[Tech] Picstory: Modding a Speaker Cabinet for Speakon Jacks

Discussion in 'The Sevenstring.org Workbench' started by Regor, May 1, 2007.

  1. Regor

    Regor Double Edge FTW Contributor

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    I like Speakon jacks. I think they're a great idea. And I don't think Bass players should have all the fun! So I decided with the help of my brother to mod the hell out of my Mesa cabinet and wire it up for Speakon jacks. Mind you, this takes a little more effort than the average person may be able to do (I'll explain as I go).

    So first off, my bro ordered up some speakon jacks and plugs. Then at work (he works at a fabrication shop) he made a replacement jack-plate for my cabinet, which looks something like this:
    [​IMG]
    (This is the part that most people won't be able to do easily)
    Pic from behind
    [​IMG]

    So, lets get our toolbox ready
    [​IMG]

    And of course, the dog wants to play instead of letting us do our work
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    Damn drill battery is dead! Luckily we gotz us a spare
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    So here's the old jack-plate that will be replaced entirely
    [​IMG]

    Step 1 is to remove the old plate by removing the screws
    [​IMG]

    Here's what the wiring scheme looks like, but it won't be necessary
    [​IMG]

    So next, we unsolder the speaker wires, not worrying about the rest of the jack-plate's funky connecting wires
    [​IMG]

    And of course, it's gotta start raining out... :mad:
    [​IMG]

    So we went under the overhang of the garage and continued our work. Here you see the side-by-side comparison of the two jack-plates
    [​IMG]

    But it seems the new one is a bit big around the corners
    [​IMG]

    So we'll need to grind them down a bit
    [​IMG]

    Making sure to buff out the edges so we don't cut ourselves
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    A little hand filing for the finishing touches
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    And viola! Smooth edges FTW!
    [​IMG]

    Bryan wanted to make sure the holes had enough clearance, so he drilled them out a bit
    [​IMG]

    Next day - Paint that beyotch! It's basically grill paint, but it gives it that cool textured finish.
    [​IMG]

    In the next pic, you'll see several things. First, we had to cut a gasket from some red foam we picked up from Michaels. Also, I painted one of the Speakon jacks red, for the right side of my amp/speakers.
    [​IMG]

    Here, we're putting red electrical tape under the red jack, to make it as easy as possible on a dimly lit stage to see which is the right side jack.
    [​IMG]

    "Please throw the tire!"
    [​IMG]

    Screw in the jacks into the plate
    [​IMG]

    Bust out the soldering iron and start attaching wires. The jacks are labeled "1+", "1-", "2+", "2-" (for internal stereo cables). Connect the white to the 1+ and the black to the 1-, and ignore the 2's.
    [​IMG]

    Using a lighter, cover the connections with shrink wrap tubing, being careful not to actually catch the shrink wrap tubing on fire, like Bryan did.
    [​IMG]

    Line up the gasket and screw the plate back into the cabinet.
    [​IMG]

    Here's the final product. Can't barely tell it's not the way it's supposed to be. Mind you, I can only run this cab in 4 ohm stereo now, but I only use this cab for live band situations, and it's always ran that way. So I had no qualms about doing this mod. I think Speakon jacks are very sturdy and reliable and durable. So it only made sense seeing as how this is my 'touring' cab. Also, what you can't see here, is that the red jack is on the 'right' side, but it's actually wired to the 'opposite' side of the cab, so looking at the cab from the front, it really is the right side speakers (the wires are criss-crossed internally is all I'm saying here). I wanted it to be idiot proof. Red = Right, so I put the Red jack on the Right side.
    [​IMG]

    And this part of our story is done! Now it's time to void some warranties!!

    First, we take our Monster P500 10' speaker cables.
    [​IMG]

    And we cut the ends off!
    [​IMG]
    Snip!
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    Slide the blue collet down the cable
    [​IMG]

    Next, we'll have to trim back the rubber
    [​IMG]

    And expose the inner wires
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    Next, we have to use a small screwdriver to open up the jack to get to the wire mounts. There's a little tab on the grey collet that you have to push in with the screwdriver.
    [​IMG]

    Here you can see the set screw that holds the wires in place (this means NO SOLDER! YAY!)
    [​IMG]

    This is where you're going to slide the speaker wires into
    [​IMG]

    After cutting some of the inner shielding off in order to expose the copper, you just align the wires and slide them in. There's labeling on the jack itself say "1+" and "1-", the red goes to the + and the black to the -
    [​IMG]

    Clamp them bitches down tight (remember, there's no solder in these jacks, so you wanna make sure they don't go anywhere)
    [​IMG]

    Now you're ready to close the jack up
    [​IMG]

    Slide the grey plastic collet back over the original tab
    [​IMG]

    And screw the blue collet onto the jack, and you have the finished product. 1/4" jacks FTL!!
    [​IMG]

    Do this 2x for stereo, again labeling one of them with red electrical tape. Remember, dimly lit stage, friends who help - but aren't musically inclined!
    [​IMG]

    Hope you enjoyed the show. We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.
     
