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XLR vs Speakon

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Chris_AtariDoll, Mar 12, 2003.


  1. Chris_AtariDoll

    Chris_AtariDoll

    Dec 8, 2001
    UK
    The speakon connectors on both of my Warwick cabs have failed, and im now being forced to use the XLR connections, should i have the speakons replaced or continue to use the XLR's.

    Which is more reliable
     
  2. Chris_AtariDoll

    Chris_AtariDoll

    Dec 8, 2001
    UK
    I've only had the cabs for about 6 months, should they have failed so soon???
     
  3. firstly, you should check your speaker cables. speakons use screw terminals inside the connector housing. it's not entirely likely, but it is possible that the wires have become unseated from the terminals.

    secondly, nothing should fail in a new product after six months. if the connectors have failed, you should be able to get them replaced on warranty. check with warwick -- their webpage had nothing posted about warranty length -- but i'd be surprised if it's less than 1 year.

    thirdly, why are there XLR connecctions for a speaker? are you sure they're XLRs and not something else? that really doesn't sound right to me.

    robb.
     
  4. Chris_AtariDoll

    Chris_AtariDoll

    Dec 8, 2001
    UK
    the head has one speakon and one XLR speaker output. each cab has 2 speakons and one male and one female XLR.

    I have changed the cable and it is still cutting out. I will see what my dealer has to say... it may be quicker just to get the store to change them, rather than wait for warwick to sort it.

    Has anyone had this problem with such a new cab???
     
  5. nope, don't use an XLR cable as a power cable!!! Instrument/mic cable only!
     
  6. Chris_AtariDoll

    Chris_AtariDoll

    Dec 8, 2001
    UK
    Warwick probably use the XLR's coz jack sockets are not allowed for use in high current speaker applications in Europe.
     
  7. NJL

    NJL

    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    ditto
     
  8. Apparently German companies are using XLR connectors for speaker connections. I was baffled too the first time I saw them on a Hughes & Kettner 4x10 cab. I wouldn't think that XLR connectors would be good for high power connections.
     
  9. Lovin Bass

    Lovin Bass

    Feb 8, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I have one of Hughes & Kettners BC410 cabs. I love it. I was also baffled when I saw the XLR & Speakon connectors.

    If you use the XLR connector, please make sure that the XLR cable has speaker cable or a similar gauge.

    I would think that the XLR and speakons would have close to the same conducting surface area (or at least a sufficient amount of area) and are just as capable of handling the speaker power requirements assuming you are using the right gauge of wire. They wouldn't be there if they were not capable. It comes down to the wire gauge. If in doubt, buy some XLR connectors and some speaker cable and make your own XLR Speaker Cable.

    Don't use the standard thin XLR cables for mics/instruments to run power to your cabs.
     
  10. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    To me, using XLR for speaker levels is opening a big can of worms. When I see XLR on a piece of gear I think, "line level," just like when I see a rectangular battery with snap connections I think, "9 volts." If someone started selling small 45-volt batteries that looked identical to a 9-volt, you'd see some 9-volt battery-powered devices destroyed.

    Similarly, I would think there's a high likelihood that someone will accidentally put power amp-level voltages into line-level inputs if they both have XLR connectors.
     
  11. Confusing an XLR speaker connection with a line level connection is the obvious problem, but what I'm curious about is whether or not XLR connectors can handle the current from 1000+ watt power amps effectively. I mean, the speaker cable I use is thicker than the pins on an XLR connector.
     
  12. I was perplexed when I say XLR power out's on the back of my Mesa m-2000. I dont care for them at all. [​IMG]
    (Pic "donated" from an ebay auction)
     
  13. wow. i had never seen that, although it makes sense for the euro market. as i understand it, the euro requirement is that high-power outputs cannot be plugged into low-power inputs on the same unit. and since you're not going to get rid of your quarter-inch instrument jack, XLR had to be the way forward.

    i still prefer dual banana jacks, but stupid euro power plugs fit into those, so they're out, too. europe is over-regulated.

    i guess i don't understand why a manufacturer can't just use only one style of speaker out (preferrably speakon) and let the cable manufacturers sort it out.

    robb.
     
  14. Chris_AtariDoll

    Chris_AtariDoll

    Dec 8, 2001
    UK
    I did actually have a sound guy do that.... he connected the XLR speaker connection to his desk, luckly i was on the ball and spotted it, could have been nasty.
     
  15. ttyR2

    ttyR2

    Feb 23, 2003
    Athena, OR
    We used to run a pair of Ampeg V4B cabs in the small sound company I worked at years ago. Those cabs only had an XLR jack and it was a 6-pin setup, iirc. Had a switch for 4 or 16ohm operation as well.
     
  16. Don't know where this came from but I've seen it before, the idea that jacks are outlawed in EUrope for high power applications. The Yamaha CP2000 (2* 1 kW@ 2 ohms, great amp btw) I purchased a few months ago over here in Holland has jack outputs......perhaps Bob Lee might have some insight into the regulations?

    Cheers Rody
     
  17. I use a Tech Soundsystems CT-2000 for my jazz gig. That is also a German cabinet, and uses XLR's exclusively. I think the input XLR connector is starting to cr*p out on me. I play at low volume <50 watts, and have tried a couple of different leads to no effect. I am also careful when plugging/unplugging leads. Conversely, the Speakon connectors on my SWR cabinets behave impeccably at 400 watts. Speakons are easier to use and more secure IMO.




    [​IMG]
     
  18. It's a 4-pin XLR. My SVT has it also. I think I get an extra 100 watts with that fourth pin. ;)
     
  19. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    What do you mean by jack outputs, Rody?
     
  20. What do you mean by jack outputs, Rody?

    I mean that the speakers can connect to 1/4" female mono jacks, as well as to 5-way binding posts. I run a speaker cable with a mono jack on either end between the amp and my cab. If jack outputs were restricted in Europe, I wouldn't have been able to buy this amp (which would be a shame since I love it).

    Cheers Rody