What's wrong with this picture? (Heh)


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They have used a plug and socket pair on each type of lead meaning that in theory you can connect the two speakers together and the two amplifier outputs together.

:idea: Should have been two sockets on the amplifier output cables and two plugs on the speaker supply cables to stop anyone connecting the two together. :idea:

Not that anyone would be stupid enough to connect two amplifier outputs together!!!! :D
Other than that, although it is a good way of being able to extend the cables, you are increasing the number of interconnects between the source and the output in the audio chain. Just another thought......
You could potentially accidentaly connect line power to either speakers or amp, which would be a bad thing. ;)
My comment depends on whether the edison ends were clipped off of a store-bought extension cord.

If so... I have had inspectors threaten to shut down productions because I replaced frayed ends of extension chords with new recepticles... ie... the female end was coming loose, so I cut it off and put a new, better quality female end on.

When the fire marshal saw this, he told me that any modification of extensions cords this way was considered a fire hazard and that in the future they expect me to throw away the bad cord and purchase a new one. I had to replace all of my "fixed cords" before he let me continue. Luckily it was one cord.

To this day I wonder whether he was correct or simply a local citizen on a power trip. Either way, he had the authority to stop me, so I did as he asked.
wow, that is an amazing use for excess power cable,thought I don't know how well it will sound!
SuperCow said:
That's pretty ingenious, I think. As long as the people using it know how it works, then there's nothign wrong with it.

And there lies the question about an answer! Can it be considered "safe" than given the clause?
What would happen if someone wo had no idea what it was for plugged the adaptor with the jack end on the other end into a power point and them someone else picks that end up. I would say that this idea is very dangerous and should not be used at all.
I have thought of using that before myself, I've given it alot of thought. Really, it all came back to "what happens when someday someone connects this wrong, and either kills a piece of gear, or themselves, standing at the piece of gear?" So I never have. Now, I have built speaker cables out of extension cords, but I just lopped off the edisons and put pn 1/4's.

Um, why does he have a 25 foot cable in the middle, when he could just plug the two together? There is no problem going 1/4 to neutrik, but why the extra cable?

bunch of idiots? I'd just say foolish people. Ingenious idea, but given some of themodern circumstances, not good to use.
If you were using it for yourself i don't see a problem, you would just have to be careful to keep the n00b's away from it.
Exactly. Obviously I dont advocate phasing out full Speakon cables and replacing them with modified power cables. However, there was obviously a need that had to be filled, otherwise nobody would do that. I'd suspect that that need has to do with the cost of cables. This is a clever, personal, solution to the issue. One can onyl hope that it is a temporary solution, but that's immatterial. It works and it costs less.

As regards safety, like I said, it's safe if people know what they're doind. Catwalks are dangerous if you donl;t know what you're doing. So is crossing the street for that matter. This is a different level, but obviously these are extenuating circumstances

So, in summation, I do believe that what Jeff showed us is a viable and feasible solution; and a clever one, at that!
I have avoided posting on this question as I wanted to let others voice their thoughts and comments first. However, I feel that now is the right moment to voice my thoughts.

<table align="center" border="1" bordercolor="red" cellpadding="4"><tr><td>If you don't want me to spoil your attempt to answer this question - do not read on</td></tr></table>

I am with MKE on this one in saying that this is an extremely unsafe practice and one that should not be used.

Mains power connectors should only ever be used for mains power

Especially commonly used ones such as Edison plugs/sockets. As has already been pointed out, all it takes is someone to plug one end into a power outlet and BANG! There goes your speakers, or your amp or worse, YOU (or someone else).

I don’t care if you are the only person to use it and you know what you are doing (although actually doing it in the first place perhaps nullifies the first assumption).

Yes – catwalks are dangerous, so are other things in the theatre but they can not (generally) be mistaken for something else. Should an inspector see this he would cut the ends off.

