Hook up multiple speakers one amp

Now let's take the simplest case, 2x2. You start with four, eight-ohm speakers and you end up with an eight ohm load. We still have 8 watts power out of the amp, but where is it going? Obviously, half an amp goes into each branch. Current in parallel branches of a circuit is divided inversely proportionally to the impedance in each branch.

In each branch each speaker is dropping four volts. With loads in series, each load drops voltage proportionally to its voltage. Therefore each speaker is dissipating two watts. Total eight watts in the whole system.

Five questions for "daisy-chained" speakers (I've done some homework)

Where is "more sound" going to come from??? To get a given amount of sound out of a speaker takes a given amount of power into it. You have four speakers, but each is now getting only one fourth the power it did before. Ok, speakers aren't exactly linear in terms of acoustic power out for electric power in. However they are so over their normal working range, close enough that you can run up the meter on your mixer by say 6 dB and measure a resulting 6 dB increase on your SPL meter just about anywhere on the scale.

Sure, if you're hitting the stops, you're just heating the voice coil with any more power after that, but I assume this is not what you're talking about. You DO get greater ability to handle power out of the amp, i. But "more sound for the same power"? That's in the "perpetual motion" category.

The array will also be a lot more directional than a single speaker good in many pro sound setups, usually bad at home or in the car , and you will get a complete loss of the amplifier's control over the woofer cone movement -- the "damping factor" I mentioned before. Actually counting losses in connection and cables you will get less sound for the same power slightly. Then there is the fact that if we are talking about three-way speaker cabinets you will get into a whole world of potential troubles.

Each speaker having a very erratic impedance-curve alone is enough to cause chaos, then it's the other tricks filters coils and capacitors will play But, there is one case where you actually can use this kind of solutions. Say you have full-range elements, that does away with all those filters. And you have a very big office-landscape where you want to occasionally adress all cubicles. In this case it's not very vise to put up two gigantic or even one speakers that can produce a lot of spl. No it's better to have a lot of small speakers spread around. You may get roughly the same amount of sound, but everybody in the landscape will hear it without some going deaf and others barely hearing the announcement.

Still not more sound, just better distributed. Of course there are companies working with nothing but such systems, and they use specialiced both speakers and amps to get everything to work fine. Cables are a tricky thing here too Best regards Bo Eriksson. DriverGuru might need to check his math. A series circuit devides voltage and a paralell circuit devides current.

The problems that you will run into is not the deminishing dampening factor altho that does happen rather more in the ability of the amp to handle wildly swinging impedence loads. As stated earlier a speaker load is not purely resistive, but a sum of resistance of wire and a reactance of coils and capacitors. Many speakers have a stadet "nominal" impedence or a minimum valud 2 very different things. An "8 ohm" speaker might have a minimum of 2ohms but a maximum of 30 or more, this is where the ability of an amp to supply current is the limiting factor.

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The power supply may very well be able to push a 2 ohm load but it will run into saturation very quickly as the supply voltage drops and becomes unstable with fluctuating frequencies. EG, my electrostats have a minimum value of 1. Frank VanAlstine audio by vanalstine was wise enough to build his amps to drive difficult loads like mine, lucky me.

Your average mass market amp will never be able to handle the current that my 'stats need. The load impedance is the same. There are 2 sets of 2 8 ohm speakers, resulting in a total impedance of 8 Ohms, only this time, each speaker get 2 watts dissipated across it, for a total power of 8 Watts. One thing that multiple drivers buys you is decreased distortion for identical volume. In the case here one 8 ohm driver vs. You can even get a little fancier like with isobaric configurations and actually reduce the distortion even further by using the drivers to help correct their own output characteristics.

As an aside point, I wouldn't feel comfortable with the impedence curve of two drivers in series. Too hard to make a crossover for it. Better to just put four 16 ohm drivers in parallel than to try some kind of weird series-parallel combo to get a load the amp can drive. Originally posted by DriverGuru: Thou I bet you do not realize it. You are simply telling the world of just how ignorant your knowledge is on acoustics. I take it you are completely oblivious to the relationship between an increase in system effective surface area, and overall system effeciency?

The theoretical maximum coupling is 3dB, but the actual increase is a complex relationship between the individual's phase and polar response, individual location and wave length. But close to 3dB is easily and regularly achieved and measured for infrasonic frequencies in a small acousticly coupled listening cavity: If you are wiring them in parallel on an amplifier that can delivery twice the power in half the impedance virtually any quality amp you can achieve up to 6dB increase for doubling your subs.

Oh, and this was predicted by Dr Small. I assume you know who he is? The point was that the usual minor resonances were averaged out by the different physical shapes of the speakers. The conclusion was that one could equal the performance of a really expensive speakers by a bunch of relatively inexpensive ones. I don't recall the connections used.

Not even Krell amps keep a perfect power-cube. My mono-blocks starts to fall off the powerdoubling abruptly at about 0. And a similar situation is observed at higher loads.

