How to get 4 Ohms from Amp (for Buttkicker) - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 25 Old 03-23-2017, 04:38 PM - Thread Starter
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How to get 4 Ohms from Amp (for Buttkicker)

My Buttkicker mini-LFE needs 4 Ohms impedance.

My Dayton Audio APA150 can do either 4 Ohms or 8 Ohms. "delivers 75 watts per channel in its full-range stereo configuration, or 150 watts into 8 ohms when in bridge-mono mode. "

So how do I wire the amp to get 4 Ohms? Of course there is nothing in the instructions on how to do this.

The back of the amp has a Left-Speaker Output and a Right-Speaker Output; each output has a black and a red speaker wire connector. And the amplifier has a Mono/Stereo Speaker Output Switch.

So how do I wire the amp to the Buttkicker with 4 Ohms?

Thank you!

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post #2 of 25 Old 03-23-2017, 05:11 PM - Thread Starter
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I think, but am nowhere near certain in the least, that to get 4 Ohms, use just one channel (either the Left or the Right, doesn't matter which), use its black and red wire wires, and select Stereo on the mono/stereo switch.

I think, that to get 8 Ohms, I would wire using the Left channel red terminal and the Right channel black terminal, and select Mono on the mono/stereo switch.

But it would be nice to get a yea or nay on this thinking.

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post #3 of 25 Old 03-23-2017, 06:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XBR11 View Post
My Buttkicker mini-LFE needs 4 Ohms impedance.
Nope. Please understand that with a SS amplifier you can't typically* wire it for 4R, you provide it with a load of 4R if it is rated to drive that. Your BK has an impedance of 4R, so your amp can drive it with one channel.
You can only use one channel of the amp, so just wire it up to that. You can't run it bridged and use both channels as it's not rated to drive a 4R load bridged. When you bridge an amplifier each channel of the amplifier sees half of the load impedance, ie, if you used your BK as the load, it would look to each channel of an amplifier as if it had a 2R load. If you did bridge it, it might last a while, maybe years, but you have a much higher chance of cooking it.

75W to drive a BK seems low. You might have picked the wrong amp. Can you return it?

* There are some rare exceptions like some Macintosh amps, and some have a switch to be set depending upon load, but that usually only affects protection settings.

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post #4 of 25 Old 03-23-2017, 07:20 PM - Thread Starter
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@A9X-308 I appreciate your taking the time to answer my question. Unfortunately I don't understand electricity. Thus I don't understand what you wrote. I think you were saying that if I combined the amp's two channels in an attempt to provide 150 watts to the mini-LFE, that would not work because it would be at 8 Ohms, which won't work.

As to 75 watts to drive the Buttkicker. Buttkicker advised me to get this specific configuration (mini-LFE and APA150) from Parts-Express. And Parts-Express confirmed that this will work.

IF I had a different amp, like one that had 250 watts at 4 Ohms, would the shaking being more pronounced?

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post #5 of 25 Old 03-25-2017, 10:21 AM
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How to get 4 Ohms from Amp (for Buttkicker)

Just my 2¢…

Quote:
Originally Posted by XBR11 View Post
My Buttkicker mini-LFE needs 4 Ohms impedance.

My Dayton Audio APA150 can do either 4 Ohms or 8 Ohms. "delivers 75 watts per channel in its full-range stereo configuration, or 150 watts into 8 ohms when in bridge-mono mode. "

So how do I wire the amp to get 4 Ohms? Of course there is nothing in the instructions on how to do this.

The back of the amp has a Left-Speaker Output and a Right-Speaker Output; each output has a black and a red speaker wire connector. And the amplifier has a Mono/Stereo Speaker Output Switch.…
You're misunderstanding impedance and electrical resistance. There's nothing you do to your AVR to "give" 4Ω. That's a measurement of your speaker's inherent resistance. Any peculiar wiring to try to change the speaker's resistance may damage your equipment or, worse, start a fire IMHO.

