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Powering centre channel with stereo amp

Chrisp7091

Established Member
Is it possible to use a stereo amplifier to power my centre speaker using the pre outs from my main receiver?.

In particular I'm not sure how this setup works bearing in mind the stereo amp has 2 channels, but I'm trying to use it to power just one speaker. Do I just plug my speaker cable into only the left or right channel outputs?. I heard that running a stereo amp using only one channel output might cause damage to the amp...??.

Cheers.
 

phils_wicked

Established Member
Good question..........I've no idea lol

I have used a stereo amp to power fronts before, but not a centre. So this is a guess.....

Take a pair of phons's from the centre pre outs of the AV amp, to an input on the stereo amp.

( I dont know if this bit will work but here goes)

Take a speaker cable from one - (negative) speaker terminal (say the left speaker terminal) on the stereo amp to the - terminal on the centre speaker

Then another speaker cable from the Right + terminal to the + speaker terminal on the centre.

orrrrr, if the centre can be bi-wired, would it be poss to run the left stereo channel to the Hi freq terminals on the centre, then the right channel to the low freq channel?

Sorry I dont know.......I'm thinking out loud more than anything. Hopefully someone will know.
 

Chrisp7091

Established Member
Thanks for that. I can see how both channels could be used to drive the high and low frequency terminals on my centre - its a KEF100c, so its biwireable.

Has anyone else tried this?.

Cheers.
 

clockworks

Prominent Member
I use a stereo power amp to run my centre speaker. It's a Naim 110, powering a Quad L-ite centre.

I've got a single phono from the receiver centre pre-out connected to both amp inputs. The Naim uses an XLR-type connector, which is easy to wire up as a dual-mono lead. For a normal amp with phono inputs, you need a single phono with 2 phonos wired to it, or a single phono with a "Y" adaptor at the amp end.
Connect the HF and LF speaker terminals to the left and right amp speaker connectors to bi-amp the speaker. Make sure you remove the bridging links on the speaker!

If you're using a normal integrated stereo amp, connect to any of the line inputs. If your amp has power-ins, use those.

I've been running with this setup for over 10 years, using various receivers and speakers. It's a worthwhile upgrade.
 

Chrisp7091

Established Member
That sounds great. I wouldn't have thought of the 'y' phono input if it hadn't been mentioned. I'm hoping to get a fuller more 'rounded' sound from my centre by using my old stereo amp. Fingers crossed!.

BTW, are the 'y' phono leads commonly available?.
 

cheechy

Established Member
I'm running my MA Gold Siganture LCR from a Pioneer A400 stereo amp with a Y cable made up by Mark Grant.

Sounds way better (I mean WAY better) than the Yamaha 630 AV Amp that I've got.

Well worth doing if you have the room in your rack :thumbsup:
 

davehk

Established Member
Chrisp7091 said:
That sounds great. I wouldn't have thought of the 'y' phono input if it hadn't been mentioned. I'm hoping to get a fuller more 'rounded' sound from my centre by using my old stereo amp. Fingers crossed!.

BTW, are the 'y' phono leads commonly available?.

Just feed one side and push the mono switch.
 

Coolit

Established Member
How successful do you think I would be using my old (still loved!) NAD 3020e stereo amp to power my center speaker in the way described? I already have my Pioneer A400 powering my front left and right.

The NAD has been in a cupboard for over 2 years, it would be nice to make use of it again :)
 

clockworks

Prominent Member
The NAD should work fine.
 

MI55ION

Distinguished Member
clockworks said:
I use a stereo power amp to run my centre speaker. It's a Naim 110, powering a Quad L-ite centre.

I've got a single phono from the receiver centre pre-out connected to both amp inputs. The Naim uses an XLR-type connector, which is easy to wire up as a dual-mono lead. For a normal amp with phono inputs, you need a single phono with 2 phonos wired to it, or a single phono with a "Y" adaptor at the amp end.Connect the HF and LF speaker terminals to the left and right amp speaker connectors to bi-amp the speaker. Make sure you remove the bridging links on the speaker!

If you're using a normal integrated stereo amp, connect to any of the line inputs. If your amp has power-ins, use those.

I've been running with this setup for over 10 years, using various receivers and speakers. It's a worthwhile upgrade.

:hiya: I'm considering using a normal integrated stereo amp to run just the centre speaker. The Q is will it not damage the speakers if for instance, you send Left Speaker Out to HF terminals and Right Speaker Out to LF terminals on speakers in a bi-wire / bi-amp style? Thanks

EDIT: Silly Q, but I need to be certain just in case
 

Chrisp7091

Established Member
MI55ION said:
:hiya: I'm considering using a normal integrated stereo amp to run just the centre speaker. The Q is will it not damage the speakers if for instance, you send Left Speaker Out to HF terminals and Right Speaker Out to LF terminals on speakers in a bi-wire / bi-amp style? Thanks

EDIT: Silly Q, but I need to be certain just in case

Hi - I tried this setup after posting on the forum and had no problems using the left and right channels to power the HF and LF drivers on my KEF 100C, which is biwireable. The Cyrus amp I used is still working fine - no shorts or other disasters!.

I didn't stick with the setup in the end, however. I found piping the centre channel through my Cyrus amp gave an inconsistent soundfield across my front 3 speakers - there was a distinct difference in the presentation of the dialogue from my Cyrus on the centre channel and HK reciever I normally use powering the rest. The HK was more - 'up front' sounding and this didn't mix well with the 'gentler' sound I got from my music amp running the centre channel.

Still, an interesting experiment!.
 

MI55ION

Distinguished Member
:thumbsup: Thanks for that, it's good to know...

Well, I've just acquired the CA 640av2 amp (for some reason Cambridge sounds fantastic in my setup) for my mains and will soon get the smaller CA 340a belonging to the same range for the centre. Hopefully by sticking to the same sort of amps I wont experience the sort of problem you had. The quest continues...:)
 

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