  2. NegaTiveXero

    NegaTiveXero .... Your Face! Contributor

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    I actually found that quite informative and entertaining! :yesway:
     
  3. darren

    darren Decibel Guitars Forum MVP

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    Nice picstory!

    No red collars for the speakon plugs?
     
  4. The Dark Wolf

    The Dark Wolf Contributor

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    That's a pretty cool mod, dude.

    And Av looks so cute :wub:
     
  5. eleven59

    eleven59 None shall pass. Contributor

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    That's a cool mod. I'm guessing no plans to mod the rest of your gear (or even the other ends of those speaker cables and the speaker outs on your poweramp) in a similar fashion? :lol:
     
  6. sakeido

    sakeido Contributor

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    Whats a Speakon jack do? I've never heard of them before
     
  7. xwmucradiox

    xwmucradiox sweep.tap.sweep

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    They are locking and aren't necessary for systems running less than 400-500 watts. Basically, a 1/4" plug can be easily forced out via the air pressure created in a high wattage speaker cab at high volumes. The speakon jacks and plugs lock so there is no risk of ejecting the cable, and running the amp at no load.
     
  8. Regor

    Regor Double Edge FTW Contributor

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    Hmm... didn't even think of that. Oh well, the red tape gets the job done.

    No, I'm not planning on modding the 2:90's jacks, and therefore I don't plan on modding the other end's 1/4" plugs. Actually, the other end is secured to my rack, and those plugs never get pulled out of the 2:90. So it isn't necessary to do anything with them.

    No, not necessary, but they're more durable than the 1/4" jacks, less likely to get bent accidentally, and way less likely to accidentally get yanked out of the cab from getting tripped over or something like that. It's more of a durability/secure connection thing for me personally.
     
  9. darren

    darren Decibel Guitars Forum MVP

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    It's nice that they're solderless, too. I was thinking you could do the same thing with a locking XLR connector if it's security you're concerned about, but those don't have the same advantage of being solderless.
     
  10. JPMDan

    JPMDan IT'S OVER 9000!!!! Contributor

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    Awesome Pic Story Roger, Avalanche is looking great as well :metal:
     
  11. Battle-axe

    Battle-axe SS.org Regular

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    Great picstory, very informative. Btw your dog is awesome!!
     
  12. Chris

    Chris metalguitarist.org Forum MVP

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    That's a fucking badass idea. :yesway: To the workbench!
     
  13. Regor

    Regor Double Edge FTW Contributor

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    Thanks everybody. Glad you like it! Now, I gotta find my pics from my Rhino Linering and make a picstory outta that shit.
     
  14. noodles

    noodles Contributor

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    Great job as always, Rog. :yesway:

    Damn your dog got big quick. :eek:
     
  15. Regor

    Regor Double Edge FTW Contributor

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    Yeah he did. Although he's plateaued on his weight now. He's 96.8lbs last I measured at the vet (Last week). He's only gained about 1lb/month for the last 3 months. So I think he might be done, or maybe another 5-10lbs in the long run.

    Now why the hell can't I find my pics of the Rhino Liner guitar?!?!?!
     
  16. BigM555

    BigM555 I SS.org Salute You! Contributor

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    Nice work!

    And Dude! Your dog is gorgeous!
     
  17. D-EJ915

    D-EJ915 Forum MVP

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    Cool man, nice job. Speakon jacks are pretty nifty.
     
  18. Bobby

    Bobby SS.org Regular

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    Wow

    That was very informative. Thank you for posting this. I think I'll tell the boss I'm taking the weekend off.:agreed:
     
  19. Shawn

    Shawn Ibanez Guitars Forum MVP

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    Nice work, Roger! Cool picstory too. :metal: Your dog is very cute. :wub:
     
  20. Regor

    Regor Double Edge FTW Contributor

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    Now I remember why I quit going to Huge Racks Inc.

    What a douchebag. He didn't even bother to read my other posts in the thread about why I did this mod. Those people over there are soooo damn high-strung over their tone, that if anyone introduces an idea out of the norm, it's gotta either be for the benefit of tone, or it's a crap idea.
     

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