Got speakers, got amp, now how to hook it all up

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  • Author Ben Peverly
  • Published July 3, 2009
  • Word count 600

You are reading this because you purchased some outdoor speakers and you need some guidance on hook up, right? Well then this is the article you have been looking for! In this session we will discuss the tips and techniques on hooking up your stereo/amplifier in your home to your outside sound systems. We will also give you some do's and don'ts along the way to make your install go that much easier.

First Step: put your amplifier in a well located spot. When I say convenient, I mean so that it can be accessed by you and your guests so that it can be easily operated. If you wish to control it with a remote then you will need to place it somewhere that it has direct line of sight to. If you don't want it messed with, then you will want to place it in a cabinet or on a shelf. Wherever you decide to place it, just make sure it has adequate space to dissipate heat. When they are in full operation they can create a lot of heat and heat build-up can destroy an amplifier in a short amount of time.

Next step: route your wires so they have the most direct path to your amp. The longer the wires the more burden on the amp, so keep them as short as you can. This keeps the strain off your amplifier and prolongs its life. But I understand that if you have a big slab of concrete between your speakers and your amp, then you will be better off running the lines around rather than trying to punch a hole through the concrete. Dont just lay your wires across shelves and lying on the floor, cover them up and make it look good. You will also need to make sure that you seal the holes you make to the exterior of your home or building with a high quality sealant. You should be able to find what you need at your local store that will match he color of your home. This is a crucial step as moisture and pests can and will get into these holes no matter how small you think they are. Don't skip this step!

Step three: hook up the wires as described by your amplifiers manufacturer. Be sure to keep your polarity correct when hooking up to your outdoor speakers. When hooking up the wires, keep in mind the polarity and what wires you used to do it. You also will want to make sure that you are not putting too much load on the amplifier by putting too many sets of speakers on one line. For the most part you will be hooking up only one speaker per channel, but if you plan to do this, then you will need to read our article on hooking up multiple sets of speakers. One pair of speaker connections will do for now, we will discuss multiple pairs another time. Check the ohm resistance on the speakers you have. 95% of them will be rated at 8ohms. This also applies to your amps resistance capabilities, some amps and speakers can have multiple resistance levels for flexible installations. Be sure you check your technical information that came with yours to be sure.

Fourth Step: amplifier set up, wires routed and all exterior holes sealed, you need to check your hook ups are all right. After you have done this you are ready to sit back, relax and turn up the volume of your favorite tunes relaxing out on your deck or patio!

An avid music lover and musician, specializing in home audio sales, service and installation for over 20 years.

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