"150 watts into 8Ω load" is simply a measurement of how much power the amp can produce into that amount of resistance. With a lower resistance, the amp could potentially produce more, before cooking itself to an early death.

Some AVRs like Yamahas have an adv setup switch to accommodate lower-impedance speakers. I used to use this, until learning that this is really just a setting to allow the AVR to pass UL testing of a sustained power output to low impedance speakers, by limiting internal signal power. In your case, you can use the AVR switch, or just remember not to set the trim or volume to the low impedance speakers too high, as it will make the amp work harder, build up more heat, maybe damage itself and/or the speakers. I did this for years with my ~6Ω speakers on AVRs without an impedance switch.

Follow the AVR instructions for wiring subwoofers, either as active/passive inline with the main speakers, or from an LFE/subwoofer line out connection.
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post #6 of 25 Old 03-25-2017, 11:41 AM - Thread Starter
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The amp (for the mini-LFE) does not explain how to hook up the wires for either 150 watts (bi-amped) or 75 watts. It is not an AVR.

But I think I figured it out.
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post #7 of 25 Old 03-26-2017, 05:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Would a voltage booster help in this case ?

If I installed a voltage booster on the speaker line in to the Dayton audio amplifier (that is used to power my Buttkicker mini-LFE) would I be able to decrease the volume / level on the amplifier?

As it is now, the volume/level has to be set to maximum (to get sufficient shaking) and that does not allow me much adjustment room.

The Buttkicker mini-LFE is rated 50 to 250 watts, while the Dayton audio amplifier is rated at 75 watts.

I know one option would be a new more expensive amp that has more watts.

But I wonder If a voltage booster on the speaker line in to the Dayton audio would do the same thing.

Appreciate your assistance.
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post #8 of 25 Old 03-26-2017, 05:45 AM
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You can use an autotransformer with multiple taps to allow your amplifier to drive the device with maximum power and the correct loading. Peavey had one called the Automatch that could handle about 400 watts The wiring is really simple. The transformer has a common terminal that's used with one wire from the amp and one wire from the speaker. Then the amplifier's other wire is attached to the correct terminal to give 8 ohms and the driver's other wire is attached to the 4 ohm tap. This will allow the amp to drive the higher voltage tap with less current and the driver to use the lower voltage but higher current tap to also allow it to be driven correctly with full power.

I have a Peavey Automatch that I have permanently mounted in my studio with a selector box to allow any amp to be used with any speaker all by hooking it up and selecting the right load.
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post #9 of 25 Old 03-26-2017, 08:29 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XBR11 View Post
My Buttkicker mini-LFE needs 4 Ohms impedance.

My Dayton Audio APA150 can do either 4 Ohms or 8 Ohms. "delivers 75 watts per channel in its full-range stereo configuration, or 150 watts into 8 ohms when in bridge-mono mode. "

So how do I wire the amp to get 4 Ohms? Of course there is nothing in the instructions on how to do this.

The back of the amp has a Left-Speaker Output and a Right-Speaker Output; each output has a black and a red speaker wire connector. And the amplifier has a Mono/Stereo Speaker Output Switch.

So how do I wire the amp to the Buttkicker with 4 Ohms?

Thank you!
Just hook the positive output from the amp to the positive input on the Buttkicker and do the same for the negative and it will work.

Enjoy
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post #10 of 25 Old 03-26-2017, 11:21 AM - Thread Starter
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I believe this is how to wire it for a 4 ohm load. Use either the top channel or the bottom channel. Here I am using the top channel, and stereo selected on the mono/stereo switch.

Update 03/31/2017 - When wiring for a subwoofer, only use the left line input. Using both line inputs is WRONG.
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post #11 of 25 Old 03-26-2017, 11:26 AM - Thread Starter
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I believe this is how to wire it for a 8 ohm load. Half of each channel (I think this "bridged") and I selected mono on the mono / stereo switch.

Update 03/31/2017 - When wiring for a subwoofer, only use the left line input. Using both line inputs is WRONG.
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post #12 of 25 Old 03-30-2017, 05:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Okay, I was wrong in how to wire the amplifier.

