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  • speakon wiring

    As I look at wiring for speakon connections, I have some questions:

    - is speakon balanced? All of the conection diagrams I see have a 2 conductor cable hookup... this gives no way for a TRS connection if I needed to manually wire a speakon to 1/4", right?

    - If an amp outputs with speakon, is there a point to using the NL4 connector to go to a single mono speaker, or is the NL2 sufficient?

    i may think of more....
    There are 10 types of people in the world.
    Those who understand binary and those who don't.

  • #2
    If I'm not mistaken speaker bacles are not balanced and are not shielded. If the speaker is a 2 way and you're biamping you should use an nl2 if it's 3 way and you're tri-amping use the nl4. If you're running full range with either use an nl2. By the way, the post is worded a little funny. Might wanna check it. Just out of curiosity where are you from and how old are you? Jlo sure is a strange username Not trying to look down on you, sorry if that's how I come off, I'm just curious

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    • #3
      If you're biamping, you'll need at least an NL4, triamping you'll need NL8's. The number is an indication of the number of conductors.

      Speaker cables are not balanced, and are not shielded. They don't need to be. You shouldn't be using TRS plugs with speakers, this can potentially cause problems, especially if you're using regular shielded cable like mic cable. Speaker cables are 2 conductor, unshielded but usually twisted, and quite a bit larger guage than mic or line cables. Speaker cable is essentially the same as stranded electrical cable, similar to lamp wire. The wire used for sound has a rubber-type jacket around it, and has some strain relief built into the cable, but the wire itself is essentially the same. Many people use regular 12/2 or 12/4 SOOW electrical cable as speaker cable.

      NL2 plugs will fit into NL2 or NL4 jacks, but NL4 plugs will not mate with NL2 jacks. That might be something to think about, I don't know. Something more to think about is that, at least in my experience, NL4's are built somewhat differently than NL2's, in that they seem sturdier and easier to wire. NL4's are the industry standard, and you'll rarely see NL2's. I don't think there's a big price difference between the two either.

      If you need to build a cable from 1/4" to Speakon, the tip will go to the 1+ and the sleeve will go to 1-. And if you're using 2 conductor cable with NL4's, it's probably a good idea to NOT hook up the 1+ to 2+ and 1- to 2-, because if the cabinet happens to be bi-amp, you'll pop the horn real quick. Just a random thought. I've never even thought someone might do that before right now, so I don't know why I said it.

      FWIW, Neutrik makes a Speakon to 1/4" adapter that works real well. I use them regularly. Audiopile sells them at a good price. If you've already got 1/4" speaker cables, you might consider this route.
      B.

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      • #4
        so far so good - thank sguys


        next question -


        When using speakon outputs on a bridged mono sub with speakon inputs... if i have an NL4 cable, do i need to worry about the 1+ and 2+ wires getting to the correct configuratin on the speaker (as prescribed for bridged operation) or is it automatically assumed that it will take care of itself if the cable is wired properly? and then can I run from the parrallel out one sub to the next like you would with a 1/4" cable or normand STILL not have to worry about pin and wire config?
        There are 10 types of people in the world.
        Those who understand binary and those who don't.

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        • #5
          Most cabs are wired +-1 as are their parallel outs. As long as the cabes are wired correctly you can daisy chain.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by JLo
            When using speakon outputs on a bridged mono sub with speakon inputs... if i have an NL4 cable, do i need to worry about the 1+ and 2+ wires getting to the correct configuratin on the speaker (as prescribed for bridged operation) or is it automatically assumed that it will take care of itself if the cable is wired properly? and then can I run from the parrallel out one sub to the next like you would with a 1/4" cable or normand STILL not have to worry about pin and wire config?


            You really need to know how the speakon connectors on the sub cabinet and the amplifier are configured. Some cabinets are wired to use 1+/1-, some are wired to use 2+/2- (EAW LA400 for example) and some have a switch which allows you to go either way. They do this because speakon NL4 connectors are often used with 4 conductor cables in bi-amped systems, and often the 1+/1- terminals are used to drive the tops while the 2+/2- terminals drive the subs.

            Some amplifiers may be used in bridge mode with a single speakon output. These are usually wired to the 1+/2+ terminal of the NL4 for bridged connections, and may use all 4 terminals for stereo connection to a single 4 conductor cable.

            Personally, I would avoid the NL2 cable ends. I have never actually seen a cabinet or amplifier with a NL2 connector, so the NL4 cable end should plug in to anything you are likely to run into, and it can be wired to the configuration that you need. It is also the standard for professional audio.
            Mike Pyle
            Audiopyle Sound Pro Audio & Stage Lighting
            www.audiopyle.com

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Audiopyle Sound

              They do this because speakon NL4 connectors are often used with 4 conductor cables in bi-amped systems, and often the 1+/1- terminals are used to drive the tops while the 2+/2- terminals drive the subs.


