Does daisy chaining speakers lose quality?
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  1. #1
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    Default Does daisy chaining speakers lose quality?

    Hi Guys I'm a first time poster so be easy!

    We're getting a new PA system at my residency and I want to send the main from my mixer into both the PA System (think 2 JBL tops and a sub) AND the in-house-system (think a bunch of ceiling speakers).

    The in-house-system requires output from an XLR wall socket

    If I were to daisy chain, it would look like this: (using XLR cables)

    mixer > subwoofer > left & right speakers > XLR wall socket

    Can anyone see anything wrong with this configuration? Any loss of signal? Any possible problems with daisy chaining the wall socket? Or are there too many links in the chain?

    I'm not 100% sure about this, but I think I heard somewhere before - every time you daisy chain, every time you add to the chain, you lose quality.

    Can someone clarify this?

  2. #2
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    Daisy chaining with balanced signals (XLR) should not introduce any significant loss of quality. You might want to run the Booth output into the ceiling speakers for more control.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by makar1 View Post
    Daisy chaining with balanced signals (XLR) should not introduce any significant loss of quality. You might want to run the Booth output into the ceiling speakers for more control.
    Great Idea! But what about my booth monitor? Would I have to forfeit that?

  4. #4
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    Don't bother if you're using a monitor, you'll probably need the Booth volume dial for that.
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  5. #5
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    Im not an expert with PA systems.. but every time you daisy chain a speaker the ohms get cut in half.

    For example... your amp outputs 2 channels at 8 ohms. With 2 speakers, each gets 8 ohms. Now if you daisy chain off that and add 2 more speakers you have 4 speakers at 4 ohms. Chain 2 more and its 6 speakers at 2 ohms. You get the idea.

    Besides the fact that most new speakers are not designed to take anything less than 4 ohms... 3 or 4 chains like your talking about would sound like crud and probably damage the speakers.

    Best thing to do is get a second amp and split the output on the mixer to both amps, and power your speakers properly.

  6. #6
    Tech Wizard loudat's Avatar
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    The drivers will become less responsive and sound weak and, more importantly, you risk cooking the amplifier.

  7. #7
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    If the speakers are being connected by XLR cables that would suggest that they are Active speakers, and that the XLR carries the line level audio signal, NOT the power.

    There is no problem whatsoever with daisy chaining balanced line level audio signals.

    Also why would anyone ever connect a high-power signal into a XLR wall input?
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  8. #8
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    In my experience POSTS #5 & #6 are correct. Each time you daisy chain a set of speakers the resistance is halved (ohms). Most PA speakers work at 8 and 4 ohms although your amp will be working harder to run say 4 speakers at 4 ohms than it will running 2 speakers at 8 ohms. If the speakers are designed to run at 8 or 4 ohms then it is not recommended to run any more speakers than that - it can destroy the speakers and fry the amp.

    As suggested the way to go is to split the input signal to add another amp or daisy chain the input signal from one amp to another.

    The configuration you explain looks like you are running 4 speakers in total (2 x sub and 2 mid/top speakers) and if they can run at 4 ohm then you can link the subs to the mid/top speakers - this assumes that your subs have a passive crossover built into them.

    I'm confusing myself now, but hope this all makes sense

  9. #9
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    What makes any of you think that the speakers in question are passive? From the details given in the 1st post they're almost guaranteed to be active speakers.

    There is no impedance/resistance issue with daisy chaining active speakers. And there is no risk of frying amps or destroying speakers.
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  10. #10
    Tech Mentor frankle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by makar1 View Post
    What makes any of you think that the speakers in question are passive? From the details given in the 1st post they're almost guaranteed to be active speakers.
    + 1, it sounds like self powered sub to self powered mid-highs, then linking out to the "normal" input to the in-house ceiling speaker (with its own amp already I'd bet).

    OP should clarify though.

    Also, does the sub have pass-thru and/or crossed-over link outs? Models would be handy.

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