Mixing old speakers with modern receivers - ohms and wire types? Help! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 08-19-2012, 02:30 PM - Thread Starter
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I have a very modest 5.1 HTIB Klipsch setup and a receiver that accepts 7.1. I unearthed a pair of speakers out of storage from my garage and I'm wondering if I can use those for this receiver.

The following accompanied links are simply references for description (specs) and appearance;

Receiver; Denon AVR890
http://www.amazon.com/Denon-AVR890-7-1-Channel-Multi-Zone-Connectivity/dp/B002AKKFR6

HTIB; Klipsch HD 300 5.1
The Klipsch HD 300 are rated for up to 100 watts/ch with 8 ohms nominal impedance.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882780017

Old speakers I want to add; Aiwa SX-ND30
rated for 80W with an impedance of 6 ohms, 22AWG wire.
http://www.govdeals.com/index.cfm?fa=Main.Item&itemid=140&acctid=2238 (can't find any other information on them, but they seem like they're probably junky since the asking prices online are like $10-$50 for the pair)

My questions are;
  • - Can I use these with the ohm differences? I don't want to ruin my receiver/amp.
  • - The wire leads coming out of the back of the speaker cannot be detached from the outside. The wire reads 22AWG - much smaller than the monster cables I'm using for my Klipsch system. Does this matter, would my Denon accept this or would I need to rewire it and if so, how? Are they entirely unusable because of the differences in these types of wire? Here's a picture of the back with the wire ends.
  • - Is it worth the effort to replace the wire on these to a higher gauge? Buying another pair of speakers isn't an option, but I wouldn't mind replacing my 2 rears with these things if they would be an improvement or adding them to my system to get 7.1 or Zone 2 capability.
  • - Mixing different gauged wires won't give me any trouble with performance or stability?

Any information or suggestions are appreciated, thanks!
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post #2 of 12 Old 08-19-2012, 06:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horsemeat View Post

I have a very modest 5.1 HTIB Klipsch setup and a receiver that accepts 7.1. I unearthed a pair of speakers out of storage from my garage and I'm wondering if I can use those for this receiver.

The following accompanied links are simply references for description (specs) and appearance;

Receiver; Denon AVR890
http://www.amazon.com/Denon-AVR890-7-1-Channel-Multi-Zone-Connectivity/dp/B002AKKFR6

HTIB; Klipsch HD 300 5.1
The Klipsch HD 300 are rated for up to 100 watts/ch with 8 ohms nominal impedance.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882780017

Old speakers I want to add; Aiwa SX-ND30
rated for 80W with an impedance of 6 ohms, 22AWG wire.
http://www.govdeals.com/index.cfm?fa=Main.Item&itemid=140&acctid=2238 (can't find any other information on them, but they seem like they're probably junky since the asking prices online are like $10-$50 for the pair)

My questions are;
  • - Can I use these with the ohm differences? I don't want to ruin my receiver/amp.
  • - The wire leads coming out of the back of the speaker cannot be detached from the outside. The wire reads 22AWG - much smaller than the monster cables I'm using for my Klipsch system. Does this matter, would my Denon accept this or would I need to rewire it and if so, how? Are they entirely unusable because of the differences in these types of wire? Here's a picture of the back with the wire ends.
  • - Is it worth the effort to replace the wire on these to a higher gauge? Buying another pair of speakers isn't an option, but I wouldn't mind replacing my 2 rears with these things if they would be an improvement or adding them to my system to get 7.1 or Zone 2 capability.
  • - Mixing different gauged wires won't give me any trouble with performance or stability?

Any information or suggestions are appreciated, thanks!

If your amp can be switched to 6 ohm (from 8) then do that. I've mixed 6 and 8 ohm speakers not a big issue. Lots of speakers use lesser gauge inside the speaker,, but you don't want a long run of wire with that gauge. 16 or 14 gauge wire from the avr to your speaker connections should be fine, assuming your distance is reasonable. How far out are you going to use the Aiwas (assuming they will be your rear surrounds)?

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post #3 of 12 Old 08-19-2012, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by horsemeat View Post

[*] - Can I use these with the ohm differences? I don't want to ruin my receiver/amp.

