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> Making Connections, Stereo, Mono, Bridged.... Instrument Vs Speaker cabling
Jim S.
post Jun 26 2015, 11:02 PM
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Hi Guys my questions Ill try an simplify. My goal is to have the proper cables attaching all the pieces of my Pa System.

Right now I have 3 amps powering 3 range frequencies. 1 low that powers the subs and It sends the remaining 2 signals to the other 2 amps. One of the signals is full range with no crossover, that powers my mains. I wanted to use a crossover on that signal but I couldnt seem to get a good signal that way. Ideally Id like to crop a little off the top and off the bottom but it sounds really good as it is and I am content with it.

The other amp just powers the horns.

So heres a diagram.




As you see out of the Mixer I spit left and right into each channel of the First amp. I feel like each channel should have a tru stereo signal and that should carry on down the line of amps but I am not certain if there would be any benefits.

Also the amps are bridged and both negative and positive cables are connected together into 1 output. All the power into 1 signal. But shouldn't I have them separate and how do I get true stereo. I wouldnt want to make the Left or Right connection split into stereo... Right? am I making sense?

My last question is about the type of cables to use to patch it all together. Do I want instrument style cables or speaker cable?
Some of the connections are Xlr but my crossover has 1/4' jacks that have balanced and unbalanced inputs.

Last last thing that I thought was odd. My mixer is factory set to pan each channel Left or Right. Ch. 1 is Left and Ch. 2 is Right 3 is left 4 is right and so on to 8. If I pan each track back to center should this help with the whole stereo concept I am attempting?

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Todd Simpson
post Jun 26 2015, 11:12 PM
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I can offer a few tips smile.gif


1.)Dont use instrument cable for speaker cable.

WHY THEY’RE NOT INTERCHANGEABLE:

You shouldn’t plug your instrument/guitar into it’s amp using a speaker cable because guitars, specifically passive guitars, send out a very low level signal. This low level signal is very susceptible to noise induced from RFI/EMI from cell phone and radio towers, dimmers and florescent lights, electrical transformers, and other sources that are always around you. The shield around an instrument cable keeps most of these interferences from getting into your guitar signal. Because a speaker cable doesn’t have this shield, if you use it to plug your guitar in, you’ll generally get a lot of noise in the signal due to induced interference. You’re not going to hurt anything by using a speaker cable as an instrument cable, but you’re likely not going to get a noise free sound either.

You shouldn’t plug your speakers into your amplifier using an instrument cable because instrument cables don’t have low enough resistance to let speaker level voltages flow with ease. Essentially the amp would be trying to send all of its power down a small center conductor and a thin braided or foil shield! At low volumes you’ll likely not have any problems, but in the event you have a powerful amp and turn the volume up, you’ll likely hear slight distortion of the signal, the amp will have to work much harder and have less power to drive the speaker, and in some cases, could even start heating up the instrument cable to the point that it melts the jacket and creates an electrical short circuit! This could of course ruin your amplifier and/or your loudspeaker.
While many 1/4″ instrument and 1/4″ speaker cables look almost identical from the outside, under the hood they’re nothing alike. Don’t let the similar size, black jacket, and 1/4″ connectors fool you. Take care in looking at your cable to verify what it was made for and that you’re using it for the proper application. Cables will often say whether they are “instrument” or “speaker” cables in small white lettering along the jacket. Speaker cables are often slightly thicker in diameter than instrument cables. And if you really want to make sure you can unscrew the 1/4″ connector barrel and double check for yourself.
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2.)Stereo is great, but many rock clubs (every club I ever played at) ran a mono mix to FOR (front of house). If you want to set it up stereo just for spiffness, you'll need to unbridge your amps and give each pair of speakers their own amp channel. Just for testing, do a simple setup just with your pa speakers that have drivers and tweeters. See if you like it better. This assumes your mixer is stereo of course smile.gif You can run your GNX in stereo it just takes up 2 channels in the mixer instead of 1. If you pan a channel to the middle, it's not in stereo, it's mono since your sending the same thing to both speakers.


