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How to patch power amp to passive speakers via patchbay
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folkdude
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#1
20th August 2013
Old 20th August 2013
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How to patch power amp to passive speakers via patchbay

Hey,

I have a quick wiring question. I have a mobile recording rig in a mixer/rack combo case, and I want to be able to sometimes easily set up some passive studio monitors on the go w/ it.

I have a Yamaha P2500 power amp and Yamaha NS10 speakers. I am thinking about using a Neutrik 1/4" patchbay that I have lying around to do the job.

The idea is to route the power amp to the back of the patch bay (inside the flight case), so that it is permanently hard wired. If I want to use the monitors, I can just plug them into the 2 channels on the patch bay on the front, rather than getting back behind the rig and digging into it every time I want to hear on the speakers.

Signal chain would be

amp --> 1/4"TS --> patchbay(back) --> patchby (front)--> 1/4" spkr wire --> speakers

Is there anything funky about this idea? Any reason NOT to use speaker cable w/ a standard 1/4" patch bay?

Any thoughts about using/not using the 1/4" TS between the amp and the back of the patch bay? Or should that be speaker cable?

Side question: do 1/4" TS couplers work on speaker cable the same?

Anyone have a more elegant solution? (Buy active monitors-- I know. But seriously, piggy bank is empty)
#2
20th August 2013
Old 20th August 2013
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any outs that are powered need to be speaker cable, but other than that I don't know why it wouldn't work. It's just connectors.
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20th August 2013
Old 20th August 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guavadude View Post
any outs that are powered need to be speaker cable, but other than that I don't know why it wouldn't work. It's just connectors.
Ok, so you're saying the connection between power amp & back of the patch bay needs to be speaker cable, right?

Also, do you have any input regarding the question of whether a 1/4" TS coupler will work equally well on speaker cable as it does on instrument cable? thanks
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20th August 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by folkdude View Post
Also, do you have any input regarding the question of whether a 1/4" TS coupler will work equally well on speaker cable as it does on instrument cable? thanks
Well, there are thousands and thousands of PA and guitar amp set-ups out there that are connected this way. Personally, when I had to do this in the past I wired the power amp to a small box at the back of the rack that had dual bananas on it. Very easy to access and a really solid connection.
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20th August 2013
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In theory it should work, but
1 those generic Patchbays were probably not designed for speaker level .
2 speaker level and line level on the same bay could be confused and driving a compressor with the high voltage of an amps outputs would not be good.
I'm going to take Ricks Idea a step further .
Buy some speakon connectors and a rack panel a pair of speakers on one plug! Granted no normaling but you won't get speaker and line level mixed up!
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20th August 2013
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Wweeeww! I would never trust myself or anyone else on a patchbay mixed with line and amp levels!! Not worth the split second mistake of a mispatch. Its like the powercord with an xlr wired at the end....sure in theory it should work...but some ideas should just be avoided...
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folkdude
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20th August 2013
Old 20th August 2013
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The best solution seems to be to buy a 1U blank panel w/ socket holes, for the back rack. Then install two speaker cable sockets in the jack. Any info on how I could technically do this? Newb w/ soldering and wiring this type of thing.

Or, my other option is to use the patch bay at my own risk. I don't use compressors on the way in anyway, all compression is after the fact, the only thing running through that patch bay will be these speakers, period.

Thoughts?
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20th August 2013
Old 20th August 2013
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Have a look at the innards of the patchbay and make sure the lines from the back jacks to the front ones will handle the current you plan to put through. It's certainly more comfortable with nothing in that patchbay but the power amp; it sucks blowing up the main inserts on your board...
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20th August 2013
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Is there any reason why you can't go patchbay > amp > speakers?

Going amp > Pbay > speakers seems like an accident waiting to happen and Murphy's Law states that if it does go wrong it will take your most priced piece of outboard with it.
I'd rather buy an extra amp and lug it around than risk frying outboard gear.
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20th August 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by O.F.F. View Post
Is there any reason why you can't go patchbay > amp > speakers?

Going amp > Pbay > speakers seems like an accident waiting to happen and Murphy's Law states that if it does go wrong it will take your most priced piece of outboard with it.
I'd rather buy an extra amp and lug it around than risk frying outboard gear.
For sure.

Better safe than toast.
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20th August 2013
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He doesn't want to have to wire the speakers in from the back of the rack, so patch bay-amp-speakers doesn't solve the problem. The rack panel idea, or (depending on what the rack is made of) a pair of speaker jacks mounted on the side) solves the problem neatly.
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20th August 2013
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I've re-read the original post and now realize that the patchbay in question is a Neutrik. If this is the Neutrik in the $100 range with the circuit cards that you access from the front to change normaling........DO NOT USE THIS POS FOR SPEAKER LEVEL.

I have had to work on these things for other studios and they are not built for this application, in fact, the only application I think they are built for is separating people from their money. But that's another story.
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20th August 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Sutton View Post
I've re-read the original post and now realize that the patchbay in question is a Neutrik. If this is the Neutrik in the $100 range with the circuit cards that you access from the front to change normaling........DO NOT USE THIS POS FOR SPEAKER LEVEL.

