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Speakon-1/4"-Gauge advice.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jpoprock, Jun 16, 2005.


  1. jpoprock

    jpoprock

    Jun 7, 2005
    Kokomo, IN
    On the last bass rig I had, I used a Speakon cable from head to the cab. I asked a buddy about gauges, and he thought that 14gauge Speakon was too much for a bass head/cab, and thought that 18gauge 1/4" to 1/4" was the better way to go. That didn't seem right to me. What is your take on it?? I hate to sound petty, but I just purchased my new bass rig (it's a surprise till I get it!), and I need to buy speaker cables for it. I'll also be chaining two cabs together also, so I'll need 1/4" to 1/4" on at least one of them.

    Dig this cable:

    http://www.music123.com/Pro-Co-14-AWG-Speaker-Cable-Speakon-to-Speakon-i110198.music

    That's pretty cheap if you ask me, and those are decent cables.

    Thanks!
    Jason
     
  2. surely a speaker cable is a speaker cable :p

    but the lower the gauge the better, all depends on how much power the recommended gauge
     
  3. jpoprock

    jpoprock

    Jun 7, 2005
    Kokomo, IN
    So, 12Gauge is LOWER than 14gauge right? They have a 12gauge on sale too.

    My head is 400W into two 8ohm cab's

    j
     
  4. jpoprock

    jpoprock

    Jun 7, 2005
    Kokomo, IN
    Also, if I'm hooking up two cabs, is it cool to come out of one via 1/4" and into the other's speakon input?

    J
     
  5. 12 gauge is better than 14 gauge

    It'll be thicker cable
     
  6. 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
    The importance of larger gauge speaker cable increases with length. The shorter the cable, the less important that it be really large.
     
  7. jhfva

    jhfva

    May 2, 2004
    Roanoke, VA
    The lower the number (gauge), the thicker the wire. The thicker the wire, the lower the resistence which means that more current is passed. In theory it should sound better.

    Go for the lower number (gauge), thicker wire.

    Speaker wire is speaker wire?!? Well kind of. I'm a recovering audiophile and different speaker wires do sound different. Owning an audio store for over 25 years I've have listen to a whole lot of different brands and configurations using the exact same audio equipment. They do sound different. My theory is that the wire actually colors the sound just like an artist painting a picture so pick an artist that you like. I've also found that mixing different types of wires, thick and thin, gives the sound I like the best. I'm very surprised that there aren't that many high end choices in the music world. Monster Cable's top of the line line wire is an average Monster Cable....nothing really special. I guess Noel Lee hasn't really discovered the music world......yet. I've got to get around to trying some of the M Series speaker wire and see what it sounds like. I doubt that it will improve my bass playing.
     
  8. 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
    I would call speaker wire that colors the sound audibly defective. ;)
     
  9. What he said. I use 12 GA for a 1500 w amp. For 400w I'd guess 14GA is more than enough. Especially for a couple foot cable run. Might break down and use 12 for a 25-50Ft cable run for a pa cause I'm paranoid. Even then, 14GA ought to be fine for 400w.

    Lower GA is thicker wire, higher current. 12 thicker handles more power than 14 which is more than 18. 18GA is about what you see in Xmas tree extension cords. In the old days of 200W tube heads 18 GA 1/4 to 1/4 was fine.

    1/4" connectors can't handle as much current as speakon, speakon won't pop out easily. Also for a bridged amp, if you have metal outer case on your 1/4", its hot, there's plenty of shock/short amp out potential with basically a bare wire sticking out the back of your speaker and lots of grounded stuff laying around.

    Randy
     
  10. jhfva

    jhfva

    May 2, 2004
    Roanoke, VA
    Sorry to be the one to tell you this, but everything colors the sound. It isn't a nice audiophile word, but I think it is the truth. Maybe you don't like the term color. Maybe alters the sound would be more to your liking, but it isn't defective.

    Since I listen to electronic music, there isn't a real reference because the sound doesn't exist with going through something that changes it's sound, even as it is created!

    Many years ago, we listened to Doug Sax complain that the gold plated controls in their new studio didn't sound as good as the standard ones but Lincoln thought it sounded wonderful. Lincoln was at the piano and Doug was in the control room. Who was right? Doesn't matter! It was just different!! Not detective.
     
  11. 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
    No need to apologize, I just don't believe in wire mumbo-jumbo. Yes, everything affects the signal, but that's why you design amps and loudspeakers the way they are and use suitable wire to connect them, so that the net effect is negligible. Use adequate wire and you won't have to worry about it "coloring" the sound.
     
  12. Your right, it does, everything does, but that should be at an unoticable level in a speaker wire
     
  13. jpoprock

    jpoprock

    Jun 7, 2005
    Kokomo, IN
    I bought the 10ft 12G Speakon... i"m only going to be pushing 400w from a Thunderfunk .I hope I did'n't make a bad choice.

    j
     
  14. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    Nope. With a 10 foot cable, even 16 gauge would be fine.
     
  15. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    Whenever someone makes outlandish claims for high priced speaker wires simply close your eyes and say 'double blind test' three times. When you open your eyes again they'll be gone.
     
  16. thejohnkim

    thejohnkim

    Sep 30, 2003
    NYC
    if youre looking at cables in the same price range/quality/length and one is thicker/lower gauge ..... i dont think there can be any significant reason NOT to buy the thicker cable.

    i personally use home made 12 ga cable with bananas at teh ends
     
  17. jpoprock

    jpoprock

    Jun 7, 2005
    Kokomo, IN
    Let's not turn this in to a thickness vs. length discussion... HA!

    J
     
  18. Cable is relatively cheap, you can't go wrong when buying cables with more "girth". (see, I'm avoiding length and thickness!) You only cause problems going the other way, too small. So spend the money. I recommend the Ron Jeremy line, sold under the HedgeHog label.

    Sure, its way more capacity than you need now, but if you upgrade amp later you don't have to upgrade cables later.

    Randy

    Bob: There are 2 kinds of people who make outlandish claims for high priced speaker wires. Those that sell them. And those that paid the big bucks for them and don't want to believe they might have wasted the extra cash.... Very hard to convince either type on the merits of the case. "Your livelihood" and "your pride" tend to introduce a bit of bias.

    They may even be right, but there's no way I'm taking their word on it... like Tom Cruise said.. SHOW ME THE DATA!!!
     
  19. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    If you're buying pre-made cables, then no worries about buying thicker gauge than you really need. But if you're a DIY guy, the problem with super-thick cable is that it can be difficult to install in banana plugs and Speakon connectors. My DIY cables are made with 14 and 16 ga.
     
  20. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    Corrupticut
    One of the drawbacks to thicker wire, say 12ga over 14ga, is that the 12ga can be too big to work in some connectors. I use a lot of 14ga in speaker cables because the Neutrik 1/4" heavy duty plugs I was using wouldn't take the 12ga cable through the shell. You could solder it up but the shee would bind on the cable. Same with the older Neureik Speakons.

    The newer versions of these connectors have been designed for easier use of 12ga. Whatever makes you feel good is worth it.