*P.S. Your graphic is sorta upside down smile.gif And I can't really make out what's going on. sad.gif I''m sure somebody will though smile.gif I don't know what you mean about all the signal being on one cable? You have separate power amps for subs/mids/horns right? So each amp would be undbridged for stereo and two cables coming out going to each speaker, right?

This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Jun 26 2015, 11:15 PM


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Jim S.
post Jun 26 2015, 11:30 PM
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Here's a better question. If I am playing a real CD through my Pa, how can I assure getting it to sound as intended?

So connecting the amps together I should use which types of cables?
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Jim S.
post Jun 27 2015, 03:06 PM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Jun 26 2015, 06:12 PM) *
I can offer a few tips smile.gif


1.)Dont use instrument cable for speaker cable.

WHY THEY’RE NOT INTERCHANGEABLE:

You shouldn’t plug your instrument/guitar into it’s amp using a speaker cable because guitars, specifically passive guitars, send out a very low level signal. This low level signal is very susceptible to noise induced from RFI/EMI from cell phone and radio towers, dimmers and florescent lights, electrical transformers, and other sources that are always around you. The shield around an instrument cable keeps most of these interferences from getting into your guitar signal. Because a speaker cable doesn’t have this shield, if you use it to plug your guitar in, you’ll generally get a lot of noise in the signal due to induced interference. You’re not going to hurt anything by using a speaker cable as an instrument cable, but you’re likely not going to get a noise free sound either.

You shouldn’t plug your speakers into your amplifier using an instrument cable because instrument cables don’t have low enough resistance to let speaker level voltages flow with ease. Essentially the amp would be trying to send all of its power down a small center conductor and a thin braided or foil shield! At low volumes you’ll likely not have any problems, but in the event you have a powerful amp and turn the volume up, you’ll likely hear slight distortion of the signal, the amp will have to work much harder and have less power to drive the speaker, and in some cases, could even start heating up the instrument cable to the point that it melts the jacket and creates an electrical short circuit! This could of course ruin your amplifier and/or your loudspeaker.
While many 1/4″ instrument and 1/4″ speaker cables look almost identical from the outside, under the hood they’re nothing alike. Don’t let the similar size, black jacket, and 1/4″ connectors fool you. Take care in looking at your cable to verify what it was made for and that you’re using it for the proper application. Cables will often say whether they are “instrument” or “speaker” cables in small white lettering along the jacket. Speaker cables are often slightly thicker in diameter than instrument cables. And if you really want to make sure you can unscrew the 1/4″ connector barrel and double check for yourself.
Attached Image


2.)Stereo is great, but many rock clubs (every club I ever played at) ran a mono mix to FOR (front of house). If you want to set it up stereo just for spiffness, you'll need to unbridge your amps and give each pair of speakers their own amp channel. Just for testing, do a simple setup just with your pa speakers that have drivers and tweeters. See if you like it better. This assumes your mixer is stereo of course smile.gif You can run your GNX in stereo it just takes up 2 channels in the mixer instead of 1. If you pan a channel to the middle, it's not in stereo, it's mono since your sending the same thing to both speakers.


*P.S. Your graphic is sorta upside down smile.gif And I can't really make out what's going on. sad.gif I''m sure somebody will though smile.gif I don't know what you mean about all the signal being on one cable? You have separate power amps for subs/mids/horns right? So each amp would be undbridged for stereo and two cables coming out going to each speaker, right?


Thanks for the breakdown and explanation of the cables. I did learn things I did not know. I'm assuming that id want instrument cable to make connections behind the amps so there is noise protection?

I'm going to have to do some experiments and see if I can make any difference in sound by making each channel L or R.

Thanks man!
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Todd Simpson
post Jun 28 2015, 02:20 AM
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Same rules apply so only use instrument cable on instruments smile.gif May seem counterintuitive but yeah.

Also, I"m unclear on how you are connecting your amps together? You are not running from the outputs of one amp to the inputs of another amp are you? If so, I'd stop before you blow up your amps. sad.gif

Here is a video about using crossovers with amps. There are tons of vids on youtube about this. Save yourself potential problems!



This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Jun 28 2015, 02:22 AM


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