Speaker frustration...wiring help - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 01-02-2013, 04:08 PM - Thread Starter
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I'll start by going over my setup.
I have a denon 1912 avr in the livingroom, I am using zone2 and a remote app on my phone for the speakers on my front patio currently. I have now added two more small speakers on the back yard patio and just wired them to the front patio speakers so they all play at the same time. This seems to work fine, all four are small bookshelf size speakers so the avr is driving all four with no problem.
Now for the issue I'm having that is making me pull my hair out.

I am trying to add in a switch to the front and back speakers so I can turn the front or back off independently because there are few times I need the front and rear on at the same time (plus the front yard speakers play significantly louder than the backyard speakers at a given volume level so a comfortable volume in the back is way too loud in the front). I have added a small push button switch to the bottom of one speaker in the backyard and connected my negative speaker leads too it so I can turn off both speakers with the single switch. The problem is that when I have it all hooked up, turning the switch off just makes both speakers volume reduce instead of turn off? So what has me so perplexed is the negative wire is disconnected by the switch so that both speakers only have the positive wires connected, yet the speakers are still playing music, just at a reduced volume level. I don't see how this is possible or why it's happening?

Any help understanding how this is happening would be greatly appreciated confused.gif
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post #2 of 10 Old 01-02-2013, 07:43 PM
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did you wire the two negatives from each of the two speakers together??

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post #3 of 10 Old 01-02-2013, 07:54 PM
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Just get one of these guys and call it quits. Wire your stereo L/R out of the Denon to this, and then individual runs to each speaker so you can switch on the fly anytime smile.gif

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=109&cp_id=10903&cs_id=1090305&p_id=6857&seq=1&format=2

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post #4 of 10 Old 01-02-2013, 11:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LTD02 View Post

did you wire the two negatives from each of the two speakers together??

Yes......both negatives are tied together on one side of the switch and the other side of the switch is connected to the negative of both speakers, positive goes to each speaker as usual. Basicly the same way a stereo headphone jack works where the left and right share a common ground. I assume that is safe to do, everything I could find when researching it said that as long as the two channels are bridged in the avr it was fine to do that, and both speakers play perfectly with the negative/ground leads tied together when I bypass the switch.

One odd thing I noticed while trying to see if I maybe got polarity switched around somewhere was if I connect the positive lead from the left and right channels to a single speaker, it actually plays, it sounds distorted but it plays and I don't understand how it can?
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post #5 of 10 Old 01-02-2013, 11:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beastaudio View Post

Just get one of these guys and call it quits. Wire your stereo L/R out of the Denon to this, and then individual runs to each speaker so you can switch on the fly anytime smile.gif
http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=109&cp_id=10903&cs_id=1090305&p_id=6857&seq=1&format=2

I considered doing it like that but due to the wiring being in the wall it would be a lot more work than I wanted to tackle right now. Plus I don't want to have to go inside to switch between them, much easier if there is a on/off switch right by each speaker.
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post #6 of 10 Old 01-03-2013, 01:42 AM
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Joining the negatives for the left and right channels will screw things up, as you have discovered. However, you should be able to use a double pole switch, keeping the left and right channel wiring independent from each other, to switch a pair of speakers on and off. It isn't totally okay, but I doubt it is much different from hooking or unhooking speakers while the stereo is playing, which people do often with seldom an issue.

I think wiring a speaker to both + produces some sound because the source is stereo, so you hear what's different, plus some other noise because you aren't supposed to wire the +s together.

I'd guess that there's some similar distortion occurring in your joined negatives setup, too, but that it's subtle enough that it isn't very noticeable in casual listening. It probably isn't very audible relative to the normal signal that's playing, whereas the 'both +' arrangement above produces an audible signal relative to silence.

-Max
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post #7 of 10 Old 01-03-2013, 04:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by maxcooper View Post

Joining the negatives for the left and right channels will screw things up, as you have discovered. However, you should be able to use a double pole switch, keeping the left and right channel wiring independent from each other, to switch a pair of speakers on and off. It isn't totally okay, but I doubt it is much different from hooking or unhooking speakers while the stereo is playing, which people do often with seldom an issue.
I think wiring a speaker to both + produces some sound because the source is stereo, so you hear what's different, plus some other noise because you aren't supposed to wire the +s together.
I'd guess that there's some similar distortion occurring in your joined negatives setup, too, but that it's subtle enough that it isn't very noticeable in casual listening. It probably isn't very audible relative to the normal signal that's playing, whereas the 'both +' arrangement above produces an audible signal relative to silence.
-Max

Thankyou for the information....I couldn't find any double pole switches at radioshack so I used a double toggle switch under one speaker on each side of the house so at least both switches are next to each other, got it all hooked up this eve. and it's working properly now... What would be ideal for my purposes is if my avr had a third powered zone but to get that you have to spend a lot more money.
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post #8 of 10 Old 01-03-2013, 07:58 PM
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Great! Glad you got it working.

