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SpeakOns or 1/4"?


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Hey! Something ON-TOPIC from Tedster...

 

Here's a dumb one...if I buy some new PA speakers, should I be looking for SpeakOn connectors or the old standby?

 

Actually, I'd prefer something that had both options available for ease. Nothing like finding you can't play because you don't have the right cable, or have to dig in and bastardize something at the last moment to make it work.

"Cisco Kid, was a friend of mine"
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Just don't be oversold. 1/4" are fine in many, many applications. With speakers it's just a matter of current capability. Nothing else.

 

100W near-field monitors are fine with 1/4" jacks. I'll assume speakons can carry more current than 1/4", so larger speakers may benefit.

 

However, dual banana plugs can carry more currenbt than speakons, are vastly easier to service, and are vastly cheaper.

 

Speakons are the hip new thing. Don't be so hip that you think you need tempered, aircraft rated tubing for the job of a garden hose, though.

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Bananas are also a pain in the ass. Getting them on 10 or 12 gauge wire is a beeeotch. Keeping them plugged into stuff with less than half a roll of duct tape aiding is another drag. It's nice that they daisy chain but the practicality of that at the speaker end is largely a myth ; }

 

On smaller stages especially, where there is a lot of tripping on mangled spaghetti runs, Speakons are nice. It's not like it costs much these days to build or buy good ones, either. The last batch I did for someone I think I got the connectors for $3.69 apiece. And the current ability is commensurate with banana in real-world terms.

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It is also harder to accidentally unplug a speakon.

 

/jim

"...it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lacking patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It is the same in any country."

 

-Hermann Goering, second in command of the Third Reich

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Originally posted by greenboy:

Keeping them plugged into stuff with less than half a roll of duct tape aiding is another drag.

Man, you just gotta love all the uses of duct tape! I've even used it on duct work.

bbach

 

Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.

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Originally posted by soundthinker:

It is also harder to accidentally unplug a speakon.

 

/jim

Which means that when someone trips over a speaker cable, the plug doesn't come out and the jack itself isn't going to be damaged, but OTOH, the speaker itself might fall. :freak: Each has their disadvantages, but if I had to pick one or the other for live use, I'd go with speakon's.

 

As far as having the "right cables" available, extra cables are always included in my "bag of tricks" that goes with me to every live gig, along with other essentials like tools, extra strings, power strips, etc. etc.

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but OTOH, the speaker itself might fall.
Well, that's just the Night Ranger "Sister Christian" influence ; } ...In bars where there is dancing and drinking and motorcycle riding anything can happen. One tries to place and secure things in such a way that disasters are unlikely.

 

As you said, the first insurance is to bring all types of adapters, tools, extras, etc. And having really well thought out system organization and high quality components minimizes set up time and problems.

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Originally posted by Tedster:

Hey! Something ON-TOPIC from Tedster....

And it only took 19K posts! :D

 

We've been using speakons for a while now. They have been bulletproof so far.

 

I was unaware of their higher current capabilities. :thu:

So Many Drummers. So Little Time...
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Originally posted by Philip O'Keefe:

Originally posted by soundthinker:

It is also harder to accidentally unplug a speakon.

 

/jim

Which means that when someone trips over a speaker cable, the plug doesn't come out and the jack itself isn't going to be damaged, but OTOH, the speaker itself might fall. :freak:
That's what gaffe tape is for! :D

 

/jim

"...it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lacking patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It is the same in any country."

 

-Hermann Goering, second in command of the Third Reich

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My loudspeakers have both 1/4" and speakons but I use 1/4' cables because I don't run over 50' of cable so I don't need the extra current capacity.

I've also had zero problems with the 1/4" cables. They are pretty decent quality though.

 

Our Joint

 

"When you come slam bang up against trouble, it never looks half as bad if you face up to it." The Duke...

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Originally posted by soundthinker:

Originally posted by Philip O'Keefe:

Originally posted by soundthinker:

It is also harder to accidentally unplug a speakon.

 

/jim

Which means that when someone trips over a speaker cable, the plug doesn't come out and the jack itself isn't going to be damaged, but OTOH, the speaker itself might fall. :freak:
That's what gaffe tape is for! :D

 

/jim

Yes - GAFFER'S tape - not Duct tape - one leaves a gooey residue, and the other doesn't. I HATE it when people use duct tape to tape down cables. Yuck! :freak:
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The speakon is more durable, almost breakproof, easily 5x the conductivity, locks...IMHO it's a no brainer.

 

AFA the whole well it locks in what if osmeone trips over it and knocks my speaker over thing, unless your speakers are on the floor, chances are pretty good that if you ran your cables poorly and or failed to sercure then so they could nto be tripped over, the 1/4" jack isn't coing out anyway, the speaker is going to fall over, and Murphy's law dictates it'll do so on the 1/4" jack and break it ON THE SPEAKERBOX!!!!!

