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Speakon 2 pole 4 pole connectors

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by wavey, Jan 19, 2014.

  1. wavey


    May 16, 2003
    London, UK

    I have a Mark Little amp head and 104HR cab - I was going to buy a speakon cable but am confused about the choice of 2 pole or 4 pole!

    The Markbass manual says:
    SPEAKER OUT speakon/1/4" combo, 1/4"

    I was hoping to buy a right angle speakon for the cab but they're only available in 4 pole.

    So my questions are:

    If anyone out there uses Speakons with their MarkBass, did you use 2 pole or 4 pole?

    Does it matter (and is it possible) to use a 2 pole cable into 4 pole socket and vice-a-versa.

  2. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    Always buy the four pole version. It's pretty much a standard.
  3. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    4 pole is standard but 2 pole cables will work in a 4 pole socket. 4 poles are only necessary for bi-amping but the socket is the industry standard.
  4. wavey


    May 16, 2003
    London, UK
    Thanks for the replies
  5. 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
    Either one will work for your application. Two of the poles in the four-pole are superfluous. If economics plays a role, buy the cheaper two-pole.
  6. wcriley


    Apr 5, 2010
    Western PA
    If economics plays a role, build you own cable. :D
  7. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    Most amp companies use a 4-poll connector even though they are only using two in their amp. As was mentioned, this is done because you can use a 2 or 4 conductor cable so it its more versatile.

    I buy 4-poll Neutrik NL4FX plugs and buy two conductor, 18 gauge, rubber jacketed power cord (Carol General Cable made in the USA) from Home Depot by the yard. The cables are easy to assemble in any custom length that you want. The quality is as good as a store bought cable.
  8. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    There are some older panel mount female Speakon jacks that will only work with 2 pole male plugs. I have encountered them in pair of Samson floor monitors in use a a local club... I upgraded the cable ends for the - or so I thought. Had to replace the ends with 2 pole...
  9. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    Yup. I had installed a pair in my Bill Fitzmaurice Omni-15 cabinet. I had tested the cab back in 2008 when I built it, then put it into storage. I took it to a gig last month (luckily only five minutes away), and the 4-pole cable I carried wouldn't fit.

    Now I carry the two-pole cable and it fits all my cabinets.
  10. Troph


    Apr 14, 2011
    Kirkland, WA
    This is a bit off-topic, but since you brought it up, I will caution. A typical bass head can produce 500 watts RMS into a 4 ohm load, which means 11.1A RMS current, with peaks much higher than that. 18 gauge copper cable at about 6 ft in length would have about 0.04 ohms of internal resistance each way (nearly 0.08 ohms total), which would result in about a 2% RMS voltage drop and a non-trivial reduction in speaker damping factor. You can likely get away with it for 6 foot cables or shorter, but for anything longer you should really buy better cable.

    High power speaker cable doesn't need to be boutique and expensive, but it does need to handle current well, especially if your speaker impedance is lower. 12 gauge speaker cable is really not that expensive, and handles more current than bass players are likely to need at reasonable distances, so it's a standard for a good reason.
  11. 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
    My speaker cables are all 12 gauge, except for one - it's 8 gauge. I don't want to have to worry about signal loss, and I don't.