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Possibly really stupid question about speaker wiring.... (1 Viewer)


Stunt Coordinator
Jun 1, 1999
Hey all,

So we moved into a new apt with speaker wiring already built into the walls by the last owner. And I have 2 questions...

There is one speaker cable with a single red / single black that connects to 2 different speakers in the wall in the office. If I connect the red/black to the red/black speaker output, I get that particular channel (left or right) coming out of both speakers. I called the old owner, and he told me to connect the red to one speaker output (say left) and the black to the other (right). Now that just doesn't sound right. Is it possible to power a speaker with a single wire? I keep thinking it's like electricity and it needs a signal and ground....

If I'm right, it it possible or safe to wire both red's (left and right) from the receiver to the single red leading to the speakers (and same with blacks) to add least get both channels albeit in mono to both speakers? Would I be "doubling" the power to the speaker and risking blowing them out?

Also, kind of opposite problem, there is one speaker cable that leads to a single speaker in the bathroom. That cable has 4 wires, red, black, gray and white. If I connect the red/black to the speaker output from my receiver, I only get that particular channel (left or right) that I connected to. The gray and white, which I assumed were for the other channel doesn't seem to do anything. Does anyone know what the Gray / white is for?

Making all this more difficult than necessary is that I can't get the covers off any of the speaker to see how it's wired at the speaker end. The covers are pretty much glued tight to the wall and I don't want to risk damaging the wall or the speaker grill to pry it off.

Confused in NYC.


Edited by StephenK - 7/6/2009 at 08:29 pm GMT


Senior HTF Member
Aug 22, 2000
Real Name
His amp may have been able to run in mono to power those two speakers with 1 wire. If yours can't you risk blowing the output stage of your receiver by trying to wire it up the way the old owner described. You are stuck unless you can find an outboard device to convert a stereo signal into a mono signal for that room.

For the other room, I'm not sure about the color coding. There is no industry standard. Have you checked the continuity or resistance of the wires with a DMM? For that matter, you should do the same for the other two speakers as well.

Are these in-wall or in-ceiling speakers? Because the grill is usually just press-fit into a plastic frame. I modified a metal coat hanger to have a little hook on it. I get the hook in a hole on the grill and just pull it off.



Stunt Coordinator
Jun 1, 1999

I confirmed with Jamo that what I was told was bunk...I do risk blowing the speaker, receiver or both.

These are in wall and in ceiling. Good idea about the pulling the grill off using a wire of some sort. I think some of the problem may be the paint keeping it on. Maybe I'll exacto knife the paint off and try pulling the grill off with some wire.

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