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  fEARful™ connector cups & handles

  1. connector cups
  2. Neutrik Speakon jacks
  3. medium rack handles
  4. medium cup handles
  5. tilt-back handles
  6. gaskets

connector cups

Often I prefer larger jack plates over smaller ones because you can use an ~ 4" by 6" cutout for them. That leaves enough room to reach into an enclosure to attach or detach crossover boards mounted behind the midrange chamber or in the upper regions of the cabinet. Also, should a T nut or Hurricane nut spin out when trying to remove a woofer, it provides an access hole to clamp down on the nut and finish removing the driver. These larger terminal cups also make it practical to mount switches, and variable L-pads for the HF section.

You can always perform a shallow recess/route to inset the cup and its fastening screw heads slightly. If so, consider gluing some additional interior wood along the Connector Cup Cutout edges. That can be made of a thin plywood plate with a cutout hole, or with separate pieces, with one or more of those pieces traveling further to provide additional bracing. You get more rear panel rigidity this way while providing more purchase for screws. Do make sure they seal entirely - gasket tape seems to be one of the easiest ways to get airtight, noise-free performance.

some notes about cutouts and gaskets

There's enough room here for an attenuator and a switch if laid out well. SpeakerHarware sells this size and other sizes, complete with Speakons, crimp connectors and mounting hardware. - large recessed jack dish

Neutrik Speakon jacks

Neutrik panel-mount Speakon jacks are available in a number of models in this same chassis form factor. Air-tight backs are important. Many of the jacks can be used without solder too. With quality crimp-ons that often ends up being cleaner and more reliable. Two jacks should be paralleled on each enclosure's cup to have pass-through capability. The below continues to be the best general purpose Speakon jack: - Neutrik NL4MP

I never bother with 1/4" jacks for my enclosures. 1/4" connectors and the extra wiring are just another potential point of failure... If I can't remember at least one real and easily identifiable speaker cable for gigs and jams I don't deserve to be heard anyway ; }

medium rack handles

For smaller cabs using single 3012LF it's best to stick with spring-loaded rack type handles as they do not intrude on internal space for the woofer. I recommend the shallower versions, as a 3.75" by 5.75" 1/4"-thick plywood plate can be glue-mounted behind the cutout if desired for an airtight seal, thus negating the need for gaskets and minimizing vibrational loss. A plywood backplate also provides some extra wood for screw purchase on two sides - just as the pillar and girdle braces do on the other two sides. Drill the mounting holes when the glue has dried, and use longer screws. You can even squish foam in between the handle cavity and the plywood block if you desire additional vibration damping.

Another advantage of the shallow versions is that the rubber handle rollers will protrude just enough to minimize the chance of screw heads snagging on upholstery - and they do roll nicely when shoving an enclosure into a vehicle. - medium recessed handle

medium cup handles

For medium and large cabs, cup handles can also be used; on some fEarful plans those dimensions are also indicated as an alternative or primary choice. Again, there is some variance in sizing (and quality!) between manufacturers so it is not a bad idea to order handles FIRST and get measurements from the actual product before making handle cutouts. Frankly, I'd stick with Penn-Elcom supplied parts as does, and use the drawings on their site to make any templates or cutouts. As always, suitable gasket sealing should be performed. - steel medium D handle

tilt-back handles

One or two of these right-angle handles at the top of the back of a larger enclosure like the 1212/6 or 1515/66 is considered standard. These prove very useful when used in conjunction with tilt-back casters which are also recommended for those enclosures. - steel tilt-back handle


Due to variance among manufacturers, or handle choices that are less common, the dimensions specified on fEarful plans will often leave a little wiggle room or need a little cutout enlargement. Note that it is a lot easier to cut slightly undersized and then enlarge if necessary, than it is to make a hole that is too large fit the handle well. Often all it takes is a mild round-over at the surface of the panel to fully insert a handle that seems to be too tight. But the best plan of all is to order handles first - then you know.

The handles should be sealed with flat gaskets (you can cut your own from thick black paper stock) or gasket tape or even by use of a suitable caulk or paint gasket. It is important for good audio performance not to have pressure escape routes anywhere but at the port - and the speaker cones themselves. Leaks not only degrade performance but also can lead to noises and vibrational loss. If you are doing a Tolex or "rat fur" carpet finish, that will often be enough to supply a seal at any cutout. Here's additional info about cutouts and gaskets. - gasket tape

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