This article discusses how to wire a 4 channel amp to 6 speakers. Suppose you have 6 speakers stereo and all you have to power it is a 4 channel amp.
In that case, you will find out about how you can easily and successfully get this done in detail.
You can wire a 4 channel amp to 6 speakers in two different ways. This process can either be completed in series or in parallel.
These two wiring techniques or processes have their advantages and disadvantages, which will be discussed later in this article.
In the end, you will be able to choose the most ideal connection technique for you.
What is A 4 Channel amp?
This amplifier comes with 4 different output channels and is designed to offer full-range power improvement/ amplification. A 4 channel amp is also known as a stereo amplifier.
It is designed to improve or optimize weak input signals, thereby breathing more life or bringing a massive improvement to your vehicle’s audio system.
At a minimum, a 4 channel amplifier can power 2 speakers. It can as well power 2 subwoofers simultaneously without any restrictions or limitations in performance.
Why is it needed?
- Suppose you are thinking of connecting your vehicle’s front and rear speakers to optimize music/sound quality. In that case, 4 channel amp allows you to achieve this with ease.
- Another great benefit is that 4 channel amp makes it possible to connect two speakers and a subwoofer at the same time.
Can I wire 6 speakers to A 4 Channel Amp?
Yes, a 4 channel amp can easily power 6 speakers. However, this is not the best practice because of the excessive demand the number of speakers you intend to connect may put on the amp.
Ideally, it is expected that 4 speakers should be wired to 4 channel amp, and 6 speakers connected to a 6 channel amp for efficient and uncompromised performance.
Nevertheless, wiring 6 speakers to a 4 channel can be done, and it is never out of option.
Well, as direct as this connection may appear, going beyond the amplifier’s rating may overburden the system, thereby resulting in overheating, especially if your amplifier is one of the low-quality designs.
How To Wire A 4 channel Amp To 6 Speakers DIY
Connecting 6 speakers to a 4 channel amp is always a great experience, provided you know the basic things to do- the steps to take and the tools you need to achieve the intended result.
As discussed in the introduction, there are two techniques or methods that you can adopt while trying to connect your speakers to an amplifier. These are the series and parallel connections.
Irrespective of the installation or connection technique you eventually settle with, you will have to connect 4 of the 6 speakers in 2 channels.
This technique is an easy and safe way of wiring 6 speakers to a 4 channel amp. The whole idea behind this method is that one of the speakers serves as the connection point for other speakers.
You will use wires to connect one speaker to the next one, following a linear pattern or arrangement.
A wire is extended from one end of the amplifier, which is then connected to the first speaker, and then connected to the next. The last speaker is connected to the other end of the amp.
So, how is this done? Two speakers are connected or powered in series on a single channel.
This means, 4 of the 6 speakers will be connected on 2 of the 4 channels. Then the remaining 2 speakers are then connected to the remaining 2 channels individually.
- Connect the first two speakers to the first channel
- Plug the negative (-ve) wire of the first speaker into the negative (-ve) terminal of the first channel
- Connect the positive (+ve) wire of the 1st speaker to the negative (-ve) wire of the 2nd speaker
- Connect the positive (+ve) terminal of the 2nd speaker to the positive (+ve) terminal of the 1st channel
- Follow steps 2 to 4 to connect the third and fourth speakers to the second channel. At this point, there are 2 channels (channel 3 and 4) and 2 speakers (5th and 6th speakers) left to be connected
- Connect the 5th speaker to the 3rd channel
- Connect the 6th speaker to the 4th channel
Advantages of channel connection
- No additional costs involved- you won’t have to change any equipment
- You won’t have to lower the impedance of the speaker load
- The most preferred form of connection. Speakers can be added and removed easily and safely without additional costs
Disadvantages of channel connection
- The speakers pull lower power from the amplifier (power is reduced), which may affect the sound quality
This connection technique is the easiest, provided you understand the concept behind the connection process.
This makes it the most preferred technique by most vehicle owners when it comes to wiring two speakers or more to an amplifier.
This method requires using different wires to connect each speaker to the amplifier.
Each speaker’s impendence is divided by the total number of speakers connected to calculate the load impendence under parallel connection.
For instance, if you are connecting 4 speakers to the amp in parallel, and each speaker is 8 ohms, this gives us 2-ohm.
- Connect the negative (-ve) wire of the 1st speaker to the negative (-ve) terminal of the 1st channel on the amplifier
- Connect the negative (-ve) wires of the 1st and 2nd speakers- get them tangled
- Connect the positive (+ve) wire of the 1st speaker to the positive (+ve) terminal of the 1st channel
- Connect the positive (+ve) wire of the 2nd speaker to the positive (+) terminal or wire of the 1st speaker
- Connect the 3rd and 4th speakers to the 2nd channel following step 1 to 4
- The 5th and 6th speakers are then connected to the last 2 channels individually
To make this wiring process easier, you may want to combine the positive (+) wires of the 1st and 2nd speakers and then have them wired to the positive (+ve) terminal of the first channel.
