To use the Speakon, or 1/4??

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Obsolex, Jul 31, 2003.

  1. Obsolex

    Obsolex Guest

    Nov 17, 2002
    I'm getting an Ampeg Svt-III (3) Pro soon, and I was reading the manual online, and it said under the 1/4 plugin description, that if using at full power, I should use the speakon...
    Would it damage the had or cab if I used the 1/4??
  2. bben


    Feb 28, 2002
    Santa Fe, NM
    You probably won't damage anything, it's just that speakons were designed to carry heavy current and 1/4" are not quite as good at it. The 1/4" system was originally developed back in the 1930's or thereabouts for low-voltage, low-current telephone use.
  3. Nick Gann

    Nick Gann Talkbass' Tubist in Residence

    Mar 24, 2002
    Silver Spring, MD
    Basically, you will get more power if you use the Speakons.
  4. K-Frog


    Feb 6, 2002
    Camden, AR, USA
    when people ask this type of question, I always think of the example given at some point in the past, maybe by Bob Lee, I dunno.
    This time, I will try to explain what a pathetic connection 1/4" plugs give in comparison to bananas and Speakons.

    Point your index finger straight out, horizontally.
    Now, take you other index finger and from above, point down to the other index fingernail.
    now you should be touching fingernail tip to fingernail,fingers forming a right angle.
    See how much "connection" you get touching your fingernails? That's about what you get with the contact touching the sleeve and tip of a 1/4" plug.

    most other connections are far superior, IMO
  5. I used to have an svt III-Pro as well. The speakon's jacks also hold the cable more secure. I have a speakon cable that is a couple of feet long if you are interested I could send it to you for a small shipping fee.
  6. erikwhitton

    erikwhitton Guest

    Sep 20, 2002
    Portland, ME USA
    I'm compelled to point out that until a few years ago no one was using Speakon and everything seemed fine. right? Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and the Beatles didn't need it. so why should we?

    Even though there are some advantages, it's obviously not a necessity or even a priority to use speakon.

  7. Nick Gann

    Nick Gann Talkbass' Tubist in Residence

    Mar 24, 2002
    Silver Spring, MD
    Good example of what the 1/4" is like.

    In comparison, the speakons would be like wrapping your whole fist around said finger.
  8. people used to drive horses and buggies's called technology and it advances everyday. Why not embrace it? Unless your just strapped for cash

    Some things just make sense
  9. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    I don't recall those artists using 1000+ watt amplifiers for their instrument rigs, either.

    Back in the 80s when my band owned and ran our own full-size PA, we switched all the speaker connectors from 1/4" to these white twist-lock things... I forget the name, they were made by Belden (?) or something. They were larger than Speakon.

    Anyway: it isn't like we're asking the guy to modify his amp. The Speakon connector is already there! Speakon is superior to 1/4", so he should absolutely take advantage of it if at all possible.
  10. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    My speaker cab has Speakon connections but my amp doesn't. Has anyone ever tried to replace the 1/4 jack in back of the amp with a speakon connector?
  11. Hrmm....guys,I have a question...

    Would a 1/4'' to Speakon be good? because my amp has a speakon input,and my cab only has 1/4''

    and it's only gonna be putting out no more then 160 watts...thanks

  12. billys73


    Apr 25, 2003
    I have seen some "multi input" type connectors; but unless it is one of these, you can use a speakon to 1/4" cable.
    Otherwise just use 1/4" to 1/4".

    Speakon is superior; but I don't know how much benefit you'll get by having it on one end only.
    More importantly, I don't think it will matter at all with power output that low. Usually it really makes a difference at 400 watts and up.
  13. Obsolex

    Obsolex Guest

    Nov 17, 2002
    How much are Speakon's? Are they expensive??

  14. debassed one

    debassed one Guest

    Jul 30, 2003
    san fran.,calif.
    using speakeon connectors with a Swr 750, and Gol.3 and big ben 18. my sound tech. measured somehow by meter and sound pressure, a significant
    lower output than with 1/4". I could hear a tone and large volumn differnts, while playing alone.
    gigging could not tell differnce. I've also had speakeons freeze on back of amp after gig, when amp was still hot, a bear to be stuck trying to free themup, when you want to go home and chichs are waiting..
  15. I suggest using the speakons. I have had no problems with them and they don't wear out nearly as fast. I have not seen or heard much a difference with them.

    The 1/4's on the other hand gave me this good story. One night I was doing sound and all my monitors are connected with 1/4's. We were crankin them very hard and from the begining of the last set the guitar player said the monitor was too quiet, but neither of us really cared because of the beer we were drinking. So about an hour later I went to unhook them and grabbed one of the 1/4's and burnt my hand. It seems someone accidentally hit one with there foot and knocked it half way out and the 1/4 welded it self to the jack in the monitor, it also melted part of the plastic connector plate it was mounted in. Normally power amps should shut down at the point of welding temps but not Peavey's they go the extra mile!

    Speakons are also made of hard plastic that won't bend or break when you kick your 810 on its face. Yet another drunk story-
  16. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    South Shore MA
    Did he also try to sell you a bridge in New York? I don't mean to be facetious but the simple physics of the speakon connection imply that it will carry a greater current more effectively.
  17. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    Normally power amps should shut down at the point of welding temps but not Peavey's they go the extra mile! Nice! Peavey freakin rocks!
  18. otnemeM


    Oct 29, 2002
    Ovar, Portugal

    *Jon Stewart voice ON*
    *Jon Stewart voice OFF*

    :confused: :confused: :confused:
  19. So would it actually be better to have 1/4" to 1/4" compared to Speakon to 1/4"? Or would having one speakon connector be better than no speakon connector?
  20. Thumper

    Thumper Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    Syracuse Ut
    So, what about Pete-the-Bass's question? I'm looking at an amp with speakon only output, but our mains are old-fashion 1/4" jacks, so I'm also interested in the answer.