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Thread: Okay to Do This? - Banana Plug To 1/4-Inch Plug From Amp Channel(s)?

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    Okay to Do This? - Banana Plug To 1/4-Inch Plug From Amp Channel(s)?

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    Trying to understand amplifiers for PA use. I have a power amp with 2 channels. Each output channel has a positive and negative. I have ben using a cable someone gave me many years ago that has a banana plug on one end and a quarter-inch plug on the other. I plug the banana plug into pos and neg output jacks for channel 1 on the amp, and then run the other end of that cable into a PA speaker cabinet. Ditto for the other channel.

    I always thought this was the most standard way to hook up speakers to the amp. and it may be. but I just wanted to check if I was messing anything up by using a banana plug like this to combine the pos and neg into a single plug.

    Also, would this method be referred to as "stereo?" I've been looking at lots of stuff about parallel or series. But this doesn't seem to be either one of those.

    Thanks!

    amp-speakers-png

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    Youre good to go. Banana plugs are kinda outdated. The only concern would be to ensure you have the positives and negative sides connected properly at the 1/4" plug. It's not the end of the world if they are not, but if the speaker has a passive crossover, it may not function properly, if at all.

    1/4" plugs are still in fashion, but Speakons are the main style connector for PA amps and speakers.

    Stereo is based on two separate signals going to the amp and eventually the speakers. If it is the same signal going to both speakers, then it is mono.

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    Thanks! So is there a name/designation for this kind of setup? It wold seem to me to be what a majority of people do, right?

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    I am not sure I know what you're talking about. The banana plugs?

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    No. I meant the configuration of running one banana-plug cable from one amp channel to one speaker, and running the other banana-plug cable from the 2nd amp channel to the 2nd speaker. This doesn't seem to be a "parallel" setup and clearly isn't a "series" setup. So is it just referred to as "standard" or "stereo" setup? Or is there just no real designation for what this is called?

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    Well....

    It would be stereo if you send the amp a stereo signal. It would be mono if you send the same signal to both sides of the amp.

    As an example: On your mixer, you have two guitars, two singers, a bass and drums. You have four mics covering the drums, kick, snare, two overheads. For a bit of fun, you decide to pan one guitar hard left, the other hard right. You put the two vocals panned to about 50% Left and Right. The bass, kick and snare are left in the center and the overheads are panned hard Left and hard right. On your mixer, this would be a stereo signal. You send the Main Outputs to the amp. Left going to one side, Right going to the other. And the same from the amp to the speakers. This would be a stereo signal and you would have stereo for the audience to listen to. It sounds great!!!

    If you were to leave all the pan knobs centered, then all the instruments/vocals/etc will go out equally from the Main Outputs to the amp on both sides. The Left and Right Outputs are sending the same signal to both sides of the amp. That is mono.

    In the real world, you would send a mono mix to one side of the amp which would then power both PA speakers, then use the other side of the amp for a sub or monitors. To incorporate a sub in your PA, you would need a crossover. The monitor mix would come off your mixing board from one of the aux sends.

    In the old days, when I did FOH, I ran a mono mix to one side of my PA amp, then ran the subs off the other side. I had a 2nd amp for monitors and would have two monitor mixes. One for vocalists, then other for drums and bass.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by Chili; 03-06-2019 at 12:42.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Teasnob View Post
    No. I meant the configuration of running one banana-plug cable from one amp channel to one speaker, and running the other banana-plug cable from the 2nd amp channel to the 2nd speaker. This doesn't seem to be a "parallel" setup and clearly isn't a "series" setup. So is it just referred to as "standard" or "stereo" setup? Or is there just no real designation for what this is called?
    It is a normal set up. It is neither parallel nor series, because those terms are not relevant in this configuration.

    Those terms become important if you connect more than one speaker to the one output.

    This diagram shows the difference between parallel and series connection of speakers.


    wiring speakers

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