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questions about Speakon

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by slapfish, Dec 17, 2002.

  1. slapfish


    Jul 16, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    ok, after reading all these threads on Speakon cables/connections, I'm pretty sure it might be worth a shot for me to try. A few things I'd like to clear up before I start buying stuff, though...

    -is it the connection itself, the cable the signal runs through, or both that makes Speakon superior to 1/4"? My reason for asking is that I am currently running a carvin R600 into an Avatar 410, which of course doesn't have Speakon jacks. I guess it would be preferable to get Speakon jacks in the Avatar, but I'm not really cool on doing the modification myself, and don't have the time to have my cab sitting in a repair shop. So, my question essentially is, am I better off with a Speakon-to-1/4" cable, or should I just get the adapter that Carvin sells?

    -my manual says that for bridging the amp (which I'm not doing now, but am considering for the future), it's neccessary to get a Speakon in a +1/-1 configuration. This doesn't matter for normal operation, right?

    Thanks for the help...maybe I'm asking some unnecessary questions, but I just want to make sure I'm getting the right thing and not blowing stuff up.:)
  2. jamminji


    Mar 22, 2002
    I too was confussed about these magical cables! Speakon is a good cable but there are aot of MYTHs about this magical cable. Firat off; it is JUST a cable. There is no electronics in it! All the speakon does that a regular 1/4' cable does not do is attach itself to your amp/cab so the cable will not pull out. THAT IS IT!! The one other thing that "most" speakon cables have is 12 guage wire. Good 1/4' cable use 14 guage and MANY cheap 1/4' use 16 gauge. Very few 1/4 cable use 12 guage. The bigger the guage # the less current it can handle. Other then these two things the cable is the same. Both connectors (speakon/quarter inch) can have more than 2 terminals.

    I have a GK 2000rb that needed a "special" speakon cable. I made one by buying 5' of 12 guage speaker wire and a 4 terminal speakon connector. I needed the 4 terrminal connector because gk used the -+2 instead of -+1 (thus "special" $45 from GK...lol). I then bought a HUGE 1/4" connector, only because the 12 gauge wire was too big for a standard 1/4' connector. I connected the cable up and now I can run my amp in bridge mode... $15 total cost.

    I got all the above info from the GK tech. It is just a big cable (12gauge) with a connector that can not be pulled out. Also most speakon connectors are solderless connection, so that make them easy to work with.

    The big question is how your speaker cab is wired. If you run a bridged signal with 1000+watts, it needs that BIG 12 gauge for the high current. Otherwise it could melt your cable. If you push that current into a cabinet that is wired with 14 or 16 guage wire you could melt those internal wires the same way you would melt a cheap cable. Before I connected my cable, I checked my cabinet to make sure it was wired with 12 gauge also.

    hope this helps

  3. lneal


    Apr 12, 2002
    Lee County, Alabama
    1)Neutrik, the company that makes the Speakon brand doesn't, to my knowledge, make cables. They only make connectors.

    2)The Speakon provides a better connection than any 1/4" connector ever thought about making and also makes bi-amped connections a no-brainer.

    3)Speakons are as reliable as a brick. I have some that I have been using for 10 years without a problem. 1000's of insertions, stepped on and pulled countless times and still not one problem. I can't say that about 1/4" cables.

    So, there are lots of differences between 1/4" and Speakon connectors.:cool:
  4. Here's some info:


    FWIW cables using Neutrik connections are recommended and sometimes required for high power applications such as bridging power amps and as Ineal has stated they provide much better contact than a 1/4" connector. The fact that they lock into the jack is a plus along with eliminating the chance of coming into contact with both banana plug posts. Ouch!
  5. They're definitely better than 1/4" connectors and are probably ideal for bass rigs, but I've got some beefs with them from a pro audio perspective. The male-male arrangement can be a nuisance, becuase if you want to link two of them together you need an adaptor. I find that the locking mechanisms break down pretty quick under regular usage (which is probably considerably more rigorous than the average bass player's usage;)). It's a pain when a speaker quits working during a show because the lock quit working and the connector ceases to make contact. The newer locks work better. I also find them fairly easy to break. I prefer the Cannon/Alcatel EP style connectors (EP-4, EP-6). Again, these issues will probably never come up for the average bassist.
  6. Switchcraft makes a Speakon-compatible connector that's considerably more rugged than the Neutrik, IIRC.

    I remember reading the briefs of Neutrik's patent infringement lawsuit aganist Switchcraft (which they lost).
  7. slapfish


    Jul 16, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    great, thanks for all the responses...I do have a pretty cheap 1/4" cable, so it looks like it's worth it to go for the upgrade...the fact that it stays in so solidly is enough to sell me on it, knowing how people can get at some of our shows...;)
  8. Bluefish


    Oct 4, 2002
    If I'm connecting a QSC amp to an Eden cab, what would be the best cable configuration to use? Speakon to banana or Speakon to 1/4" ?
  9. Stu L.

    Stu L.

    Nov 27, 2001
    Corsicana, Texas
    Speakon to banana.
  10. I use Speakon to 1/4" from my QSC to my Eden cabs - dunno if its the best, but it works fine.
  11. jad


    Aug 29, 2002
    Pittsburgh, PA
    My 1/4" jack and cable see to generate a fair amount of heat when I play a loud set. I'm always suprised to see 1/4" jacks on high power amps like the Sunn/Fender 1200. I've been wondering if it's possible to use both 1/4" outputs from my amp and run them into the two 1/4" inputs on my cab. I'm thinking it would either double the quality of the connection between head and cab, or let all of the smoke out of my amp. :eek:
  12. ChenNuts44


    Nov 18, 2001
    Davenport, IA
    Oh, you might let smoke out of your amp, but we wouldn't want something like that to happen... Just a suggestion... DON'T DO IT!!! Buy a nicer cable instead. 12 gauge would be great, 14 would be ok, but less than that w/ that amount of power (which is what I assume you're using now) isn't going to be able to handle the signal you puth through it (this would explain the radiation of heat). That is all. :)

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