Then follow up by combining the negative (-ve) wires of both speakers and then connect them directly to the first channel’s negative terminal. You can also adopt this process to connect the 3rd and 4th speakers to the 2nd channel.
Advantages of parallel connection
- This technique is effortless
- The sound quality is impressive
Disadvantages of parallel connection
- The overall impendence of the speaker load is reduced. This allows the speaker to draw an excessive amount of power from the amplifier, resulting in overheating, especially when operated at a very high volume.
The following are materials or tools you will need to wire a 4 channel amp to 6 speakers.
- You need a top-quality speaker wire
- You need a digital test meter for voltage measurement
- You need two RCA adapter cables
- Get zip ties
- You need an electrical tape
- Get fuse and fuse holder in place
- Crimp tool
There are several brands of amplifiers on the market, and each of these designs is offered at a different price.
It is important to choose from any top-quality designs out there for the best performance and amazing experience.
These are brands that have been around for a long time and have won customers’ trust over the years.
Some of these brands are positioned as premium. In contrast, some are positioned as mid-price.
A top-quality multi-channel amp costs between $100 and $400. In case you are going to seek the assistance of an expert with the installation, you should put aside about $120 for the cost of installation.
Installing an amplifier on your vehicle can last for about 4 hours, especially if you are conducting the installation yourself.
Suppose you are taking your vehicle to an expert for the amp installation. In that case, the time required to complete this process may be shorter.
FAQ’s How To Wire 6 Speakers To A 4 Channel Amp
What is the difference between a 2 channel amp and 4 channel amp?
2 channel amp allows connection with fewer speakers, while 4 channel allows you to connect with more speakers successfully.
Why is my stereo hot?
Although it is possible to connect or wire 6 speakers to a 4 channel amp, the best practice is to have 4 speakers connected to the 4 channel amp.
When you have 4 speakers connected or wired to 2 channels out of the 4 available channels in parallel, this puts a constant load of two (2) ohms on the 2 channels if you operate the speakers at the highest volume for a long period.
If this continues, it is not healthy for your stereo. Your stereo will eventually break.
While the parallel connection may not give the safety that the series connection offers to the stereo, the sound quality makes it a superior connection method.
How do I prevent my stereo from getting hot?
To prevent your stereo from getting hot in a situation where you have 4 speakers wired to 2 channels in parallel, make sure you always play/listen to music at a minimal or normal volume.
Once the stereo is not operated at a really high volume, you have nothing to worry about.
This is an effective strategy you can adopt to ensure your stereo work at a normal temperature at all times.
If you are a lover of loud music and it seems like you can’t do without it, if you are going to operate your stereo on a very high volume, ensure this is done within a very short period, and don’t make it a continuous practice.
What happens when you wire more speakers than the capacity of an amp?
When you connect more speakers than an amp can power, this increases the amp’s load.
As a result, this raises the amp’s temperature or makes it extremely hot, thereby damaging the amplifier in the long or short time.
How do I wire my speakers to my 4 channel amp?
Basically, you connect 4 speakers to 2 channels, and the remaining 2 speakers are connected individually to the other 2 free channels.
Suppose you have 2 speakers installed at the front of your vehicle, 2 speakers at the back, and the last 2 speakers on the sides.
In that case, the 2 front speakers can be wired to the first channel and the 2 rear speakers to the second channel.
The 2 speakers on the sides of the vehicle can then be wired individually to the remaining two channels- each speaker connected to a single channel.
How do I test for or identify a top-quality speaker?
Your speaker must also be solid or of great quality to ensure you get the best outcomes or results from your amplifier.
The best way to identify or test for a good speaker is by paying attention to the frequency.
If the frequency is reproduced specifically and clearly without the addition or removal of any detail, such a speaker can be considered an excellent choice.
So far, in this article, we have discussed how to wire a 4 channel amp to 6 speakers- the types of installation methods, steps you need to take or follow to complete the installation yourself, the tools you need, and how long this whole exercise lasts.
We hope you now have a clearer and better understanding of what this process entails and how it works.
So, feel free to explore- choose the best installation method that fits your needs and situation.
In case you are confused about which one to eventually settle for, you can try out the two connection methods and choose the one that gives the best feeling and experience.
As much as the information provided encourages you to do the job yourself, we advise you have at least a basic knowledge of electrical work.
In case you have not engaged in any electrical works in the past, it may be a great option to consult an expert. Although this will cost you a few bucks, it is a safer option in this case.
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