Multiple speaker pairs on a single amp [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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12-23-2004, 11:52 AM
I just bought a new Onkyo 2 channel stereo receiver for my parents. It's going in a cabinet in their living room.
Currently there is a 4-way splitter box that i have set up which runs to 4 different pairs of speakers - the cabinet speakers, a pair of speakers on the opposite end of the living room, a pair in the kitchen, and a pair in my parents' bedroom. Usually only 1 or 2 pairs are selected, although sometimes it is as many as 3 and *maybe* all 4 if my parents aren't paying attention to what they are doing.

I purchased the receiver specifically for its simplicity and quality high-current amplifier. My parents only ever listen to low-volume classical music, so high wattage is not necessary.

The receiver has A+B outputs, so I'm wondering what would be the best/most efficient way of connecting everything up. Should I run the splitter off of the A output and leave the B output off? Or should I run the cabinet speakers off A and the other 3 on the splitter off of B? I suppose that could potentially create an unbalanced load between A and B - is that bad?

All the speakers are 8ohm.


12-23-2004, 01:02 PM
You shouldn't put more than two sets of speakers on that receiver. You easily could overload the amp and it will shut down and, if you're lucky, it might work again when you remove the excess speakers.

It's an impedance thing.

You need to invest in a speaker selector that will maintain an adequate load so as to prevent this. Check out parts express or madisound for these.

12-24-2004, 10:32 AM
I would use Speaker A to feed a 4 pair selector box. Keep the protection button in, and don't worry about all rooms being on.

Or, for a bit more flexibility with regards to room volume and system ballance.

Hope your folks like the new system.


12-24-2004, 12:00 PM
The key to answering your question correctly lies in the layout of your "4-way splitter box". Some are designed to maintain higher impedence and prevent damage to the amplifier (series/parallel), others are crude and halve the impedence with each additional pair of speakers (parallel only). Read the instructions that came with that box and it should explain the layout.

12-25-2004, 04:59 PM
The splitter is a SIMA SpeakerSelector Model SSW-4. I bought this for thim a couple xmas's ago, so I doubt the manual is anywhere to be found. It says it handles 100 watts and there is a "Protection" button on the front. I presume this is to prevent overloading the amp with too low of an impedance.

Does having the Protection button engaged lower sound quality when only 1 or 2 speakers are selected?

Also, no-one answered my first question. Is the best way to connect this is to run it off the "A" output and leave the "B" speaker output turned off? (I presume so, but I just want to make sure)


12-25-2004, 05:02 PM d9c&id=387

12-27-2004, 02:35 PM
From the link provided you can draw no conclusion about how the unit provides protection. They just give a vague description. If you trust their claims, simply running all speakers off the 4 way box and then using just the "A" speaker output from your reciever will get you the result you're looking for. If it pops the protection button, turn the volume down.

12-28-2004, 01:31 PM
I set the whole thing up with 4 pairs running from the selector box running off the A speaker output (with the B output turned off). I ran a CD which has lots of reverberating deep bass and full mid-treble sound, turned on all 4 pairs of speakers, and ran the amp at around 11 o'clock (FAR louder than parents would ever listen to anything) and it ran fine. No distortion anywhere (the old amp distorted on this even with just 1 pair running).

The protection button has been and is enabled just in case, though.

Thanks for your help, everybody!