Digital Sound & Music: Concepts, Applications, & Science, Chapter 1, last updated 6/25/2013
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Male Toslink connector Female Toslink connector
Figure 1.38 Toslink connectors
The IEC connector (Figure 1.39) is used for a universal power connection on computers
and most professional audio equipment. There are many different connector designs that
technically fall under the IEC specification, but the one that we are referring to is the C13/C14
pair of connectors. Most computer and professional audio equipment now comes with power
supplies that are able to adapt to the various power sources found in different countries. This
helps the manufacturers because they no longer have to manufacture a different version of their
product for each country. Instead, they put an IEC C14 inlet connector on their power supply and
then ship the equipment with a few different power cables that have an IEC C13 connector on
one end and the common power connector for each country on the other end. The only
significant problem is that this connector has no locking mechanism, which makes it very easy
for the power cable to be accidentally disconnected. Some power supplies come with a simple
wire bracket that goes down over the IEC connecter and attaches just behind the strain relief to
keep the connector from falling out.
IEC C13 cable connector IEC C14 panel connector
Figure 1.39 IEC connectors
Neutrik decided to take what they learned from designing the speakon connector and
apply it to the problems of the IEC connector. The powercon connector (Figure 1.40) looks very
similar to the speakon. The biggest difference is that it has three pins. Some professional audio
equipment such as self-powered loudspeakers and power amplifiers have powercon connectors
instead of IEC. The advantage is that you get a locking connector with no exposed contacts. You
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