Speaker cables!

Discussion in 'Cabinets & Speakers' started by thrawn86, Sep 1, 2009.

  1. thrawn86

    thrawn86 Well-Known Member

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    Per Viking's idea, I'll start a new thread. What do you use for connecting your amp to the cabinet? What works best, what is lousy, and what is your personal pet peeve? Brands, gauge, straight/angled plugs, etc. Have at it, gents. :dude:
     
  2. chewy

    chewy New Member

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    I had more money than sense so I bought a Pete Cornish cable :) Definitely heavier duty than the Planet Waves cable I have
     
  3. rockinr0ll

    rockinr0ll New Member

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    At the moment I'm using some cheap ass heavy duty thick gauge random speaker cable I've had since who knows when. I'm getting a Mogami one soon though, hopefully it works as good or better then this one. All other cables I have used have went dead on me. (No I didn't use instrument cables!)
     
  4. MartyStrat54

    MartyStrat54 Well-Known Member

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    With a 40 watt amp, 16 gauge stranded is good enough. Going bigger that that is overkill.

    On 60 to 100 watt heads 14 gauge is fine. If you want to bump up to 12 gauge with your 100 watt head that is fine.

    There are several "gimmicks" being used to sell copper power cords. One is, "oxygen free." You'll be hard pressed to hear any difference.

    Gold tipped cords are another expensive trick. Most of the top cable makers do not use gold tipped connectors. (The gold plating wears off fast, especially on the tip).

    I make my own power cables using Belden cable (16, 14 and 12 gauge) and all Switchcraft connectors. These are the same parts the good companies use.
     
  5. Riffraff

    Riffraff Well-Known Member

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    I made my own with 12 awg UL1015 hook up wire & switchcraft jacks. I used one white conductor and one black, stuck one end in a vise and the other in a cordless drill, streched it out and pulled the trigger......instant twisted pair. :naughty:
     
  6. javier pintos

    javier pintos Active Member

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    Jajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajajaja, sorry i could not avoid laughing my ass of, that´s the mexican way of doing things riff way to go bro!!!, but it´s true it works, i´ve used home hifi speaker cable before but did not bother to make it twisted pair

    speaker cable is just a cable to me, anything that would not fry during the current flow would sound just fine for me, in my years of hifi audio experience i have never notice any difference with speaker cables (hell ihave even use a lamp cord and some electric tape when running out of cable), I might have to learn abit on GAmps signal cables that´s a different story for me anyway
     
  7. ken361

    ken361 Well-Known Member

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    I bought a horizon 14g I could tell the differance then a cheap cable.
     
  8. Ken

    Ken Well-Known Member

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    I forget what I have but they're thicker than guitar cables so I'm sure to pull the right ones out of my bag. Yes, I specifically bought "speaker cable".

    Ken
     
  9. American Viking

    American Viking Well-Known Member

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    I pulled this off of another website

    Connector Choices
    Many people install both 1/4 inch phone jacks and Speakons on the same cabinet. This allows you plug your cabinet on no matter which is in use.

    1/4 inch phone jacks cannot reliably support more than 500 watts of power. If your cabinet will be used at 500 watts or higher, use Speakon connectors instead.

    Which connector is right for you?

    Most Guitar and Keyboard amplifiers use 1/4 inch phone jacks for thier Speaker connections.

    Some higher powered Bass Guitar amplifiers will use Speakon connectors.

    Most Low to Mid power PA systems use 1/4 inch jacks and bananna plugs for thier Speaker connections, some occasionally include Speakons.

    Many high powered PA systems only provide Bananna connectors or Speakons

    Internal Wire
    If your speakers will see 500 watts or less, use 18 or 16 gauge (AWG) wire.

    If your speakers will see 500 watts or above, use 16, 14 or 12 gauge (AWG) wire.

    Piezos and Voice-Coil tweeters do not use as much power since they are frequency limited. 20 or 18 gauge (AWG) wire is sufficent.
    Link to AWG sizes Shavano Music Online - Comparing SWG to AWG - Wire Gauges


    I'm actually glad you started this thread dude. When people's amps are blowing up first things I ask about are tubes and ohms, never thought someone would use an instrument cable to connect a speaker load.

