1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Speaker wire inside my cabinet

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by johnbegone, Aug 12, 2005.

  1. johnbegone

    johnbegone Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    Hey, I'm looking to rewire my 70's 8x10 with some of the new wire that comes in most Ampegs. Basically, I just want some speaker wire that has the little ends that clip over the little tabs on the speakers. Anyone know where I can get stuff like this? I'm about to replace all 10 of the speakers with new one (I'll have lots of vintage goodies for sale then) and so I'd just rather not have to solder to all the new speakers.

    Thanks guys.
  2. I think you're talking about crimps. They are little terminals that you buy in a packet and you have to strip the end of the wire and crimp them on with a special tool. Over here you can buy them at Maplin which is a shop that sells everything for electronics hobbyists. Not sure what your equivalent is in the US.

    I would think that for sound quality and reliability you would be better of soldering them though. I know you say you'd rather not, but by the time you've bought a stripper and a crimp tool it would probably be the cheaper option too.
  3. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Radio Shack has them. Only a few bucks for a large pack.
  4. Funkengrooven

    Funkengrooven Turn it down? You gotta be nuts!!

    Crimp terminals and the tools to use them are available at Radio Shack, AutoZone and others like them and your local electronic/electrical distributor.
    Bear in mind that not all terminals and tools are equal.
    The tools and terminals made by Thomas & Betts are the best out there. They are the same ones called out by Mil-Spec.
    The other types go from pretty close to T&B to complete trash.
    If you are going to be using crimps in this repair and other repairs later on then make the purchase of a good tool ($65.00 and up) and good terminals (up to $25.00 per box of 100) if this is a one time thing then soldering is a good quality low cost alternative, just make sure you buy ELECTRONIC Rosin core solder. Available locally at Radio Shacks everywhere. (They have crimps too but they are the crap crimps.)

    ..Never! Never! Never! use plumbing solder :spit: :spit: :spit:
    The plumbing solder has an acid core to solder copper pipe and is very bad for electronic stuff :spit: :spit:
  5. +1 on soldering.
  6. BigSky Bass Guy

    BigSky Bass Guy

    Apr 15, 2005
    I'm not sure why you'd go to the trouble of using those spade connectors... if you're gonna be right there on the speaker terminals, why not go the extra mile, and solder the wires directly to the connectors? You'll have vastly superior, and much more solid connections. Manufacturerers use those connectors simply because it's a faster, money-saving technique on the assembly line than soldering.

    If you're wack-job,compulsively ANAL about this stuff -- just like ME -- you'll just go ahead and change out the interior cab wiring altogether, from that pussy OEM 18 gauge stuff to the more hairy-chested, heavier 12 gauge copper wiring, with all connections soldered.

    (But sadly and honestly, NONE of this will make a SINGLE BIT of difference to your sound... and in fact, you'll probably just wind up wrecking something. We just love wasting our time, don't we?)
  7. Warwick player

    Warwick player

    Dec 31, 2002
    Bucks, UK
    It may be a wise idea to use 'washer' type crimps, rather than 'spade' as then even if the nut comes off from vibration onr such it should stay on the terminal.
  8. 44me


    Jun 17, 2002
    Bedford, NH USA
    Absolutely true! I would definitely solder the wires myself. By the time you source good quality parts and a good crimp tool you will have spent much more time than soldering, and have an inferior connection.

    - John
  9. I don't think you need to spend $65.00 for a crimp tool. I use crimps in my car audio installs a lot, from 22awg to 12awg wire my $20.00 craftsman crimper/cutter/stripper worked fine. I would spend a couple extra bucks for high quality speaker wire that will exceed the speakers power requirements.
  10. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    Why? Is the old wire worn out?
  11. its funny I got my crimp tool free from PG&E from when my dad buddy used to work their, we got all sorts of pg&e crap around my garage. the nice thing is they buy nice stuff :)
  12. Do you really need the stripper? as much fun as they are they are an added expense :D

  13. +1
  14. 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

    If you're really dead set on rewiring your cabinet and you use the quick-connect terminals, be sure to leave enough slack in the wires to allow you to anchor them using tie wraps.

    Dressing the wires and providing strain relief this way helps reduce the likelihood that the terminals will pull off or that the wires will break from flexing.
  15. Well, the insulation is not perfect, as you can see with balloons that deflate over time, rubber is porous.

    So since the wires are not harmonically sealed and totally airtight with the rubber/plastic insulation, oxygen can leak into the oxygen free copper, rendering it as useless as the billions of miles of copper wiring used in every other electrical application everywhere else around the world. Obviously totally unsuitable for Audio applications.

    What I want to know is how do the electrons know they're audio, or simply normal electricity? Anybody? Are those Audio electrons in a union or something? What do they have against oxygen anyway?

  16. BigSky Bass Guy

    BigSky Bass Guy

    Apr 15, 2005
    Randy is my kind of guy. Great dry sarcasm (I hope).

    I love the current marketing BS hype that touts "oxygen-free" copper. NewsFlash: ALL copper wire is oxygen-free. And, no, folks, copper doesn't absorb oxygen, somehow making it not able to handle the miniscule voltage needed to drive a dumb bass speaker.
  17. Trouble is, if it's the original wiring, it will be cloth wrapped.
  18. 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
    Not quite. Oxygen-free copper is different from regular copper used in wiring. According to Steve Lampen at Belden, the key thing about oxygen-free copper is that among the impurities it is free of is iron (not so much about oxygen). Thus, the conductivity is a fraction of a percent better than regular copper. So if your speaker cable were 3 feet long, using oxygen-free copper would be like shortening it to only about 2 feet 11.7 inches!
  19. Absolutely, true, but since the length doesn't really change, its also like using smaller gauge (thicker) wire due to less voltage drop in the cable (due to I2R losses) from the lower resistance. So 12 ga wiring with normal copper is like using the much better 11.9 ga wiring...

    Just another way to look at the difference...

    I try to keep my sarcasm dry now, takes so long to dry out again once it gets wet.... :D

  20. johnbegone

    johnbegone Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    Alright, it's decided. I'm going to go ahead and just solder it. I need to do a lot of practice soldering first though. I did a speaker replacement before... and it works, but it's probably the worst soldering job you've ever seen. I'm going to redo that one while I'm at it. I'm sure after 8 speakers I'll be quite proficient at this.

    Thanks for the tips guys. Only reason I wanted to the crimps is because of the ease of switching out speakers, but I guess I should try and not assume that I'm going to be breaking any speakers ;)

    The wiring in the cabinet is actually pretty good, not sure how old it is, but it's big thick monster cable. I will probably just save myself the trump and use the original wiring and I will solder. But thanks for all the info guys. It's good to learn new things.