Advanced Speaker Wiring Techniques
For the basic user simply hooking up a pair of speakers to a 2 channel amplifier is pretty straightforward, and doing so will never cause them any problems. But what if you need more speakers? or multiple types of speakers? Well things can get a little more complex.

First off there are a couple of important things we need to know about the setup and hardware.
*How many speakers of a given type are we planning on running?
*What is the impedance (ohms rating) of each speaker?
*What is the lowest impedeance our amplifier will safely run at?
*How many channels is our amplifier?

For our example we are going to build an audio tube with (4) 6 1/2" Infinity Marine Speakers. We can look on the back of the speaker and see that each speaker has a 4 ohm impedeance.

Impedeance in short is a measurement of resistance in ohms the lower the ohm load the easier it is for electricity to flow through the load (speakers).

While it would seem that a lower ohm load is better because it's easier for current to flow, this isn't the case at all. If your combined ohm load on your amplifier is lower than the amplifier can handle it will cause your amplifier to rapidly overheat resulting in the amplifier shutting down or burning up. However; less resistance does equal more power coming out of the amplifier so we have to find a balance point.

Speaker Impedance

For the following examples it's important to know that a TWO channel amplifier has TWO outputs; One right and One left, this single output has two terminals, one (+) positive and one (-) negative.

A four channel would have FOUR outputs; TWO rights and TWO lefts each made up of a (+) and (-) connection.

Therefore when we say connected to one channel we're talking about a single set of (+) and (-) terminals on the amplifier.
Basic Parallel Wiring
The most obvious way to connect 2 speakers per channel is to just twist the speaker leads together positive to positive, negative to negative then connect them to a single set of output terminals on the amplifier.

Wiring like this will result in a 2 ohm load at the amplifier, unless your amplifier specifies that it is 2 ohm stable wiring your speakers up this way will result in overheating and possibly damage to your amp.
Whenever you wire speakers in parallel the impedance or ohm load is cut in half!

Basic Series Wiring
To avoid an ohm load that is too low we could try Series wiring. What we will do here is connect the positive lead from the amp to the positive terminal of speaker #1. The negative terminal from speaker #1 will be connected to the positive terminal of speaker #2 via a jumper wire. Finally we will connect the negative terminal of speaker #2 back to the negative terminal of the speaker output of the amplifier.

However; an 8 ohm load isn't really desirable either because we aren't getting all the power out of our amplifier to our speakers since the impedance (resistance) is too high!
Whenever you wire speakers in series the impedance or ohm load is doubled!

The solution is going to be a combination of series & parallel wiring.. Since we know that using series wiring on a pair of speakers will double the impedance and using parallel wiring on a pair of speakers will cut the impedance in half we can combine these two methods and come up with a nice four ohm load that is safe for our amplifier, and will give us access to all of the amplifiers power without too much resistance.
Combination Parallel & Series Wiring
This method will use all four of our 4 ohm speakers wired together to create a 4 ohm load.

First we will take speakers #1 and #2 and wire them in series, we will be left with one positive and one negative lead for this pair of speakers.

Next we will wire speakers #3 and #4 in series as well, now we have two pairs of speakers with two 8 ohm loads.

Now we will twist the two positive leads together and the two negative leads together and connect them to the terminals on the amp. This has connected two 8 ohm loads in parallel reducing the combined ohm load to 4 ohms.

If you look closely at the diagram, we have connected the combined speakers to the LEFT positive and RIGHT negative of the amplifier, this is called bridging the amplifier. What we have done here is combine the output of the left and right channels into a single channel, in short we've doubled the power going to our speakers.
Most amplifiers will allow you to bridge the channels, this will combine the output power of the two channels giving your speakers twice the power to work with.

Variances of this method can be used to support many different speaker configurations, two, three, four, or even six speakers, the math changes a little bit if you're going to combine two different ohm loads but you can always verify your total ohm load using a multi-meter set to the ohms scale.

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