Can I use 1/4" jacks for speaker connectors? - diyAudio
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Old 30th November 2007, 12:34 PM   #1
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Default Can I use 1/4" jacks for speaker connectors?

I'm always moving my speakers around, and I'm fed up with using binding posts.

I was wondering if was possible to use 1/4" jacks instead?

I can't find the specs on them tho, like maximum voltage and current ratings... I guess it varies from plug to plug... tho. My speakers don't have mega high power ratings tho... Around 200W or so.

I was simply going to wire + to the tip and - to the sleeve... so I guess it should be best to get 1/4 jack plug with insulated sleeves...

Or should it be worth using 1 plug for + and another for - ?
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Old 30th November 2007, 12:56 PM   #2
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1/4 inch jacks are used in P.A. and guitar/bass stuff, so yes you can. The jacks I have seen inside equipment look the same as what you can buy at radio shack, but there may be some thicker ones, I don't know. The connecting cable is definetely a thicker cable. You could go down to any guitar shop and pick up a speaker connecting cable with 1/4 inch jacks. Lots thicker than a normal guitar cable connecting to the input.
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Old 30th November 2007, 01:27 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by davidallancole
1/4 inch jacks are used in P.A. and guitar/bass stuff, so yes you can. The jacks I have seen inside equipment look the same as what you can buy at radio shack, but there may be some thicker ones, I don't know. The connecting cable is definetely a thicker cable. You could go down to any guitar shop and pick up a speaker connecting cable with 1/4 inch jacks. Lots thicker than a normal guitar cable connecting to the input.
Nice. I'm going to be making my own cables anyway, so I'm going to order in a load of connectors, and get soldering...

I'll be sure to use thick cable tho... the last thing I want is power being wasted in the cables due to resistance...
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Old 30th November 2007, 01:39 PM   #4
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That's common (standard?) with guitar amps and such, so no problem. I like 5-way binding posts, but I never use them in 4 out of the 5 ways. Can't ever remember what all 5 ways are! I always get dual banana plugs (Pomona) so I can quickly plug and unplug wires. The plugs have a ridge so you can tell (and quickly reverse, if necessary) the polarity. They can also accept huge wires if you solder them in the cups, otherwise I use a less known trick to get good reliability- Never tin wires and fasten them down with a screw. The joint will lose compression. Instead, take a heavy piece of solid copper wire (I steal it from a piece of house wire) and solder the stranded wire to one end of the heavy copper wire. Cut it to about 1/2" long. Now, stick that in the connector and tighten the screw down on it. You get a gas tight seal, lower resistance, long term reliability, and the wire is now at the 90 degree angle you needed to begin with.
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Old 30th November 2007, 02:36 PM   #5
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Thats a better method than the 1/4 inch jacks. I have seen the 1/4 inch jacks go flaky and I have to jerk it around for it to connect. But these were probably inferior jacks.
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Old 30th November 2007, 03:04 PM   #6
BWRX is offline BWRX  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by Conrad Hoffman
dual banana plugs
Solid advice. The pro audio company I used to work for used banana plugs on all of their standard speaker wiring. They're hard to beat if you want a good connection that is easily swappable and is pretty low cost.


Quote:
Originally posted by Conrad Hoffman
Instead, take a heavy piece of solid copper wire (I steal it from a piece of house wire) and solder the stranded wire to one end of the heavy copper wire. Cut it to about 1/2" long. Now, stick that in the connector and tighten the screw down on it. You get a gas tight seal, lower resistance, long term reliability, and the wire is now at the 90 degree angle you needed to begin with.
Nice tip!
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Old 30th November 2007, 03:16 PM   #7
troystg is offline troystg  United States
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Neutrik Speakon connectors.

http://www.neutrik.com/us/en/audio/2...tor_group.aspx
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Old 1st December 2007, 08:09 AM   #8
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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There must be millions of mid level pro speakers out there with 1/4" jacks. Not the greatest connector, but it works. Guitar amps, too, as mentioned above.

There are 1/4" jacks and plugs made for speaker level use. They tend to be fatter than the line level stuff. Lets you get a thicker cable in.
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Old 1st December 2007, 09:22 AM   #9
AndrewT is online now AndrewT  Scotland
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Hi,
does a 1/4inch TS jack short the amp outlet as the jack is pushed/pulled?

I would go to 2pole or 4pole Speakon.
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Old 1st December 2007, 10:11 AM   #10
AKN is offline AKN  Sweden
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Quote:
Originally posted by AndrewT
Hi,
does a 1/4inch TS jack short the amp outlet as the jack is pushed/pulled?
Hi,

Yes it will short for a brief moment.

Speakon is specifically made for speaker connections, a much better solution.
It has lower contact resistance and can take higher power. Plug is safer and also takes larger diameter/area speaker cable. And of course, no shorting…..
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