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4 Core speaker cable in place of 2 core


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Hi, first post so forgive me if this topic has been extensively covered or if I'm just being thick (I have a feeling I've over-thought this)..



I'm running two 10 metre cables from my amplifier (not bi-amped) to two speakers, left and right. Connections at the amp end are Neutrik NL4 Speakons, one for left, one for right, Connections at speaker end are screw terminals, red and black for each speaker.


I'm using 4 core cable, not because I need it for this purpose but it's because thats what I've got (contingency for potentially bi-amping in future..), so my question is whether I need to be connecting all four cores up (at both the amp and speaker ends, effectively treating it as 2 cores) or whether I just wire up 2 of the cores and leave the other two dormant (floating)?


I've done a diagram showing both scenarios here and can't see a particular problem with either of these from an electrical point of view so would like to hear a professional opinion, advantages or disadvantages? what is the standard?


Am I going to find problems with inducting / hum or ground loop stuff if I leave two cores disconnected connected?



Any help would be much appreciated, I suspect this is almost too easy of a question, I just can't find any concise information to learn from and don't work in the industry to ask anyone!





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The Mad Hippy is correct. Many amps, QSC for example, have both channel outputs on one of their NL4 connectors so you will be joining both outputs together if you try to use your Figure One wiring. Use Figure 2 and forget the other 2 cores in the cable.
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In the end, if you come across a Speakon cable that you didn't make/buy, you've no idea how it's wired without inspecting either end within the connector (or using a decent cable tester)


Option 1 is the only wrong one.

Option 2 is fine.

The other two valid options, which shouldn't get you into any trouble are

Option 3: both red cores connected to pin 1 at both ends, both black cores connected to pin 2 at both ends. The notional benefit here is slightly reduced resistance owing to the increased effective cross sectional area. You're unlikely to notice any difference.

Option 4: Connect pins 1-4 at both ends, each with their own conductor. You won't be using the second pair.

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And apologies, I was forgetting that you are on terminals at the speaker end.


With that being the case, I think your option 2 is potentially the best, as it reduces the option for confusion.


(Were you to use option 4, there's a risk that others might decide that there shouldn't be dangling cables, and would helpfully turn it into option 1, which could definitely be a bad thing, as mentioned earlier.


Is there the option to use/install Speakons at the speaker end? It would make everything much more foolproof.

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Option 3: both red cores connected to pin 1 at both ends, both black cores connected to pin 2 at both ends.

Surely a no-brainer (but Pins 1+ & 1-, NOT Pins 1 & 2, at the Speakon end). Why on earth would you even consider doing anything else? The fact that the 2 pairs are twisted together at the speakers ends makes it obvious how the Speakons are wired. A dab of solder on the twisted-together ends should save any future confusion about 2-core or 4-core.

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