Help needed; I'm a moron [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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08-06-2007, 10:37 PM
Hi everyone (and yes I'm new here) --

Am planning a surprise B-day party for the wife next week and am trying to get the outdoor speaker rig hooked up ASAP. Here's what I have...

- a Denon DRA-545r receiver,
- a pair of AudioSource 2-way 50W speakers
- an Audiotek OD-VC200 outdoor volume control
- 4-strand outdoor speaker wiring (green, red, white, and black coded)

So as you can see, I'm not exactly high-end here. I just want decent outdoor background music for parties and relaxing on the deck. The receiver and 5-tray CD player will be in an enclosure in the basement with the volume control mounted on my deck.

1). The outdoor volume control has 4 sets of wiring coming out called "Right Output (Red+) (Black -)", "Left Output (White+)(Black -)", "Right Input (Red+) (Black-)", and Left Input (White+) (Black-).

2). The Denon receiver's back panel has Speakers A terminals: R (red+) (black (-) and L (black -), (red+). Speakers B terminals: R (red+) (black (-) and L (black -), (red+)

My question(s)...

The term "Output" on the Volume Control for both left and right refers to the wires going TO the speakers, and the "Input" (left and right) is referring to the lines coming FROM the receiver, correct?

What I'm confused about is what speaker terminals (i.e., A or B on the receiver) do I use for the lines going into the volume control?

Also, how do I know what wire from/to each speaker is + or - ?

Thanks so much for any help you can provide!

08-07-2007, 06:06 AM
You are correct about the wiring on the volume control, the outputs go to the speaker, and the inputs come from the receiver. I would connect my main indoor speakers to the 'A' connections and the outdoor speakers to 'B'. You must be careful of speaker impedance. If both pairs are 8ohm you should be able to drive both 'A' and 'B' speakers at the same time. If their impedance is lower (4/6ohm) your receiver may have difficulty with both and you may want to listen to either one or the other at one time. Some receivers have a switch, usually on the rear panel, for selection of lower impedance.
You are also correct to also be concerned about phase. Out-of-phase speakers sound dull with little bass. Two conductor wire (speaker wire, lamp cord, etc) usually has one wire with either writing, stripe, or some other marking. I always make this my positive (+, red) lead, the other negative (-, black). Use the same polarity throughout your wiring (all blacks are the negative (black connection) colored wires (red, green, etc) positive. Good luck with your project. I hope this helps.

08-07-2007, 06:36 AM
Thanks so much for the really quick reply!

I noticed that just above the receiver's speaker terminals it says...

Speaker Impedance
A or B: 6 ~16 ohms/speaker
A + B: 12 ~ 16 ohms/speaker

And, the AudioSource speakers are rated at 8 ohms. Does this mean the receiver is too powerful for the speakers? (didn't I say I was a moron?)

Any particular reason why you recommend they be hooked up to Speakers B? I should add that this receiver was purchased strictly for the outdoor patio speakers (I have a much better system indoors).

Again, thanks a lot!

08-09-2007, 05:34 AM
If the receiver is only for the patio speakers use the 'A' main outputs. Generally speaking your receiver can't be too powerful for your speakers. A 6ohm speaker will draw more current than a 16ohm speaker.
A more powerful receiver has a more powerful power supply and can handle the current draw without damage. Although many receivers have power ratings of 40w-100+w/ch, at average room levels you'll rarely use more than 15w-30w. On a more powerful receiver this is well within its comfort zone (clean power) and not very likely to overheat and distort. On the other hand, if the receiver is rated at 30w and you are running it at it's limits (dirty power) distortion and possible damage is more likely.
Power supplies are designed to provide a specific amount of power. As it reaches it's limitations especially with more difficult low impedance speakers, it draws more current. More current causes more heat. The heat sinks in a receiver are designed to dissipate a specific amount of heat. If the load asks it to dissipate more than it can handle, the transistor (ICs, depending on design) start heating past their limits and start to distort the signal (clipping) which can damage your speakers. So actually having a more powerful receiver is better for your speakers than underpowering them and clipping. Unless you plan to entertain the neighborhood, your Denon should be able to handle your 50W Audiosource speakers to comfortable listening levels without risking damage.

08-11-2007, 11:13 AM
I just can't get the speakers to work (only one side does -- and it's distorted) and maybe I'm not hooking up the outdoor volume control correctly. Here's a diagram I came up with so if someone could help me with what goes where:

08-11-2007, 11:35 AM
And here's the receiver's back panel (typical):

08-11-2007, 07:30 PM
Never mind -- I figured it out!

08-14-2007, 08:36 AM
Never mind -- I figured it out!

I guess you figured out that red\black is for the two speaker outputs.