1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

The Difference?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Osama_Spears, May 22, 2003.

  1. Whats the difference between "speakon" inputs and "1/4' " inputs in a cabinet?

  2. BryanB

    BryanB Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Speakon is designed for high power. (I think up to 2000 watts, but don't quote me on this.) The 1/4" design is not designed for more than 250 watts. Speakon is also designed to be safer and more secure for high power applications. It is also designed for a long service life of connecting and disconnecting. It is field serviceable, requiring no soldering.
  3. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    I'm a fan of speak-on connectors, but understand that you can still use 1/4" connectors for wattages far exceeding the numbers mentioned above. You just might run into problems if you disconnect them while still turned on, either damaging your equipment or in some cases (i.e. high wattage bridged mode) getting electrocuted.

    Speak-ons twist into place, and can't be "accidentally" disconnected. The connection is solid, and can't be pulled out under tension, like if someone trips over a cable. They have much more surface contact for the connection than 1/4" jacks. They don't require soldering, you can re-do a bad connection with a simple screwdriver.

    You don't HAVE to make the change, but once you use them, I'm certain you'll prefer them, and they aren't expensive at all, you can just get some speak-on ends and lop the connectors off all of your old speaker cables and do it yourself, its easy.
  4. thanks for the informative replies...another question:

    what kinda inputs does Avatar have?

    oh,and...does all amps have Speak-ons?(head)


  5. squire_pwr


    Apr 15, 2003
    San Diego, CA.
    Avatar's have 1/4" inputs, but I hear it's relatively easy to convert them to Speakons. I'm not sure how exactly, but I emailed Dave @Avatar once and he said it's a pretty simple mod.

    Not all amps have Speakons... check the specs of whatever amp you're looking at closely to find out. Also, GK's call their speakon connections "biamp connectors." That threw me off a little bit. :)
  6. you guys rule...thanks.
  7. BryanB

    BryanB Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    That's probably because you can have 4 conductors on a standard speakon cable. (I think there is also a version with 8 conductors, but I am not positive on that.)
  8. I use 4-conductor Speakon connections in all my cabinets. They have a secure locking system, plus offer a higher amount of contact area for high power handling. Speakons do not have a make/then break issue that can be found in phone plugs.

    Four conductor Speakons are perfect for bi-amping. Mine all use Pair #1 as the Lows, and Pair #2 as the Highs. I install two Speakon jacks in a standard dish and cable them in parallel. The internal wiring to the speaker is either Pair #1 or Pair #2 as required by the driver. The two jacks allow me to daisy chain between cabs and maintain the High/Low signal separation between cable pairs.

    You can remove the jack dish from your existing cabinet and replace it with a dish suitable for one or two Speakon connectors. Depending on the existing dish, you might have to cut the cab opening larger. There are different size dishes available from www.partsexpress.com or www.pennfabrication.com and other sources.

    I wire all my cabs to Red(+) Forward phasing. Applying battery voltage makes the cone move forward (away) from the magnet assembly. Older JBL drivers were Black(-) Forward, so pay attention that all your drivers move the same way.
  9. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    I added Speakons to several of my Avatar cabinets. I removed one of the 1/4 in. jacks, drilled the hole out to fit a Speakon (15/16 or 31/32 in. I believe (I borrowed a stepped drill bit from work)and 1 in. is too big) plus two small holes for the little bolts that secure the Speakon jack to the plate. Then I connected the positive leads to 1+ and the negative to 1-. Worked great.