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Author Topic: Gripple for loudspeaker suspension  (Read 1390 times)

Sean Chen

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Gripple for loudspeaker suspension
« on: April 18, 2019, 12:37:00 pm »

I am coming across an existing speaker install job that uses Gripple mechanism and 1/8" bare steel rope that loops around a bar below the ceiling and closes the loop just above the speaker's eyebolt using the Gripple mechanism. There are 3 such loops per speaker, one for each eyebolt. Is this something that would hold up, or should I suggest redoing it? Speaker is 15" 3-way cabinet about 75 lb.
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Mike Caldwell

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Re: Gripple for loudspeaker suspension
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2019, 04:19:28 pm »

I use Gripples for safety cables on ceiling speakers and pull backs on some speakers. I never really considered them for main suspension.

They are used all the time in construction to hold up a lot of what we don't see above a drop ceiling though.

Gripple cables are measured in mm your 1/8 inch would most likely be their 3mm size, that would put the load rating at about 190 pounds.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2019, 04:48:37 pm by Mike Caldwell »
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Mark Cadwallader

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Re: Gripple for loudspeaker suspension
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2019, 04:28:07 pm »

It is my understanding that a Gripple device is not a generally accepted method of rigging for items such as a 75 lb (35 kg) speaker. Please note that I am neither a certifed rigger nor a professional engineer.  I wouldn't use that technique on a job I was working or had responsibilty for.
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Kevin Bayersdorfer

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Re: Gripple for loudspeaker suspension
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2019, 07:39:23 pm »

#3 Gripple (1/8") is rated at 200 lbs with a safety factor of 5:1 designed into it so 1000 lbs breaking load. Each leg should be able to support the weight of the speaker on its own. The old JBL rigging sheet recommended 5:1, Yamaha's newer rigging sheet recommends 10:1 so the gripple system would still be under the 10:1. I use the #3 gripples all the time in my day job (hvac) hanging up to 36" round spiral pipe that weighs 23 lbs per foot with 8 ft spacing, I have never heard of or seen them fail. That being said I wouldn't hang a speaker from them, but it's probably fine.
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Sean Chen

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Re: Gripple for loudspeaker suspension
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2019, 12:18:13 pm »

#3 Gripple (1/8") is rated at 200 lbs with a safety factor of 5:1 designed into it so 1000 lbs breaking load. Each leg should be able to support the weight of the speaker on its own. The old JBL rigging sheet recommended 5:1, Yamaha's newer rigging sheet recommends 10:1 so the gripple system would still be under the 10:1. I use the #3 gripples all the time in my day job (hvac) hanging up to 36" round spiral pipe that weighs 23 lbs per foot with 8 ft spacing, I have never heard of or seen them fail. That being said I wouldn't hang a speaker from them, but it's probably fine.

The current deployment of the Gripple at this place has 1 wire going into the Gripple from one direction, and the other wire going in to the Gripple the other direction.


I thought the same wire should loop around and go back into the Gripple the other direction, so 2 release mechanisms are holding the wire in place, and the weight is resting on the solid part of Gripple, not resting on the release mechanism. Is it how you guys use the Gripple?
« Last Edit: April 19, 2019, 12:21:59 pm by Sean Chen »
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Kevin Bayersdorfer

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Re: Gripple for loudspeaker suspension
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2019, 05:55:49 pm »

The current deployment of the Gripple at this place has 1 wire going into the Gripple from one direction, and the other wire going in to the Gripple the other direction.


I thought the same wire should loop around and go back into the Gripple the other direction, so 2 release mechanisms are holding the wire in place, and the weight is resting on the solid part of Gripple, not resting on the release mechanism. Is it how you guys use the Gripple?

We use them like the bottom photo, regular gripples. Looks like the gripple plus in the upper picture is designed to be used that way and has a greater working load limit. though it also looks to be used for fencing and pulling on a horizontal.
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Jim McKeveny

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Re: Gripple for loudspeaker suspension
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2019, 06:20:00 pm »

.... loops around a bar below the ceiling and closes the loop just above the speaker's eyebolt using the Gripple mechanism.

Pad the contact points. I would only be comfortable with the Gripples on tie-back point (+ a safety), not as a primary load bearer. Does Gripple  testing includes sustained wideband vibrational loads as a loudspeaker of unknown manufacture may generate? Dunno.  There is enough of a "could happen" downside to steer me away. And besides, properly swaged wire rope line-items cheaper/looks slicker.
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Brian Jojade

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Re: Gripple for loudspeaker suspension
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2019, 09:43:46 pm »

I use the #3 gripples all the time in my day job (hvac) hanging up to 36" round spiral pipe that weighs 23 lbs per foot with 8 ft spacing, I have never heard of or seen them fail. That being said I wouldn't hang a speaker from them, but it's probably fine.

The big difference there though is that if one does fail, the pipe itself will most likely be able to spread the loads safely across the line.  Over a long stretch, you could probably lose 2 or 3 in a row and not have catastrophic failure.  With speaker systems, you don't have that kind of load balancing available to you.
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Rob Spence

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Re: Gripple for loudspeaker suspension
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2019, 07:57:20 pm »

The big difference there though is that if one does fail, the pipe itself will most likely be able to spread the loads safely across the line.  Over a long stretch, you could probably lose 2 or 3 in a row and not have catastrophic failure.  With speaker systems, you don't have that kind of load balancing available to you.

Gee, I am no rigger but hanging overhead and probably shouldn’t go together.


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Keith Broughton

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Re: Gripple for loudspeaker suspension
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2019, 06:23:53 am »

I agree with Jim that these should not be used as the primary suspension rigging but are suitable for "pull back" to aim the speaker.
It's unlikely a professional rigger or structural engineer would approve these a safe for load bearing.
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Re: Gripple for loudspeaker suspension
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2019, 06:23:53 am »


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