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Old    wakemania (wakemania)      Join Date: Sep 2008       05-25-2011, 4:12 PM Reply   
Which is better?

I have 4 inboat speakers (none in the bow). I have 2 channels available on the amp (75W RMS each at 4 ohms). If I wire in series 2 speakers to each channel, then I get an 8 ohm load producing 37.5W RMS to each pair or 18.75W RMS to each speaker. So, I would have 4 speakers with 18.75W RMS from the amp.

Or, I could only use the 2 speakers under the back seat facing forward to their own channel getting 75W RMS to each speaker (thus leaving the other two on the side dead. My thinking here is that the back seat riders would get some of the tower speakers as well as a little of the back seat speakers. The front passengers would get more power from the forward facing speakers under the back seat.

I could wire all four in series/parallel to one channel which would produce a net 4 ohm load to one channel and give 75W RMS or 18.75W to ea speaker. But right now have no use for another spare channel.

First of all, am I correct in my calculations above? I'm not electronically skilled at all.

Secondly, would the two speakers having 75W RMS ea (total 150W) sound better than 4 speakers at 18.75W each (total 75W)? I would think that more power to the speaker and not having to turn up the volume to get big sound may produce better sound than cranking the volume way up to get comparable sound from 4 speakers with lower power.

Please give me advice and and experiences with this.
Old    Chris Drymalla (cdrymalla)      Join Date: Aug 2009       05-25-2011, 4:30 PM Reply   
I am sure you will get some other responses, but my first thought is to wire two speakers in parallel to each of the two channels, assuming your amp is 2ohm stable on each channel. This way you get 2ohms on each of the channels, which should give you morepower/wattage to each channel than the 75W...see what your amp is rated for.
Old    wakemania (wakemania)      Join Date: Sep 2008       05-25-2011, 6:31 PM Reply   
Chris, I have thought of that and I think my speakers are 4 Ohm. I just checked my amp manual and it says 2 Ohm Stereo / 4 Ohm Mono Stable (what ever that
means).

At 4 Ohms it is 75W x 4, and at 2 Ohms it is 125W x 2. From that, I assume my amp would be stable at 2 Ohms.

However, looking at my speakers it says 4 Ohm. They are the old Kicker K65. I wouldn't think I could run a 4 Ohm speaker at 2 Ohms? But again, I don't know much at all about this.

I'm really just looking for the best sound quality from what I have.
Old    Ian Ashton (ian_ashton)      Join Date: Jul 2008       05-25-2011, 6:58 PM Reply   
2 4ohm speakers in parallel equals 2 ohm to the amp. The impedance of the individual driver won't change, the wiring just changes the load the amp sees. Wiring them in parallel is your best bet.
Old    wakemania (wakemania)      Join Date: Sep 2008       05-25-2011, 7:18 PM Reply   
Thanks Ian, that makes sense.

I understand how to wire in parallel. I will basically use the back seat speakers as a pair and the two side speakers as a pair. What is the best (simplest) way to run the wire from the amp (pos) to the positive terminals of two speakers? Would I run the wire from the amp to the pos term on one speaker and then run a separate wire from that pos terminal to the other speaker's pos terminal? If so, what kind of connection at the speaker terminal would I use? I;m not sure how to run one wire to two separate speakers.
Old     (Ibewebbman)      Join Date: Apr 2011       05-25-2011, 8:46 PM Reply   
I suggest wiring your right and left speakers separately, not front to back like I think you are considering. This will be more conventional and result in better stereo sound. To do this simply, run one pair of wires to each front speaker and continue to run the wires from the front speakers to the rear on each side keeping your positive and negtive terminal wiring the sme on each so, positive to positive and negative to negative all the way from amp to the last speaker. This will give you a 2 ohm load at your amp.
Hth.
Old    Mikeski (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       05-25-2011, 11:28 PM Reply   
"At 4 Ohms it is 75W x 4"

Don't you mean: At 4 Ohms it is 75W X 2?

If that's the case then you should wire front/back R in parallel to the R amp, front/back L in parallel to the amp L. This will give you 62.5W per speaker.
Old    wakemania (wakemania)      Join Date: Sep 2008       05-26-2011, 5:14 AM Reply   
Yes, 75W x 2 for the inboat applicaton. The other 2 channels are used on the tower speakers. This brings up the question can the amp run 2 channels at 4 Ohm (tower) and 2 channels at 2 Ohm (inboats)?

My other issue is the connections at the speaker terminals. It sounds like I am going to need to solder the two wires at the speaker terminals since there is only one pos and neg terminal on each speaker. I will have two wires connected to each speaker's positive and negative terminals with a parallel wiring. Is there another method of connecting to the terminals?
Old    Chris Drymalla (cdrymalla)      Join Date: Aug 2009       05-26-2011, 7:48 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibewebbman View Post
I suggest wiring your right and left speakers separately, not front to back like I think you are considering. This will be more conventional and result in better stereo sound. To do this simply, run one pair of wires to each front speaker and continue to run the wires from the front speakers to the rear on each side keeping your positive and negtive terminal wiring the sme on each so, positive to positive and negative to negative all the way from amp to the last speaker. This will give you a 2 ohm load at your amp.
Hth.
I like this suggestion, as it should simplify wiring and require less length of wiring and very well may be how everyone does it, but I ran a single line to each of the speakers and just connected two terminals to each screw terminal of the amp. I am sure others will have opinions on this, but there are three resons I did this:

1) I have a four channel amp with two channels bridged to a sub and two channels each running two speakers in parallel. I can easily swap to running each speaker on a single channel by simply swapping the wire over to the other terminals (e.g., if I move the sub to another amp leaving a total of four open channels)

2) It seems like an individual wire will provide a better path for the singal to each speaker as opposed to sharing a path. Note, if I read the above post correctly, the technique does suggest running two wires to the first speaker, and this may be why, but if that is the case, then you have used just as much wire to get to the rear speakers.