My problem has been that in order to have meaningful tactile feeling out of the mini LFE, the amp's level had to be turned up to almost the very maximum.

I've talked with Andrew at Buttkicker several times. He said several times that the Dayton Audio APA150 and the Buttkicker Mini-LFE ought to work great together. He did suggest that I probably would benefit from a voltage booster on the sub line into amp. I did try one and I couldn't get it to work at all.

I've talked / texted with tech support at Parts Express several times. They thought maybe a bigger amp or a voltage booster or maybe a something else. Did not get problem-solving advice.

Well by trial and error I figured it out. In order to plug my subwoofer line into both the left and right amp line in inputs, I had used a splitter. I took out the splitter, and plugged the subwoofer cable into the left line in. I had assumed that I needed to use both the left and right inputs. Wrong. Somehow using both line inputs was wrong.

Now I am getting butt kicking at just a tad over half level on the amplifier. Most excellent!! Exactly what I was expecting.

It would have been better experience if the included instructions would been better. Or if there were instructions on line. Or if Buttkicker or Parts Express would have asked how I had done the wiring. Or I understood more about electricity. Or if I understood more about subwoofers lines and splitting.

Shakers aren't exactly for novice DIYers.

Hopefully someone that comes behind me can benefit from my learning experiences.
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post #13 of 25 Old 03-30-2017, 07:37 PM
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Its in the manual, but even looking specifically just for that statement it took me a minute to find it. You'd think it would be under the 'connecting a speaker for mono output' section. I don't have one of these, was just curious. Like most consumer manuals, just poorly organized.
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post #14 of 25 Old 03-31-2017, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XBR11 View Post
I believe this is how to wire it for a 8 ohm load. Half of each channel (I think this "bridged") and I selected mono on the mono / stereo switch.
FWIW, that is not wiring the amp for 8 ohms. It is bridging the amp. The amp is only rated for 8 ohm loads when bridged. It's common for the minimum specified load impedance to be doubled when you run any bridgeable amp bridged. (bridging means you use the amp that would otherwise be left side plus the amp that would otherwise be just the right side to drive a single mono speaker load. Gets you lots more power, but of course you're no longer stereo . . .)

An amp does not output ohms at all. It outputs volts and current. (it has an "output impedance" which will be in detailed specifications but that will be way under a tenth of an ohm, because if it's not, the amp cannot stay accurate when playing into a normal speaker level impedance. And the output impedance is not at all related to the impedance at which power output is specified).

Anyway, for nearly all solid state power amps, the usual recommendation is to use them with a speaker impedance equal to or greater than the lowest impedance the amp is specified to work with. Lower impedances, at high power (for that amp), may cause the amp to shut down, or even damage the amp. But unlike most tube amps, there's not really any need to match the amp's impedance spec to the speaker.
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post #15 of 25 Old 03-31-2017, 12:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Jady Jenkins View Post
Just hook the positive output from the amp to the positive input on the Buttkicker and do the same for the negative and it will work.

Enjoy
Have you simply tried what was is stated above?
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post #16 of 25 Old 03-31-2017, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XBR11 View Post
Okay, I was wrong in how to wire the amplifier.

My problem has been that in order to have meaningful tactile feeling out of the mini LFE, the amp's level had to be turned up to almost the very maximum.
I'm frankly surprised you didn't burn something up or permanently damage either amp or the speakers.

Since you don't understand what ohms are, I'd stick to the documented connection methods in your equipment manuals. Some other jerry-rigged hack is liable to cause damage.
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post #17 of 25 Old 03-31-2017, 01:04 PM - Thread Starter
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The documentation did not show how to hook up the subwoofer cable into the amp. As @Bigus stated above, there may be one sentence that does talk about it. But it is easily overlooked by people looking for clear instructions. The documentation does not show/talk about how to wire for a 4 or 8 ohms load.

