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Speaker Hook-Up

Speaker wire, fancy or expensive read this sheet before hooking up your amp. In some cases, thick, high-end wire can cause MORE of a problem than the conventional skinnier stuff.

The term “amp” (short for amplifier) will be used to refer to any receiver, integrated amp, or power amp.

Use extra care in hooking up any solid-state (transistorized) amp. Make sure the amp is turned off before connecting the speakers. Next, make sure your wires are long enough to reach the speakers in one piece – rather than splicing numerous pieces together. When connecting the wire to the amp and speaker, make sure you have the proper “connectors” on the wire to mate with their respective terminals.

There are many types of plugs, jacks, etc., used for this application. We can either supply you with these connectors or send you to a place that has them. Often connector plugs are not needed and simply “tinning” the stranded wire with solder is adequate. In general loose strands of wire are NOT good either at the speaker or amp!

What About Thick, High-End Wire?

Does this type of wire make any difference? If the length of the wire is more than 50 feet, the light-duty stuff that we give away with purchase (18 gauge), may have some signal loss. Thick wire can present problems of its own. The main problem is that it is frequently too thick to cleanly attach to the amp or speakers.

You MUST do whatever is needed to make the wire small enough at the end to make a clean connection. This can be done either with special connectors OR thinning down the number of conductors and tinning them.

Check the “phasing” of your speakers. In simple terms, it means making sure the positive side of the amp goes to the positive side of the speaker and negative to the negative as well. Positive and negative are marked in many different ways. Red screws, a plus sign (+), “8,” etc., indicate positive; black screws, “0,” a minus sign (-), “G,” etc., indicate negative.

Tie a knot in the negative side of the wire to make it easy to identify later. Transparent insulation showing different colored (usually silver and copper) wires makes it easy to distinguish negative from positive, but all twin lead wire has some code, such as a ridge or a colored stripe to distinguish it from the other.

One final thing: If your speakers are less than 8 ohms ask us before you hook up another set of speakers to the same amp!

Source by Keith Burroughs

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