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Speaker Cable Extension? Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 4th March 2014
  #1
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Speaker Cable Extension?

Hey, I have a combo amp and another amp head that I would like to plug into the cabinet part of the combo. Currently the cabinet has a speaker cable that isn't long enough for this task, so I was wondering if any of you know of some kind of extension speaker cable that I could buy with a 1/4 input on one and and a 1/4 plug on the other.

Thanks!
Old 4th March 2014
  #2
This would be a great time to learn to solder.... but if you don't want to do that:

>>> Barrel Coupler

>>> Cable

(Make sure the speaker impedances are compatible with the amps)
Old 4th March 2014
  #3
You don't specify how much longer you need to run your speaker cable, and what kind of cable you are currently using (cable gauge). If you want to add a significant length, you may wind up adding too much additional series resistance for best results. For best efficiency, and to maintain a reasonable damping factor for the speaker drivers, speaker cables must have a very low resistance.

Manufactured 1/4inch to 1/4 inch speaker cables routinely are available in wire gauges from 16 Ga. to 12 Ga. The minimum gauge required depends on the length, the amplifier power, and the speaker impedance (4 ohm speakers need a heavier wire than 8 ohm speakers - 8 ohm speakers need heavier wire than 16 ohm speakers).

If you only need to add a few feet, then gauge is not critical as long as it's not less then the gauge of the existing cable. However, if you are adding a significant length, like 50 ft., you are generally much better off replacing the entire cable with one of a heavier gauge.

Also, in-line female to female adapters, and especially in-line female 1/4 inch extension jacks for female/male extensions can add significant additional series resistance and should be avoided if you want long-term reliability.

If you specify your conditions, it's easy to calculate the proper gauge cable you should be using:

1. How long a cable do you want?
2. What is the impedance of your speaker cabinet?
3. What is your amplifier power?
Old 4th March 2014
  #4
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Thanks for the replies. Sorry about the gauge thing, but I'm not really sure. The cable is going from the amp in my combo to the speakers and looks pretty much like an instrument cable at the plug, but the wire itself is much skinnier. I just want a long enough extension so that I can sit my other head on top the combo while it's plugged in. Another foot or two would be enough. It's a 50 watt amp with 1 16 ohm output and 2 8 ohm outputs.

https://www.orangeamps.com/products/...ii-2x12-combo/

How do you tell what gauge the cable is?
Old 4th March 2014
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooter Trash View Post
This would be a great time to learn to solder.... but if you don't want to do that:

>>> Cable

>>> Barrel

(Make sure the speaker impedances are compatible with the amps)
Yeah, I should probably learn how to solder but I'd prefer not to solder anything on this amp as I couldn't afford to replace it if I f'd something up.
Old 4th March 2014
  #6
Nice Amp.

Yeah, I wasn't suggesting soldering anything right to the amp. You could clip the connector off the cable and extend it. Or solder a cable with a male, and female 1/4" phone and jack to extend it.
16 gauge wire should be fine. I've use couplers for 30 years and have never had a failure with one. If you just get a speaker cable like the one I recommended earlier and couple it you should be in good shape.
Old 4th March 2014
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by imijj View Post
Thanks for the replies. Sorry about the gauge thing, but I'm not really sure. The cable is going from the amp in my combo to the speakers and looks pretty much like an instrument cable at the plug, but the wire itself is much skinnier. I just want a long enough extension so that I can sit my other head on top the combo while it's plugged in. Another foot or two would be enough. It's a 50 watt amp with 1 16 ohm output and 2 8 ohm outputs.

https://www.orangeamps.com/products/...ii-2x12-combo/
For a 50 watt amp, and since you only need a couple of feet, almost anything will do fine. A few feet of 16 Ga. cable will work great, although I would not use less than 16Ga. The only reason for the long explanation was that it's not unusual for someone to ask about extending their cabinet a longer distance (40 or 50 ft.) so they can get the cab into a different room for isolation while recording.

Quote:
Originally Posted by imijj View Post
How do you tell what gauge the cable is?
Sometimes the cable will have the gauge printed on the outer jacket, but often will not. If it's not marked, the only way to really tell is to physical measure the conductor diameter with a "Wire Gauge". That's why wire sizes are listed as "Ga." The strange part of the wire gauge numbering system is that the larger the number, the smaller the Ga. The smaller the Ga. number, the more current the wire can safely carry. Reducing the Ga. number by 3-steps always doubles the amount of current te wire can carry. It's a great system!

In North America, wire is sized by AWG (American Wire Gauge ) numbering. It most of the rest of world, it's sized by the much more reasonable actual wire diameter in millimeters.