I have no doubts that for experts my problems sound stupid. But we aren't all experts, and the next person might have the same problem. We are solving the problems going forward.

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post #18 of 25 Old 03-31-2017, 01:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jady Jenkins View Post
Have you simply tried what was is stated above?
Did you see in the photo that there are two red speaker wire terminals, and two black speaker wire terminals? What if I picked the wrong one, BECAUSE the documentation was not clear.

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post #19 of 25 Old 03-31-2017, 01:17 PM
 
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Just hook up the red to the positive and the black to the negative and all will go well for you. Make sure things are powered down while you do this...

If you have already tried this, please disregard my directions.
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post #20 of 25 Old 03-31-2017, 01:35 PM
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Since your butkicker is probably 4 ohm nominal, what people are saying is that you have it connected mono into 4 ohm, and when bridged each channel sees half that. As the amp is only rated for 2 ohm, you are overdriving the amp and putting it as risk for failure.

It will probably work fine. Until it doesn't. I'm not familiar with what protections that amp has. Maybe it will cycle itself off and prevent failure. Or not.

The safe way would be to connect the inputs and butkicker to just one channel and set to stereo. You'll get half the power you are now but that may be enough and you don't risk burning up the amp.

The way you had it connected with a Y splitter... I suspect one input is inverted when the switch is set tto mono, thus it was trying to cancel two opposing signals internally (and not doing a great job, as you were still getting some sound). No boosting of the signal would help that. That's why only one input needs connecting.

And I hope my post didn't come off the wrong way. I knew exactly what I was looking for and had an idea of how they might have written it, and it still wasn't obvious on first pass through. Very poor manual. Leaves a lot open to assumption.
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post #21 of 25 Old 03-31-2017, 01:54 PM - Thread Starter
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You all know I'm good now, right?

The description of the amp is "Dayton Audio's versatile APA150 power amplifier delivers 75 watts per channel in its full-range stereo configuration, or 150 watts into 8 ohms when in bridge-mono mode."

The Buttkicker mini-LFE is 4 ohms.

So I got the two and it was not obvious to me how to wire the AVR sub pre-out to the APA150, NOR how to wire the APA150 to the Buttkicker. Thus I reached out to you all. I was never trying to hook it up incorrectly (such as bridged). I just wasn't sure how to wire it correctly. As it turned out, I had correctly wired the APA150 to the mini-LFE, but I had incorrectly wired the AVR to the APA150. But as post 12 shows, I am good now.

Thanks for all who offered their help.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by XBR11 View Post
You all know I'm good now, right?

The description of the amp is "Dayton Audio's versatile APA150 power amplifier delivers 75 watts per channel in its full-range stereo configuration, or 150 watts into 8 ohms when in bridge-mono mode."

The Buttkicker mini-LFE is 4 ohms.

So I got the two and it was not obvious to me how to wire the AVR sub pre-out to the APA150, NOR how to wire the APA150 to the Buttkicker. Thus I reached out to you all. I was never trying to hook it up incorrectly (such as bridged). I just wasn't sure how to wire it correctly. As it turned out, I had correctly wired the APA150 to the mini-LFE, but I had incorrectly wired the AVR to the APA150. But as post 12 shows, I am good now.

Thanks for all who offered their help.
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post #23 of 25 Old 03-31-2017, 10:43 PM
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Do you have it wired now only to the left channel, both input and output? It looks that way in the picture but from your description it seemed as if you thought it was still in bridged mono.

If it is hooked only to left channel, that's good. Regardless of what you call it, that's the safe way to run the amp.
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post #24 of 25 Old 04-03-2017, 06:56 AM - Thread Starter
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@Bigus - The wire from the AVR's sub pre-out is only plugged into the AMP's Left input. The wires from the AMP to the mini-LFE are using the Black and the Red output terminals. I was never trying to run the AMP in bridged mode - i just had to figure out how that was done, so that I wouldn't do it.

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post #25 of 25 Old 04-03-2017, 10:30 AM
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Ah, got it now. All is well.
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