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Reload Thread: Series, Parallel, Stereo, Mono Basics 101

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    Series, Parallel, Stereo, Mono Basics 101

    Ok, I know realize there are different ways to wire speakers to an amplifier to get different results. I understand this somewhat, but wondered if anyone could give me some feedback on my interpretations. In my descriptions and questions I'll be assuming/using 4 ohm speakers and a 40 x 2 @ 4 ohms and 80 x 2 @ 2 ohms amplifier for simplification.

    Typical Setup?
    What is it called when a speaker is simply wired to an amp by connecting the wire from the positive terminal of channel 1 to the positive terminal of the speaker, and the negative terminal of channel of 1 to the negative terminal of the speaker? This is simply a normal hookup, correct? So if 2 speakers are wired this way, they would stay 4 ohms and each speaker would be receive 40w, correct?

    Series Setup
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but with a series setup, a wire goes from the positive terminal of channel 1 to the positive terminal of speaker 1, and a wire from negative terminal of speaker 1 to the positive terminal of speaker 2, and a wire from the negative terminal of speaker 2 to the negative terminal of channel 1. If this is correct, then each speaker is running at 8 ohms, and therefore receiving 20w each?

    So would the advantage of using a series setup be that with a 2 channel amplifier, you could hook up 4 speakers, 2 to channel one and 2 to channel two, with the downside being each speaker would recieve less power? Or what is the reasoning for wiring in series?

    Parallel Setup
    Ok, now on to parallel wiring. So wiring 2 speakers in a parallel setup, two wires would be connected to the positive terminal of channel 1 and each wire connected to the positive terminal of speaker 1 and 2. Likewise, two wires connected to the negative terminal of channel 1 would run to the negative terminal of speaker 1 and 2. In this case, each speaker would be running at 2 ohms and receiving 80w each.

    I assume the obvious advantage to a parallel setup is more power for each speaker, but it also looks like a total of 4 speakers can be used if 2 speakers are setup in parallel on each channel, right?

    If this is the case, then why doesn't everyone use a parallel setup, what are the downsides? I think I remember seeing the you can't control the fade and balance of speakers set up in parallel, is this correct? If this is the only downside, it seems to be minor considering the gains, and the fact that I always leave the settings centered.

    Mono
    Would you get a mono setup of only if a speaker or speakers are bridged?

    Stereo
    So as long as the positive and negative leads of a speaker go into the same channel, then the setup will remain in setero, correct?

    Ok, I'll end the post here and see what feedback I get on my interpretations. Hopefully I'm not too far off. I'm understanding car audio better everyday, but there are always a few missing pieces.

    Thanks.







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    Brock's Avatar
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    check out the link at the bottom of my sig....lots of usefull information there.....good luck man




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    Yeah, look at that site, it has all your answers. And for interior speakers, keep the impedance they're stable at. Most are 4 ohms, and its a bad idea to wire a pair of interior speakers together to get a 2 ohm load. Subwoofers are another story though.



    "The world is full of people who want nothing short of perfect,
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    Originally posted by Goddyd4me
    jackass...u beat me to it....heh
    :p

    Ive been hanging out at that site myself for the past few weeks...there is soooo much helpful info there its nuts.




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    ill say its usefull, i now know how an amplifier works, i always thought that an amp just took power from the battery and turned it on and off at the frequency of the tone being produced, BOY WAS I WRONG!!!!! When i read about an amplifier i felt like a TOTAL *******!!!!



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    Heh, I actually looked at that site just befored I posted my questions. But I think I understand it a little better now.

    However, as far as Parallel wiring goes, are my assumptions correct?

    Also, Gauntlet mentioned with the exception of subwoofers, to keep the impedance of speakers what they are stable at. But this wouldn't apply to speakers so much as it would the amp, correct? Wouldn't the speakers main concern be the wattage supplied to them, and not to exceed the recommend power?

    Also, how would you parallel wire 2 speakers using passive crossovers? Would you simply hook the 2 positive terminals of crossover 1 and 2 to the positive terminal of channel 1, and the negative terminals of crossover 1 and 2 to the negative terminal of channel 1? And then make your normal speaker connections to the crossovers?

    So many questions




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    Also, Gauntlet mentioned with the exception of subwoofers, to keep the impedance of speakers what they are stable at. But this wouldn't apply to speakers so much as it would the amp, correct? Wouldn't the speakers main concern be the wattage supplied to them, and not to exceed the recommend power?
    Well first off, the impedance the amp runs at is completely dependent on how the speakers/subs are wired to it. The main concern is definitely the wattage and trying to match the amp RMS to the speaker/sub RMS. For subs, let's say its a dual 4 ohm subwoofer, meaning 2 ohms per voice coil. You can wire it in parallel to produce a 2 ohm load, or in series to produce an 8 ohm load. DVC subwoofers provide more wiring options and ohm load options, meaning your choice of amplifier widens. However, there are some things you definitely don't want to do. For example, if you had 2 subs, and each are dual 2 ohm, you could wire them in straight parallel, producing a .5 ohm load, but this would be a bad idea b/c I cant think of any amps that are stable at .5 ohm. Speakers are a different case, because they arent DVC (well some of them are, but one voice coil is for the tweeter and the other is for the woofer) and its recommended to run them at their labeled impedance. You generally wire subs together to affect the ohm load and produce more power, which is not needed in speakers b/c you can achieve the RMS power at the recommended impedance and it's just not a good idea in general.......i think I did a terrible job explaining that, let me know if you have any questions.

    Also, how would you parallel wire 2 speakers using passive crossovers? Would you simply hook the 2 positive terminals of crossover 1 and 2 to the positive terminal of channel 1, and the negative terminals of crossover 1 and 2 to the negative terminal of channel 1? And then make your normal speaker connections to the crossovers?
    I'm confused by what you're saying in the last line, passive crossovers come before the amp, not after. Anyways, you have the parallel wiring correct. What kind of speakers do you have? I definiely wouldn't recommend doing that unless theyre stable at 2 ohms. Read your manuals before doing any of this.


    Good luck



    "The world is full of people who want nothing short of perfect,
    but settle for less, blinded by their quest for purpose."
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    the only major thing i saw that was wrong was the amout of power each speaker was getting. if you wired in parallel like you said, each speaker does not get 80W, each gets 40W. there is 80W and 2 speakers, so 80/2=40W.




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