Many modern speaker cabinets feature Speakon jacks as well as 1/4-inch jacks for connecting to amplifiers. The Speakon connector features a locking mechanism to avoid a speaker becoming accidentally unplugged and damaging your sound system due to power overloads. If you want to update an older speaker cabinet to use in a system that features Speakon connections prominently, or if you need to repair a broken Speakon jack, it can seem confusing at first due to the construction of the actual connector being slightly different than a typical audio connection. In reality, wiring a Speakon jack plate is no more difficult than wiring a typical 1/4-inch jack.
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Things you need
- Speakon jack plate
- Soldering iron
- Rosin-core solder
- Speakon cable
Remove the old jack plate from the back of your speaker cabinet by unscrewing it and unsoldering the wires connected to the jack. Remember which wires are connected to the positive and negative terminals of the speaker jack. For this example, we will assume the speaker cabinet being wired is a simple mono configuration with only one speaker jack needed. Determine if any adjustments will need to be made to the actual cabinet to fit the new Speakon jack plate, as now is the time to make these adjustments.
Locate the terminals on your Speakon jack. Speakon-type connectors will have four terminals. These are "1+," "1-," "2+," and "2-." In most situations, only the "1+" and "1-" terminals are used. The other two terminals are useful for systems that utilise bi-amping, but will require the purchase of Speakon cables that also use this wiring configuration.
Connect the wire coming from the positive speaker terminal to the "1+" terminal on the Speakon jack. Solder it into place.
Connect the wire coming from the negative speaker terminal to the "1-" terminal on the Speakon jack. Solder this wire into place.
Connect your speaker to your amplifier using the proper cable featuring Speakon connectors and power the amp on to test for speaker output. Consult your amplifier's owner's manual for proper procedure in connecting speakers to the amplifier. If the cabinet hums or buzzes, check your connections. If you still experience problems, consult a technician at your local music store for help.
Secure the Speakon plate to the back of the speaker cabinet. Make sure it fits securely and will not come loose.
Tips and warnings
- Even if your amplifier does not have Speakon outputs, you can still connect to a speaker with Speakon inputs by using a cable with a Speakon connector on one end and a 1/4-inch jack on the other.
- Make sure your wiring is connected to all speakers properly. If the circuit is connected wrong, the power form the amplifier could damage your speakers or vice versa.
- If you have to make adjustments to the back of your cabinet to house the Speakon plate, be careful not to damage your speakers or their connections.
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