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Author Topic: Question on combining audio channels / cables for playback.  (Read 282 times)

Zackary Kutler

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Alright, so I play music from my laptop with only a 3.5 mm audio output hole into an amplifier with only rca left (white) and red (right) inputs. These then are transferred into speaker cable + and - slots for output into two passive bookshelf speakers with two posts in each speaker. What is the best way for me to turn the 3.5mm cable into two rca inputs for balanced stereo playback? I currently use a male 3.5mm plugged into my PC to female 3.5 mm and then a cable with male 3.5mm plugged into that female slot connection that is turned into two male rca into the amp
« Last Edit: July 11, 2019, 07:49:22 am by Zackary Kutler »
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David Winners

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Re: Question on combining audio channels / cables for playback.
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2019, 08:24:14 am »

A quality 3.5 mm TRS to RCA wye cable should work fine. I don't understand why you have the 3.5 mm male to female adapter in your signal chain.

The only way you will get stereo to the amplifier is by using TRS cables/adapters. If any of the cables are TS, you will be in mono with some audio degradation.
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David Allred

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Re: Question on combining audio channels / cables for playback.
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2019, 08:36:10 am »

Alright, so I play music from my laptop with only a 3.5 mm audio output hole into an amplifier with only rca left (white) and red (right) inputs. These then are transferred into speaker cable + and - slots for output into two passive bookshelf speakers with two posts in each speaker. What is the best way for me to turn the 3.5mm cable into two rca inputs for balanced stereo playback? I currently use a male 3.5mm plugged into my PC to female 3.5 mm and then a cable with male 3.5mm plugged into that female slot connection that is turned into two male rca into the amp

You need a stereo male 3.5mm to RCA male cable in the length you need.  There is no balanced signal from the PC headphone jack, and no other equipment in line to the amp to balance it.  Your subject header referenced combining, but not mentioned in the post.
Did you leave out some info?
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Mark Cadwallader

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Re: Question on combining audio channels / cables for playback.
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2019, 12:09:01 pm »

An RCA connector is not a balanced connection.  You cannot use an RCA connector to directly make a balanced connection, just as a single RCA connector channel cannot pass a stereo signal.
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Chris Hindle

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Re: Question on combining audio channels / cables for playback.
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2019, 12:24:14 pm »

An RCA connector is not a balanced connection.  You cannot use an RCA connector to directly make a balanced connection, just as a single RCA connector channel cannot pass a stereo signal.
No worries Mark.
His laptop is stereo TRS, not balanced....
Chris.
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Mark Cadwallader

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Re: Question on combining audio channels / cables for playback.
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2019, 05:26:28 pm »

Yes. The OP was wanting to go from a TRS stereo out into rca jacks with a balanced stereo signal.  That just can't be done with cables and rca connectors.
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Stephen Swaffer

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Re: Question on combining audio channels / cables for playback.
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2019, 11:05:18 pm »

Is the OP using the term "balanced" the way you guys are thinking?  iOS uses the term "balance" to refer to adjusting left/right on stereo vs a mono signal-which can also be selected by a switch.  Selecting mono defeats the "balance" slider-so they might be thinking they either have "mono" or "balanced stereo" as opposed to a hardware balanced output per channel?
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Steve Swaffer

David Winners

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Re: Question on combining audio channels / cables for playback.
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2019, 08:10:52 am »

Is the OP using the term "balanced" the way you guys are thinking?  iOS uses the term "balance" to refer to adjusting left/right on stereo vs a mono signal-which can also be selected by a switch.  Selecting mono defeats the "balance" slider-so they might be thinking they either have "mono" or "balanced stereo" as opposed to a hardware balanced output per channel?

This was my impression as well.
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Keith Broughton

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Re: Question on combining audio channels / cables for playback.
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2019, 09:39:35 am »

I currently use a male 3.5mm plugged into my PC to female 3.5 mm and then a cable with male 3.5mm plugged into that female slot connection that is turned into two male rca into the amp
Sounds about right.
There are cables that are 3.5 male to 2 RCA as one complete cable.

https://www.amazon.com/Parts-Express-3-5mm-Stereo-Cable/dp/B0002KR1OG
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Mark Cadwallader

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Re: Question on combining audio channels / cables for playback.
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2019, 09:41:26 am »

I did not consider the possibilty that "balanced" means (in audio terms) means something than pertaining to common mode rejection (CMR) of electrical interference.

If CMR is not what the OP was alluding to as "balanced", then my responses should be ignored.
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