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SOTW Columnist/ Forum Contributor 2014, Disti
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have a midi band and we use the following setup;

Roland XP80

http://www.rolandus.com/products/productdetails.php?ProductId=430

Two Monster cables w/ 1/4" connectors from the Roland XP80 plug Into a;

Mackie CFX mkII

http://www.mackie.com/products/cfx12mkii/

Out of the board using two 25' Pro Co Dynamike 223B cables with XLR connectors;

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/223B/

into a Samson powered 18' bass speaker.

http://www.samash.com/webapp/wcs/st...r_-1_10052_10002_-49969033_cmCategorySA-10001

Two Samson Tourtek Mic 25' cables out of the bass speaker ;

http://www.samsontech.com/products/productpage.cfm?prodID=1977

Into two Mackie SA1521 mains;

http://www.mackie.com/products/sa1521z/

We have used this system for several years with no problems at all. We do not push the system. And I always check the peak light during the gigs.

We recently played an outside gig and the heat was real bad. One of the Mackie speakers began to distort in the 3rd set when the vocalists sang. The midi music did not distort. Just the vocalists.

I sent the speaker to a repair shop and the tech found no issues and suggested that we use table fans on the back of the mains to help keep the temp down a little when playing in real hot weather.

I want to replace the speaker cables that run from the bass speaker to the mains which brings up my question. Are we using the correct cables for our application? I am getting some different answers when I call online stores. Some say that a mic cable should not be used for a speaker cable. Some say they can be used as long as they are shielded.

I know that ¼ inch plugs are used on speakers and have been in bands that use them. However, both our bass and mains are XLR.

Any suggestions regarding the correct XLR cable/brand for our application? Thanks.
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Forum Contributor 2014, Distinguished SOTW Member
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XLR connectors are typically not used as speaker cables, but they can be if they are wired correctly. There is a big difference between a speaker cable and a mic or instrument cable. Using and instrument or mic cable as a speaker cable can damage your amp. However, you setup is fine and correctly configured because you are using "active" (or powered) speakers. You are only carrying a line level signal to the self powered speaker that has it's own amp inside.

If you had a separate power amp and unpowered speakers, then using typical mic cords would spell trouble. Speaker cable is unshielded. Mic and instrument cable is shielded.
 

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#1: You are not running any speaker cables between the speakers you have. Calling them that is what is confusing people on the phone. All of your speakers have amplifiers internally, so there are no speaker cables to be run. ("Speaker cables" is the term typically used for the cables between the amplifier and passive speakers.)

The distortion was likely caused by overheating. You are using the correct cables for the application. Any good cable designed for microphones will work.

BTW: Do not waste any more money on Monster cables. They are no better than stock cables.

Edit: It is possible for a mic cable to go bad such that the intermittent connection sounds like distortion. However, this rarely happens during a gig. It usually happens during setup or teardown. You can easily isolate the problem by wiggling the connectors and/or substituting another mic cable in its place.
 

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SOTW Columnist/ Forum Contributor 2014, Disti
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
As usual I came to the right place with the questions! Your responses make sense and I thank both of you for your help!
 

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Milt is 100% correct.

I've had both Mackie and JBL Eon speakers overheat in the manner that you've described. They have a circuit that should have shut them off if they had gotten much hotter.
 

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SOTW Columnist/ Forum Contributor 2014, Disti
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks hakukani. That is good to know. It was exceptionally hot that afternoon. It was the only time we had a speaker start acting up.
 

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There are three ways to help keep these guys from overheating

1. shade
2. fans on the heat sink fins
3. Lower the volume so that they're not working so hard.
 
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