View Full Version : Extension cords, for powered speakers?

01-21-2013, 02:53 PM
Hello, I am trying to find what extension cords to use with with my powered speaker setup, 10,12,14 awg? And 25 feet and black are two things I do need them to be. Links would be appreciated and why which AWG is better? And are monoprices good enough for use with powered setups?

01-21-2013, 05:34 PM
I intend on making my own black SOOW extension cords, probably 12 or 14 gauge. I can buy the connectors and make the exact lengths I need from bulk SOOW 3 conductor 12 gauge which I can get locally for about $1.30 a foot IIRC.

The connectors are easily found once you know the spec name to look for. For instance, my powered speakers and most of the rest of my equipment use IEC C13 connectors and the standard 15 amp power connector with a ground and two vertical spades is NEMA 5-15. If you ever need a reference for connectors based on appearance, power rating, etc. check out the Signal and Power website. http://www.signalandpower.com

With that info, you can do a web search for C13 and NEMA 5-15. The NEMA one should be available at your local hardware store.

This route is more expensive than the typical IEC cables and I might never actually build those, but if I don't, I will definitely be doing this for my standard power extension cords. There are certain types public events where if a fire marshall does an inspection they can shut you down and one of the things they look for are SOOW cables. It is my understanding that connection cables from a piece of equipment to a power outlet doesn't have to be SOOW. A lot of speakers ship with SJT and that should be fine, but if you're planning on replacing the 6 to 10 foot version with a 25 foot version, they might have something to say about that. The other thing that they might look for are up to code multi-outlet boxes vs. typical household power strips. I'm not sure what is included in the spec, but I think they're supposed to be rubberized boxes.

As far a gauge goes, bigger is better, but at some point there isn't any practical difference. Powered tops and even most powered subs should be fine with 12 gauge and probably even 14 gauge. I don't have a hard fact to give you on that but I've seen charts regarding voltage drops before and done the calculations and 12 always seemed to be the point where I no longer would worry about it. It depends on how far you are from an outlet though too. If you're running a very long distance, you'll want to step up to 10 gauge, but of course long distances of 10 AWG can get pretty pricey.

Besides the safety rating on the cable jacket for SOOW cable, this will also be better than the ones you get at your local computer store or monoprice because the jacket doesn't get as stiff when cold as your standard C13 power cord.

01-22-2013, 10:44 AM
For your Edison connectors, I'd suggest Leviton's industrial grade 5266-B which are ALL black. It's the only Edison connectors I use and some of my rental cables are almost 40 years in service. I can also offer you competitive pricing.