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Using a jack lead to hook up cabs?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by dllive, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. dllive


    Dec 30, 2011
    Hi all,
    I have 2 cabs and one amp. One of the cabs sounds like its blown, but I dont think it has. Im using jack leads instead of speaker cables to connect these together - is that wrong and could that be causing one of the cabs to sound crappy?
    Can you recommend decent speaker cables?
  2. LowEZ

    LowEZ Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2011
    Central NJ
    Bad idea. Your "jack leads" are coax cables with light-duty wires that were never designed to handle the voltage a head can put out. You need speaker cables, period. I can't recommend any because I've been making my own for 30 years but any speaker cable is going to be far better than guitar cable.
  3. dllive


    Dec 30, 2011
    Thanks - I thought that may be the case!
  4. dincz


    Sep 25, 2010
    Czech Republic
    Jack leads are commonly used for speakers but I guess you're talking about instrument cables. Not a good idea. While they'll cope with the voltage, they won't handle the current and could overheat/melt.
  5. craig.p


    Sep 28, 2008
    New Hampshire
    And can present a dangerously reactive load to the amp, to which different amps will react in different ways.
  6. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    use speaker cables.
    I got mine custom built from Pro Cables. Road tough and no messy add'l length to
    have to hide away.
  7. dllive


    Dec 30, 2011
    Thanks guys. Ive just been having a quick Google. It seems like there are brands like: Lava Kimber cable, Monster 500, Livewire Elite, GT series from Solid Cables etc... But their lengths are like 6 foot!! Surely I just need about 1 foot? Theres not much distance between the head and the amp.
  8. dllive


    Dec 30, 2011
  9. Southway

    Southway So ugly, he made a train take a gravel road

    Jul 26, 2009
    Lake of the Ozarks
    Nope! Those are instrument cables, not what you want. You should be able to get some shorter than 6 foot. I got one at Best Buy not long ago, I think is 3 foot.
  10. dllive


    Dec 30, 2011
    Thanks Southway. Do these things actually have a name!? (speaker cables, patch cables, bass amp to cab cables etc.!?) Whatever I seem to Google doesnt return the right results! I only need 2 cables that are about 1 foot - they only have to go from my amp to both cabs.
  11. Speaker cable/lead. Must get correct speaker lead not instrument lead. Important.
  12. Southway

    Southway So ugly, he made a train take a gravel road

    Jul 26, 2009
    Lake of the Ozarks
    They should be specifically speaker cables, but some places don't always describe them fully. Some places have "audio cables" which could be anything. But "instrument cables" or "patch cables" are going to be sheilded cables with small wire, not good for speakers. Also you should look at the wire size. I would recommend at least 16 gauge wire, but if you don't have a lot of power and very short runs you can probably use 18 ga. I think this is what I have: http://www.hosatech.com/product/68525/SKJ-603/_/Speaker_Cable,_Hosa_14_in_TS_to_Same,_3_ft

    The only thing I've found less than 3 ft tho was a 16 ga Pyle brand that was 6". Probably not long enough. But really 3 ft shouldn't be that much too long, and someday you might want to move things around and separate them a bit! :)
  13. dllive


    Dec 30, 2011
    Thanks Southway - thats helped a lot! Ill jump on ebay now and see what they have. I think youre right about the 3ft length - maybe 1ft would be too limiting!
  14. Southway

    Southway So ugly, he made a train take a gravel road

    Jul 26, 2009
    Lake of the Ozarks
    Oh and whatever ya do, don't use a Vox organ volume pedal for a speaker cable. I know a guy that did that once, on a 100 watt Ampeg. Don't know how many watts he actually put through it but it was way more than the 2 watt pot in the pedal could handle! :)
  15. Spend the money on a soldering iron and you'll save heaps in the long run. Pre made cables are highly profitable.
  16. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    ^^ This.....Also here's some tips on making a good quality cable.

  17. murphy


    May 5, 2004
    Toronto, Canada
    yorkville makes some decent speaker cables
  18. There are loads of different brands of speaker cables, which you use is not important, what is important is that it IS a proper speaker cable that has a thick enough gauge to optimally allow the current to run through it.

    speaker cables can use xlr, 1/4" or speakon jacks or a combination there of at their ends, which connection it has is not really important although a speakon is recommended for safety at over 400watts

    DO NOT use instrument cables as speaker cables, this can damage both your head and cabs
  19. shaginwagin


    Apr 2, 2012
    ^^^ This, is great! Thanks for that link! :bassist:
  20. dllive


    Dec 30, 2011

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