Speakon Connectors for Hi-Fi

I am designing a line of new tube and MOSFET power amplifiers for both the pro and home markets. We are having issues with finding suitable binding posts as Europe requires we use no-touch types.

My question is whether the home market for high end gear is OK with Speakon connectors or whether they would consider them an unnecessary complication? I assume we need to supply one set of the inline connectors with them. Do you feel this is a correct assumption?

Adding them will likely result in about a $50 bump in the end user price. Do you kind folks feel that is acceptable?

Thanks for your thoughts.
 

cabirio

Member
2015-09-30 6:43 pm
Spain
Yes please. The only drawback I can see in the mass market is having to fit the plugs to the cables. Not a problem for us diyers or anyone buying in a shop where they can provide the service, bit many people buy online and having to find someone that will do it for you may put them off. I think it's the future and someone has to be first. Kudos if you go for it.

Cheers,

Cabirio
 
Look at it as a potential opportunity to sell bespoke speaker cables for your amplifiers with appropriate speaker connectors on the LS end. Leave no profitable stone unturned... :)

It has got to be the most reliable and well designed speaker connector within reason out there, and anyone other than the toyboy audiophile contingent (probably all of your high end market unfortunately) would recognize this.

Worst case consider chassis work that allows different output connector assemblies to bolt right in - added cost but possibly worthwhile. Simple as a chassis cut out and punched plates specific to the connector used.
 

cabirio

Member
2015-09-30 6:43 pm
Spain
Yes please. The only drawback I can see in the mass market is having to fit the plugs to the cables. Not a problem for us diyers or anyone buying in a shop where they can provide the service, bit many people buy online and having to find someone that will do it for you may put them off. I think it's the future and someone has to be first. Kudos if you go for it.

Cheers,

Cabirio
Sorry, I overlooked the "high end market" part. Not much of a problem in that case, I don't think many people in that market segment will see having to fit the plugs as a problem. On the other hand there was a recent thread where someone asked about making cables and mentioned a few pro brands in a way that sounded like that was a bad thing... I know it's ludicrous but suspect that some people have that perception, that the stuff used in recording studios to connect 5-6 figure-priced equipment is somehow inferior to "proper" hi-fi brands... I don't know if Neutrik has gold plated versions of Speakons (I know they do of XLRs) but if they do, that's what I'd provide, even if it increases the price even more. Seriously.

Also, I believe Cliff (UK) does make binding posts which are EU-regs compliant, have you looked into those?

Cheers,

Cabirio
 
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Depending on the price level, adding Speakon binding posts to the home range may actually reduce your competitiveness towards the end user (source: editor at hi-fi media). Remember, you are planning a market positioning and the advice you get here, although highly qualified, are from the DIY prospective. Why cannot you use screw-down binding posts sealed in plastic like other manufacturers?
On the cost side, quality Neutrik 2C speakons can be supplied for under 2 USD per piece, so I cannot see how would that make a 50 USD price bump, but that is up to you.
 

Zero D

Member
2009-08-06 11:11 am

mrshow4u

Member
2006-07-28 4:35 pm
Whoa, is that the real Willi Studer???? Awesome

I concur about the cost. Real Neutrik receptacles and in line connectors are very reasonably priced, especially when compared to 99.99999% LCOFC, Rhodium plated, Cryogenically treated, nurtured and annealed in a a fung shway kiln, etc, etc. connector system. That actually might turn out to be the downside. Many Audiophiles, and I bring this up because you described "high end tube amps", might pooh-pooh a great connector for not having these exotic attributes. Let's hope not. The Speakon and the PowerOn connectors for that matter are well designed and are a joy to use.

I just acquired some old Meyer Sound UPA-1A that used those Amphenol EP connectors. I think the contact rating was 30A per contact, they were a bitch to solder 12 ga wire to. Metal and well made, but the Speakon connectors have better contact and current carrying performance and are about 1/4 the price.
 

mrshow4u

Member
2006-07-28 4:35 pm
Hi dmfraser, What is the extent of the, "Europe requires we use no-touch types." spec?

Does the conductor always have to be *shielded? If so, this might drive your compatibility issue. Maybe you need an EU version and a "rest of the world" version?

I can tell you that the EU standards are tightening up. At least for now for EMC compliance. The EU was the first to strictly enforce RoHS (heavy metals \m/) standards.

*Instead of "shielded", I should have said insulated.
 
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It seems to me that if the speaker cable is being driven by mains like voltages one could use nice industrial Hubbell mains connectors like they do in the commercial factory floors and commercial kitchens. 208vac, lots of amps, fully protected from accidental touching, UL/CE certified etc.

Hubbell-BB60N-560P9W-560R9W-pin-sleeve-plug-receptacle-picture.jpg