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Multi core snake issues


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Hi all,


Were in the process of trying to rectify a number of problems related to our sound as a 5 piece band. One of the them was a monitor issue and progress being made!!


The other was multi core.


We did the Ebay thing and bought a 50m snake 16-4, and the sound was pants, muffled, no detail, not particularly loud either.....


Our thoughts were it was too long and drop out was being experienced, so our talented bassist cut it down to 30 metres and diligently and carefully resoldered each item....... took him ages but kept him quiet!!! :D


Our shopping trip at the weekend may have unearthed some issues, we were apparantly using the snake to convey amplified signal to speakers which is clearly a "no, no". So that could well solve the issues.


However, were now of the belief that maybe the quality of this snake is not as good as it needs be. So questions are............ if I may!!!!?


1. Are there any measuring tests we can conduct to see if the core is working well?


2. If we find a problem there or by trying it out and having the same issue again, we choose to buy a new one, what should we look for, where should we find it and what kind of prices would be in order?


The probability is that we will be using the snake only aorund 4 or 5 times a year, so were not after full touring resilience and top band quality, but were looking for reliability and sensible quality.......


Many thanks,



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99% of the time the cable will be fine, for carrying mic and line level signals. Normally you don't carry speaker level signals down a multicore, though there are some that offer this facility, by using much thicker cable for a couple of runs.

My suggestion would be to get some long speaker leads, try it out, you should have no problems from there on in.


Ps, A balanced signal (line or mic) will go for hundreds of meters without problems. 30, or 50 m should be easy! :D

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You should never use multicore signal cable to drive loudspeakers!! Massive no-no.


You need to buy dedicated speaker cable.


Put simply, Multicore signal cables are extremely thin and can't carry the energy required to drive a loudspeaker!



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Don't forget that speaker cables carry serious current and the tiny core that are fine for really long lengths of mic and line level will have a high resistance and quite likely start to heat up, possibly even melting the insulation and shorting out the amp - but most likly just failing. If you have 30m between stage and mixer, even with proper long heavy (4mm2) conductors you will be wasting amp power. If you're using a powered mixer at theta distance, you really shouldn't be - they're not designed to be used like that. Get the amps at the stage end and volume will go up. The few multis designed to do this have proper size conductors - not what you have by the sound of it.


Stage boxes have XLRs and sometimes jacks for the returns - I'm guessing your mixer has jack loudpspeaker outputs and you assumed they were for speakers? Jack sockets on equipment for speakers is always a sign of worry - they're just not really suitable for speaker connection, never really have been. Far to many issues with reliability, and ease of accidental disconnection and even shorting - plus mechanically, apart from the Neutrik style ones, they're not very strong, either.

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