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banana-->speakon or banana-->banana?


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Question for those of you more knowledgable than I am in the actual physics of these fancy electro-nomical gizmos out there:


I recently had to get my Acme Low B2 repaired, due to the 1/4" jacks becoming worn out and intermittent. Instead of having the jacks replaced, I decided to have the entire crossover upgraded to the new "Series II" crossover that has a single 1/4" jack, a speakon jack, and banana plugs.


I had to install the new crossover myself with a soldering iron...and I've got the fiberglass imbedded in my fingers to prove it. :D


My Stewart power amp uses banana plug outputs for its bridged mono mode, so in the past I had been using a banana plug-->1/4" speaker cable. Now that I have the options of using some connectors on my cabinet that can handle high current more efficiently, I'm going to go purchase a different speaker cable.


So my question is: Is there any advantage for me using a banana-->speakon cable as opposed to a straight banana-to-banana connection...besides the security the speakon jack will have at the cabinet side? The banana jack on the power amp end will wear out regardless, right?

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I think both systems are extremely hip because they tranfer the big watts well as you say, and they also can both be quickly installed on a thick speaker cable without soldering. (Soldering 12GA speaker wire onto one of those big 1/4" plugs is a pain in the A$$!!)


The Speakon has the added advantage that it automatically connects with the proper polarity. With the banana, there's the potential to reverse it if you're not careful.


Supposedly Speakon transfers power better than banana (though to me they look pretty similar).


At any rate, either one should be a definite improvment over the 1/4". I've got an old Acme that's going to need that soon too. (As long as I'm getting a crossover, I'll probably go ahead and change the impedence to 8 ohms.)


BTW, if the plug on the power end ever goes bad, you can either carry a spare + tools and fix it real quick in the field (I've done this a few times with the PA). On some power amps, you can even strip the wire back, loosen the red & black plastic sockets on the amp and connect directly with bare wire!

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I have the same setup (a Stewart World into an Acme Low B-2II), and I've been using Monster Studio Pro 1000 with good results; it is heavy guage, 3 foot, Speakon to Banana connection. It's fantastic at $35 a pop. Good luck finding them around, though. I had to special order from Wild West Electronics .


Before this, I used to use banana to banana cables. Like Jeff mentioned, you have to worry about polarity, which can be a pain on a dark stage.

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either would be fine. many people like speakon because they are a true locking connection. they can't be pulled out accidentally like a banana can be. however, the limit to your system is the banana output on your amp. you have to use a banana, so you're really not gaining anything by using a speakon on the other end. in other words, either would be fine. :)


one thing to point out about bananas, though, is that a good banana plug has a little tab on the side that allows you to feel the difference between the two. it's not as automatic as a speakon, i guess, but there should be no problems maintaining polarity it complete darkness.



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Bananas can handle a TON of current and can be repaired without soldering. You can get replacements at a Radio Shack on a Sunday afternoon in the middle of Nowhere for a cheap price. Bananas last a long time. They are used in electronics labs for years on end for good reasons.


It's called Creeping Elegance in engineering circles. For the price of one Speakon cable you could probably have 3 banana cables. I'd prefer having the spares. I don't stick a lot of money into utilitarian roles.


I've never plugged a banana in backwards. It's a simple connection.

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I vote for the speakon. Two reasons:


1. locking (I've seen you doing some serious vibrating, Mr. Loy).

2. long term wear - bananas are based on the pins being wide enough to contact the socket - over the years this can break down as the metal fatigues.


Bob G. sells cables, and the ones I've bought have been heavy-duty and solid.




Acoustic Color


Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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Originally posted by BenLoy:

Considering I work right next door to Sam Ash I'll probably just pop in there during lunch...but I'll check Bob's prices before I leave...

On 48th? Good luck finding anything on that 2nd floor in the Pro-Audio shop. That was the first spot I checked. Garbage, in general. They have some decent Planet-Wave speaker cables, but they're usually 20 feet!


Sam Ash is frustrating. However, you can usually buy a Samson microphone for $50, get 10 microphones with stands free, plus a Carlos Robelli acoustic guitar with a quilted maple top. :D

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Originally posted by getz76:

you can usually buy a Samson microphone for $50, get 10 microphones with stands free, plus a Carlos Robelli acoustic guitar with a quilted maple top. :D

I got a FREE carlo robelli acoustic when my band and i bought all our recording stuff (BTW its going great) and i was talking to my dad so the salesman wouldnt hear but he heard anyway; I said that the guitar is an $80 guitar, and the sales guy was like "NO, its like $150", then he put it into the computer and it came up as $80 (then he made it so it was free).


lol. stupid :freak: people... :D

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I chose the bannana speakon route for my acme cabs. I feel stupid for saying this but for a long time i was connecting the bannanas backwards on my power amp... hehe


I like the reassuring click that the speakons provide


Btw I got some proco fatmaxes - they rock!!



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