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Two amplifiers w/ one audio source
v.wochnik
post Feb 15 2013, 12:12
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Hello Guys

This is my first post here, great forum btw!

Anyway, in our gym we have this setup: We have two different areas and for each area, we have a seperate amplifier. For the entrance area, we have a smaller amp and for our "room of pain" we have a big ass amp for some loud music.

The smaller amplifier is mostly sourced by an online radio and that's fine. The big amp is connected to a PC. However, sometimes we want the PC not only to provide the big amp, but also the small one to have the same music everywhere.
We tried to put them in parallel with a special cable, but that almost killed one of the amps. It got really hot and the amp almost started catching fire.

Is there a way to put the two amps in series so that we can switch the smaller amp from radio to PC? Like this?

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1706321/amp.png

Can anyone please help me?

Thank you.
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julf
post Feb 15 2013, 12:58
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Does one of the amps have a tape out / aux out? That would allow you to chain them. If not, I suggest getting a small, cheap 2-channel mixer (or making one with a couple of resistors).
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rick.hughes
post Feb 15 2013, 14:53
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Don't really understand what went wrong since you don't provide many details about the equipment.

It's usually OK to split an output to feed multiple inputs. Splitting the line out from the computer and feeding each to a different amp should work. It's when you try to have multiple outputs feed a single input that you can get into trouble and that's when you need a mixer.

If one of the amps has a line out then you could probably hook them up in "series" as you call it though that is not exactly what I would call it. But you should be able to make it work the way you originally tried.

Maybe you hooked something up wrong. When you tried before did it work at all? If it was working maybe it just seemed like the amp was getting hot because you never noticed how hot it usually runs.

This post has been edited by rick.hughes: Feb 15 2013, 14:58
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Speedskater
post Feb 15 2013, 14:57
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Connection instructions from Rane Corp.

RaneNote:

"Why Not Wye?"

Splitting Signals
Subwoofing in Mono
Unbalanced Summing
Balanced Summing
Output Impedances

http://www.rane.com/note109.html


--------------------
Kevin
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rick.hughes
post Feb 15 2013, 15:04
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From that Rane article:
QUOTE
A wye-connector used to split a signal into two lines is being used properly; a wye-connector used to mix two signals into one is being abused and may even damage the equipment involved.

Unless I have misunderstood he was trying to split a signal so it should have worked. But who knows what his "special cable" was or how he used it.

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mixminus1
post Feb 15 2013, 15:25
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...and just to be absolutely clear to the OP: all discussion here assumes/is pertaining to splitting line-level signals going into the amps.

Under no circumstances should you ever attempt to combine/"split" the *output* of two amplifiers into the same load - that would most certainly lead to an amp getting "really hot", if not outright destroying itself.


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"Not sure what the question is, but the answer is probably no."
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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Feb 15 2013, 17:30
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QUOTE (v.wochnik @ Feb 15 2013, 06:12) *
Hello Guys

This is my first post here, great forum btw!

Anyway, in our gym we have this setup: We have two different areas and for each area, we have a seperate amplifier. For the entrance area, we have a smaller amp and for our "room of pain" we have a big ass amp for some loud music.

The smaller amplifier is mostly sourced by an online radio and that's fine. The big amp is connected to a PC. However, sometimes we want the PC not only to provide the big amp, but also the small one to have the same music everywhere.
We tried to put them in parallel with a special cable, but that almost killed one of the amps. It got really hot and the amp almost started catching fire.

Is there a way to put the two amps in series so that we can switch the smaller amp from radio to PC? Like this?

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1706321/amp.png


Your goal of having the same music in both places would be satisfied by hooking the same source to the inputs of both ampliifers. Forget about messing with the outputs!
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v.wochnik
post Feb 15 2013, 19:20
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Thank you guys.

YES, the output of the PC is splitted and these go in the amps. Actually, we DO know, that it was kinda hot, also the amp started not working after a while. We had music on both amps though, w/ decent quality.
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julf
post Feb 15 2013, 19:46
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QUOTE (v.wochnik @ Feb 15 2013, 19:20) *
Actually, we DO know, that it was kinda hot, also the amp started not working after a while. We had music on both amps though, w/ decent quality.


So do you actually know it wasn't hot before you connected the inputs? The problems with the amp might be completely unrelated to the cable splitting...
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DVDdoug
post Feb 15 2013, 21:55
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I agree... Something strange is going on... Unless you overdrive the input (which you can't do from a computer), nothing at the input should cause any problems. For example, if you short-out the input, that won't damage the amp, but you are also shorting-out the computer's output, and that could potentially damage the soundcard. (Except of course, a loud-input with the volume turned-up will "push" more power out the output and create more heat.)

Are you running that 2nd amp louder with the computer than with the radio? I'm just thinking that if it was talk radio or news, and now you're playing music, you might be running the amp "harder". If running the amp hard causes it to overheat & shut down, you might need a just different amp, or maybe you have too many speakers connected.

It might just be the long wire causing some sort of RF oscillation. That would be very unusual... It's just the only thing I can think of... Is it the smaller "far" amp that's getting hot? Actually, the long cables are electrically connected to both amps, so a strange issue like that could affect either amp...

If the amp is still "alive", you can try the long cable-run with just the one amp connected, with or without the splitter plugged-in.

These are both stereo amplifiers (with left & right), right? A mono amp wouldn't cause that problem, but it creates another issue with the connections.

If it is the long cables, a cheap little mixer (or preamp) near the "problem amp" should take care of the problem. The mixer won't be used as a mixer to mix signals... just to "condition" the signal. But, a little mixer is usually cheaper than a preamp.

QUOTE
We tried to put them in parallel with a special cable...
Your average-everyday "splitter cable" like this should work fine.

This post has been edited by DVDdoug: Feb 15 2013, 21:59
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