How to Change a Bare Wire Speaker Connection to Receive a Speakon Connecter

Written by matt gerrard
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How to Change a Bare Wire Speaker Connection to Receive a Speakon Connecter
SpeakON connectors are designed for high-current amp-to-speaker applications. (speaker image by Byron Moore from Fotolia.com)

Neutrik's SpeakON connectors are considered an industry standard, particularly for live sound. The locking connector is not only extremely durable, but also safe to handle when live, due to a lack of exposed metal. They do not short or ground when being connected or disconnected, meaning they can be changed in an emergency without disrupting a live concert. If your amplifier or speakers have the appropriate outputs and inputs, it is simple enough to add SpeakON connectors to your existing 2-conductor speaker wire.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Wire cutters / strippers
  • 2 conductor speaker wire
  • Small technical screwdrivers

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Strip around 1 inch of the outer insulation from the speaker wire. It is best to be cautious at this point; you can always strip more off, but it's important that no exposed wire is visible at the base of the connector once it is fitted.

  2. 2

    Unscrew the base of the connector, called the bushing, usually coloured light blue on SpeakON connectors. This will expose the chuck and the contact housing. All three parts can now be fed onto the wire in the appropriate order. At this point, you can start to judge the amount of insulation you will need to strip from the inner cores of the speaker cable.

  3. 3

    Examine the contacts on the connector. SpeakON connectors are available with two, four or eight electrical contacts for chaining multiple amps and speakers together. For standard speaker wire, only two contacts are necessary; determine which is positive (+1) and which is negative (-1).

  4. 4

    Attach the wires to the connector using an screwdriver to tighten the clamp. Attach the positive wire, usually white or red, to the +1 contact, and the negative wire, usually black or green, to the -1 contact. Ensure the clamps holding the wires are secure, but do not overtighten them. Most of the strain will be taken by the cable grip in the chuck.

  5. 5

    Slide the chuck and bushing up to meet the housing, and click the chuck into place. The arms of the cable grip should be seated against the outer insulation of the cable. There should be no exposed wire visible outside of the contact housing. Tighten the bushing using your hands only; tools could damage the plastic thread.

Tips and warnings

  • Ensure there is absoutely no exposed wire visible once you have screwed the bushing back on. The end of the insulation should be well inside the connector.

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