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PA speaker cable questions

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by jondog, Apr 17, 2005.


  1. jondog

    jondog

    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    I'm trying to avoid buying a very expensive 10 gauge 50 foot speakon->speakon speaker cable, so . . .

    In one club we play, the daisy chain run from the Left main cab to the Right main cab is 50 feet because it has to go up across the ceiling so drunk people don't trip on it. My Mackie 1400i manual says . . .
    Gauge 4 ohm
    10 120 feet
    12 75
    14 48
    16 30
    "Remember that the actual run is twice as long as the physical length of the run."

    It's a 4 ohm load. I'm supposed to add the amp->Left main run to the Left main to Right main run for my physical run, right? Then I'm supposed to double that to calculate the "actual" run?

    How bad is it to splice speaker cables? I know how to solder and have electrical tape and shrink tubing to protect my splice.

    What happens when you mix gauges? Like if the amp->Left main run was 16 because that's short and the Left to Right run was 12 because that's long.

    Please help!
     
  2. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Use the same gauge cable. Also, I don't think you really need 10-gauge cables, 12 should work just fine. Besides, Speakon connectors won't accept 10-gauge wire, so they have to be "thinned out" to go into the recepticle. If you splice different gauge cables, you might as well just use one of the thinner gauge. I'm using 40-foot 12-gauge cables running to my 1,400-watt (program) subs with no problems.

    For smaller venues, I have 25-foot, 12-gauge cables for my mains and, since the amps are usually on one side of the stage, one of the cables may be a little too short. So I have another 10-foot, 12-gauge cable that I connect to one to make it longer. I use a speakon-to-speakon adapter that's available from Parts Express. Don't worry about different cable lengths. The difference impedance is negligible from, say, 25 to 50 feet.

    Speakon to Speakon connector

    [​IMG]
     
  3. jondog

    jondog

    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    Cool thanks! That adapter is exactly what I need.

    Does thinning down the end of the 10 gauge for the Speakon defeat the improved performance of the gauge?

    One other question came to mind -- daisy chaining is possible straight out of the back of the amp if I plug the banana going to one main directly into the back of the banana going to the first main, right?
     
  4. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Thinning the cable makes it a 12-gauge cable. The cable can carry only the current that the thinner section can. You will have less impedance over the length of the cable, though. As far as the daisy chaining, you've got it right.