Interesting jack on an interesting speaker

mbandgeek

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I have had this speaker in my room for about 6 years now, and i have recently thought about refinishing it, but I have found a strange input jack on it. It isn't the standard 1/4" or XLR. I was wondering if anybody knows anything about this jack.

The only info I have to offer is that it is a hilton audio PA speaker.
 

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avkid

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It does appear to be an Edison plug. The use of electrical connectors was quite common in the earlier days of audio. A musician I know just got some used vintage speakers from the local audio repair whiz that still had 20 amp(old style)Twist-Lock connectors on them along with heavy duty TS speaker connectors.
 

mbandgeek

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thanks for information, If and when i plan to refinish/rebuild, I will, be replacing the jacks, I assume that 1/4" mono connectors would work just as well.
 

mbenonis

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Personally, I would replace them with NL4's (Neutrik SpeakOn). Much more durable, and they cost only a bit more.
 

Van

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That's not an edison, I beleive it a cinch-jones 2 or cj2. Is it about 1/2" in diameter ? It should be polarized < one side slightly wired than the other> the were a common connection in the late 60's and through the 70's and used on a lot of different styles of electronic gear. I do know someone who once forced one of these plugs into a standard wall outlet 'cause he didn't know where else to plug it in. the other end of the cord was plugged into a couple of 5 foot tall "electro-voice" p.a. speakers. Incredible 60 cycle hum for about 3 seconds then the cble burned up. beleive it or not the speaker lived.
 

Pie4Weebl

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It does appear to be an Edison plug. The use of electrical connectors was quite common in the earlier days of audio. A musician I know just got some used vintage speakers from the local audio repair whiz that still had 20 amp(old style)Twist-Lock connectors on them along with heavy duty TS speaker connectors.
I really like it when sounco's bring monitor systems that use those, seems a lot more heavy duty...
 

mbandgeek

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That's not an edison, I beleive it a cinch-jones 2 or cj2. Is it about 1/2" in diameter ? It should be polarized < one side slightly wired than the other> the were a common connection in the late 60's and through the 70's and used on a lot of different styles of electronic gear. I do know someone who once forced one of these plugs into a standard wall outlet 'cause he didn't know where else to plug it in. the other end of the cord was plugged into a couple of 5 foot tall "electro-voice" p.a. speakers. Incredible 60 cycle hum for about 3 seconds then the cble burned up. beleive it or not the speaker lived.
thats a really accurate description. And mbeonis, I don't think a speakon connector would serve this speaker justice. A new speakon connector, Is just too modern for the look of the speaker.
 

Mayhem

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Van is probably correct. However, it could be a 2 pin din plug/ receptacle which were used in early applications. Is it a home stereo or professional speaker? If it was a home speaker then I would go with Din.

On another note, I am still dead against the use of mains power pugs and receptacles being used for anything other than mains power. It is far too easy for someone to get confused and plug something into live power, when it is not meant to do so. Whilst it will kill your speaker, it may also kill you. I would urge anyone with this set up to follow the advice of mbenosis and convert them to speakon connectors.
 

SHARYNF

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Do your self a favor, go with a speakon connector, the panel mounts are cheap, the connector is in the back of the speaker so it is not seen, and the connection you get will be far better. Using any kind of power connector is asking for a disaster. It is correct in the old days before speakons people did use twist locks as an alternative, they worked well, and very few people used the two connector ones for power so it was relatively safe.

The cinch jones or din connectors are really not very good for speaker connections and typically are problematic

Sharyn
 

Van

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Van is probably correct. However, it could be a 2 pin din plug/ receptacle which were used in early applications. Is it a home stereo or professional speaker? If it was a home speaker then I would go with Din.