Connect Amps with multiple speakers around the house | Sonos Community

Then there is the sensitivity rating of each individual speaker. And then ther's the fact that to get 3db more output you have to double the power, and it takes 10 db to percieve a doubling to the human ear. However, fact still stands, if you define power as the effect output on the amp according to ohms law, and that you stick to identically rated elements, more speakers will not produce more sound.

The power-amp just doesn't magically produce more power unless you tell it to via the volume-knob unless it's a very strange amp. However, in the case where you intentionally build a speaker with several identical elements combined with good filter-solutions AND special cabinets. THEN you can get more out. But that is a completely different thing. We are not talking speaker-cabinet building here Especially using quarter or half-wave pipe-solutions , we are talking about connecting several ready-made speakers to an amp built to drive one speaker per channel, and that put aside, the lowered distortion that could be achieved is quite easily nullified by other electrical factors that probably would screw up the frequency-curve being output.

Lower distortion at the cost of fidelity Parallel, I remember that too, but as I recall it it was only the builder himself that actually percieved how good it was As is the case with many home-built projects Anyway, the theory is good, but the execution is a nightmare. I rather build my own elements from scratch to do what I really want them to do in the first place The amp will not automatically increase its voltage output just because it's working into a higher-impedance load You trying to re-write Ohms law?

Originally posted by SDplus: You use a 70V line. That's what those specialized amps and speakers are for. The output on the amp is labelled not "8 ohms" but "70 volts" and the speakers come with transformers to tap off of the resulting high-voltage, low-current feed. You can then connect any number of speakers with transformers across the feed as long as the amp power is sufficient for all of them; but it doesn't matter in the slightest if you have fewer than the amp can drive.

You trying to re-write Ohms law? For a given input voltage, you will get a certain output voltage. If, for example, you switch from 4- to ohm speakers, the output voltage across the speaker will be the same. Unless, that is, you can somehow explain how higher speaker impedance will increase the amp's gain. Originally posted by NoPostageNecessary: Man, talk about "pretty funny" Just why the hell should I care about "infrasonic" frequencies?

You are aware that "infrasonic" means low enough to be outside the audible range? Assuming you meant "very low frequency bass", and that you really do have a good reason for doing after-sales vibrational stress testing on your car's fasteners and welds That's a different case. One, you do have them closely spaced well within half a wavelength for the narrow range of bass freqs that such subs handle, and two, you are halving the impedance, not keeping it the same!

What are power amplifiers?

Many car amps are voltage- rather than current-limited into an eight ohm load. So dropping the load impedance does let you "pull" more current and hence more power out of the amp to use a metaphor we're not supposed to use, but whatever. As for "virtually any quality amp", well, sure, for some definition of "quality".


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And that's true for a lot of good car amps. But an appalling number of home theater receivers can't even provide their rated power into eight ohms, let alone more than that into four ohms.

Jim Z answered this, but for another part of the answer, Leper There are three major types of power amplifier, the characteristics of which are described below. This is a general purpose type of power amplifier. Stand-alone power amplifiers amplify the signals sent from mixers to make the speakers produce sound.

Several stand-alone power amplifiers can be installed together in racks, making it comparatively easy to build a large-scale PA system.


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  • This type of mixer includes a built-in power amplifier. Since the mixer and power amplifier which require a power supply are integrated into the PA system, only one power supply connection is required, and there are less connections to make than with stand-alone amplifiers.

    This type of speaker includes a built-in power amplifier. Since the built-in power amplifier is designed specifically for the speaker, the speaker and power amplifier combination feature superior compatibility, allowing the speaker to perform to the fullest. The mixer output can connect directly to the powered speaker, so there are less cables required. To build a PA system as easily and simply as possible, use either a powered mixer or powered speakers, which require fewer connections.

    However, stand-alone amplifiers offer a higher level of freedom, for expanding a system and for planning where to position the equipment. In this section, advice is given about choosing a power amplifier used in combination with passive speakers. The output required by the power amplifier is determined by the number of speakers connected and their impedance. If the output from the amplifier exceeds the power rating of the speakers, the speakers could be damaged, so consider the amplifier-speaker combination before choosing the power amplifier.

    Using a Yamaha PS stand-alone power amplifier with Yamaha CBR10 passive speakers is a good example to see how an amplifier should match a speaker. Listed on the PS spec sheet are several numbers according to the amplifier's output measurement conditions. When choosing a Yamaha amplifier, use the 20 Hz—20 kHz output as a reference for ordinary use. Next, when looking at a speaker's spec sheet, use the power rating PGM value and impedance value as a reference. Since the PS power amplifier produces a W output with an 8-ohm impedance speaker, and the CBR10 speaker has a power rating PGM of W with an 8-ohm impedance, the power amplifier and speaker can be successfully used together.

    It's not necessary for the PGM input value for the speaker and the power amplifier output value to be exactly the same. It's good to select a power amplifier output value of around 0. There are various ways of connecting the speakers and setting up the amplifiers, which can have an impact on impedance and available power.