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Old 6th July 2005, 05:27 PM   #1
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Default shielded vs. non-shielded

I was told that in order to connect a cabinet to a amp head you need non-shielded speaker wire (with each end having a 1/4 jack)? Is this true? I looked at Radio Shack, but they only have the shielded version.
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Old 6th July 2005, 08:02 PM   #2
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That is generally true.
For your purpose, you want fairly large wires to minimize power (Ir) loss. The Radio Shack cables are no good for this purpose.
I suggest that you purchase some 16 or 14 gauge zipcord wire (lampcord) and solder some 1/4" plugs on the ends of the wire.
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Old 6th July 2005, 08:46 PM   #3
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If I were to use lampcord, what do I do with the ground wire?
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Old 6th July 2005, 09:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by mytool4u
If I were to use lampcord, what do I do with the ground wire?

One wire on each terminal of the 1/4" plug. Connect the wire exactly the same on both ends.
If you don't feel confident that you can make the cable, go to a Music Store and purchase the cable.

If you can solder, you'll save lots of money by making your own cable.
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Old 6th July 2005, 09:48 PM   #5
Brion55 is offline Brion55  United States
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If you feed more than one speaker cabinet, make sure the speaker cables are wired correctly, i.e. tip to tip, sleeve to sleeve. Having one wired wrong will cause phase problems
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Old 7th July 2005, 12:02 AM   #6
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Now I know what I was thinking of. The ground only comes into play for a three pronged cord. I don't know if many lamps that require that! Hahaha
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Old 7th July 2005, 03:49 AM   #7
Enzo is offline Enzo  United States
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The shielding itself is not the issue. Typical shielded cords like guitar cords have teeny tiny inner conductors which are way to small to handle the current going to the speaker. That is why you shouldn't use the shielded cords.

For speakers you need to use a speaker cord. You can make a perfectly good speaker cord with zip wire if it is heavy enough. 16ga is heavy enough to go from a head to a guitar speaker cab.
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Old 7th July 2005, 04:01 PM   #8
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Is there any finishing work to building a speaker wire form a lamp cord? Does it leave any bare wire exposed, or can you by jacks that enclose the wore for you?
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Old 7th July 2005, 04:34 PM   #9
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Radio shack has "Heavy Duty" 1/4 plugs that will handle fairly heavy zip cord. You may want some heat shrink for a strain relief but the plug body will cover the connections. There are probably better plugs out there, but Radio shack is convenient if you only need a couple things.
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Old 7th July 2005, 09:27 PM   #10
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#16 wire is fine for short speaker cords (less than 10'). For longer runs, 14/2 rubber cord works well. I would not use Radio Shack plugs or jacks, they are not very well made. Use either Switchcraft or Neutrik. They're a little more expensive, but won't fall apart after a little use.
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