Now I need some more advise. Go figure. You guys love the Mesa heads so much you changed my mind.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by HRS, Oct 16, 2021.

  1. HRS


    Aug 28, 2021
    I bought a Mesa Subway D-800+. I was going to buy a Mesa 212 cabinet because it's relatively light weight and portable. The Sweetwater sales guy advised me, though, that the cabinets had been back ordered over 3 months and that Mesa wasn't even taking new orders right now. Not sure about that, but anyway, shipping problems being like they are right now I bought a Markbass 212 cabinet from GC that was in stock. When (if?) things ever get back to normal I might still opt for a pair of Mesa cabinets. The Mesa head has arrived but the Markbass cabinet hasn't yet.

    My question is about the speak on cables. Do both those units use the same type? An excerpt in the Mesa manual indicates this (cut and paste)..........

    "The amplifier incorporates a pair of SpeakOn™ NL4FC
    connectors wired is parallel that mate with either NL-2MP or NL4-MP plugs. Cables using NL-2 plugs contain only 1+/1- terminals and will always be correctly wired for use with the amplifier, but cables using NL4 connectors come with different wiring configurations. If using cables with NL-4 connectors, they may be constructed with standard 2 wire cable and they must be wired 1+ to 1+ and
    1- to 1-. 4 wire cables are fine as well, terminals 2+ and 2- are not used. "

    So I called Sweetwater to inquire if the speakon cables are NL-2 or NL-4 and the guy didn't know. I won't fault him because I didn't even know there was a difference. I use speak on cables for my PA power amp to my FOH passive speakers (monitors are active) but I didn't realize there was a choice of speak on cables. I've been using them for years and never blew anything so they are obviously compatible.

    So do you guys know what type of connector the Markbass cabinets take? It's a 4 ohm New York 212 if it matters.

    This is the cable I ordered. Will it work with the head and cabinet?

    I did tell you guys before I'm a vocalist that is playing bass because our regular guy is having severe medical issues. I played bass in working bands but it was way back in the 1980s and early 90s. Wasn't even such a thing as speak on cables then. It was run of the mill 1/4 inch jacks.

    Obviously I am pretty clueless so any help would be appreciated.
    Clark W likes this.
  2. SJan3

    SJan3 Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2010
    25 ft?? Let's start with that..
  3. HRS


    Aug 28, 2021
    I ordered the 5ft cable but i don’t think 20 ft longer would make much a difference with a 12 gauge cable but the length isn’t really my question. It’s the connection types
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2021
    Fernando Costa likes this.
  4. Datsgor

    Datsgor Supporting Member

    Jul 29, 2000
    East Bay, N. Ca.
    Those are the correct connectors.
  5. HRS


    Aug 28, 2021
    Datsgor likes this.
  6. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa Boogie, Development Engineer-Genzler (pedals), Product Support-Genz Benz
    16 gauge would have been fine.

    The reason we are so detailed about the SpeakOn cable is because this is the cause of lot of frustration, and our support guys deal with this almost daily.

    The "standard" SpeakOn cable is wired 1+ to 1+ and 1- to 1-, circuit 2 is not used (and not even provided on the NL2)

    There is a SpeakOn "bridge" cable that's wired 1+ on the amp end to 1- on the speaker end and 2+ on the amp end to 1- on the speaker end. You would think these cables would be CLEARLY identified as such, but often they are not, and dealers will end up with some in their inventory and ship them unknowingly which results in a frustrated (and sometimes hostile, pissed off) customer who is convinced they have a defective amp and send it back. Yes, it happens a lot.

    There is another issue that we have been dealing with lately, that's where a player has an NL-4 cable that works with every rig he uses and then encounters a new GK speaker which ONLY accepts NL2 type plugs. The NL-4 won't even fit. In this case, the cable must be NL-2 which will plug into an NL-4 or NL-2 jack but not the other way around. This is not the case of your Mark Bass cabinets though.

    A third issue, one that affects every manufacturer, is knock-off or counterfeit SpeakOn plugs that are intermittent or simply don't work. They may also damage the mating jack if the parts come loose in the plug. Always use cables with genuine Neutrik branded plugs, they are no more expensive and way more reliable.

    A fourth issue is improperly assembled plugs. Never tin the wires with solder, this allows the connection to loosen over time as the solder cold-flows under pressure. Neutrik even warns manufacturers and assemblers about this, but tinning saves time... but causes problems.

    If you are looking for Subway cabinets, we are still building a lot of them, as fast as parts availability allows. They are being shipped to dealers who have outstanding backorders so they are constantly showing up in dealer's inventory.

    Here's one from Guitar sanctuary for example:
  7. HRS


    Aug 28, 2021
    Thank you for the info.
    agedhorse likes this.
  8. Yes that cable will work.
  9. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Mesa Subway cabs are simply ridiculously good. No offense to their fans, but I would send that Markbass cab back immediately and find a Subway cab. Or simply order the one Andy linked.