    Instrument cables are typically 20 gauge and not heavy duty enough to carry the proper current to power the speakers and typically this can hurt the OT, tubes. The first thing you will notice is blown speakers in an otherwise good cab.

    If you use a lamp cord to run an electric jackhammer the cord will fry due to the heavy current coming through the cord. Another good example to those not too keen in the construction world is window unit AC's. That's why the sell special "air conditioning extension cords" because most Harry the Homeowner type fellows don't have commercial grade extension cords lying around the house.

    When dealing with hifi the connections from amp to speaker are in no way seeing as much power as the typical guitar/bass amplifier. In pro audio though that's another story...

    Hope this thread does some people good!
     
  10. American Viking

    American Viking Well-Known Member

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    All in all I like the heavier gauge the better. More copper is more expensive but more copper means more current can be transferred at a higher rate.

    I know there was one company trying to push amp manufacturers to switch to a different size jack for speakers other than 1/4 to avoid hazards. It's rumored this was the early push for Speak-ons. No amp company would go for a 100% switch. Why would they? If old amps keep breaking then new amps keep selling.

    It's a simple concept but I still remember going through all the trials and tribulations of owning my first tube amp as a kid. If no one tells you how are you supposed to know how everything works?
     
  11. Gibson4Evr

    Gibson4Evr New Member

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    Anther interesting article on Speaker cables. It is interesting that the gauge of the wire is selected on the length of the wire not the wattage of the amp.
    Tone Tips: Speaker Cables ? Use ?Em!
     
  12. nofearfactor

    nofearfactor Member

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    Back in the day we used to build our speaker cables with heavy duty lamp cord.


    Today I'm using 9200 200watt power amps between my preamps and cabs I use CBI pro series 12 gauge cable;Switchcraft and Neutrik ends;Hosa banana plugs,adapters;Speakons connectors. I buy all my cable in rolls and me and my tech make cables for all types of uses with assorted types of plugs, and in all sorts of lengths-short to long. Not cheaper at all,and I gaurentee our soldering lasts.
     
  13. tarznamps

    tarznamps Active Member

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    I have all of my heads wired, ready to play.

    For my 5-25 watters, I use the "stock" cables that come in the box. Pretty cheap cables, molded ends, probably 16 ga.

    For my nice amps AC30H and all 50-100 watters, I use 12 ga., 3'-6' Horizon cables with Switchcraft jumbo 1/4" ends. Lifetime Warranty.

    For recording I have 1-2 really nice, expensive Monster speaker cables.... just in case it makes a difference.
     
  14. thrawn86

    thrawn86 Well-Known Member

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    All the credit to you, Viking....this was your idea :dude:
     
  15. Sir Don

    Sir Don Well-Known Member

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    I just use your standard, every day speaker lead. I've no idea what gauge it is but I've used the same two now for over 25 years without any problems. Think I'll stick to what works in this instance.
     
  16. Hollowbody

    Hollowbody Well-Known Member

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    I was at a music store here in town when this guy was checking out a small head and amp combination and the salesman used a guitar cable from the speaker output of the amp to the speaker cabinet.

    :wtf:
     
  17. Frankie

    Frankie Well-Known Member

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    I use whatever came with my Marshall cabinets when I bought 'em. Works fine.
     
  18. Sir Don

    Sir Don Well-Known Member

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    I think all this speaker lead stuff is highly overated in my opinion. As long as you use a dedicated speaker lead and not a guitar lead everything should be ok. Soundwise I think there are many other variables which influence your sound to a much greater degree than a speaker cable (valves, pickups etc).
     
  19. thrawn86

    thrawn86 Well-Known Member

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    In many ways I'd tend to agree with you Sir Don. I was curious as to the opinions out there and to give a chance to express preference. :fingersx:
     
  20. American Viking

    American Viking Well-Known Member

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    Soundwise of course, I agree 100% but this thread really isn't about cables affecting tone but the safety of electronics.
    On another thread I mentioned I was in another state and a drummer I know out there let us crash at his pad, he also showed me his rehearsal space where the bass player and both guitar players were using instrument cables to hook up their cabs. A sea of blown speakers and fried amps!
     

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