3) I thought of the same issue regarding trying to run current through a single terminal - I guess you could T-into the line with a soldered conection, but it seems like more trouble that it is worth to me.

I hope this helps.
Old    wakemania (wakemania)      Join Date: Sep 2008       05-26-2011, 11:04 AM Reply   
Chris,

I have actually thought about that and like it for the simplicity of the terminations. But I wasn't sure it would be acceptable/advisable to have two speaker wires terminating at the single amp terminal (two pos. connected to the amp pos.)
Old    Chris Drymalla (cdrymalla)      Join Date: Aug 2009       05-26-2011, 1:16 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by wakemania View Post
Chris,

I have actually thought about that and like it for the simplicity of the terminations. But I wasn't sure it would be acceptable/advisable to have two speaker wires terminating at the single amp terminal (two pos. connected to the amp pos.)
I am not an auido expert like many on here probably are, so I am sure you may get differing opinions, but i figure that using two should not be much different than using a larger terminal for thicker wire, etc...the signal will just split right at the terminal and go down the two wires. So far it has worked for me. The only thing is taking the time to get both terminals set nicely so they are not loose, etc. I don't know that one is significantly better than the other, I went back-and-forth in my decision process too.
Old    wakemania (wakemania)      Join Date: Sep 2008       05-27-2011, 10:50 AM Reply   
After much debate and thought, I have decided to wire the inboats in a series for each pair. I know I want be getting a great deal of volume in the boat but thats fine. There are three reasons I'm doing it this way.

1 - Simple
2 - Wiring parallel at 2 Ohms will make the amp run hotter and use more battery current. Not sure my alternator is up to the task. Running cooler and using less
power means more time enjoying the tunes.
3 - Don't need/want a great deal of volume in the boat. I just about get all I want from the tower. The inboats will be just a filler.

Note: I may add a pair in the bow and run directly from my HU in the future.
Old    Mikeski (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       05-27-2011, 5:38 PM Reply   
Don't run them at 8 ohms, that can cause the amp to blow. I have smoked two amps doing that. Live and learn.
Old    wakemania (wakemania)      Join Date: Sep 2008       05-27-2011, 5:47 PM Reply   
Mike,

Would you suggest running them at 2 Ohms instead of 8? I guess the other option would be to run a parallel/series combination at 4 Ohms to one channel. I had no idea that running at 8 Ohms would be worse on the amp. Is it possible to run a parallel/series combo with only two channels?
Old    TigeMike (chpthril)      Join Date: Oct 2007       05-28-2011, 6:39 AM Reply   
Quote:
3 - Don't need/want a great deal of volume in the boat. I just about get all I want from the tower. The inboats will be just a filler.
The volume is controlled by the source unit.
Old    wakemania (wakemania)      Join Date: Sep 2008       05-28-2011, 8:28 AM Reply   
TigeMike, HaHaHaHa! Now that I know how to control the volume, can you tell me the answer to my last question: can you wire a parallel/series combo with just 2 speakers, thus showing a 4 Ohm impedence to the amp? I'm trying to weigh all my options.

By the way, if running the amp at 2 Ohms makes the amp run hotter and use more power, why would I do that if I don't need the volume? I don't care if I have 100W going to the inboats, I don't need it. So I'm just trying to figure out what is best for the amp, power, etc. However, Mikeski did point out that running at 8 Ohms may be worse than running the amp hotter at 2 Ohms. So I was just wandering about a way to show the amp 4 Ohms.
Old    TigeMike (chpthril)      Join Date: Oct 2007       05-28-2011, 8:58 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by wakemania View Post
TigeMike, HaHaHaHa! Now that I know how to control the volume, can you tell me the answer to my last question: can you wire a parallel/series combo with just 2 speakers, thus showing a 4 Ohm impedence to the amp? I'm trying to weigh all my options.

By the way, if running the amp at 2 Ohms makes the amp run hotter and use more power, why would I do that if I don't need the volume? I don't care if I have 100W going to the inboats, I don't need it. So I'm just trying to figure out what is best for the amp, power, etc. However, Mikeski did point out that running at 8 Ohms may be worse than running the amp hotter at 2 Ohms. So I was just wandering about a way to show the amp 4 Ohms.
No, two 4 ohm speakers are going to either = 2 or 8 ohm. Series OR parallel are your only option, you cant series/parallel a single pair.

Running two 4 ohm speakers wont necessarily make the amp "play" louder. Keep in mind that to get to 2 ohm, you now have two speaker dividing the available amp power. In some cases, the net watts to each speaker stays the same. In some cases, where amp doesn't 2x its power when wired at 2 ohm, the net watts to each speaker drops.
Old    wakemania (wakemania)      Join Date: Sep 2008       05-28-2011, 4:00 PM Reply   
Ok, thanks.

So it seems to be the concensus to run the four speakers with each pair run in parallel to one channel. The tower speakers are on two of the channels running a 4 Ohms. The other two channels will be in inboats. Is this acceptable? And I assume you would suggest the parallel wiring for the 4 inboats.
Old     (frosty2469)      Join Date: Apr 2010       05-29-2011, 9:47 AM Reply   
This site may help other people reading this thread, it sure helped me visualize the series/parallel wiring and results, along with a lot of other useful install information, including fuse calculators.

http://www.bcae1.com/srsparll.htm

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