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speaker cables: naked wire instead of banana/speakon?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by wiggleworm, Jun 27, 2003.


  1. wiggleworm

    wiggleworm

    May 29, 2003
    Howdy

    I have a QSC power amp with speakon, banana, and binding post outputs, and a cabinet with only a 1/4" input. I have a speakon to 1/4" converter, but the pins aren't wired correctly to use with bridged mode. Yesterday I went shopping for cables or adaptors to convert from banana to 1/4, and realized I would have to spend $15-30... not that much, but I'd rather put the money towards new strings. So I took a speaker cable I already had, stripped the wires on one end, and connected it to the QSC's binding posts. Works great, and I actually think it's less likely to accidentally come lose than a banana plug. Total cost, $0.

    So my only question is, is there any reason NOT to do this?

    ww
     
  2. That's what the Binding Posts are for!

    However, getting banana's or spades would be recommended.

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  3. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    There's nothing wrong with that. In fact, the manual shows how to use stripped wire with the binding post outputs.

    You can also use your Speakon connector; just re-configure it as shown in the manual.
     
  4. jondog

    jondog

    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    The only drawback to bare wire on binding posts that I have found is the connect/reconnect procedure. If your amp and cab stay in one place, it's great. If you break down and set up a lot, the posts become a pain, especially if you're kneeling on a stage that smells like smoke and beer trying to find the little hole in the dark.

    For awhile, I compensated by leaving the cables connnected to the amp and just wrapping them up inside the rack to travel. I'm not sure why I stopped doing this, maybe I should go back.

    I use 1/4" on both ends right now. People say that 1/4" is not designed for high power. Is binding post any better?
     
  5. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    Binding posts are a hell of a lot better.
     
  6. E.O.M.

    E.O.M.

    Dec 7, 2001
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Why?
     
  7. Much more contact surface area to conduct current?
    Bob?
     
  8. ChenNuts44

    ChenNuts44

    Nov 18, 2001
    Davenport, IA
    Because Bob Lee said so...DUH!!! :p
     
  9. jondog

    jondog

    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    Yes, that's good enough for me to change back, but I'd still like to know why. :D
     
  10. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    1/4" connections are less reliable than binding posts or Speakons. The tip contact of a 1/4" jack has to not only make a contact, but it also has to provide its own spring pressure against the plug. So it is subject to fatigue; this is an inherent flimsiness that serious high-power connectors don't have.

    1/4" connections short out when you plug and unplug them.

    Because of their conductor sizes and contact areas, not all 1/4" connecting hardware is suited for the high currents required in high-power speaker circuits.

    Now, you might use 1/4" connections for years and be lucky enough to never have a problem. But you're more likely to have problems with them than with binding post or Speakon connections.

    Banana plugs tend to fatigue, too, but since they're on wire ends and not attached to a chassis or enclosure, they're not difficult to replace.
     
  11. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    I doubt conductivity of connector, with the larger surface would play any significant role. Generally speaking, if you have a tiny gauge wire, the larger connector, you're gaining no real conductivity from it. It's just more space and material wasted.

    This is also backwards compatible, if you have some thick (and good wire) and a little headphone mono jack, you're going to get a loss from that.