              Generally, 1+/1- is the lows and/or subs and 2+/2- is the HF section. I can only think of one or two exceptions.
              -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Former product development engineer: Genz Benz, a KMC Music/FMIC/JAM Industries Company, continuing factory level product support and service for Genz Benz

              Currently product development engineer: Mesa Boogie

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              • #8
                Apologies for possible stating the obvious, but it might be worth mentioning that for biamped NL4 and triamped NL8 arrangements, it's usually going to be necessary to employ a patch panel to handle the wiring. While it's entirely possible to use one amp for both sub and mid-highs, and therefore enjoying a direct connection of NL4 into the amp, more often the power amp's output isn't correct for one or either speaker set, so two different amps have to be used, and obviously there has to be some way to get the two amp's outputs to the NL4 cordset.
                "If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else" - Yogi Berra, 1925-2015

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                • #9
                  you guys rock, and thanks ecpecially for the post mark.


                  I guess I still don't have the question about bridging answered like I had hoped though.

                  Does bridging require a special cable, or si NL4 sufficient? and can two subs be daisychained in parrallel from one output to one input like this:

                  bridged amp pinned @ 1+/2+ -> NL4 cable -> input of sub #1 -> NL4 cable (f/m sub 1) -> input of sub #2

                  at least this is how it is done with 1/4" and I want to make sure I have it right with speakon as well.


                  thanks again
                  There are 10 types of people in the world.
                  Those who understand binary and those who don't.

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                  • #10
                    Yes, if your output jack uses 1+/2+ then you need a cable that is wired 1+/2+ on the amp end and 1+/1- on the speaker end.

                    Be sure that your amp will run a bridged load of parallel subs. The amp must be rated to run 2 ohm loads in stereo operation to be able to run a 4 ohm load bridged.

                    In general, I discourage bridging due to several issues that you may or may not be aware of.

                    What amp and subs are you talking about?
                    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    Former product development engineer: Genz Benz, a KMC Music/FMIC/JAM Industries Company, continuing factory level product support and service for Genz Benz

                    Currently product development engineer: Mesa Boogie

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      thank you andy - exactly what I needed to know


                      I have a QSC 1850 running into dual Yorkville LS808's... bridiging them will be fine and limiting and speaker management is in place. It's just making the change to speakon from 1/4" is a little daunting.
                      There are 10 types of people in the world.
                      Those who understand binary and those who don't.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        'nother question -

                        can you wire speakon jacks in parallel like for floor boxes or wall jacks? Like wiring the 1+ to the 1+ etc. so as to have two jacks for one monitor send (as though these were across the stage from each other)
                        There are 10 types of people in the world.
                        Those who understand binary and those who don't.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Audiopile


                          Generally an NL4 cable is constructed with 4 conductor cable, with the pins wired the same on both ends: Pin 1+ to Pin 1+, Pin 1- to Pin 1-, Pin 2+ to Pin 2+ and Pin 2- to Pin 2-. Also, common practice wiring is generally:

                          1) Red conductor to pins 1+
                          2) White conductor to pins 1-
                          3) Black conductor to pins 2+
                          4) Green conductor to pins 2-

                          Since all NL4 Female Cordends are the same (not mirror imaged pairs), at one end of the cable, the conductors have to be "crossed" somehow to terminate the correct conductors to the correct pins. I have seen many examples of "factory made" 4 conductor NL4 cable where the conductors are wired straight through. The problem with doing this is that two of the pins will be wired incorrectly.




                          Mark - so what you are saying is that on one end of the cable it should be wired red 1+/white 1- (for example) and at the other end red 1-/white 1+ ???? am i reading this right
                          There are 10 types of people in the world.
                          Those who understand binary and those who don't.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Audiopile

                            Does anybody have any thoughts on using wirenuts in high SPL environments?


                            nope, but (as i've learnt from you) - when in doubt, use heatshrink...

                            heatshrink over the wirenut (and covering a bit of the cable too) should provide a decent joint... no?

                            AS
                            AS = Abhi Shivraj

                            Recently quotable quotes
                            I stumbled across this today, something people should keep in mind: Dunning-Kruger effect - Gregidon

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Audiopile

                              Yes, of course.

                              On this subject, I'm coming to the conclusion that the possibly best method for doing this is to wire up short pigtails on each panel jack, then wire-nut the pigtails and drivers wiring together at the junctions of the three way splits.

                              Does anybody have any thoughts on using wirenuts in high SPL environments?


                              I don't see why not. As long as you use the right size wire nut so it fits tight. The only problem I see is it coming loose, falling off, and wire touching bad stuff.

                              What you could do is solder the joints and throw wire nuts on them.

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