Before we dive into the methods of wiring 6 speakers to a 4 channel amp, we must first tell you that it is not recommended. If you want to power 6 speakers, it is better to go for a 6 channel amp. A 4 channel amp should only be used for 4 speakers.
So what will happen if you wire 6 speakers to a 4 channel amp? The answer is that the amp will be overloaded. A 4 channel amp is not constructed to take that much load. It will result in overheating of the amp which will ultimately lead to its failure.
When connecting your speakers to the amp, you can either wire them in a parallel way or in a series. Both of the options have their pros and cons and it depends upon your preference which way you choose.
Also Read: Top 7 Best Amplifier For Outdoor Speakers
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[EXPLAINED] How To Wire a 4-Channel Amp To 6 Speakers?
4 Channel Amp:
It is essential to understand a 4 channel amplifier before plugging anything into it. In easy terms, a 4 channel amplifier means an amplifier that comes with 4 output channels. It offers a full range of power amplification to your speakers.
It is also referred to as a stereo amplifier and optimizes weak input signals. In short, a stereo amplifier brings life into your dull music. Using your stereo amplifier, you can power 2 speakers minimum while simultaneously powering 2 subwoofers.
When connecting in parallel, you have to connect 4 speakers on 2 channels. This means that for every channel, you will have 2 speakers in parallel. This will reduce the ohm-load to your amplifier as well.
By doing this, you will be able to connect 4 speakers on 2 channels. The remaining 2 speakers can take up one channel of their own. This way all 6 of your speakers will have a channel.
Remember, by doing this, you will put additional load on your amplifier and the 2 channels will constantly receive 2 ohms, especially when being played at a high volume.
To prevent your amplifier from being too hot, do not play a very high volume. Another method of preventing overheating is to work the speakers for shorter periods of time. When played for long and at a high volume, the chances of it being overheated are more.
- Plug the negative wire of speaker 1 to the negative terminal of channel 1. Now tangle the negative wire of speaker 2 into the negative wire of speaker 1.
- Plug the positive wire of speaker 1 into the positive terminal of channel 1. Also make a connection between the positive wire of speaker 2 and speaker 1.
- Plug the negative wire of speaker 3 to the negative terminal of channel 2. Now tangle the negative wire of speaker 4 into the negative wire of speaker 3.
- Plug the positive wire of speaker 3 into the positive terminal of channel 2. Also make a connection between the positive wire of speaker 4 and speaker 3.
- Connect the 5th speaker to channel 3
- Connect the 6th speaker to channel 4
- The quality of sound in a parallel setting is not compromised due to half resistance
- You will be able to get full power.
- It is not recommended to be played at full volume for a long time, doing this will make the system hot and will eventually destroy it.
- This is an unsafe procedure.
When speakers are wired to the amplifier in a series, it is comparatively safer for the system. However, the sound quality is compromised by this. When wired in series, 2 speakers of 4 ohms will put on a burden of 8 ohms on the amplifier.
This way, again, 2 speakers will be connected to 1 channel. So you will be able to wire 4 speakers on 2 channels. And the remaining 2 speakers will have their separate channels. To make it further easy, we have listed down steps of connecting your 6 speakers to a 4 channel amp in a series way:
- Plug the negative wire of speaker 1 into the negative terminal of channel 1. Now connect the positive wire of this speaker to the negative wire of speaker 2. Lastly, connect the positive end of the speaker 2 wire to the positive terminal of channel 1.
- Now, plug the negative wire of speaker 3 into the negative terminal of channel 2. Now connect the positive wire of this speaker to the negative wire of speaker 4. Lastly, connect the positive end of the speaker 4 wire to the positive terminal of channel 2.
- Connect 5th speaker to channel 3
- Connect 6th speaker to channel 4
- It is a safer procedure as compared to being wired in a parallel fashion, because the speaker load is not falsely altered
- It is easier than a parallel connection
- It is more adjustable and can be altered very quickly without much inconvenience
- Due to reduced power, the sound quality is degraded, which ultimately messes with the music experience.
- Resistance is added in a series connection and impedance is increased
Frequently asked questions:
Q- can I power 6 speakers through a 4 channel amp?
YES. You can power 6 speakers through a 4 channel amplifier. However, this can burden your amplifier more, making it faulty and eventually destroying it.
Q- what is a 6 channel amplifier?
A 6 channel amplifier possesses 6 channels. 4 channels are for full-range speakers. Whilst the other 2 channels are for subwoofers.
Powering 6 speakers through a 4 channel amplifier is not an ideal practice and should not be done in the perfect world. However, if you lack more options, it is totally doable and easy to achieve. For this, you can use either a parallel or a series method. A parallel method provides better sound quality, while the series method is safer for your amplifier.