I am sure that the lead in the top left of the picture violates even the simplest electrical standard. That is, that both ends of each conductor are bare.

The thing that makes my mind boggle is that looking at the picture, it seems that the Edison ends are moulded, meaning that he would have had to cut them off of an extension lead. Whilst this could be due to a faulty lead I just think that it is more time and trouble that could be spent on making a speaker lead to begin with.

Jeff would support my view I would imagine and I doubt very much that he has posted this as an example of good practice. The “Bunch'a'idiots.” statement at the bottom of his post would give that one away.

Tell me – what would 60’ of 3/12 or 2/12 cable cost? Now compare this to the cost of extension leads, Edison connectors and the time spent in making them. Also factor in a replacement amplifier, replacement speakers and if anyone can place a price on a human life – that would be a topic all on its own.

I apologise in advance if anyone thinks I am being too harsh in this post or for those of you who have not yet had the chance to post your own thoughts. However, having heard of a rather serious accident where someone was using a similar method to fire pyro and someone else plugging in the wrong lead whilst trying to work out which on powered up the smoke machine – I feel obliged to post this now before someone decides to give this a go. THIS COULD KILL
I have to agree with mayhem 100% that this concept of extending audio cables could kill.

If you did have old mains cables that were not being used and you wanted to use them as audio cables why dont you just cut the ends of and put 2 jacks on, it would work fine (i have used cables like this) and it is safe
SuperCow said:
So, in summation, I do believe that what Jeff showed us is a viable and feasible solution; and a clever one, at that!

Are you kidding me? That is against NEC standards! You're a disgrace if you believe that this is feasible. That is an irresponsible solution not a feasible one. While extension cord has the same or similar orgin to loudspeaker cable, they're not exactly the same. Particularly the connectors, edison and speakon connectors have completely different ampacity ratings. Check out NEC article 520-69, it states that you can't have any change in ampacity with adapters. I know people have transformed their edison cables into loudspeaker cables for years, but that doesn't mean it's safe.

Mayhem said:
I apologise in advance if anyone thinks I am being too harsh in this post or for those of you who have not yet had the chance to post your own thoughts. However, having heard of a rather serious accident where someone was using a similar method to fire pyro and someone else plugging in the wrong lead whilst trying to work out which on powered up the smoke machine – I feel obliged to post this now before someone decides to give this a go.

Were you referring to this...
"...for a Battle of the Bands. One of the featured bands had a home-made flash-pot system that used your standard orange extension cords. I'm sure it's not the only band to have tried this. Before the start of the show, the band ran the cords around the stage with the plug ends all located at the rear of the stage where the switch panel was to be located. When another band took the stage and the lead guitar player was setting up his small Crate amp on the stage edge, he found a power cord conveniently located at center stage. He plugged in his amp but finding no juice, he followed the cord to the rear of the stage and plugged it into a wall outlet. His band played its set and left the stage, leaving the power cord energized.

The next band up was the group with the flash pots. When a roadie knelt down and plugged in the flashpot, the flashpot ignited just about a foot from his face and he took the brunt of the flame. I was placing mics just a few feet away and heard the bang and his screams. His hair, eyebrows and sideburns were gone but his glasses saved his eyes. Paramedics treated him and took him to the hospital.

By the way,that should have been enough to eliminate the desire for "pyro" in the rest of the show and the stage manager warned the remaining bands against doing anything dangerous. But during one of the last numbers, from my monitorland vantage point, I saw a new guitar being handed out that had a long clear tube running from the guitar neck back to behind the amp stacks where it was connected to a small propane tank. Then, you guessed it, the gas came on, they lit it up and the "flame thrower guitar" was on, with the guitarist moving all around the stage with a 3 foot flame coming from the guitar. Needless to say the show can=me to a quick end.

These new adaptor cords are just another dangerous accident waiting to happen."