I don't totally understand your wiring description, but you may have used "double pole" (DP) switches without knowing it -- that is the standard terminology for a "double" switch, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switch

Do you have it setup such that you can switch the front and back speakers on and off independently? That would take two DP switches total -- a "front switch" and a "back switch".

Radio Shack stocks double pole (DPST and DPDT) switches:
http://www.radioshack.com/search/index.jsp?kwCatId=&kw=dpst%20switch&origkw=DPST+switch&sr=1
http://www.radioshack.com/search/index.jsp?kwCatId=&kw=dpst%20switch&origkw=DPDT+switch&sr=1

-Max
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post #9 of 10 Old 01-03-2013, 10:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxcooper View Post

Great! Glad you got it working.
I don't totally understand your wiring description, but you may have used "double pole" (DP) switches without knowing it -- that is the standard terminology for a "double" switch, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switch
Do you have it setup such that you can switch the front and back speakers on and off independently? That would take two DP switches total -- a "front switch" and a "back switch".
Radio Shack stocks double pole (DPST and DPDT) switches:
http://www.radioshack.com/search/index.jsp?kwCatId=&kw=dpst%20switch&origkw=DPST+switch&sr=1
http://www.radioshack.com/search/index.jsp?kwCatId=&kw=dpst%20switch&origkw=DPDT+switch&sr=1
-Max

Hmmm, I guess the radioshack guy I was explaining it too didn't understand me then redface.gif Just to make sure I have it, dpst stands for double pole single throw correct? so the single switch can turn on/off two separate circuits without them coming into contact with each other?

What I am using is basicly a little plastic mount with two separate toggle switches in it, I have one of those on the front patio and one on the back patio mounted in a convenient spot so I can turn off/on the back speakers or the front speakers, or both. The main problem is a comfortable volume level for the speakers I'm using in back makes the front speakers (different brand that are apparently much more efficient) way too loud so I can't have the front yard speakers on when I'm using the back ones....vice versa is less of a problem but there still may be times I want just the front playing so I added a switch in the back as well. Not ideal but it allows me to do what I want for less than 20 bucks.biggrin.gif
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post #10 of 10 Old 01-03-2013, 11:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by candy76man View Post

Hmmm, I guess the radioshack guy I was explaining it too didn't understand me then redface.gif Just to make sure I have it, dpst stands for double pole single throw correct?

Yes.
Quote:
so the single switch can turn on/off two separate circuits without them coming into contact with each other?

Yes. It is the "double pole" part that means "two circuits". The "throw" part describes how many of the switch positions have contacts. A single throw toggle switch has two positions, but only one of those positions has contacts.
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What I am using is basicly a little plastic mount with two separate toggle switches in it, I have one of those on the front patio and one on the back patio mounted in a convenient spot so I can turn off/on the back speakers or the front speakers, or both.

That makes sense. Sounds good. That even gives you the flexibility to turn each of the 4 speakers on and off. smile.gif
Quote:
The main problem is a comfortable volume level for the speakers I'm using in back makes the front speakers (different brand that are apparently much more efficient) way too loud so I can't have the front yard speakers on when I'm using the back ones....vice versa is less of a problem but there still may be times I want just the front playing so I added a switch in the back as well. Not ideal but it allows me to do what I want for less than 20 bucks.biggrin.gif

You could install a resistor in series with each of the "loud" speakers to quiet them down. This is a much easier job than wiring the switches. You would basically just "splice" the resistor into the wire. You would need to use a resistor that can handle high power, but it need not match the receiver power -- 10watt would likely be fine. I don't know how to calculate the "correct" resistance, but I expect that something in the 2-8ohm range would be right. Maybe someone will chime in with a suggestion, or you could just try 2 or 5 ohm (or combine to give 1.4 or 7 ohms if 2 or 5 doesn't satisfy).

-Max
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