Hope this is helpful.

 

NP Recording Studios

Analog approach to digital recording.

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I enjoy the best of both worlds, 'cuz I have speakons at the amp ends and phone plugs at the speaker ends of my speaker runs. ;) And I've noticed I never have any connectivity problems at the amp end.

 

I'm much prefering the speakons. I think I'll be putting sockets in my speaker boxes, when I get around to it. I'll keep phone jacks too if there's room on the panel, why shouldn't I? Boy Scout motto, 'n' all. Like Phil, I carry a "bag of tricks." Even have a few banana-plug-to-inline-phone-jack abominations, just 'cuz ya never know. :cool:

 

If you go the speakon route, rolling your own will be much cheaper than buying manufactured, from what I've seen, anyway.

band link: bluepearlband.com

music, lessons, gig schedules at dennyf.com

 

STURGEON'S LAW --98% of everything is bullshit.

 

My Unitarian Jihad Name is: The Jackhammer of Love and Mercy.

Get yours.

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Originally posted by hard truth:

I think I read that banana plugs have been banned in Europe. Anyone know why?

Some AC outlets in Europe are a pair of round holes. Might have something to do with it.

 

Lessee, 240v/8 ohms=30amps*240v=7200watts. Just plug in a big honkin' sub and dig on the 50-cycle tone of the wall outlet. :thu:

band link: bluepearlband.com

music, lessons, gig schedules at dennyf.com

 

STURGEON'S LAW --98% of everything is bullshit.

 

My Unitarian Jihad Name is: The Jackhammer of Love and Mercy.

Get yours.

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Look for the Power Con's, they are locking A/C versions by our friends at Neutrik.

 

Spak On's are not easy to unlock, hence their pervaisve in the Pro Arena, their are two pol;e, four pole and eight pole versions.

 

As many jumbo 1/4" are sold as are Speakon, Bananas are still very popular and if they are properly maintained, do a good job.

 

If you are buying a newer powered monitor set up, chances are it will have a combo, 1/4 Speak On female jack plate, to accmodate either.

 

If not, then step up to a brand which does for ease over long term.

 

R

Label on the reverb, inside 1973 Ampeg G-212: "Folded Line Reverberation Unit" Manufactured by beautiful girls in Milton WIS. under controlled atmosphere conditions.
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I haven't been posting for a week or so, but I've watched this debate progress with lots of good information and some misinformation.

 

Speakons are, hands down, the best connectors for single, dual, triple or quad channel speaker power transmission.

 

Prague suggests banana plugs are superior in several ways to Speakons, but the facts say otherwise.

 

Power handling capability. Many concert touring systems that use larger amounts of power than most small systems will ever muster use Speakon connectors. They'll handle any amount of power that the typical user has access to. So whether banana connectors handle more power is a moot question as either can more than handle the needs of SR use.

 

Service capability. Speakons, despite additional protective parts, are far easier to service than banana plugs. As Greenboy mentioned, it is difficult to put 12 gauge wire to a banana plug because it must be bent through the strain relief. Otherwise you're liable to pull the cable out of it under relatively weak pulls.

 

And in the real world most people do quite a bit of tugging cables to coax them out of other gear, cables, etc. onstage when removing them from a setup. Speakons, like 1/4" connectors, slide relatively easy and don't get caught nearly as much as banana plugs do.

 

Most importantly, banana plugs do not lock in place. While others have suggested that can be a plus because of speakers being pulled down, it is not a plus. One reason banana plugs are banned in some areas is because you have two unprotected conductors, 3/4" from one another. If the plug is released from a speaker, it could fall on conductive material and short out. Insurance companies may refuse to insure installations that use banana plugs in high amperage systems because they no longer meet fire codes. Same with 1/4" jacks. Speakon terminals and conductors are sheilded from one another and outside conductive material by design. You can't accidentally touch a terminal without really trying.

 

Despite the success of Speakons in the Pro SR industry, they did fall short in durability to some other industrial connectors. For that reason, Neutrik introduced metal casing Speakons a year or two ago.

 

Now I'm not saying that a studio owner needs to remove his banana plugs from his near field monitors and replace them with Speakons. I still have an amp that uses 1/4" jacks. But in more rigorous situations such as live PA I implore you to spend the extra dough and be safe with the gear that has the most chance of injuring you. Speaker cables and A/C power cables. Electricty is too dangerous.

 

One other thought. Few people have ever had a Speakon connected floor monitor go out because someone tripped over a cable. With 1/4" jacks that's a common occurance. All it takes is one wrong step.. one drunk hopping onstage, to take out your monitor by tripping over the cable.

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

Soundclick

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Originally posted by fantasticsound:

Many concert touring systems that use larger amounts of power than most small systems will ever muster use Speakon connectors.

