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Wiring Car Stereo to Mono Speaker

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Forum Name: Car Audio - Hot Topics
Forum Discription: Stickied topics from our car audio forum. Car Audio FAQs. Read First!
Printed Date: May 24, 2022 at 4:39 PM

Topic: Wiring Car Stereo to Mono Speaker

Posted By: maximgoose
Subject: Wiring Car Stereo to Mono Speaker
Date Posted: June 12, 2009 at 5:21 AM


i drive a 1972 car with one speaker in the dashboard-i'd like to wire a car stereo to it-is it possible to retain both channels while not damging the stereo or speaker

thank you



Posted By: tommy...
Date Posted: June 12, 2009 at 7:38 AM
Im sorry...You want to use both channels of the stereo on a single common ground speaker? What kind of car,radio,speaker...?

M.E.C.P & First-Class
Go slow and drink lots of water...Procrastinators' Unite...Tomorrow!

Posted By: maximgoose
Date Posted: June 12, 2009 at 7:48 AM

hi-yes,if possible

its a radiomobile stereo 8 (8track cartridge machine),the car is a volvo 144 1972,with the original speaker mounted behind the dashboard--i'm afraid i dont know its specifications

Posted By: haemphyst
Date Posted: June 12, 2009 at 8:00 AM
Well, first of all, how do you expect to get stero signal from a single speaker? So that idea is out...

Secondly, you can use a SMALL bridgeable stereo amplifier and bridge it to a single speaker in the dash, (this will give you a "mixed mono") but you will have to replace the speaker - the OEM will not handle the power ANY (even small) bridged amplifier will make. There are no decks that will allow you to bridge their outputs, that I am aware of.

i am an idiot might be able to tell you how to feed stereo signal into a mono full-range speaker, out of a modern deck... If he reads into this thread, he'll tell you what he can. otherwise, PM him...

It all reminds me of something that Molière once said to Guy de Maupassant at a café in Vienna: "That's nice. You should write it down."

Posted By: i am an idiot
Date Posted: June 12, 2009 at 8:47 AM

You can safely connect a speaker to the left positive wire and the right negative wire of any newer radio.  I just played one at near clipping for 15 minutes and the heat sink never got above 92 degrees.  I also played it another 15 minutes with the balance to one side, If you bridge a bridgeable amplifier and only drive one channel, the undriven channel will heat up much more than the channel that is driven.  The output chip in the radio does not seem to have a problem with this. 

I said left positive and right negative only because those are the more common bridge wires.  In the case of a radio, you can use left negative and right positive.

If you do not feel comfortable with my answer, connect the speaker to the left channel and play it for 15 minutes as loud as you think it would ever be played.  Feel the heat sink or put a thermometer on it.  Then connect the speaker to left positive and right negative and play it again, while monitoring the temperature.

Posted By: maximgoose
Date Posted: June 12, 2009 at 8:51 AM
ah-i'll try that left positive and right negative-many thanks--will i get a full mono mix of the sound this way or just some of it?

Posted By: i am an idiot
Date Posted: June 12, 2009 at 10:13 PM
You will get full left and full right as long as the balance is in the middle. It will have both channels of info but it will be mono.

Posted By: maximgoose
Date Posted: June 13, 2009 at 3:17 AM

thanks very much-this is a very helpful forum


Posted By: pitman
Date Posted: April 19, 2010 at 4:21 AM

I have a related question.

I own an old MG which has a mono speaker in the center console. I plan to install two speakers for stereo, but it'd be a shame to waste the existing speaker -- would the left-positive right-negative work for the center speaker IN ADDITION to normal stereo connection to the other two? And if so, would I have to play with the impedance level(s)?



Posted By: i am an idiot
Date Posted: April 26, 2010 at 8:12 AM
I would not do that on the same 2 channels of the radio.  You can however bridge the single on the front channels and wire the others to the rear channels of th eradio, if the rear channels are not being used.

Posted By: pitman
Date Posted: April 27, 2010 at 8:26 AM
Will do exactly that - thanks!

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