Speakon connector

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Neutrik Speakon. The connector barrels are 26 millimetres (1.024 in) overall diameter.[1]

The Speakon (stylized speakON) is a trademarked name for an electrical connector,[2] originally manufactured by Neutrik, mostly used in professional audio systems for connecting loudspeakers to amplifiers. Other manufacturers make compatible products,[3] often under the name "speaker twist connector".

Speakon connectors are rated for 40 A[not in citation given] RMS continuous current, higher than 1/4-inch TS phone connectors, two-pole twist lock, and XLR connectors for loudspeakers.[4]

Design

A Speakon connector is designed with a locking system that may be designed for soldered or screw-type connections. Line connectors (female) mate with (male) panel connectors and typically a cable will have identical connectors at both ends. If it is needed to join cables, a coupler can be used (which essentially consists of two panel connectors mounted on the ends of a plastic tube). Recently the manufacturer has introduced a new series called STX which includes also male line connectors and female panel connectors.

Speakon connectors are designed to be unambiguous in their use in speaker cables. With 1/4" speaker jacks and XLR connections, it is possible for users to erroneously use low-current shielded microphone or instrument cables in a high-current speaker application. Speakon cables are intended solely for use in high current audio applications.

Speakon connectors arrange their contacts in two concentric rings, with the inner contacts named +1, +2, etc. and the outer contacts connectors (in the four-pole and eight-pole version only). named −1, −2, etc.[5] The phase convention is that positive voltage on the + contact causes air to be pushed away from the speaker.

Speakon connectors are made in two, four and eight-pole configurations. The two-pole line connector will mate with the four-pole panel connector, connecting to +1 and −1; but the reverse combination will not work. The eight-pole connector is physically larger to accommodate the extra poles. The four-pole connector is the most common at least from the availability of ready-made leads, as it allows for things like bi-amping (two of the four connections for the higher-frequency signal, with the other two for the lower-frequency signal) without two separate cables. Similarly, the eight-pole connector could be used for tri-amping (two poles each for low, mid and high frequencies with two unused), or quad-amping (two poles each for high, mid, low and sub).

Another use for the four-pole cable is to carry two channels of amplified signal from an amplifier to a pair of loudspeakers using a 'combiner' Y-lead connected to the two output channels, and a 'splitter' Y-lead to feed the loudspeakers. The 'combiner' and 'splitter' Y-leads are the same: two two-pole connectors on one end, connected to the ±1 and ±2 pins, respectively, of a four-pole line connector at the other end.[6] Some amplifiers and mixer-amplifiers are configured to do this without the need for a 'combiner'.

Also available are 2-pole "combo" receptacles that can also accept 4-pole cables and 1/4″ phone plugs.

See also

References

  1. ^ "NL2FX drawing". Neutrik. 
  2. ^ "Speakon trademark page". Neutrik. 
  3. ^ E.g. Switchcraft HPC (High Power Connectors) Series
  4. ^ "Speakon Speaker Connectors: What are They and Why are They Used?". 
  5. ^ Electronics 2000 | Pin-outs | Speakon Connectors
  6. ^ MX21's bi-amp information: custom speakon cable

External links

  • Neutrik website
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