On another note, I am still dead against the use of mains power pugs and receptacles being used for anything other than mains power. It is far too easy for someone to get confused and plug something into live power, when it is not meant to do so. Whilst it will kill your speaker, it may also kill you. I would urge anyone with this set up to follow the advice of mbenosis and convert them to speakon connectors.
I agree entirely with mayhem, using an Edison style connector is an extremely dangerous thiong to do. I just did a production on Inspecting carol. They needed a Boom Box on the "tech table" for the rehearsal scenes. since the sound designer wanted the sound to come directly from the radio I rewired the unit to use it's power cable as a speaker connection. Dangerous yes but in this case everyone informed of where and how to plug it in and put under strict guidelines that only the P.A. or a stagehand would plug it in. One night before the show one of the stagehands was doing preshow stuff and plugged it inot the wrong receptacle. Even knowing and with receptacle clearly marked he fried the thing. I take partial responsibility. I would never use Edisons as a long term real connection for speakers though. thats not asking for trouble, That's begging for it.
 

mbandgeek

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Do your self a favor, go with a speakon connector, the panel mounts are cheap, the connector is in the back of the speaker so it is not seen, and the connection you get will be far better. Using any kind of power connector is asking for a disaster. It is correct in the old days before speakons people did use twist locks as an alternative, they worked well, and very few people used the two connector ones for power so it was relatively safe.
The cinch jones or din connectors are really not very good for speaker connections and typically are problematic
Sharyn

actually, the connector is on the top of the speaker. This speaker is pro audio.

I think It's time to include some more pictures to show you exactally what this speaker looks like. It isn't in the best condition, actually it is in horrible condition, but the driver in it is still in great condition. It is a JBL E110-8, It isn't a homemade speaker, but I think my dad added the connectors to It.
 

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Mayhem

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Looking at the pics it appears to be a home made (some prefer the word "custom") monitor. It has most likely been made in a shop somewhere rather than off the production line. The Aluminium angle gives it away, although it may have been an add on at a later date. Sorry - but I really do not think that you would damage the re-sale value by giving it a good coat of paint and rewiring it with a speakon connector.

The JBL E series speakers are a solid workhorse and I still have a pair of 15"s that are going strong. I know that you have said they are in good nick, but I would still be checking the cone, the suspension ring and the spider before getting too carried away in fixing it up.

Sorry if I have put a dent in your day - but that is my opinion, having seen the pics.

Hope it helps,
 
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mbandgeek

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My dad bought this speaker directly from Hilton Audio in 1981(somewhere around that year). He told me he used it for vocal applications and never pushed it to distortion, but I know that there are many factors that can lead to driver damage. So I will check it.
No you didn't put a dent in my day, I posted these pictures expecting your opinions, and that's what I got.

Why is everyone pushing the speakon connector? Aren't 1/4" connectors cheaper, more reliable, and more common?
 

soundlight

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Speakons are becoming far more common these days, and they really can't pull out of the speaker, whereas a 1/4" connector can easily pull out of its socket.
 

mbandgeek

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Doesn't the initial savings in cost outweight the risks of the socket being damaged?
 

audioslavematt

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Doesn't the initial savings in cost outweight the risks of the socket being damaged?
In short, no. A Neutrik TS jack from parts express costs $5.89. A NL4 Speakon jack costs $4.10. Hell, if you want, I have some NL2 round jacks laying around that aren't going to get used. You're more than welcomed to them, but keep in mind they won't work with NL4 connectors.
 

SHARYNF

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1/4 inch jacks are IMO some of the worst connectors to use for speakers. the jack/plug was never designed for the level of current speakers need, and over time the jacks start to get loose. In addition one of the problems you run into is that you have cables for 1/4 inch input that are say 22awg shielded for a guitar or what ever, and now you need cables that are 12-16 awg unshielded for speakers, and the cables get mixed up or you wind up using a guitar cord for the speaker etc

This is why from a practical stand point, most of the lower powered speakers used binding posts, or even terminal strips. People started to use 1/4 inch jacks and soon found out that they were very unreliable, so the pro's switched to twist locks from the electrical side of things which worked quite well. Then the problem that came about is the amps got bigger and people started to use twist locks for amp power, and of course the danger of plugging wall current into the speaker, so along came speakon with a simple locking connector that could carry the current that the speaker needed, and more importantly could not be confused with a cable being used for another purpose.

an NL4 on a plate and a nl4 connector is definitely the standard these days

Sharyn