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How to connect 4 speakers (FL SL FR SR) to a 5.1 amp
How to connect 4 speakers (FL SL FR SR) to a 5.1 amp
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Old 30th June 2020, 09:20 PM   #1
TanguyClt is offline TanguyClt  France
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Oct 2017
Default How to connect 4 speakers (FL SL FR SR) to a 5.1 amp

I have a set up of 4 full range speakers, FL SL FR and SR.
In the past they were connected to a stereo amp in parallel ( 2xLeft + 2xRight). This very amp just died so I want to improve the system and add a dimension to it.
Considering the amplification, I only know 5.1 as a configuration that support more channels than stereo. However I only have 4 speakers and I wonder if it is possible to connect these ones in such a way that we would be able to hear all channels (FL SL FR and SR).
My problem is that if I connect each channel to the proper speaker, I wont be able to hear the center channel and the sub since I don't have speakers for these.
Is there a way to connect the sub channel and the center channel to all the others speakers so I can hear all the signal but with a bit of spacialisation ?

Thanks a lot for considering this thread !

PS : Pardon my english if it is bad, I'm not native.

Last edited by TanguyClt; 30th June 2020 at 09:27 PM.
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Old 4th July 2020, 08:36 PM   #2
dangus is offline dangus  Canada
diyAudio Member
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Vancouver Island
Digital surround processors, receivers, and amps should have setup options where you can select the status of each speaker. The choice should be between Large (full-range), Small, or None. "None" for the centre channel means those sounds will be shared between the left and right front. Small means the bass from that channel will go to the subwoofer. "None" for the subwoofer should mean that all the bass including LFE will go to the "Large" speakers. This is referred to as "bass management".
Home-theatre-in-a-box amps may not have these options (or could have a hidden menu).
If you have an amp with analog inputs (rather than S/PDIF and/or HDMI), then the answer could be op-amps arranged to add the centre channel into the L and R signals, and the subwoofer signal into all 4 channels. Or this might work OK with 6 resistors (in the 10k to 47k range, maybe): centre to L, centre to R, sub to L, sub to R, sub to Ls, sub to Rs.
If you only have a 2 channel amp, it's worth trying an approximation of the Hafler surround circuit: wire the rear speakers in series and from left + to right +. That gets you a reasonable approximation of Dolby Surround. I wouldn't try this with class-D amps that have bridged outputs.


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