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:
Things you need
- 2 Speakon NL4FC connectors
- Unshielded speaker cable, four-conductor
- Wire strippers
- Hex (Allen) wrench 1.5mm
- Flathead screwdriver (optional)
Disassemble the Speakon connectors by turning the knurled bushing counter-clockwise, then pull the wire chuck and insert out of the main housing.
Strip about 3/4 inch of outer insulation from each end of the speaker cable with wire strippers.
Strip about 3/8 inch of insulation from the four inner wires on each end of the speaker cable with wire strippers.
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.
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.
Prepare the Speakon Connectors and Cable
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.
Repeat step one for the remaining wires, attaching them to wire slots -1, +2 and -2.
Reassemble the Speakon connector by pushing the wired insert into the main housing.
Push the wire chuck into the main housing and tighten the bushing by turning it clockwise.
Repeat steps 1 through 4 for the remaining Speakon connector.
Wire and Assemble the Speakon Connectors
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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