How do I Wire a Bi-Amp Speakon Connector?

Written by matt mckay
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How do I Wire a Bi-Amp Speakon Connector?
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An advantage of Speakon connectors is their ability to be wired in bi-amp configuration with a single four-conductor speaker cable. Bi-amping is used in professional audio applications and involves dedicated amplifiers to power speakers within a defined frequency range. Typical bi-amping requires one speaker wire for the low-frequency amp and speaker, and one for the high-frequency amp and speaker. By using Speakon connectors, only one speaker wire is required for the high and low frequencies. Speakon connectors are the pro-audio industry standard and were developed for ease of use and to lessen the clutter of multiple cables.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • 2 Speakon NL4FC connectors
  • Unshielded speaker cable, four-conductor
  • Wire strippers
  • Hex (Allen) wrench 1.5mm
  • Flathead screwdriver (optional)

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Instructions

    Prepare the Speakon Connectors and Cable

  1. 1

    Disassemble the Speakon connectors by turning the knurled bushing counter-clockwise, then pull the wire chuck and insert out of the main housing.

  2. 2

    Strip about 3/4 inch of outer insulation from each end of the speaker cable with wire strippers.

  3. 3

    Strip about 3/8 inch of insulation from the four inner wires on each end of the speaker cable with wire strippers.

  4. 4

    Insert the bushing and wire chuck onto both ends of the speaker cable, with the wide opening of each component facing toward the ends of the cable.

  5. 5

    Decide by insulation colour which wire will go to each of the four wire slots on the Speakon insert. The individual wires will be connected to +1 and -1 wire slots for the low-end speaker and amplifier, and +2 and -2 wire slots for the high-frequency speaker and amplifier.

    Wire and Assemble the Speakon Connectors

  1. 1

    Insert the designated wire into the +1 wire slot on the Speakon insert, and tighten the slot screw with a 1.5mm hex wrench or flathead screwdriver.

  2. 2

    Repeat step one for the remaining wires, attaching them to wire slots -1, +2 and -2.

  3. 3

    Reassemble the Speakon connector by pushing the wired insert into the main housing.

  4. 4

    Push the wire chuck into the main housing and tighten the bushing by turning it clockwise.

  5. 5

    Repeat steps 1 through 4 for the remaining Speakon connector.

Tips and warnings

  • To avoid confusion over wire colours, attach the same colour to the same numbered wire slot on the opposite Speakon connector.
  • Most professional speaker cable and connections use white and red wire insulation colours for positive (+) wire slots, and black and green wire insulation colours for negative (-) wire slots. Your brand may use different wire insulation colours.
  • Speakon connectors are usually supplied with a white and black wire chuck. Use the white chuck for thinner gauge speaker cable, and the black for thicker gauge cable.
  • Don't over-tighten the bushing to prevent cracking of the bushing or stripping of the bushing threads.
  • Never use shielded microphone, musical instrument or other low-voltage cable for speaker connections, as poor sound, possible electrical shorts or equipment damage may result.

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