If you do use an extension with a female 1/4 inch TS connector or a dual 1/4 inch female adapter, be absolutely sure that the connection is physically tight. An open speaker cable connection will "unload" the amplifier, and for a tube amp like your Orange. That can result in very high output transformer primary voltages than can damage the transformer and/or the output tubes. Don't ever run that amp with the speaker disconnected.
Old 5th March 2014
  #8
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Thanks. So would it be best to try to find a 16 gauge female to male speaker cable?
Old 5th March 2014
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooter Trash View Post
Nice Amp.

Yeah, I wasn't suggesting soldering anything right to the amp. You could clip the connector off the cable and extend it. Or solder a cable with a male, and female 1/4" phone and jack to extend it.
16 gauge wire should be fine. I've use couplers for 30 years and have never had a failure with one. If you just get a speaker cable like the one I recommended earlier and couple it you should be in good shape.
Or this. I'm just trying not to blow the amp up. Is there anything else I could do short of soldering it? Like duct tape or something?
Old 5th March 2014
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by imijj View Post
Or this. I'm just trying not to blow the amp up. Is there anything else I could do short of soldering it? Like duct tape or something?
Nah, if you're gonna extend it it's best to solder western union splices and seal the patch with shrink tubing.

Quote:
So would it be best to try to find a 16 gauge female to male speaker cable?
That would be one less connection - which would be good.
either way.. personally I'd just use a locking coupler and a 14" to 1/4" speaker cable.
Old 5th March 2014
  #11
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This seems way more complicated than it needs to be. I can't seem to find any 16AWG 1/4 to 1/4 speaker cable that isn't 10 or more feet long. I might just have to find an actual cabinet, but I don't want to blow the cash.



edit: Maybe this will work. I don't really know the difference between AWG and "gauge" though.

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Live-Wir...29-i1168319.gc
Old 5th March 2014
  #12
It would be "best" functionally to replace the cable with one of the correct length.

Second "best" (if you knew how to solder) to remove one of the existing 1/4 inch plugs and splice in a length of wire to extend the cable (by soldering) and then replace the plug on the new end. That's not an option for you, because you don't solder. Maybe you can find someone who does who can help.

Third "best": You could cut the cable a foot from one of the existing plugs and splice in a new length using in-line barrel crimp splices, but that requires having knowledge of using the crimp splices and having a crimping tool plus shrink tubing and a heat gun to shrink it.

Fourth "best" would be to use a 1/4 inch female to male extension cable. Again, you would have to replace (solder) the 1/4 inch female connector on a male/male cable.
That's the "forth" choice because it adds one additional set of contacts to the line (the single female connector).

Fifth "best", but something you can do yourself, is to add a duel female coupler and a short male to male cable. As you've found, about the shortest "off-the-shelf" cables you can find are 6 feet long. It's the "fifth" choice because it adds two unnecessary sets of contacts in series with your speaker cab.

Any of the above will work. I have a personal aversion to using, cable-mounted female 1/4-inch connectors for speaker leads since I've found them to be unreliable in way too many cases. YMMV.

The Livewire 16Ga cable you linked, and a dual female couple will "work", or this 6 ft. cable will also "work". That's the last option listed above.
Old 6th March 2014
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lotus 7 View Post
It would be "best" functionally to replace the cable with one of the correct length.

Second "best" (if you knew how to solder) to remove one of the existing 1/4 inch plugs and splice in a length of wire to extend the cable (by soldering) and then replace the plug on the new end. That's not an option for you, because you don't solder. Maybe you can find someone who does who can help.

Third "best": You could cut the cable a foot from one of the existing plugs and splice in a new length using in-line barrel crimp splices, but that requires having knowledge of using the crimp splices and having a crimping tool plus shrink tubing and a heat gun to shrink it.

Fourth "best" would be to use a 1/4 inch female to male extension cable. Again, you would have to replace (solder) the 1/4 inch female connector on a male/male cable.
That's the "forth" choice because it adds one additional set of contacts to the line (the single female connector).

Fifth "best", but something you can do yourself, is to add a duel female coupler and a short male to male cable. As you've found, about the shortest "off-the-shelf" cables you can find are 6 feet long. It's the "fifth" choice because it adds two unnecessary sets of contacts in series with your speaker cab.

Any of the above will work. I have a personal aversion to using, cable-mounted female 1/4-inch connectors for speaker leads since I've found them to be unreliable in way too many cases. YMMV.

The Livewire 16Ga cable you linked, and a dual female couple will "work", or this 6 ft. cable will also "work". That's the last option listed above.
Yeah, maybe I will just take it to the guy who works on amps around here. I really have no desire to learn how to solder on this thing. I have a keyboard that needs a new power chord anyway.
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