Radman said:
You could potentially accidentaly connect line power to either speakers or amp, which would be a bad thing. ;)

Exactly, but other than that your not conducting a safe practice. Imagine if someone had the brillant idea to illiminate running cables all together and feed to loudspeaker sends through the active AC.

Aside, from it all this just isn't good or smart. I can't believe this J-Con group are even allowed at NAMM, they're a complete and utter disgrace. It's not a good idea to use mix adapters like that, particularly when they're not even rated for the same electrical load (amps in this case). These guys are even sugguesting running these cables unlimited distances. "Need 400', connect four 100' cords..." That's insane! 4ohm speakon should even be ran much longer than 50'. Why else would need more cable. I don't know of any speakon runs needing to be that long unless you plan to fly a line array, in which you use high grade speakon snakes. This product is for the average idiot who doesn't plan or simily isn't smart enough run his amps by the stacks.

For those of you who think this is a good idea, at least take into consideration of the poor quality of that products. The connectors are poorly adhered to the cables. Don't those connectors look awfully fimilar? Those TS connectors look awfully similar to the ones Radioshack carry. Even that power cable, its crap. I have not seen a single speakon cable with that low of guage. Those look like 110v computer PSU cables chopped off with speakon thrown on the end of it. I've seen 1' speakon patch cables stronger than that.

We all pay for the accidents these things cause in the long run anyways, why in the hell would you buy this?
Easy tiger! I didn't know that this was a sale item. I though it was something you (or someone you know) put together because you couldn't get the proper cables and rigged that up as a solution to your financial/aquisitional problem. I wouldn't buy that myself, because it doesn't make sense to have all those different plugs, especially with the possibility for dangerous error with the Edison connectors. However, I maintain that that sort of thing is an ingenious solution to the problem. I'm not saying it whould be adopted as the standard or anything! If the circumstances were such that it was necessary; then it is valid. But I would not buy it if it was a retail product, as it appears to be.

Jeff said:
Check out NEC article 520-69

You're kidding, right? I hope so.
the reasoning behind this type of cable would presumably be so that you could buy only short cables with specific ends and have a large inventory of extension cords which are cheaper and use them instead... in theory it is a great idea, but its just too dangerous to be practical. a better idea would be to buy long amounts of xlr cable or something and make xlr>1/4 inch short cables to plug into it.
Yes - but remember to distinguish between shielded and non-shielded cable. As I posted earlier, power leads should only be used as power leads.

The convention here is that a shielded cable has a male XLR on one end and a female XLR on the other. Speaker leads have female XLR connectors on both ends. I then have XLR to TS, XLR to Speakon and XLR to tails for the various speaker/amp combinations.

I use the same shielded cables for audio and DMX and I have adaptors which have an XLR to dual RCA leads so I can do a longer run from CD to desk or projector etc. XLR to TR and TRS etc

However, I am going to (once things slow down enough) convert all my amps/cabs/leads to Neutrix Speakon connectors
Side note, the Speakon plug is rated for voltage and is used in some high tech no doubt either strobe or LED lighting fixture. While the adaptor might be otherwise useful for use with this fixture even if I believe it to be 208v with data signal spikes in it's sine waves, the adaptor at least to Speakon is not a huge problem - or at least in some cases does conform to the "knowing what one is doing" type of thing. Euro fixtures I think in using such a plug I do remember. Way too many must have for the tour Euro fixtures in the past to remember which one uses it beyond the pain in the rear of black verses blue Speakons, and the definate need for ferrules in addition to them not being very rugged.

Is it the best idea given and the important point is the unskilled labor factor universal across the industry requiring even if you know what you are doing, to still dummy down your gear so others can use it? Or if not use it, they won't attempt to help you use it?
The 1/4" plug on the other hand is not rated for voltage and is thus clearly unsafe to have such an adaptor to Edison.

