Power amp hookup

To get started with the actual hook-up, you'll connect the subwoofer to the amplifier using the RCA cable. If you want a stereo hook-up, you'll need two sets of RCA cables. Connect the subwoofer output to the amplifier input.

How To Set Up a Power Amp

The jack on the amplifier may even be labeled "subwoofer output," just to make things easy for you. Make sure both the subwoofer and the amplifier are turned off and disconnected from the power source. You'll then need to connect your amplifier to your speakers.


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On the back of your amplifier, you should find the speaker outputs. Connect your speaker wires to these outputs -- one into each output. The speaker wires are usually just bare wire ends.

How do you connect a subwoofer to an amplifier?

Make sure you're connecting the left and right output speaker wires into their corresponding left and right speakers. If you subscribe to this argument, we suggest using cables of equal length for the front left, center, and right and cables of longer but equal length for the surrounds, since the surrounds are likely to be farther away from the amp.

On the other hand, this means that some of the cables will be longer than they need to be, and the excess length could lead you to coil them, which can change the overall capacitance and inductance, not to mention increasing the chance of picking up induced noise. In reality, the difference in sound from cables of different lengths is probably negligible, so we believe it's best to use cables of just the right length from the amp to each speaker. Depending on the type of connectors used for the amp's outputs and the speakers' inputs, the speaker cables can be terminated with banana plugs, spade lugs, or simply bare wire.

Most importantly, make sure the polarity is the same for all speaker connections. Similarly, the speaker outputs on most amps and the inputs on most speakers are color-coded red and black. It really doesn't matter if the colors match, only that they are all the same orientation, though matching the colors is much easier to keep track of. On the amp pictured at the top of this article, each output is coded with a different color for each positive terminal, but the negative terminals are all black; in such a case, connect the red-coded speaker-cable conductors to the colored terminals and the black-coded conductors to the black terminals.

How To Set Up a Power Amp | Sound & Vision

Then, at the other end of the cable, connect the red conductor to the red terminal of each speaker and the black conductor to the black terminal. If not, don't worry about it; this is a feature that's losing favor, especially among more mainstream manufacturers. However, depending on the amp, this can introduce a lot of noise into the audio signal. Here is a quick procedure to ensure the trim controls are set optimally. This process is called gain structuring , which maximizes the gain amplification while minimizing noise.


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First, set all the trim controls in their lowest or minimum position usually, that's fully counterclockwise. However, you will need to connect your speakers to the amp and turn it on. One by one, turn up the trim controls until you hear hiss in that channel's speaker. At this point, the gain is high enough that you can hear the amp's internal self-noise. Back off the trim until the hiss is gone. After doing this for all channels, the trim controls should be in roughly the same position; if one is very different from the others, there's probably something wrong with that channel.

That's all there is to it. Once you have set up your amp, it's time to kick back and enjoy the sound of your new separates.

How To Wire Speakers and Subwoofers to Your Amplifier - 2, 3, 4 and 5 Channel - Bridged Mode

Reid on July 6, - 4: What about RCA and speaker cable direction? If I recall, many manufacturers of cables include arrows for which direction the cable should be connected a given component to maximize signal transfer.

tazedpacon.gq Any comments or thoughts on this I have no idea why some manufacturers specify a direction on their cable jackets. Normally, such things are marketing hype, but I see no marketing benefit to this. Log in or register to post comments Trim Controls Submitted by loop7 on July 9, - 9: I had been wondering about the trim controls on my Parasound and if they should be tweaked.

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Now I know how to do it and why. Good to know, Scott. I guess Audioquest must be one of those manufacturers among others because I'm looking at my new Syndney cables I brought and sure enough there are those arrows. I may make an inquiry to Shane Buettner if he is still at Audioquest for comments as to why the company opts to do this.

Your reasoning certainly sounds logical to me.