Phil Jones speaker cables - worth it?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jschulman, Jun 24, 2021.


  1. jschulman

    jschulman

    Aug 21, 2018
    Queens, NY
    I guess this is more of a general question about speaker cables. I just ordered a Phil Jones BP800, and I'm going to run it through a couple of Bag End S15X-D 115 cabs. Right now I've got a couple of generic Speakon to 1/4" speaker cables to wire them in parallel.

    The BP800 manual says:
    "We recommend that you use PJB high current speaker cables; which are dedicated high-current, low-resistance cables. Using inferior cables will greatly impair the performance of your system, even more so if you are running a 4 ohm speaker load."

    How accurate is this statement? I get that cheap cables can break or be unreliable, and long cables can suck tone, but can a perfectly functional but generic Speakon cable really "impair the performance" of the system?
     
    bassically_eli likes this.
  2. Redbrangus

    Redbrangus Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2018
    Under The X In Texas
    My question would be are the Speakon connectors genuine Neutrik-branded connectors? If they are, there's probably no reason to get the PJB cables. If they truly are 'generic', i.e., not actually Neutrik connectors, I would advise acquiring some that are -- whether or not you get the PJB. Out of curiousity, how much are the genuine PJB's?

    Also, do your Bag End cabs have Speakons? It would better to not use the Speakon-to-1/4-phone adaptors if you have the option.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2021
    BasturdBlaster and jschulman like this.
  3. jschulman

    jschulman

    Aug 21, 2018
    Queens, NY
    Thanks for the advice. I'm not sure they are.

    A 4' PJB cable retails for $139, which seems an awful lot to pay for a speaker cable.
     
  4. Lowend65

    Lowend65 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2006
    San Jose, CA
    $139 for a 4' cable is absurd, and I would be absolutely shocked if Phil Jones is actually producing his own cables.
    Take a look here: Armor Gold Cables and here Caulfield Cables
    Both will get you as good of quality as you could ever need for well under $100
     
    dkelley, J R Knots, andruca and 3 others like this.
  5. micguy

    micguy

    May 17, 2011
    Go onto Sweetwater, and look for speaker cables. There are brands that will let you choose the gauge of the copper they use in the speaker wire. If you want wires that are light and easy to move around, you can get lighter (higher number) gauges. If you want ones with less resistance, you pay a few bucks more, and they're a bit bigger and heavier. The Proco stuff is good, I've got some 12 gauge ones (very low resistance), and I have a couple 16 gauge ones for gigs where I know I won't be using much power at all. The 12 gauge ones have nothing to apologize for - they're very good cables, and they won't cost you what Phil charges.
     
  6. No. This is flat out BS. They mention 0.5Ω of resistance in a speaker cable robbing 11% of your power and there are two things wrong with this: First, any speaker cable that exhibits 0.5Ω of resistance is broken. Seriously, for a 4' speaker cable to have 0.5Ω of resistance, you'd need to make it with 28AWG wire. Even 18AWG, which I'd consider pretty light for speaker cables is only 6.4Ω per 1000(!) feet. That would give you 0.05Ω for a 4' cable (8 feet of wire). I mean you could get into trouble not properly attaching connectors, but that goes back to my "broken" statement. Any properly made, appropriate gauge speaker cable will have much less than 0.5Ω of resistance. :D

    Second, 11% of power is like 0.5dB difference in SPL which is insignificant anyway.

    Also, $139 for a 4' cable? FOH with that nonsense. :laugh:
     
  7. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    Germany
    Just get a pair of Neutrik Speakon plugs and a few feet of fancy speaker cable. Or not so fancy cable, it really does not matter. Copper is copper. As long as you have enough diameter, you're fine. It's super easy since Speakons are screwed and not soldered and you can tailor the lengths to your needs.
     
  8. jimmydean

    jimmydean

    Mar 14, 2009
    Great cable and sturdy as Hell . You could tow a truck with those things . I use regular Speakon cables with my PJB cabs , if money not an issue ....buy'em .
     
