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One set of speakers with two sources

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Art M, Dec 7, 2004.

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  1. Art M

    Art M Guest

    Sorry if this question is too basic. I have my computer connected to a set
    of speakers (amplified sub-woofer with satellites), and I have a piano
    keyboard. I connected all three using a y-splitter (1/8" jacks?). The
    problem is that half the volume of the signal is apparently lost down the
    inactive source.

    Can I make or buy a simple switch for the two sources? A guy at Radio Shack
    came up with a solution that involved some box and about six adaptors that
    totaled to about $40. I can continue to play old fashioned telephone
    operator for that price.

    Or perhaps there's some sort of diode-like devices I can use with the

  2. Bob Masta

    Bob Masta Guest

    The general rule of thumb is that you can use 'Y'
    splitters to connect one output to two or more inputs,
    but you should never connect two outputs together

    Anything with diodes will trash your sound, so that's
    out. But since your speakers are amplified, you can
    probably get away with a simple passive mixer.
    It's really just a refinement of the 'Y' connector,
    except that you need to put a resistor in series
    with each arm that comes from an output. You
    technically need a third resistor *across* the
    input to the amp (from center to ground) but
    most amps have one built in. I'd start off
    with about 10K ohms in each output arm.

    You will still lose half the volume, but now it's
    due to the passive resistors. Just boost your
    amp volume to compensate.

    Hope this helps!

    Bob Masta

    D A Q A R T A
    Data AcQuisition And Real-Time Analysis
  3. Art M

    Art M Guest

    Thanks for the help Bob.

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