speaker cable question

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by TENAX, Oct 13, 2006.

  1. TENAX

    TENAX Member

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    hi there..new poster here, even though i've been lurking for awhile since i found this forum post purchase of a valveking 50 watt combo amp. got a question. i plan to buy an attenuator. not sure which yet, but they all appear to have the same type connections. (1/4 to 1/4 inch cable from cabinet out to input on the attenuator then 1/4 inch out to speaker, however a person may connect that)

    as i have a combo amp, not a separate cab, my thinking is to have a 1/4 inch out from the combo speaker out connection to the attenuator then 1/4 to....what? that is the question. speaker is typical flat blade type connectors.

    can a person buy such a cable already made or would i have to modify by cutting off a 1/4 inch cable end and put flat blade connectors on it.

    if so, how difficult is that? i don't know what is inside a 1/4 inch cable connector..simply 2 wires and attach flat blades?

    i did an ebay search but there are a zillion cables on there and they appear to have a variety of connectors, but it's like looking for a needle in a haystack to try to find some with 1/4 inch on one end, flat blade on the other already made.
     
  2. KeithC

    KeithC Silver Supporting Member

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    You can buy some already made when the spade connectors from quite a few places or you could cut them like you said and go to Radio Shack and get some and crimp and solder them to your cable. Or you could just solder the speaker leads to the speaker terminals too.
    It is pretty easy to do it yourself if you can solder and just get the connectors and make your own.

    If you want someone to make them try Lava Cable.
     
  3. TENAX

    TENAX Member

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    thanks a bunch keith..i guessed so on that..the question i guess is more so , not having taken a cable apart..that it's simply a 2 wire cable..one spade per wire sort of thing?
     
  4. KeithC

    KeithC Silver Supporting Member

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    right...just make sure to have the tip go to the + on the speaker. Should just be a 2 conductor wire and when you take the plug off the 1/4 plug end make sure you have the right wire for the + and - for the speaker terminals.
     
  5. TENAX

    TENAX Member

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    perfect keith.i looked at a common speaker cable our engineer has at work and it has a red and black wire (checked a few of them actually..same) red +, black -?
     
  6. g-nem

    g-nem Member

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    Right- though that's just a convention to make sure you wire the speaker in phase. A lot of time speaker cables are two wires side by side, one red and one black or white. The red is always positive.
     
  7. KeithC

    KeithC Silver Supporting Member

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    How long of a cable do you need? I've got one that has a 1/4 inch right angle plug and the spade connectors on the other end but it is only bout 20 inches long...you can have it if you want and if you think it will work.

    I'll post a pic here in minute or two

    here you go

    [​IMG]
     
  8. WaltC

    WaltC Member

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    It's pretty easy to make the cable you need (if you need one) but a couple of things to consider:
    - you'll be unplugging the existing speaker cable from the back of your combo
    - is that cable long enough to reach to the attenuator?
    - if not then you'll need to make (or buy) a new cable.
    - you'll need one new cable to go from the back of the combo (speaker out) to the attenuator

    so we're talking about one or two new speaker cables, one with 1/4" plugs on each end and one with 1/4" plug on one end and slide on connectors (or soldered directly to the speaker) on the other

    Now some important considerations:
    - you should never use an instrument cable to connect speakers (e.g. you don't want to cut up or use one of your spare guitar cords to connect the attenuator). why? because instrument cables are built to carry a small low voltage, low amperage, signal to an amplifier, speaker cables are built to carry higher voltage and much higher amperage signals to a speaker.
    - you can buy cable built for speaker connections and use it or
    - you can build your own using 16 or 18 ga. lamp cord, slide on connectors and newtrick 1/4" jacks if you are handy with a soldering iron (that's what I do)

    Building your own gives you the advantages of saving money and getting just what you need in length and appearance so suit you.

    If your amp is powerfull enough to need an attenuator, then you need to be sure that you don't use instrument cables to connect it to a speaker, you can do some real damage if you do (setting aside the discussions pro and con on attenuators in general).

    Hope this helps,
     
  9. jamison162

    jamison162 Member

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    Which connector gets wired to the 1/4" tip. Is this right?

    Red (Hot/+) = Tip
    Black (Neu/-) = Sleeve
     
  10. KeithC

    KeithC Silver Supporting Member

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    Yes, red is hot to tip and to + on speaker
     
  11. TENAX

    TENAX Member

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    that's exactly what i'm looking for, keith..20 inches is fine for my purpose..i would pay you for shipping to me and whatever else you want for it..email- teerex@shaw/ca (change the / to a period. spambot avoider) and we can make arrangements. thank you!

    EDIT- whoops..i read walt's post after yours..so, is that a speaker cable keith or instrument? i think again, the length should work but i'll measure when i get home. the attenuator will sit on top of my peavey amp and and it's an open back amp so easy access..will post again soon. good stuff!
     
  12. KeithC

    KeithC Silver Supporting Member

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    OK...I'll just ship it to you. I'll just give the cable to you though.

    Edited to add: I emailed you. Send me you shipping addy and I'll just ship it Priority to you on me.

    I've been helped a lot around here and don't need the cable anyway.

    So I'll "pay it forward" and you do the same someday for someone else around here!

    Keith
     
  13. TENAX

    TENAX Member

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    happy to pay it forward..now that i think about, i've given up a lot of money on computer and guitar stuff "paying it forward"..so, sounds like it's finally paying it back:)

    thanks again keith..you have email, i have a new home away from home thanks to you helpful folks.ps- 20 inch cable should work just fine..i'm 10 inches from the surface of edge of the amp to the speaker terminals.

    ps- thoughts on quality of JJ tubes while i have your attention? i'm thinking about a set of JJ 6L6C's and 3 of the standard short plate ax47's, i think it is? bob seems like a good enough guy and responsed quickly to my questions..i want to buy them a) as backup for my amp so i'm not short at any point b) warm up the amp a bit more (into the lighter side of classic rock, blues, pop rock..hopefully jazz someday). read somewhere that the chinese factory 6L6's are better yet, these days?
     
  14. KeithC

    KeithC Silver Supporting Member

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    It is a speaker cable. I had two made by Bayou cable when I had a couple combo amps. One was a jumper that I am using in my cab.
    I have head/cabs now so I don't need it the main one.
     
  15. TENAX

    TENAX Member

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    you're a good man, keith..have a great wknd.
     
  16. VaughnC

    VaughnC Supporting Member

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    With one speaker, there is no "right" way to wire it. Try both ways and see which way sounds best to you because the input to output phase relationship of the amp can make a difference. Many feel that when a speaker moves foreward with the initial attack of a note, the amp sounds fuller. But keep in mind that if you change guitars or add or subtract effects, this can alter the in/out phase of the rig.

    Of course, if you're using more than one speaker, they also should be in phase with each other to sound right.
     
  17. KeithC

    KeithC Silver Supporting Member

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    That's some good info! :AOK
     
  18. TENAX

    TENAX Member

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  19. TENAX

    TENAX Member

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    one more quick question. i'm planning to change out the speaker soon in my amp from the stock peavey valve king. i tried to pull the blades off by hand and darn if they'll come..obviously, i want to be careful not to hit a tube, puncture the cone..was thinking about needle nose pliers to get a grip on the stem of the blade (so i don't squeeze it tighter) while holding down the plate the male ends are attached to so i don't pull it off.

    thoughts? thanks
     

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