How to wire two sets of surround speakers

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by AndrewBD, Apr 3, 2003.

  1. AndrewBD

    AndrewBD Auditioning

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    Hi ....

    Please forgive the (hopefully) simple question but it has been a few years since I took basic electronics.

    I have a Yamaha 5.1 home theater receiver (RXV-795) and I would like to hook up two separate pairs of surround speakers (one pair next to the couch, one pair in the rear of the room). Is it OK to connect both sets of cables to the surround speaker outputs? Will I be putting undue strain on my amp or will I impede either pair's sound? If it helps in answering the question, one pair of surrounds are Definitive Tech BP8's and the other pair are Cambridge Soundworks In-Wall speakers.

    Any assistance or advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    The best way is probably in series for each channel. If you hook them up in parallel, you're going to 1/2 the impedance the receiver sees, and you might draw too much current from its output stage and, ... well, ... fry it. [​IMG]
     
  3. DustinDT

    DustinDT Agent

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    If your receiver is 4 ohm stable I would wire them in parallel(the way you intend to do) if the speakers are rated at 8 ohm. You might have to level them down a little bit though. If you wire them up this way and it sets off the thermal protection or current protection circuits then go to a series wiring method (below). I don't suspect that the draw of the surrounds is constant or high level enough to make this occur unless you run in an all channel stereo mode or something of that nature.

    If the speakers are less than 8 ohm then wire them in a series to drop the subjective impedance to basically double what the impedance of each speaker is (i.e. 2 x 6ohm speakers = 12 ohm load) but you may have to set the levels of the speakers up some to compensate for the low current draw the high impedance load will have.

    If I'm wrong about any of this let me know, This is how i remember it from a circuits class I had many years ago. My join date should help explain if I am incorrect. =)
     
  4. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    You have to be careful, in that even "6 ohm" rated speakers can have their impedance drop to values a lot lower than that depending on the freq.

    If you do wire in series, typically you don't have to change levels much, because you're now delivering the same total power to 2 speakers anyway. (Each speaker gets 1/2 the power, but since there's 2 of them, you end up with roughly the same volume.)

    But it is a good point, that surrounds do carry a lot less content than say the front speakers. I don't know about the CSW's, but Def Techs are fairly high sensitivity (efficient) so that helps you if you do go parallel.

    Is your receiver still in warranty? [​IMG]
     

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