Friday, March 11, 2016

Speaker Lines On A Snake Cable: Not Recommended

Found a really important article on about using a standard snake cable to run the speaker lines from a powered mixer at FOH to the stage. Yes, this IS a bad idea! The return lines on a mic snake cable have thin gauge conductor wiring that is not designed to handled the high output from a power amp or powered mixer. Too much resistance along the cable robbing much of the power of your power amp or powered mixer.

Click here for the link to the article:

If you are using a powered mixer at the FOH position, you should really be using thick conductor speaker wiring to run the outputs to the loudspeakers onstage. It is best to use 12 or 14 gauge speaker wiring to run the signals over longer distances to loudspeakers.

A better way is to make use of the patch panel on most powered mixers and bypass the internal power amp. Patch the return lines of your snake cable to the line level outputs on your powered mixer sending your signals to a separate power amplifier located on stage nearest to the loudspeakers.
(ie: patch panel on a powered mixer - bypasses the internal power amp)

Another option is swap out your standard snake for a powered series snake cable that has dedicated speaker level lines running through the core of the snake. The outputs are clearly marked as speakers outputs not to confused with the regular return lines. A number of manufacturers have a line of snake cables designed for use with power mixers. (ie: Whirlwind makes the Power Series snake cables - see photo)

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