Most touring companies use speakons only for wedges, main connectors are typcially either EP or Hubbel.

 

Service capability. Speakons, despite additional protective parts, are far easier to service than banana plugs. As Greenboy mentioned, it is difficult to put 12 gauge wire to a banana plug because it must be bent through the strain relief. Otherwise you're liable to pull the cable out of it under relatively weak pulls.[/QB]
Banana plugs requre only a small screwdriver to assemble, Speakons require a very small allen key.

 

And in the real world most people do quite a bit of tugging cables to coax them out of other gear, cables, etc. onstage when removing them from a setup. Speakons, like 1/4" connectors, slide relatively easy and don't get caught nearly as much as banana plugs do.[/QB]
tug on a bana plug it's going to come out of the plug, tug on a speakon and you'll be repairing the cable.

 

Few people have ever had a Speakon connected floor monitor go out because someone tripped over a cable. With 1/4" jacks that's a common occurance. All it takes is one wrong step.. one drunk hopping onstage, to take out your monitor by tripping over the cable.[/QB]
Again the 1/4" is likely to come out of the jack and possibly be ok, the speakon could potentially have the wire ripped from the connector. In eaither case there is the likelihood of a repair needed.

 

I'm in no way defending bananas or 1/4" connectors, jsut setting some thing straight. I've already aired my opinion, speakon over 1/4" all the way.

Hope this is helpful.

 

NP Recording Studios

Analog approach to digital recording.

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Hope this is as confusing as hell to the newcomer, actually ; }

 

Anyway, if you've seen more speakons you'd notice that some varieties also use posidrive, which is kind of like philips-head. And some have been known to solder...

 

Also, anyone that thinks yanking on the cable is going to cause problems to the wire hasn't done much with big honkin' round heavy gauge stuff. Your hands will come off first.

 

hope this is popeing

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I personally have spent about 2 decades in pro sound, and have built (and repaired) Litterally hundreds of not thousands of speakons with "big honkin' round heavy gauge stuff". the solder ones suck to repair in the field, you need a very serioss soldering gun to do so. (Your basic 25w iron won't cut it for a good connection.)

 

Often times if the cable is tugged hard enough, the entire connector assembly comes lose from the speaker panel itself unless they are mounted from the inside. Otherwise, the cable outer jacket ripps against the strain reliet, and shreds the inner jackets and wiriing, often shorting the pairs.

 

However I will add it takes a considerable amount of force to do this.

Hope this is helpful.

 

NP Recording Studios

Analog approach to digital recording.

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Originally posted by where02190:

Most touring companies use speakons only for wedges, main connectors are typcially either EP or Hubbel.

 

Not anymore. EP's are far more expensive than NL8's, hence the move by many to the less expensive and easier to use Neutriks.

 

Banana plugs requre only a small screwdriver to assemble, Speakons require a very small allen key.
This hasn't been true for 5 years. They switched to a phillips/flathead design when they redesigned the locking mechanism from the aforementioned ring to a spring loaded, locking tab. (I was selling them when Lilly was born and both mechanisms had changed.) But I still keep the appropriate allen key for any old ones I come across. ;)

 

And in the real world most people do quite a bit of tugging cables to coax them out of other gear, cables, etc. onstage when removing them from a setup. Speakons, like 1/4" connectors, slide relatively easy and don't get caught nearly as much as banana plugs do.
tug on a bana plug it's going to come out of the plug, tug on a speakon and you'll be repairing the cable.

 

You must misunderstand me, Where. I mean after you disconnect the cables, it is common to tug (albeit, carefully) on cables to remove them from a run of multiple cables. You can't do that with bananas. They get stuck on everything.

 

As long as we're speaking of banana plugs pulling out, I would mention that the vibration of transport in vans and trucks has released banana plugs on more than one occasion in racks my employer had wired with a security plate covering the back. :mad: After the first time that happened, I made my own drill "key" that worked with the security rack screws. ;)

 

Again the 1/4" is likely to come out of the jack and possibly be ok, the speakon could potentially have the wire ripped from the connector. In eaither case there is the likelihood of a repair needed.
I clamp down on cable in Speakons very tightly. But if the wire comes loose, it's just a few twists of the collar, reveal the solderless connections and screw the conductors back in place. And if someone actually soldered that bad boy well, you won't remove the cable without breaking your ankle by tripping over it. ;)

 

I'm in no way defending bananas or 1/4" connectors, jsut setting some thing straight. I've already aired my opinion, speakon over 1/4" all the way.
Always glad to have the benefit of your experience and opinions. :thu:

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

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I personally have spoken to dead presidents and am known to tug really hard on things like threads and senses of self importance and partial knowledge pools. Don't mess with me because I am the only expert and always will be.

 

Thank you for listening.

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