  9. Redbrangus

    Redbrangus Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2018
    Under The X In Texas
    Well making your own Speakon-to-1/4" adaptors actually does involve soldering, so making your own might not be in the cards for this OP. Although it IS easy enough to cut a decent 1/4" speaker cable in half and put new Speakons on the two pieces.

    Genuine Neutrik connectors will have the brand name on the connector. Regular ol' speaker cables are fine -- it would be absurd to buy two speaker cables at $139/each when it shouldn't cost much more than $20 - 25 per cable.
     
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  10. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Good grief.

    Using real Neutrik connectors is important.

    Using good quality (which isn't the same thing as expensive) cable is important.

    You can put the two together yourself with a knife and a screwdriver. It's almost foolproof.
     
  11. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa Boogie, Development Engineer-Genzler (pedals), Product Support-Genz Benz
    .5 ohms for a 4’ speaker cable indicates a defective cable, so this statement is questionable or is due to a typo. EVERY speaker cable (even 18 gauge) with copper conductors will have <.05 ohms total resistance.

    That said, it is very important to use genuine Neutrik plugs and be sure you are really getting copper conductors (not copper plated aluminum). Many quality manufacturers offer speaker cables with Neutrik plugs and copper conductors. I recommend between 16 and 14 gauge for short cables, there is no real world benefit to heavier cables for this application IMO and IME.
     
  12. wave rider

    wave rider

    Jan 5, 2005
    OP, depending on the vintage of your S15X-Ds, they may already have speakon sockets installed. Most used +2 -2 to carry the signal (I think Bag End used +1 -1 to pass signal through to the subwoofers), so you may want to make a custom cable wired appropriately.
     
    DJ Bebop, trevcda and BasturdBlaster like this.
  13. Redbrangus

    Redbrangus Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2018
    Under The X In Texas
    If it IS the case that there are NL4 connectors, but wired to the second pair, it would be well worth the minimal effort required to rewire the connectors to the more usual +1/-1 terminals. Otherwise, you would have two cables in your kit that were not only unique, but would only function if connected with the correct orientation. That's a prescription for problems, IMO.

    If the Bag End cabs don't already have NL4s (Speakons), it would be worth exploring how difficult it would be to install them...it's usually pretty easy, but even if it's not, it would be worth the effort. Again, just IMHO.
     
    DJ Bebop, agedhorse and wave rider like this.
  14. It's a hypothetical in the description of the cable on their website (quoted below) so I'm leaning towards questionable. :D

    "Just think, if you have a 4-ohm speaker and a 0.5-ohm speaker cable, you could be losing at certain frequencies 11% of your amp power through the cable!

    For every 100 watts your amp is believed to be given out, it may only be 89 watts! Obviously, it pays to use high current cables if you are running low impedance speakers with your amp. Unless, you can afford to burn those watts away just to heat up your cables!"
     
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  15. And if you're going down the rabbit hole of "high end" cables, you need one of these to really get the most out of your amp:

    Jorma Design Prime Power Cord
     
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  16. slagbass

    slagbass Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2005
    Canada
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  17. Redbrangus

    Redbrangus Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2018
    Under The X In Texas
    :roflmao::roflmao::roflmao: Starting at $4.2K for an IEC power cable...and I thought almost a buck-and-a-half a piece was too much for a speaker cable. Silly me.

    Honestly, if people buy that Scheisse, they deserve to separated from their money -- clearly they have WAY too much of it. P.T. Barnum was right...there seems to be one born every minute.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2021
  18. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    $139?
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    Abe-of-Bass, backin82, Luigir and 6 others like this.
  19. That is a misleading statement. When I see things like that it makes me question the company’s integrity.
     
  20. Redbrangus

    Redbrangus Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2018
    Under The X In Texas
    I'm with you on this.

    But then, their whole thing has always looked to me like a thought experiment carried to illogical extremes.
     
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  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Jul 27, 2021

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