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4 channel stereo amp ???

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
i have a friend who is looking for a 4 channel amp -

he wants to run 2 sets of speakers - 4 speakers total in the same room - in stereo --

i never really seen a 4 channel amp that works this way - at least not in a long while -

is this possible ? if anyone knows of any brand or model that you can post for me to check out -

thanks -
post #2 of 16
It's a pro amp, but the Carvin DCM1204 will do this. I use them in my HT system.


It has switches on the back to tie channels 1&2 and 3&4 to the same input jacks.

Of course, Y-adapters work fine, too.
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
thanks for the fast response - can you be more clear on how to use it for a home audio and tie both channels together - would you have a picture of the rear ?

also how much is this unit - ? are the fans quiet or would you hear them running

does it have bananas to connect to the speakers -

i dont think it has RCAs ?
post #4 of 16
Originally Posted by expresso712 View Post

thanks for the fast response - can you be more clear on how to use it for a home audio and tie both channels together - would you have a picture of the rear ?

Here is a picture of the connectors and switches on the back:

Pushing the "Parallel Inputs" button marked "CH 1-2" connects the input jacks for both channels together so that any signal sent to either Input 1 or Input 2 goes to the amps for both channels. The "CH 3-4" button works the same way.

Originally Posted by expresso712 View Post

also how much is this unit - ?

Carvin usually has them for about $450. There's one on eBay right now for $170 (where I snagged the picture), but there's lots of time left on that auction.

Originally Posted by expresso712 View Post

are the fans quiet or would you hear them running

The fans are very quiet. I've got three 1204s in my rack and can barely hear them at all and only if the house is completely silent with no audio source selected. They could be replaced with silent PC fans, if needed.

Originally Posted by expresso712 View Post

does it have bananas to connect to the speakers -

i dont think it has RCAs ?

No, it doesn't have RCAs, banana plugs or traditional speaker binding posts. It uses 1/4" jacks for inputs and outputs.

To connect to a receiver or pre-amp with RCA outputs, you would use cables with RCA jacks on one end and 1/4" TS (Tip-Sleeve) connectors on the other end. You could use cables with XLR jacks and 1/4" TRS (Tip-Ring-Sleeve) connectors to use the amp with a balanced pre-amp. I've used mine both ways with no problems. So that everything between the pre-amp and amps are a nice, clean bundle, I prefer to use a "snake" cable like this: http://www.amazon.com/Channel-Feet-S.../dp/B001AZMQVK

For connecting the speakers, you can add 1/4" TS jacks to your existing speaker wire if you're handy, but I decided it was easier to just replace my speaker wire by buying extra-long cables that came with a 1/4" TS jack on each end, then cutting the cables in half and stripping the insulation from the cut ends. That gave me cables with bare wire at one end for the speaker binding posts and a TS jack at the other end to plug into the amp outputs.
post #5 of 16
I believe you can go RCA to unbalanced 1/4" on most amps, and maybe save a few bucks. That's how I hooked up my Mackie to my Yamaha after doing research on the topic.
post #6 of 16
FWIW, Crown or QSC (or maybe both) also make 4-channel pro-amps, but I'm not familiar with them.

Another option would be to buy any old 5-channel amp and only use 4 channels. Just use a Y-cable on both of your pre-outs to connect them to 2 amp channels each. That would also leave you a spare channel in case one ever fails.
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
thanks for all the input - i will pass this along to my friend and let him decide if you wants to do it - knowing him - hes old school - and dosnt understand too much with these pro audio amps - i am using one myself - QSC GX 5 model with my AVR pre outs - but this one seems simple enough - just press the buttons in and both channels combine to act as one --

hes using a yamaha integrated amp now - two channel -
if he has two line outs - he can just add two amps - two channels each and be done with it - - but he wants one amp - 4 channels - and just connect all four speakers to the amp and use it in stereo -

i seen some of the QSC 4 channel amps - but the connections on the rear is very strange - so its confusing to use - reason i got the GX 5 - it has bananas and RCAs to make it easier with my AVR -

thanks - any other amps he can look at - do they make HOME Audio 4 channel amps anymore ? or if they ever did ?
post #8 of 16
I'm not aware of any "home" or consumer 4-channel amps.

One other benefit of using a pro-amp is the gain knobs on front. This will allow him to manually set different levels for each speaker, if needed. Adjusting channel gain in the receiver or pre-amp will affect both speakers on that channel. Doing it on the amp will allow control of each individual speaker for setting the desired level balance.

I took a look at the QSC 4-channel amps when I was putting my system together and also noticed the strange connectors. It looked like you would need a screwdriver to connect and disconnect anything. That's one of the reasons I chose the Carvin amps, as the 1/4" jacks make it easy to tear-down and set-up the system. I'm in the military so I have to move every couple of years, and convenience there is is a big deal to me.
post #9 of 16
Which strange connectors? Combi XLR-1/4" or Speakon speaker connectors? Neither requires a screwdriver.
post #10 of 16
I have no idea what they were, but they didn't look like XLR, 1/4", Speakon, or anything else I'd ever seen before. They sure didn't look user-friendly, and that was a major consideration for a system that would be frequently torn down and moved.
post #11 of 16
I see what you mean. The CX series looks like it uses screw terminals for it's speakers even in low impedance models. Must have to do with the application it's targetted for.

It's inputs are also odd, once again, I guess it's due to what application it's targetted for.
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
thanks for the information - i will pass it along to my friend and let him decide -

also i did find one other amp - now i dont think this brand is all that hot -

Tech pro ?


this is something that may be what he is looking for - but i never heard them and not sure of there quality -

if it were me - i would go with the pro audio - i really like my GX 5 - its more than enough power - brings out the most of my Klipsch -

so what do you guys think of this Tech pro stuff ?
post #13 of 16
Looks like junk, but it's hard to tell. The specs look inflated, for one thing. Quality brands don't give junk specs like peak power. A spec like that is meaningless.

350 watts into 8 ohms is per channel? At 20hz to 20khz? Continuous?

It weighs 33 pounds, which is not very heavy for an amp. I see no downloadable manual.

I would look to known brands like QSC, Crown, Mackie, Behringer etc.
post #14 of 16
I've never heard of that one, either. It might be worth looking into if you can arrange an audition or try-out period, but at the same price as the DCM1204, I'd personally go with the Carvin. They may not quite have the reputation of Crown or QSC, but I've had mine for a couple of years and couldn't be happier with them.

The QSC 4-channel amp is certainly also worth consideration, if the connections aren't going to be an issue.
post #15 of 16
Dumb question maybe... but what about a receiver that has two zones that can play the same stereo signal? I think that lots of receivers have two zones... and the setup would feel a lot more "familiar", I would think.
post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
thats a good way to go also - my friend dosnt like receivers - he is used to integrated amps - and dosnt want a receiver - he can also use a two channel amp - i just checked the manual on my amp and it shows how to hook up 2 pairs of 8 ohm speakers - -

he is now looking at a new integrated amp from Nad -

i havnt had a receiver in the last 20 years - i am used to separates also - i now have a marantz 7002 - with 2 zones etc. - speakers A/ B and AB - etc. - so what you are saying is i can hook up 4 speakers and they can all play at once with the 7002 also ? i never paid much attention to it - i hardly use all the features of the receiver - i think i will go separates again in the future - but i do love the marantz quality - i just added a QSC for the fronts only -
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