Four-channel amplifiers bring a lot of flexibility to the table and have become an important part of stereo systems. Most people use them with four speakers or two speakers and a subwoofer.
What if I tell you it’s possible to wire them to 4 speakers and a sub? Yes, it is! And in this article, I’ll discuss how it’s done. I’ll also include the pros and cons of doing that.
First, here are the important terms you should know before starting the process.
Important Terms to Know
This is when you combine two amp channels when they need a higher power output.
All speakers available have an impedance rating, which is measured in Ohms. Your speakers’ impedance must be equal to or higher than the minimum impedance rating of your amp. You can find these details on the unit or user manual.
You should keep these terms in mind while reading this article. Now, let’s get to the process.
How to Wire a 4-Channel Amp to 4 Speakers and a Sub?
There are many wiring systems that you can use to connect a 4-channel amp to 4 speakers and a sub.
For now, I’ll discuss three basic wiring systems that are easy to create. These are tried and tested ways, and no complicated steps are involved.
This is a great option if your channel amp has 2 Ohms stereo and 4 Ohms bridged ratings.
The first step is to connect two speakers on each front channel – L and R. Then create a bridge connection for the sub using the rear channels. You must wire the negative on the right (R) and the positive on the left (L).
Make sure to check the amp’s bridge wiring instructions before doing anything.
This is an easy and common setup, and you’re unlikely to face any issues during the process. You won’t need to install resistors either.
If your channel amp has 2 Ohms stereo and 2 Ohms bridged ratings, this is the right option.
In this system, the first step is the same as in system 1. You have to wire two speakers on each of the front channels.
But in this case, you’ll have more flexibility for the subwoofer. You can use dual 4 Ohm subwoofers or a single 4 Ohm subwoofer.
This is a suitable option if your channel amp has a minimum load rating of 4 Ohms.
In this system, you can use the rear channels for the subwoofer in the same way as discussed above.
For the speakers, you have to use 4-Ohm power resistors. You need them to maintain the load at 4 Ohms/channel. You need four resistors and install them between the positive wiring on the speakers.
This system involves an extra step, but it isn’t complicated at all. Plus resistors are affordable, and using them is a better option than investing in a new channel amp.
From the three wiring systems discussed above, choose one that best suits the configurations of your amp. After wiring, check all the connections and make sure everything is in the right place before testing the system.
Now let’s discuss the pros and cons of wiring a 4-channel amp to 4 speakers and a sub.
The biggest advantage to doing this e is that you can get the job done with your existing channel amp, without spending more money on a new unit.
The process is simple, which means you won’t have to spend a lot of energy and time.
Plus the bass response is better if you use a subwoofer with four speakers.
If you’re not careful during the wiring process, you may end up damaging your equipment.
Another disadvantage is that power will be available for the speakers.
Lastly, if your channel amp doesn’t allow bridging, you will need to install resistors, and this process can be complicated for beginners.
It’s safe to say that the pros outweigh the cons.
If you’ve understood the process properly and your amp allows bridging, I would recommend using a sub with your speakers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will I need a crossover?
In most cases, you won’t need it because most modern amplifiers come with a built-in crossover.
Do I really need a subwoofer?
Do you really need running shoes? You can run without them, but they make the overall experience much better and more comfortable.
In the same way, you can use your speakers without a subwoofer, but adding them gives you a better bass response and improve your listening experience.
How many speakers can I run on a 4-channel amp?
You can run up to 8 speakers if you have a 4-channel amp. Generally, most amplifiers can power more than one speaker per channel.
But if you also want to add a subwoofer, you can run up to 4 speakers by following the instructions above. Although in this case, you can’t run 8 speakers.
Hopefully, this article was helpful in wiring a 4-channel amp to 4 speakers and a sub.
If you have further questions, feel free to comment below.
A passion for writing and ongoing research projects gives Catherine an incredibly broad knowledge of all things. She has authored an incredible number of articles and can be found in the wilderness when not attached to technology or listening to podcasts.