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SpeakerMate: Buyer Beware!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by RumbleBot, Sep 20, 2003.


  1. I was curious. I'm a sucker. It's no more than a few jacks wired in a series/parallel configuration. That's it. Not worth $99 CDN.
     
  2. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    That's what people were thinking might be the case (there's another thread on it here), but I couldn't always quite figure out from their examples how it could work - AND provide equal power to all the speakers.

    Do you have more details on the wiring?
     
  3. 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
    Well, what else do you think ought to be in there? A 486 processor? I'd imagine there would be a resistor or two in there, but that and the jacks would be it.
     
  4. The thing that got me was the warranty:

    "THERE ARE NO CONSUMER LEVEL/USER SERVICEABLE PARTS IN THIS UNIT. SpeakerMate features an integral hi-power RF shielding seal & circuit links,internally surrounding the enclosure and using the enclosure lid as a cross link.In order to maintain the operational integrity of the circuitry and protect the internal components against environmental elements,the lid & enclosure have been chemically welded at the factory.
    Any user attempt to disassemble/repair/modify unit will break this continuous seal and render the unit unreliably inoperable and VOID ANY WARRANTEE"

    Soldering is easy, IE user servicable. Cross link on the enclosure link? Nope. He just doesn't want you to open the cover. The screws on the back were even stripped down and filled with an epoxy, just to make it damn near impossible to get in to. And since I've opened mine up, it still works the same.

    And the fancy terminology...
    Self-Switching Topology (SST)? The serial jacks are only engaged when the jack is in use. Nothing special.
    Equalized Power Input (E.P.I.)? Ohm's Law. Nothing more. For example, running two 8 ohm cabs and one 16 ohm cabs engages the E.P.I. mode. The two 8 ohms are run in series for a total of 16 ohms, which is then run parallel with the 16 ohm, for a total load of 8 ohms. And each cab will get the same power distribution, not my some fancy circuit, but because of the law of electricity.

    I can't help but feel cheated.
     
  5. I warned about this in the other thread. I hate to say it but told you so.....
     
  6. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Does it do what's advertised?

    If so, who cares what's inside?

    Remember, folks--the price of something isn't simply a reflection of what the product contains parts wise. The price also includes rent, salaries, labor, insurance, utilities, tools, etc.

    No offense, but if the Speakermate does what it says it does, I honestly don't see what you are complaining about.

    As for the warranty, what did you expect it to say? "Go ahead--open it up and try and fix it yourself. If you screw it up worse, we'll take the extra time to figure out what was wrong in the first place, and also figure out what you did wrong when you tried to fix it since you were 'good with tools.'" :D
     
  7. Granted, as negative as my review sounds, it can be a useful little box. I bought this to replace a parallel/series wiring setup that I made myself. I was led to believe that there was a circuit inside that would help distribute the power more evenly to cabs with mismatched resistances. $80 USD later, I've now got a new one, just in a swanky metal casing. It just seems to me that it is made up to look like more than it really is.
     
  8. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    awww cmon fellas.... you're all spitting chips that you didn't think of it first.

    I've made up "serial linking" cables before and they're a pain in the behind. This thing eliminates all the mucking around and it's no bigger than most tuners.........

    And like it or not, there's been a LOT of thought gone into how exactly to wire up thos piddly little jacks and wires. You'd have to see a list of all the available scenario's to truley apppreciate that.
     
  9. Yes. It can save a lot of wiring. My main point, I guess, is that it should be sold as such, without all the jargon and implications that it's more than it really is. I am going to keep it and I am going to use it. I just feel a but mislead in the sales pitch. Well, that's marketing for ya'.
     
  10. 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

    I was going to say that.
     
  11. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    you said it yourself - buyer beware. Whenever I buy gear, the marketing claims are a starting point and nothing more. Crikey if bought every gadget and gismo that claimed to make my life better, I'd have gadgets that automatically go and buy more gadgets...........

    I look into it, gather facts and make up my own mind. By the time I bought a speakermate, I knew full well it was probably just wires and self-engaging jacks. But it's still a cleverer system than I could have ever designed myself, and it had/has some pretty darn smart TBer's guessing.......
     
  12. Yer darn right!

    (not that I'm smart or anything, I just know certain things...)
     
  13. As an official follow-up on this thread, I take back any and all negative response I had for this product. I was very short sighted and an idiot, and I appologize to anybody reading it, and especially to Mr. Grignon. My final opinion: The ability to wire three 8 ohm cabs and three 4 ohm cabs to an amp with an overall impedence of 4 ohms and equal power distribution is easily worth $100 CDN. Rugged as hell and I can't even imagine it failing. I currently have the ability to run two 8 ohm GS112s, a 4 ohm Yorkville 1x15, and a 4 ohm 2x10, all at an impedence of about 6 ohms with equal power distribution. And I didn't have to rewire a damn thing to do it. True, it just looks like a couple jack in a box, BUT it's the type of jacks and the way that they're wired which makes it work.

    And to anyody trying to build their own and having it fail miserably: IT YOUR OWN FAULT! If you don't know what you're doing, don't do it. I test all of my speaker configurations with a multimeter BEFORE I ever hook it up to an amp. If you build a crappy knock-off and it fries your amp, that's your problem, not Mr. Grignon's. And don't expect to be compensated for something that you never bought.

    FIN
     
  14. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    I'm still not sure if that's even possible.
     
  15. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Special note - not ALL the available scenarios deliver equal power. Most of hem do, but not all.

    Before Gilles accepted my order, he insisted I read the detailed instructions. The scenarios that don't deliver equal power are clearly stated and include suggestions for working around it, eg speaker placement and matching speakers sensitivities to power input.

    Apparently there is an even more complex version on the way which WILL delived equal power regardless of impedance and sensitivity configurations.
     
  16. Gabu

    Gabu

    Jan 2, 2001
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    It looks to me like:

    If you put the two 4 ohm loads in series, then you end up with 8, 8, and 8 ohm loads. Put two of the 8 ohms loads in series, and you have 8 and 16 ohm loads... put those two loads in parallel and you would have around 6 ohms. As far as the equal power dispersment thing is concerned, I dunno.
     
  17. Gabu

    Gabu

    Jan 2, 2001
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    Wow, cool.
     
  18. Actually, it's really simple. Each 8 ohm cab is run in series with a 4 ohm cab, and both sets are run in parallel.

    8+4=12

    and two 12 ohm impedences in parallel comes out to 6 ohms total.

    Half power is given to each series set, and speakers in series get equal power. Yowsa!
     
  19. wneff

    wneff Supporting Member

    May 27, 2003
    Woburn, MA
    Not quite. Speakers in series get equal AMPS (because ... where should the current go?)

    BUT: The voltage drop is proportional to the resistance, that means the 8 Ohm has twice as much voltage drop as the 4 Ohm. With power = current * volts the 8 Ohm gets twice the power of the 4 Ohm.

    The only way I could imagine equal power distribution would be possible is to use dummy resistors and you simply burn the power off in term of heat, like put a 8 Ohm resistor in parallel with the 8 Ohm loudspeaker would theoretically take half the power away.

    HOWEVER: Loudspeakers are not simple ohmic resistors out of the Physics textbook - more like the coils discussed a couple of pages further back in the book. They do weird things like pushing power into the power amp and into each other, and looking at the resistance at different frequencies... an 8 Ohm speaker is almost never 8 Ohm. So, while resistors seem to work theoretically, in reality there are lots of problems.

    Wolfram