I have had to work on these things for other studios and they are not built for this application, in fact, the only application I think they are built for is separating people from their money. But that's another story.

I have said it before they make great vent panels !

I still think Speakon panel , no cross patching designed for speaker level, single connector for a pair of speakers. And no solder!
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20th August 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddageek View Post
I have said it before they make great vent panels !

I still think Speakon panel , no cross patching designed for speaker level, single connector for a pair of speakers. And no solder!
I agree. Speakon would be ideal. Another thing I forgot to mention is to install a proper set of connectors (in my case dual bananas) on the back of the NS-10's so you don't have to mess around with the fiddly ones that are stock.
When on a remote every connection that you can make faster/better/more solid is well worth the original effort as it can save your butt when you are under time pressure in the field.
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20th August 2013
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Originally Posted by Wyllys View Post
Better safe than toast.
Amen. Just sounds like tempting fate to me. IME, fate usually wins in the end.
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20th August 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abechap024 View Post
Wweeeww! I would never trust myself or anyone else on a patchbay mixed with line and amp levels!! Not worth the split second mistake of a mispatch.

another amen to that

I saw the thread headline and thought: they can't possibly mean putting the output of the amp in the same patchbay as the line level signals...


Quote:
Its like the powercord with an xlr wired at the end...
for a special Homicide version of "Pranked"?
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20th August 2013
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Mod the amp to route/duplicate the outputs on the front panel? Might take a bit of work, but I'd personally hate to use up a whole 1u slot for two speaker outs!

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20th August 2013
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I don't see why this wouldnt work. Also, have you thought about patching power cords in the patch bay, in case you need to quickly power up some new gear ?








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20th August 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capashitor View Post
I don't see why this wouldnt work. Also, have you thought about patching power cords in the patch bay, in case you need to quickly power up some new gear ?
or in case the lead singer needs to curl her hair
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folkdude
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20th August 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
or in case the lead singer needs to curl her hair
A) who said the lead singer was a girl

and 2) who said male lead singers can't use curling irons onstage?


seriously though, does anyone have any info on how to wire a speakon or 1/4" speaker socket into a 1 u panel? I am in the dark on this. I have the tools but it would be my first solder ever.

I am mounting the panel on the back of the rig, so doesn't take up 1u on front, and would prefer that to having to reach into the thing every time I want to plug in monitors.
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Google speakon, the Neutrik page will show how to wire it. , then google speakon rack panel!
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20th August 2013
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One more vote to definitely NOT do this. Those little traces in patchbays are not designed to carry a speaker-level signal, they're typically wired balanced and it would be way to easy to short something plugging cables in and out, and it would be way too easy to plug something into the wrong place.

Quote:
Ok, so you're saying the connection between power amp & back of the patch bay needs to be speaker cable, right?
Any connection between the power amp and speakers needs to be speaker cable. 1/4" audio/instrument cable is one thick conductor and one thin shield. Speaker cable is two equally-sized thicker conductors. Again, it MAY work for a while, but is' a disaster waiting to happen...
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20th August 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by O.F.F. View Post
Is there any reason why you can't go patchbay > amp > speakers?

Going amp > Pbay > speakers seems like an accident waiting to happen and Murphy's Law states that if it does go wrong it will take your most priced piece of outboard with it.
I'd rather buy an extra amp and lug it around than risk frying outboard gear.
Tho is the way I would recomend you can be normalized or not both would work you get the choice speakers on default or on patch

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20th August 2013
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If you're a beginner to soldering, I vote for 1/4" jacks, just easier to get your head around...

Buy rack panel.
Drill two holes in it the appropriate size (check on the specs for the 1/4" panel sockets)
Use two speaker wires, probably 16 ga would be enough for this application. To one end solder the 1/4" jacks you'll plug into the amp, to the other end solder the 1/4" panel sockets.
Mount the panel sockets to the panel
Mount the panel to the rack
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21st August 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drbob1 View Post
If you're a beginner to soldering, I vote for 1/4" jacks, just easier to get your head around...

Buy rack panel.
Drill two holes in it the appropriate size (check on the specs for the 1/4" panel sockets)
Use two speaker wires, probably 16 ga would be enough for this application. To one end solder the 1/4" jacks you'll plug into the amp, to the other end solder the 1/4" panel sockets.
Mount the panel sockets to the panel
Mount the panel to the rack

If you're a solder newb, use Neutrik Speakon connectors....which do not require soldering at all.

Keep your speaker connections Speakon. Avoid multiple functions for the same type of connector....like the 1/4" jacks.

Apples to apples. Oranges to oranges.

Fewer chances to make cabling errors.
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27th August 2013
Old 27th August 2013
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you know what, I ended up selling that patch bay! lol

Quote:
If you're a solder newb, use Neutrik Speakon connectors....which do not require soldering at all.
Can anyone please elaborate on this? So you mean to say, if I install a 1U panel in the back of the rack case, that I don't need to solder the speakon jacks in? Do I just screw the speakon socket into the panel, or how does this work? Even though I am a solder newb I am somewhat familiar w/ the idea of it for 1/4" and XLR (seen it done), however I'm even more in the dark about speakon. Thanks
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