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Speakon +1/-1 etc.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by the dude, Oct 19, 2004.

  1. the dude

    the dude Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2004
    After reading the iAmp 800 needs +1/-1 I went to GC & SamAsh & a local music store. Talked to salespeople and looked at cables.

    Salesmen at GC & SA - "Haven't heard of +1/-1 - not aware of different speakon cables." Salesman at local music store - "Yes, we have instrument and speaker cables." Me - "Speakon is a type of cable" Salesman - "Sorry, we don't carry that brand."

    I have two speakon cables, one has a +1 on each plug - the other has no markings whatsoever. I did a search here and didn't find the answer.

    Can someone clear this up for me?
  2. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    The GC and SA droids are clueless.

    A normal 2 conductor Speakon cable is wired 1+/1-. A normal 4 conductor is wired 1+/1- AND 2+/2- which is not needed for your amp so don't pay the extra $$$$ for a 4 conductor.

    The only Speakon cables not wired 1+/1- are those meant for bridging applications which have 1+/1- at the speaker end and 1+/2+ at the amp end.
  3. the dude

    the dude Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2004

    It sounds like GC & SA probably only carry the normal 2 wire.

    I knew there was more to the story.

    They also seemed to carry a minimum 15 foot length - and nothing in Monster or some other high end - speakon.

    Can anybody recommend a good place to buy Monster/equivalent 2-5 foot speakon cables?
  4. DDXdesign

    DDXdesign formerly 'jammadave' Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    Wash DC metro area
    I bought one (but don't remember the brand) at GC and it's a 10-footer ($24.95). The guy told me they make a 5 footer but it costs twice as much ($49.95) and none of the GCs had any in stock anyway. So I'm using a 10-foot between head and cab, looped up and tied so it lays flat in an oval against the back of the cab. It's an easy way to use up length, plus then you'll have it if you're ever in a situation where your head and cab need to be in two places on stage. (Not that I can think of any...)
  5. Robman


    Mar 19, 2004
    Sherman, Texas
    Try Pro Cables N Sound - they will custom build any cable configuration and length for much less than GC or SA. They also offer a 10% discount if you mention Talkbass. I've ordered cables from them and they've been great.
  6. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Speakons are so easy to install, it makes sense to lop a "too-long" cord in half and just put new ends on the chopped part. I once made two cables out of one that way, and they were the perfect length for me at the time.

    Also, if you're running high-power, I'd recommend just going to a local hardware store and getting a length of 12 guage electrical wire, and making your own. Super cheap, and super heavy-duty.
  7. 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
    What Eric said. That's one of the big pluses with Speakon connectors: you don't need to solder anything to wire them up.

    Fifty bucks for a 5-foot speaker cable is outrageous.
  8. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    I ordered a pair of Speakon cables from a fellow TalkBasser that sells cables. I got a pair of 4 ft for a $15. Speakon cables do not need to be expensive.
  9. Email Peter, Fretlessrock, Steebo. His are da kine.


  10. wneff

    wneff Supporting Member

    May 27, 2003
    Woburn, MA
    I run my iAMP with an off-the self speakon from my local store.
  11. natrab


    Dec 9, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    I'm always willing to make cables for people here on talkbass. I'm pretty good at what I do and I've never had a cable I've made fail on me. If you're too scared to do it yourself just shoot me an email and I'll see what I can do for you. I usually have 12 gauge speaker cable on hand as well as speakon adapters (and large 1/4" if you're into that). If you have long runs I also can order 10 gauge cable which I recommend for over 30 foot speaker cables. I also make regular guitar cables which run around $20 a piece for a 20 footer (my cost is about $17 to make them plus I have to cover having the stuff shipped to me).

    Once again I do this on a favor basis and not a large production. It's just me, my soldering gun, and a whole lot of cable. I've learned a good technique over the last few years making cable and with my new high power gun it's become a lot easier. Speakons are a blessing because they're easy to make so I really don't charge much for putting one together for you.

    I prefer to do whole cable setups for people as it saves money on shipping (especially when I have to order parts), but I'll help anyone out if they want a good cable. I can't believe the companies that charge $30-50 for a cable that costs $9 to make. It's rediculous. The only thing I'd consider is if I needed a long run 1/4" cable, in which case I'd use the ProCo FatMax, which is 8 gauge cable sonically welded to the plugs. Other than that there is no need.

    As far as speakon speaker cables go, the 12 gauge cable is about 50 cents a foot, and the ends are around $2.50 a piece (2 pole). So I can make you a high end 4 foot speaker cable for around $10. I don't ask for much more than cost, and I do take tips if you like them a lot :p

    Just offering my services to all you who I've learned so much from.

    P.S. I work in A/V and make/repair commercial grade cables every day (we use 10 gauge horizon cable with speakons for all 50 and 100 foot runs and 12 gauge with 1/4" or speakons for anything shorter than that).
  12. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    I'll ditto the plug! I custom-ordered some short banana-1/4" cables from them... great service and quality.

    That said: speakon connectors *are* very easy to wire, so I suggest DIY.
  13. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    So after reading all youse guys posts... I wanna make my own set, tho I've never dealt with Speakon connectors before. I plan on using the 12 gauge 2-conductor wire along with the Neutrik NL2FC plugs (2 connector). My iAmp says +1/-1 on the back.

    Even tho the Speakon plugs aren't 4 connector, it should work, yes? I'm just a little confused cuz when I look at other peoples posts and from other retailers, it seems that they're using a 4 connector plug with a 2 wire cable.

    I also want to make one with a 1/4" plug -> Speakon cable as well so I'll just get a plug that'll handle that end.
  14. uglybassplayer


    Aug 24, 2001
    New Jersey
    Yes, using two NL2FC Speakons will work fine. The only difference you'll notice between the two are that the NL2FC's only has two pins +1 and -1, where the NL4FC has four... +1, -1, +2 and -2. Since you wouldn't be using +2/-2, there's no reason to spend the extra money on NL4FC connectors.

    When going from the Speakon to the 1/4", just make sure that the +1 wire from the speakon is connected to the "Tip" (positive) connector on the 1/4", and of course the -1 wire is connected to the "sleeve" (negative) connector on the 1/4"

    Good luck and have fun!

    - Frank.
  15. 7flat5


    Nov 28, 2003
    Upstate NY
  16. DubDubs


    Aug 23, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Does you cable have a metal tab to unlock or a grey part of the body that is pulled back to release the lock. Either way you probably have the right wiring, most premade cables are wired +1 -1, if you have the one with the grey part it's definatly wired the right way.