Yes. If a receiver has a 4/8 or 6/8 ohm switch leave it in the 8 ohm position. The 6 ohm position is only for bench testing with steady test tones.
Quote:
[*] - The wire leads coming out of the back of the speaker cannot be detached from the outside. The wire reads 22AWG - much smaller than the monster cables I'm using for my Klipsch system. Does this matter, would my Denon accept this or would I need to rewire it and if so, how? Are they entirely unusable because of the differences in these types of wire? Here's a picture of the back with the wire ends.

Just splice the two sets of dissimilar wires together, being careful to match up plus with plus and minus with minus in an identical way on both speakers. There may not be any overtly noticable markings on the speaker cables - look for stripes, color of actual conductor, or ridges on the wire.
Quote:
[*] - Is it worth the effort to replace the wire on these to a higher gauge? Buying another pair of speakers isn't an option, but I wouldn't mind replacing my 2 rears with these things if they would be an improvement or adding them to my system to get 7.1 or Zone 2 capability.

You might want to trim the wires on the speakers to about 6 inch lengths.
Quote:
[*] - Mixing different gauged wires won't give me any trouble with performance or stability?

Not if you splice them well. If you can't solder them, you can use twist them together and secure them with wire nuts as used with house wiring.
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post #4 of 12 Old 08-19-2012, 07:06 PM
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As Arny sort of says, trim the existing wires to about 6 inches, then solder or twist them together with a larger wire. (I'm not sure what he means by "splice the two sets of dissimilar wires together." I think he misunderstood something you said.)

In general, there's no problem with using different wires to different speakers. The only trouble with the existing wires is they're too thin, and so will have too much resistance. But cutting them down and replacing most of the length with a thicker wire, you will reduce the overall resistance.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #5 of 12 Old 08-20-2012, 04:45 AM
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Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

As Arny sort of says, trim the existing wires to about 6 inches, then solder or twist them together with a larger wire. (I'm not sure what he means by "splice the two sets of dissimilar wires together." I think he misunderstood something you said.)

What I meant is that he has two sets of dissimilar wires - thick ones from his audio system and thin ones from the speakers. Thick and thin are dissimilar, right? ;-)
In general, there's no problem with using different wires to different speakers. The only trouble with the existing wires is they're too thin, and so will have too much resistance. But cutting them down and replacing most of the length with a thicker wire, you will reduce the overall resistance.[/quote]

Exactly. If the wiring that is permanently attached to the speakers was long enough, it might make sense to attach it directly to the speaker outputs of the receiver.

I get the feeling that the speakers he is asking about came with one of those rack systems. Some of these kind of speakers are junk, some are inherently unusable with a regular audio system, and some are OK. It sounds like the ones he has are at least worth a try.
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post #6 of 12 Old 10-12-2012, 11:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Update and a question..

So, I set these up. When my receiver has a raised volume (in fact, not really even that loud) now, though the receiver immediately goes into Stand-By mode and powers down. I'd imagine this is some sort of safety setting to prevent overheating or damage to the speakers - is this because the other speakers I'm using aren't powerful enough to be driven to higher volumes? Is there any fix for this?
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post #7 of 12 Old 10-12-2012, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by horsemeat View Post

Update and a question..
So, I set these up. When my receiver has a raised volume (in fact, not really even that loud) now, though the receiver immediately goes into Stand-By mode and powers down.

I presume that the receiver works well with other speakers?
Quote:
I'd imagine this is some sort of safety setting to prevent overheating or damage to the speakers - is this because the other speakers I'm using aren't powerful enough to be driven to higher volumes? Is there any fix for this?

Actually,if the receiver is generally OK, the receiver is protecting itself from these speakers. If there aren't shorts in the wiring and the receiver is generally OK with other speakers, the speakers have too low of an impedance.
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post #8 of 12 Old 10-12-2012, 12:19 PM
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Is there any fix for this?
Yes, but I'm afraid it's, use different speakers. As Arny says, those speakers are imposing a greater load than your receiver can handle.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #9 of 12 Old 10-12-2012, 04:25 PM
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What intrigues me is that the OP says it IMMEDIATELY goes into shutdown. That would indicate a dead short most likely OR the amps output xistor or IC array is only partially working and when more current is pulled it overheats. IMO, there is a short somewhere because any decent amp can operate for a reasonable time with a mismatched load from the output stage.
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Originally Posted by Gizmologist View Post

What intrigues me is that the OP says it IMMEDIATELY goes into shutdown. That would indicate a dead short most likely OR the amps output xistor or IC array is only partially working and when more current is pulled it overheats. IMO, there is a short somewhere because any decent amp can operate for a reasonable time with a mismatched load from the output stage.

