Is there any reason why speaker jacks can sometimes have a fatter shroud than instrument cable/standard 1/4" jacks?

The reason I am asking is because I'm making my own 4 core speaker cable up with two 1/4" jacks at either end and wondered if instrument cable jacks are suitable.

Compare these two images: enter image description here enter image description here

The first image is 1/4" speaker cable jack plug, and the second is instrument cable. Jack plugs are not so common in home audio systems, but more common for live sound and PA systems.


2 Answers 2


The reason for this is that the speaker cable is likely to be of a larger diameter and able to handle more current than standard instrument cables, thus the connection to the pins is likely to require additional space to accommodate the slightly larger cable.

  • 1
    To add to this answer: I wouldn't use 1/4 inch plugs for speaker connections at all in this day and age, unless it's a guitar amp or other application that is still standardized on 1/4 inch. Use speakon wherever possible. Dec 28, 2016 at 2:52
  • 1
    You use whatever plug will go into the socket on the equipment you have chosen to use!
    – Mark
    Dec 28, 2016 at 6:07

6.35mm jack plugs are universal and same plug will work for either instruments or speakers

body of some jack plugs is larger to allow for use of thicker cable

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