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Speakon cable - 2 or 4 pin?

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Speakon cable - 2 or 4 pin?

Postby bill_505 » Tue Sep 17, 2019 1:23 pm

I would like to know what's the difference if a speakon cable is with 2 pins (+1, -1) with another which is with 4 pins (+1, -1, +2, -2).
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Re: Speakon cable - 2 or 4 pin?

Postby Wonks » Tue Sep 17, 2019 1:40 pm

Not a lot apart from the extra pins. Most connectors on equipment are the 4-pin variety, but often just with pins 1+/1- connected up internally. On passive speakers, if there is a 'through' Speakon socket to allow for parallel speaker connections, all the pins are normally paralleled through to the socket.

The 4-pin variety allows you to carry two signals to a connector and then allow one to be carried on. But some PA and bass speakers can be set up for bi-amping (GK is one bass company that does this), so one pair carries the tweeter signal, and the other the main speaker signal. 2- and 4-pin connectors are physically compatible, so you can plug a 4-pin male into a 2-pin female - but obviously only the 1+/1- pair get connected.

For carrying really powerful speaker signals, or for long distances, you can double up the cable capacity by using a 4-pair cable, as thick 2-pair is a lot less flexible than a 4-pair with the same total cross-sectional area. Ideally you'd link the Speakon connectors inside the connected units, rather than within the cable-end Speakons.

You really need to refer to the equipment data sheets for the kit you are using to find out if there are any peculiarities about the Speakon wiring. They normally have screw-connectors inside, so it's easy to make up your own cables. But always mark them carefully if it's not straight one-to-one cabling.
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Re: Speakon cable - 2 or 4 pin?

Postby DGL. » Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:38 pm

another reason why the 4 pin variety is used on devices is that a 2 pin speakON socket will only accept it's 2 pin counterpart whereas a 4 pin socket will accept both, so you get better compatibility with minimum extra outlay.
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Re: Speakon cable - 2 or 4 pin?

Postby bill_505 » Sat Sep 21, 2019 1:13 pm

Thanks a lot!
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