Believe in the case of the Speakon plug from a fixture, I went directly in adaptor to ML-3 so as not to confuse. Use of the Speakon plug no doubt was also an alternate, but there are lots of plug types that are much better alternatives should you wish to go with power or signal.
Will have preferred not even to use the sound systm standard plug but there was no other choice given the equipment. In this case, the people using the gear definately had this equipment on their watch list of things - others don't get to handle. Not the best ideas given a few hundred fixtures say per show and those knowing what they are doing having a lot of other things to be doing than worrying about one detail. All it takes is missing that get the show up and running spirit once and you can very likely get a real problem. That's why you dummy down what even might be safe but is still not simple - stupid.

Beyond this all, in going from 1/4" to Edison to Speakon for running the speaker, at least in data cable there is various grades of it. Not doing sound for a living I can't say beyond that I would think that a good signal would require a cable feeding it to have other than just a store bought SJT power cord's resistance factors about it as conductor type. Even if the lighting industry and sound industry share the Socapex style mulit conductor cable as a standard, I have no doubts that it's grade is much better than a store bought Edison. This not being the case, it's still even if it works for one in not causing major problems with the signal, not good practice in taking a chance someone will by accident do something that will be expensive.

Some things you just don't do like 208v to Edison adaptors. Sure others might have switched the moving light internally, but all it takes is once and such as plugged into it are really screwed. Can you say 10 Mini Mac fixtures physically blown up by someone plugging even a Socapex type plug into the wrong outlet of a distro I built but miswired in wiring it as normal instad of the alternative that would othewise ensure such a thing could not happen? Even those qualified to use the moving lights might at some point screw up. Me in mis-wiring the Distro so the 208v stuff could blow up a 120v fixture was a huge mistake on my part. Equally shared with the person otherwise qualified to use the gear in plugging into the wrong outlet. In the case of "I got all this Edison cable, why not use it also for sound", it's both bad practice and a asking for someone to help you when the cable's in a bundle of it and someone mistakes that extension cord for a work light type of thing. You in using such a thing would be asking for your speaker to blow up. Egg on you for knowing better but not knowing better to assume someone will use your gear and make a mistake.

Finally, part of knowing better and being compitent to use the gear also means that you recognize that while it can be done, it is not safe for the masses to have access to. Yes you might know how to say tin your wire and it would be perfectly fine for you - given you know what you are doing to say screw a Edison plug in not using one, these bare conductors when inserted into a socket will work just fine. That is as long as it's me doing so. Same type of thing. How many people have caught one's tinkering grand father in having a drill they just inserted even the bare not tinned wires into an outlet? Than what did you think of the barbarian?

Much the same taken aback those that are opposed to this I expect also take with those for using Edison cable for speaker extensions. Yea you can do it, and yea, you can also just shove wires into the outlet, much less, why worry about 250v rated plugs for moving lights, why not just standardize your outlets with economy 10pkg Edison outlets in a 1900 wall outlet box. No longer need a twofer and it's really cheap.

No matter what part of the industry you are in, part of being or becoming a pro is in dummying down or making safe for general usage the gear you both make or use. Yea you can do it, and it's a cheap alternative. Beyond cost effectiveness also is something about professionalism in that you would walk from your job before you would produce or use something unsafe. Safe for you is not the intent of what you produce for a production. I have stagepin sixfers in stock for my private use for an application I forget the testing of. They do not leave my work area. One screw up and it's your reputation that's not worth the cost effectiveness.

Took months for me to get those that trust me over my mistake on the wiring of the 208v Socapex outlets that would not cause 120v things to blow up once plugged in. To push the point further, the re-wiring of the AC distro was sent to someone else in a slap on the face about my screw up in something I know better than. As said, this was both expensive and never should have been done by me. It took months before I gained back that respect.

You blow up speakers by someone using what you build and say is available for use and you might never get back that respect. Remember that your name even if not printed on what you make is still attached to it. Someone mis-uses what you build and it's not only a them thing, it's also a you thing for making such a thing in the first place.

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