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SPEAKON SPEAKER CONNECTORS: what are they and why are they used?
Recent News and Updates
Gift Ideas for the Bassist in Your Life
Looking to get a holiday gift for the bassist in your life? We've got lots of great (and affordable) stuff to choose from! Under $25 items include our popular clip-on electronic tuner, the clever Turbo-Tune string winder, and our "nation of bass" hot beverage travel mug. We also have videos and book sets, instrument cleaning/polishing kits and more - all under $50! Most items don't require you to know specifics about their bass - most of them are delightfully universal! Click here for our guide for holiday gifts!
Stocking Stuffer - Get a Nifty Case Tag for only $1!
Our super-cool aluminum gig bag tag is really spiffy, and features a pocket where you can write your contact information in case your bag gets misplaced. Attaches securely with a braided steel loop with a screw closure, so it will stay on the bag or case. Features our Gollihur Music script logo in a classy hunter green screen print. Regular price is $5.50, but get one for just $1 with a purchase of $100 or more!

Limit 1 per order.
Traditional NXTs IN STOCK
Get yours now!
This is an amazing value -- for our upright bass-playing friends who want an EUB that can "sub" for the big bass, we've done all the upgrades for you -- and even put a custom "traditional" finish on the bass.

You get all the modern ergonomics and portability of the NS Design Electric Uprights, but with the Traditional string set for a more authentic doublebass sound (and bowability). We've also had NS Design upgrade the tuners to the CR-spec Schallers. And the cool traditional brown finish, over the veneer, looks classy and traditional -- and we even include a set of f-hole decals you can optionally install on the bass.

Available only as a four-string, the bass is the current NXTa "active" model, with the built-in flash-rechargeable buffer circuit.

You can't get this exclusive model anywhere else, folks.

Read more!
Ingles SA-22 stands are IN STOCK AGAIN
We ran out of SA-22 Upright Bass Stands a couple weeks ago, and were told not to expect that new stands would be available until after Christmas. But, lucky us: they arrived early, and we got several pallets full, so they are now BACK IN STOCK and ready for IMMEDIATE SHIPMENT.

Recently Added Products
Bass Bomb - Feedback Fighting Resonance Reducer
Bass Bomb - Feedback Fighting Resonance Reducer
Feedback issues? This thing is da bomb. It'll solve ALL of your feedback problems. Okay, maybe not. But it's absolutely adorable, and might help a bit. And it's good for finger warmups, too.
Novelty Street Sign - Doublebass Place
Novelty Street Sign - Doublebass Place
Need some decor for your music room? Our aluminum "Doublebass Place" street sign is full sized (24" x 6") and can be used indoors or out.
Radial Engineering Tonebone AC Driver 1 Channel Preamplifier
Radial Engineering Tonebone AC Driver 1 Channel Preamplifier
Like to 'KISS' (Keep It Simple, Stupid)? This preamp just has the most crucial features in a small, portable box that is quiet, beautifully engineered, and practically bulletproof...
speakon plugsThe humble ¼ inch Phone plug and jack are fading from use as a universal speaker connection. While these are fine for the instrument inputs, they simply were not designed for today's high current demands of speaker connections. In fact, phone plug describes their origin: use in telephone switchboards!

speakon plugsSpeakon connectors originated with Neutrik, and you'll find a wide variety of them manufactured by them and some other, compatible variations. They are often referred to as "twist and lock" connectors, but that's a bit outdated as Switchcraft and Neutrik have made versions that are inserted straight in, and lock using a little release tab. When using them for the first time, be sure to determine if the twist and lock motion is necessary to make the connection. The image on the left shows twist and lock examples in the left column, push-in lock on the right.

There are ¼ to Speakon adaptors available, perhaps something to carry as a Plan B if you lose your only cable, but I recommend using Speakons where you can. In my experience, they are quite dependable, and help avoid accidental speaker disconnects. There is also a flavor of Speakon jack that will accept a ¼ inch phone plug or Speakon connector (third one down on the right, a subtle difference). EA used them briefly, but they are not airtight and therefore can leak and even whistle, making them impractical in most high quality speaker cabinets.
But I'm sure you're asking... why is everyone using them? They've got a lot of advantages over ¼ inch phone plugs.
  • able to handle higher current.
  • conductors are covered, so the danger of getting zapped is eliminated.
  • non-shorting, since ¼ inch speaker connections should never be made with the amp on (a good rule in any case) as they can deliver a a brief short to the amp; avoid possible damage by making connections with the amp off.
  • self-wiping, so corrosion build-up can be less of a problem... and it sure is down here along the NJ shore! I've actually had speaker cabs "go dead", so I always carry a can of contact cleaner in my gig bag.
  • available in 2, 4, and 8 contact versions; this is great for bi-amplified cabinets, for instance, so there is less risk of mixing up woofer and tweeter connections.
Most of those we use are either the two or four conductor (using only two connections) variety. That means the terminals labeled +1 and -1 are used.



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The Fine Print:

The information contained herein is based on what's in my brain — and/or my observations and opinions from my personal experiences (and those of Bob, before me) — as of this moment today, and is subject to change. I'm sure that a great deal more information and detail could be added — but the intent of these writings is to present easily understood, quick FAQs, to address common questions and improve the reader's general knowledge.

What's written here is by no means any kind of authoritative absolute answer, for I am not the world's greatest authority on bass (not even close), or on much of anything else, for that matter. So, by all means, get a second opinion, and know that all the information provided here is for general informational purposes only. I am not providing professional advice; be aware that, where applicable, any information acted upon is at your own risk.

I simply and sincerely hope the information and opinions here are helpful to you on your quest for knowledge about the bass and related subjects... that's the point!

I welcome email with dissenting and additional viewpoints/information/updates that help improve my personal awareness and these content pages. If you have a question that you think belongs here, please let me know.
Mark

PS: It should go without saying that all of the information here, unless otherwise attributed, was expressly created by us for the benefit of our customers. All graphics, text, data, and other information is copyrighted © 1995-current. You are not permitted to re-use any text, information, or graphical elements on your own website; you may post links to it, or small excerpts, on message boards if properly attributed and linked back to our pages.