What I read him saying is that it immediately goes into shutdown if he turns it up past a certain fairly low point.

That would be a shorted speaker wire or a speaker with a ridiculously low impedance, like maybe 2 ohms. Usually shorted output devices in the recevier shuts it down right after power up.

I asked him how it worked with regular speakers and that should be a good indication.
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post #11 of 12 Old 10-16-2012, 04:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you kindly for the troubleshooting assistance. I removed the two speakers from my set, but it's still turning off at higher volumes.

You've reminded me that I replaced all of the speakers in my Klipsch HTIAB with 50ft 12AWG Enhanced Loud Oxygen-Free Copper Speaker Wire Cable as well as Monster XP wire for two of the speakers (center and front left.) Are these the wrong type or am I unable to mix and match these types? The Monster XP is certainly not 12AWG, nowhere near as thick as the 12AWG I bought from monoprice. This all started happening when I introduced the two new speakers, but unfortunately, I added that new wiring in at the same time.

I'm very new to this and also unfamiliar with what would cause a "shorted speaker wire" - is this a faulty wire altogether, or can this be caused by stray wires coming out of the back of the receiver, where the wire is inserted into each channel's respective knob? The wire is very thick and I've found it difficult to not have one or two stray pieces coming out.

edit: here is a picture.

Also note FRONT (A) Right Channel in this picture below.

ifwfc0lrZuMm0.jpg
( http://i.minus.com/ifwfc0lrZuMm0.jpg )

Would this cause a short? Why at higher volumes and not immediately? Have I damaged my receiver?

Also, to clarify - it seems to immediate turns off with the blinking standby light when I go beyond a certain volume (rather than stay on for a short while and then turn off.)
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post #12 of 12 Old 10-17-2012, 06:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horsemeat View Post

Thank you kindly for the troubleshooting assistance. I removed the two speakers from my set, but it's still turning off at higher volumes.
You've reminded me that I replaced all of the speakers in my Klipsch HTIAB with 50ft 12AWG Enhanced Loud Oxygen-Free Copper Speaker Wire Cable as well as Monster XP wire for two of the speakers (center and front left.) Are these the wrong type or am I unable to mix and match these types?

Shouldn't be a problem given that you avoid shorts at the speaker and amp ends of the cables, and avoid shorts caused by nails and other things attaching the cables to walls and such.
Quote:
The Monster XP is certainly not 12AWG, nowhere near as thick as the 12AWG I bought from monoprice.

Shouldn't be a problem.
Quote:
This all started happening when I introduced the two new speakers, but unfortunately, I added that new wiring in at the same time.

Important rule of thumb - make your changes one at a time, and check the system operation out thoroughly between changes.


Quote:
I'm very new to this and also unfamiliar with what would cause a "shorted speaker wire" - is this a faulty wire altogether, or can this be caused by stray wires coming out of the back of the receiver, where the wire is inserted into each channel's respective knob?

The usual causes of shorted wiring is stray strands at the receiver or speaker ends of the wire, or shorts caused by nails and other fasteners being driven through the cable.
Quote:
The wire is very thick and I've found it difficult to not have one or two stray pieces coming out.

Everybody does. That's one reason why there are all these gizmos like banana plugs that people put on the ends of the cables.
Quote:
edit: here is a picture.
Also note FRONT (A) Right Channel in this picture below.
ifwfc0lrZuMm0.jpg
( http://i.minus.com/ifwfc0lrZuMm0.jpg )

Looks OK as far as it goes.
Quote:
Would this cause a short?

What would be required is detailed pictures of both ends of every cable.
Quote:
Why at higher volumes and not immediately?

Because most receivers have some kind of current limiting, and at low volumes the current isn't high enough to cause excess current.

Some receivers are intolerant of just about any kind of short, others are more tolerant.
Quote:
Have I damaged my receiver?

If it doesn't trip out with all of the speaker wires detached, then it is probably in OK condition.
Quote:
Also, to clarify - it seems to immediate turns off with the blinking standby light when I go beyond a certain volume (rather than stay on for a short while and then turn off.)

Not unusual, IME.
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