How to wire a 2x12 guitar speaker

Written by matthew anderson
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How to wire a 2x12 guitar speaker
(Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images)

Guitar speaker cabinets are identified by the number and size of the speakers contained within them. A 2x12 speaker cabinet contains two 12-inch diameter speakers. There are two possible ways to wire a 2x12 speaker cabinet. The total ohm rating for the speaker depends on whether the speakers are wired in series or in parallel. Both series and parallel wiring are commonly used. The wiring technique depends on which method equalises the speaker cabinet ohm rating to the amplifier rating.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • 2 12-inch diameter guitar speakers
  • Speaker jack plate
  • 3 wires (series wiring)
  • 4 wires (parallel wiring)
  • Solder iron
  • Electrician solder

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Instructions

    Parallel Wiring

  1. 1

    Plug the solder iron into an electrical socket to start warming it up.

  2. 2

    Touch the ends of a length of wire to the "+" tabs for both speakers.

  3. 3

    Touch the tip of the solder iron to the end of the coil of electrician solder. A drop should be melted onto the tip.

  4. 4

    Touch the tip of the solder iron to one end of the wire. The drop of solder solidifies to hold the end of the wire to the "+" tab on the speaker.

  5. 5

    Solder the other end of the wire to the "+" tab of the second speaker.

  6. 6

    Solder a length of wire to connect the "-" tabs of both speakers together.

  7. 7

    Solder a length of wire to connect the "+" tab of the first speaker to the "+" tab of the speaker jack plate.

  8. 8

    Solder a length of wire to connect the "-" tab of the first speaker to the "-" tab of the speaker jack plate.

    Series Wiring

  1. 1

    Plug the solder iron into an electrical socket to start warming it up.

  2. 2

    Solder a length of wire to connect the "+" tab of the first speaker to the "-" tab of the second speaker.

  3. 3

    Solder a length of wire to connect the "-" tab of the first speaker to the "-" tab of the speaker jack plate.

  4. 4

    Solder a length of wire to connect the "+" tab of the second speaker to the "+" tab of the speaker jack plate.

Tips and warnings

  • Wiring the speakers in parallel reduces the ohm rating of the speaker cabinet to half the rating of the speakers. Wiring two 8-ohm speakers in parallel results in a 4-ohm guitar speaker cabinet.
  • Wiring the speakers in series doubles the ohm rating of the speaker cabinet in comparison to the speakers. Wiring two 8-ohm speakers in parallel results in a 16-ohm guitar speaker cabinet.
  • You cannot wire a 2x12 speaker cabinet so it has the same ohm rating as the speakers. You need to create a 1x12 or 4x12 speaker cabinet for this to be possible.

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