables? Both of my amps (Acoustic Image Clarus and EBS Fafner) have Speakon outputs, and my main cabinet (Aguilar GS-410) has a Speakon input. I'd like to take advantage of this, but I really suck at making cables.
  17. incubus2432


    Mar 21, 2002
    Grafton, Ohio
    Either get them locally already done (most music shops should have them in the pro sound section) or get what you need from a place like www.partsexpress.com and make them yourself. They are not like normal cables.....the stripped ends are just held in place with an allen set-screw....it is really quite idiot proof and self explanatory.
  18. virtual.ray


    Oct 25, 2000
    Speakons have better reliability because they lock and the contacts are not exposed,and they give better sound because of the greater contact area of the plugs.
    I did an A/B last week,plugged in two identical GK 2x10 cabs to an SWR 350 head equipped with Speakons,using a Speakon cable for one and a good quality 1/4" jack cable for the other.The cab with the Speakon was noticeably louder and fuller sounding.
  19. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Making Speakon cables really couldn't be easier, Pete. You don't even need to do any soldering! Cut and strip the wire and tighten 'em down with a screwdriver. I make all my Speakon cables and that's about all I use anymore. I get the 12gauge stuff from Guitar Center and then take off the 1/4 connectors and mount Speakons. Piece o' cake and I'm no technician.
  20. www.speakerhole.com is a very well kept secret for buying thick gauge Speakon cables at VERY reasonable prices.

    The fully shielded contacts are a big safety factor, especially for bridged amps. I use 4-conductor cables which makes bi-amping a cinch. Pair #1 is the lows, and Pair #2 are the highs. I have my cabs setup with dual Speakon jacks so I can daisy chain (parallel) my cabs.

    And... they are field repairable.