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  • soldering wires to speaker terminals

    Hi,

    I have some questions concerning wiring the speaker (Weber 12" Alnico Blue Dog) in my 1X12 cabinet:

    1. I might choose to SOLDER the wires from the jack to the speaker terminals, as opposed to using a clip-on (crimp, etc.). Any serious danger of melting the voice coil solder on the other side of the terminals? If so what can I do?

    2. Will the red paint on the + speaker terminal take solder? Should I take it off?

    3. As far as I understand, there can be no out-of-phase issues involved with a 1X12 right? So it doesn't really matter which wire goes to which terminal?

    4. what gauge wire do your recommend for this job (I live in a metric country).

    Sincerely,
    Opher Ziv

  • #2
    That's a good question .... I'm waiting for the answer too.
    We got some very knowledgeable people in this forum
    Guns don't kill people .... Fathers with beautiful Daughters do !!!!

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    • #3
      1. I've soldered lots of leads onto drivers. I've never had an issue with losing continuity. Sometimes the voice coil lead solder has melted, but so what?

      2. No idea on the paint. If it's a problem, scrape it off.

      3. Well, the driver can't be out of polarity with itself, can it? I try to always keep the same polarity, always going hot to red, unless I'm using old JBLs, which are reverse wired. Never know when polarity might be an issue, but it can't be with a single driver.

      4. I try to use 16 gauge wire for everything, but it really isn't critical. I'd say to use the heaviest wire that's convenient, but don't go overboard. The resistance on such a short run is so low that it is negligible, regardless.
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      • #4
        Some speaker terminals are pretty cheezy. My advice is use a par of hemostats to heat sink the terminals do you don't overheat the connection beyond the terminal loop that needs to be soldered. The terminals are often riveted and that can loosen up with soldering. I've taken crazy glue and glued them so they stay where they are supposed to be when this happens.

        Oh, and you may not want to crimp the wire over before soldering it inn the terminal hole. If you ever want to unsolder the speaker it can wind up mangling the terminal. Just put the wire through on an angle so it touches the sides and use enough solder to fill the gaps like you would a component on a circuit board and removing it at some later date is a whole lot easier.
        Last edited by WRGKMC; 06-09-2014, 09:02 AM.

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        • #5
          thanx to all!!! What about the length of wire? Since i'm soldering from input jack to terminal, I would need to have sufficient length so when I open the back panel for whatever reason, I can lay it down without having it pull on the terminals. Is this even an issue tone wise? And just another crazy question: why can we not - like in the world of Hi Fi speakers - simply wrap the wire around the terminals? I know it wouldn't be as mechanically sound as crimping or soldering, but would there really be a tone difference?

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          • #6
            Yes, leave enough slack in the wire to allow you to remove the speaker if needed. The extra length won't make any difference if the wire gauge is heavy enough. Please DON'T just wrap the wire around the terminals, even though it will work for a while, eventually it will vibrate loose and cause problems. Soldering wires to speaker terminals is one of the easiest soldering jobs to do, but if you don't want to solder then get some crimp-on spade connectors and use them to connect the speaker.

            This space left intentionally blank.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by blindopher View Post
              thanx to all!!! What about the length of wire? Since i'm soldering from input jack to terminal, I would need to have sufficient length so when I open the back panel for whatever reason, I can lay it down without having it pull on the terminals. Is this even an issue tone wise? And just another crazy question: why can we not - like in the world of Hi Fi speakers - simply wrap the wire around the terminals? I know it wouldn't be as mechanically sound as crimping or soldering, but would there really be a tone difference?
              Tone wise there should be no difference in tone with the extra wire length. Just don't leave a bunch of excess wire flopping around in the cab. Copper will break if its flexed to many times and a loose cable flopping over and over can fray at the connection. It can also lay against a speaker cone and rattle so be sure to route the wires wisely.


              As far as wrapping the terminal it will work as Mr Grumpy says. I've done it many times in temporary situations with no issues and and never had one unwrap from vibration. What does happen is the copper oxidizes/Tarnishes makes a poor connection and it can crackle and pop with Vibrations. An Instrument Amp can put out up to 70Volts AC and cause some arching if you don't have a secure connection.

              In comparison a small Hi Fi setup wont come close to that. The back of a HiFi speaker often have twist screws or crimp pressure connections which are good enough for those. But inside those speaker cabs the connections are either the push on type that don't tarnish or they are soldered.
              Once that cabs sealed you cant see what's going on inside and who wants to dig out the lug wrenches because you're second guessing a crappy installation. Solder makes the best connection so do it right and be done with it. You can rule that out as a fault down the road someday when you have intermittent issues from a flakey cord.

              Be sure you use electronics grade solder too. Some guys get out the plumbers solder and resin which is highly corrosive and should never be used on electronic circuits.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by WRGKMC View Post
                An Instrument Amp can put out up to 70Volts AC
                That must be some amplifier. 20 Volts into 4 Ohms is 100 Watts and 40 Volts into 4 Ohms is 400 Watts.

                40 Volts RMS is only 57 Volts peak to peak.
                Last edited by onelife; 06-10-2014, 11:03 PM.


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                • #9
                  Originally posted by onelife View Post

                  That must be some amplifier. 20 Volts into 4 Ohms is 100 Watts and 40 Volts into 4 Ohms is 400 Watts.

                  40 Volts RMS is only 57 Volts peak to peak.
                  I was thinking more on the lines of a 500W bass head and no I didn't calculate it out, but the point was, its not a dinky home stereo.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by onelife View Post

                    That must be some amplifier. 20 Volts into 4 Ohms is 100 Watts and 40 Volts into 4 Ohms is 400 Watts.

                    40 Volts RMS is only 57 Volts peak to peak.
                    I was thinking more along the lines of some higher wattage bass heads, and no I didn't calculate it out. The point was its not a dinky Hi Fi System and getting inside a sealed speaker cab is more difficult then getting to the terminals on the back of a Hi Fi Cab.

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                    • #11
                      thanx again! I love this forum. You guys are so generous and helpful.

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