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What's the difference between "parallel" and "series" wiring?

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When you wire a pair of speakers in parallel, you connect the positive (+) leads of both speakers to the amp's positive (+) terminal and the negative (-) leads of both speakers to the amp's negative (-) terminal. If you parallel wire two 4-ohm speakers, the amp sees a 2-ohm load. This lower ohm load (lower resistance) pulls more power from the amp and causes the amp to run hotter. Amps that can handle this additional heat build-up are considered 2-ohm stable. Series wiring works the same way as flashlight batteries; the positive end of one speaker is connected to the negative end of the other speaker. Wire from the positive terminal of the amplifier to the positive terminal of one speaker. Then wire from the negative terminal of the first speaker to the positive terminal of the second speaker. Finally, run a wire from the negative terminal of the second speaker to the negative terminal of the amplifier. If you series-wire two 4-ohm speakers, the amp will see an 8-ohm load. This ... more
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