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Speakon vs. 1/4" Quesiton. Any benefits?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Brondle, Feb 23, 2008.

  1. Brondle


    Dec 3, 2007
    Fairfield, CT

    Is there anything to be gained besides a secure connection using Speakon vs. 1/4"? I have a brand new Carvin SBR610 Full Stack rig with the option to use Speakon's from amp head to both speaker cabs. Is there performance gain from the amp to speakers? Efficiencies?

  2. jmac


    May 23, 2007
    Horsham, Pa
    Speakon is supposed to be a more secure connection. I've had several 1/4" connectors go bad but I've never had a speakon connector go bad.
  3. Hi, Brondle.

    These are strictly IME/IMO


    Speakon has ~10 times the contact area of the phono.
    The connection is more secure.
    The connection is "idiot proof" beacause of the twist-lock. No click, no sound.
    Generally accepts larger cables.
    No soldering, screw on connections.
    You can run two separate signals with one four connector cable. (Or three with a common ground, IF You know what you're doing)
    You can make special cables for bridge operation for some amps.


    Bulkier, won't necessarily fit everywhere.
    The connection is too secure, if something moves or shifts, everything that's on the ends of the connectors will follow :mad:.
    The possibilities to connect a four pole speakon the wrong way are quite numerous :meh:.
    The bridge cable in the pros category won't operate too well if the ends are reversed. ( The amp end on the cab and vice versa)

    For me, up to 200-300W it's phono, on bigger rigs usually speakon on both ends and on PA, speakon/speakon on secure racks and speakon/banana on places where there might be problems with people tripping over the cables etc.

    Remember to buy quality though, a piss-poor imitation speakon is worse than a quality phono.

  4. Brondle


    Dec 3, 2007
    Fairfield, CT
    T-Bird, Thanks for the info. My application will be very simple; one 3ft male to male from amp to a 2X10 then from the 2X10 to a 15. I just need to know if I'll pick up any more amp power, cleaner signal, better sound ..... that kind of stuff.
  5. Another advantage of using Speakons is that your speaker cables don't look the same as 1/4 inch leads to a "helpful" friend.
  6. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    A Speakon is capable of carrying a lot higher current than a 1/4" plug. For that reason they are recommended for higher-wattage amps. The exact amount that it "matters" is debated pretty hotly whenever it comes up- there's always somebody who says "I've been using a 1,200 W amp with a 1/4" speaker plug on tour for the last decade and never had a problem!" ...Then there are others who say their 1/4" plugs and jacks melted, shorted, or failed in one way or another when using a high-powered amp.
  7. Speaking from personal experience, my previous band (the singer, specifically) got a brand new 800 watt (bridged) PA. However she was still using her old monitors and 1/4 plugs. Hardly any sound coming out of the monitors until she upgraded to Speakons. Now, they have a ridiculously loud setup.
  8. Brondle


    Dec 3, 2007
    Fairfield, CT

    Ya, I heard basically the same thing. I should get a better response from the amp to speakers. I ordered them and they should be delivered this week.

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