    Seriously, there's no comparison. You'll love the Subway cab that much.
  10. SJan3

    SJan3 Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2010
    Maybe the OP should A/B the Mesa and MarkBass cabs and make up his own mind.
    Jefus, NEBADON2000, Liam Wald and 5 others like this.
  11. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    If he has the budget to go ahead and get both, sure.

    I've played through both. I own a Subway. There's no contest.

    That said, whatever makes him/her smile is fine by me.
  12. ItsmeSantiago


    Nov 23, 2015
    Mesa stuff can’t be beat. There’s a reason you don’t see much of it in the used market.
    packhowitzer, Kijuer, MCF and 2 others like this.
  13. Kukulkan61

    Kukulkan61 Inactive Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2011
    Northern Arizona
    Be patient save up and do yourself a huge favor, get Mesa Subway Cabs, you’ll be set for many years to come!
  14. SJan3

    SJan3 Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2010
    There is a significant price difference between Mesa cabs and MarkBass cabs. That's an issue for some players, especially since the NY122 will cut most gigs and do it well, but I'm well aware of the respect many have for Mesa products. And in the final analysis, it's the OP's personal preference and pocketbook that may or may not justify the additional expenditure.
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2021
    Huw Phillips and instrumentlevel like this.
  15. Rip Van Dan

    Rip Van Dan DNA Endorsing Artist Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2009
    Duvall, WA
    Yes that cable will certainly work. Both the NL2 and the NL4 have the same piece that plugs into cab and into the amp. So you can use either as long as they are wired correctly. The difference is the internal wiring. The NL2 has a single positive "+" and a single negative "-" connection whereas the NL4 has two of them. They are marked "1+" and "1-" and "2+" and 2"-" in the NL4. So you actually have the possibility to run two separate connections in the NL4. Problems come about it you hook one wire up to the 1 side and the second wire up to the 2 side. If you are only using a cable with two wires inside they should both be hooked up to the same side (1+ and 1-, as opposed to 1+ and 2-)

    Personally, when I built the cable I needed to plug my 1999 Eden amp into my 2015 DNS-410 cab, I had to put banana connectors on one end and speakon connector on the other. I got the NL4 connector because it's easier to wire than the NL2 - more room. I was warned by a buddy to get the NL4 and just use the 1+/1- part of it leaving the 2+/2- side empty just because it's easier to get a small screwdriver in the NL4. Said he broke two of the NL2's before he stopped using them.

    Also, 16ga. wire is all you need. You don't need to go up to the 12ga. like your link shows.
    Jefus likes this.
  16. moon-bass

    moon-bass They call me El Jefe Supporting Member

    May 10, 2004
    USA, New Orleans
    I learned this lesson the hard way. I bought a bunch of cheap speakon and 1/4" cables thinking a wire is a wire. Nothing but issues. The cheap 1/4 cables were inherently noisy and the cheap speaker cables got stuck and shorted out, at one point causing very expensive issues with a tube amp. Lessons learned.
    S-Bigbottom, DTRN and agedhorse like this.
  17. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    My speakon's are all 1/2 meter or 20". I've never needed any longer than that.
  18. Matty Koff

    Matty Koff

    Aug 21, 2014
    I mean.. SW has the single 12's in stock. It will cost you more for two of them, but if you ever only need one of them you could probably 1 hand carry one of the 112s. That is the one nag leftover from my choice of buying two of the 15" cabinets. So far I've only taken one of them to play with anybody and it's enough.. the 15's are lightweight enough, but require both hands to carry a single cab. Having two of them gives me flexibility depending on the band situation. But being honest? I could get away with a single 15 for just about anything I'll end up doing.

    Buy once cry once. I did the markbass thing once.. might be 2x-3x the price but I feel like my Subway rig is a better value.. I don't see myself ever being not happy with it, and I feel like it's of a quality that has a higher likelihood surviving me and my environment, and if not I can ship it to Cali or it's clean enough a local engineer could probably wrap their head around it.

    I'll probably still have this rig a decade or two from now.
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2021
  19. ficelles


    Feb 28, 2010
    Devon, England
    +1 for the Subway 212 if you're still considering one, mine is great and even more so now I have Track-Loc casters on it and can wheel it around instead of carrying it. I made up my own (short) speakon cables using Neutrik connectors so I could get an angle connector at the cabinet end.
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2021
    Al Kraft, BlueTalon, Heady and 2 others like this.
  20. Goatrope

    Goatrope Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2011
    Sarasota Florida
    The Mesa cabs are fantastic, and worth buying wherever you can find them.

    SW seems to be going further down the list when it comes to manufacturers shipping priority. I don’t know why that is, but I’m finding it more and more.

    I ended up buying a bass on line through GC after a many month wait with SW, who could provide no dependable updates.

    Anybody know what’s going on there? I wouldn’t think it’s related to the acquisition.

    I’m a long time, and large spending customer of theirs, but this past year has got me looking elsewhere.

    Sorry for the diversion….
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