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Amp to speakers through a snake? Bad idea??

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Amp to speakers through a snake? Bad idea??

Postby Synth-lord » Sun May 22, 2011 11:30 pm

I recently decided to tidy up my rack and to house my poweramp in there for easy monitoring, but to buy long enough speakon cables to run them 30 metres + is hellishly expensive, so i swapped one end of each speakon cable with an XLR cable and vice versa, and plan to use my multicore cable to run the distance.

Does anyone know of any reason why this would be a bad idea?
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Re: Amp to speakers through a snake? Bad idea??

Postby intense » Mon May 23, 2011 12:05 am

Does anyone know of any reason why this would be a bad idea?

Resistance, whether you're using the cores of cables in the multicore or the screens of spare cables.
Loss of audio power on account of that resistance and fire risk because of heating if the multicore is left coiled!
Crosstalk to other cores carrying low-level audio signals on account of the relatively large currents being carried.

All of these would get worse with increasing audio power, and might be tolerable with low power.

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Re: Amp to speakers through a snake? Bad idea??

Postby Synth-lord » Mon May 23, 2011 12:31 am

... touche Chris...
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Re: Amp to speakers through a snake? Bad idea??

Postby Dave Gate » Mon May 23, 2011 8:23 am

Really bad idea!

But 30+ metre speakons needn't be that expensive, as you could make them yourself using bog-standard mains cable and speakon plugs bought from somewhere like CPC or Maplin.
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Re: Amp to speakers through a snake? Bad idea??

Postby tacitus » Mon May 23, 2011 9:08 am

Think of your snake as a long, thin temple to mic-level signals. Line level returns are tolerated only if they cause no trouble, and anything else is OUT. I have a big snake and a small one, and if I can keep the returns on the small and the mics on the big one I'm happy.

Why on earth would you want to put your power amp(s) in your effects rack anyway? And in just what way would that be 'tidying up"? Sorry to be brutal, but it sounds like my wife's idea of tidying up which is to stuff more junk in drawers than they can take. Save the money for long cables and get a rack case just for the amp(s). You'll have an easier carry, too.
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Re: Amp to speakers through a snake? Bad idea??

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon May 23, 2011 10:37 am

Synth-lord wrote:Does anyone know of any reason why this would be a bad idea?

Yes.... next question ;)

Seriously, it would be a really, really, bad idea! Assuming your amp is reasonably powerful, the mic multi cores will not be adequate for the current flows required. This will result in poor damping (floppy bottom end) and possible unwanted heating in the multicore.

The high peak current flows will also induce all sorts of nasties into your mic signals, and potentially lead to problems of uncontrollable howlrounds.

If you really must put the amp in your FOH rack, then go and buy the thickest and highest current-rated two-core mains power lead you can find and wire your speakons to that. It won't cost that much and is a far better idea than using the mic multi.

better still, buy a separate rack case for the power amp and place it with the speakers. Shorter speaker cables are always better.

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Re: Amp to speakers through a snake? Bad idea??

Postby Exalted Wombat » Mon May 23, 2011 10:52 am

Synth-lord wrote:I recently decided to tidy up my rack and to house my poweramp in there for easy monitoring, but to buy long enough speakon cables to run them 30 metres + is hellishly expensive, so i swapped one end of each speakon cable with an XLR cable and vice versa, and plan to use my multicore cable to run the distance.

Does anyone know of any reason why this would be a bad idea?

How thick is the cable in one core of your snake? How thick is the cable in one of your speaker leads?

You might not actually get smoke. But you'll lose a lot of power. And we haven't even started thinking about cross-talk.

How do you "monitor" a power amp?
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Re: Amp to speakers through a snake? Bad idea??

Postby Synth-lord » Mon May 23, 2011 2:41 pm

Woww I feel inadequate :L

Thanks for all the advice guys, I guess I just figured it'd be easier to keep all the elec stuff with me, and litterally use the stage for JUST the bands.

How wrong I was...
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Re: Amp to speakers through a snake? Bad idea??

Postby Mike Stranks » Mon May 23, 2011 5:12 pm

No need to feel inadequate S-L... :)

We're all learners here to a greater or lesser extent... genuine questions and comments get genuine answers. The 'rigour' can be a bit daunting when you first arrive though - at least that was my experience! :D

Stick with it and you'll doubtless learn a lot here - I have and I've been in this lark since 1972! :D
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Re: Amp to speakers through a snake? Bad idea??

Postby Nico 3313 » Mon May 23, 2011 5:28 pm

I seemed to remember a product by Whirlwind to connect speakers through a snake. In fact they still carry it:

http://whirlwindusa.com/catalog/snakes-splitters-and-multiwiring-systems/snakes/medusa-power-series-audio-snakes-hand-made-rochest

However this is not the idea of running your speakers through a couple of spare mic pairs.
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Re: Amp to speakers through a snake? Bad idea??

Postby robare99 » Mon May 23, 2011 7:42 pm

Yorkville makes a proper "power snake" as well...

http://www.directproaudio.com/m/product.cfm?directid=60542

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