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Old 2nd July 2010, 01:59 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Default Stereo output from mono source? Please help

Hi all, I'm new to the forum so I hope I'm not posting something that's already been covered, but I didn't have any luck finding anything about this particular issue. I should mention I'm not too savvy in this sort of stuff.

Anyway, my problem is this. I have a soundcard with separate Left/Right outputs (both balanced 1/4" TRS). What I would like to do is to use seperate sets of PC speakers for each output (that is, two speakers for R channel, 2 for L channel.) I've tried every combination of plugs and adapters I can think of and have had no luck. I would've thought using a mono adapter would simply send the same mono signal to each speaker, but that's not happening. Does anyone know of a way I can do this without a great deal of hassle? I just want to get a set of stereo speakers to output the same mono signal, which I thought would be simple, but...

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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Old 2nd July 2010, 02:58 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2010
I guess I forgot to mention that I am getting sound, but only from ONE of each pair of stereo speakers.
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Old 2nd July 2010, 04:16 AM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Do you get sound from left and right, or just one side? If the latter, you may have a bad channel on the sound card.
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Old 2nd July 2010, 02:00 PM   #4
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Chicago, IL
So, you have left and right, but only one of the two speakers on each side, is that correct? You have to start with the basic logical diagnosis of plugging and unplugging.

What happens when you switch speaker 1 and 2 on a channel? Is the same speaker working, or now is it the other one, which would hint that maybe one side of the cord is bad. Does seem unlikely that you have two splitters with the same flaw, but weirder things have happened.

It is possible that with two (I'm presuming they're amplified speakers, right?) speakers plugged in, there might not be enough signal to drive both speakers, but this seems unlikely. Is the volume on the computer all the way up? Do you have a preamp available that you can try on there just to see what happens when you have a stronger signal?

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Old 2nd July 2010, 10:42 PM   #5
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
Does each speaker have a separate mono phone plug? Or do two speakers share one stereo phone plug? If you plug a stereo phone plug into a mono socket, the right channel of the stereo part is just left connected to nothing - it is the 'ring' and in a mono socket it has nothing that touches it.
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Old 4th July 2010, 02:04 AM   #6
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No matter how i plug things in, only one speaker works in each pair, and it's always the same one. The sound card is not the problem as all channels work fine when hooked up in a mono-mono configuration. Steerpike, each of the speaker pairs only has one stereo plug, and yes, it's hooked up to a mono source. What I'm wondering is if there is some way i can set things up so that both speakers will simply output that one mono signal. Thanks,

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Old 4th July 2010, 04:57 AM   #7
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Silicon Valley
It would help if you specify the output connector and the input connector of the speakers...

if I understand correctly, (as odd as it is) you have an output from 1/8" mini jack from a sound card. You take a standard cable such as standard 1/8" to mono rca right/left (red/white) and run one RCA to each *pair* of speakers.

Now you need a mono y cable, to take the mono signal from a single RCA (or mono phone plug) to two rca's (or two mono phone plugs, or a stereo 1/8" tip/ring/sleeve type plug)

such as:
RadioShack® 6-Inch Shielded Y- 1/4" Plugs to Mono 1/4" Jack -
(such y-cables are fairly easy to find with RCA connectors)

again, this is where defining connectors would help. But you get the idea. The best way might be to make your own cable... If everything is all in 1/8" plugs, it will be tough to get something off the shelf without switching to RCA to buy the proper y-cable. As steerpike describes about tip & ring - you may just end up connected to nothing... (or the flip side, a mono plug into a stereo jack just shorts one input, as there is no ring, just sleeve)

best of luck.
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Old 4th July 2010, 09:00 PM   #8
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Ok, I finally got it. Sorry if i did a poor job explaining my setup. The Soundcard outs are actually 1/4" which i had been converting to 1/8". Ultimately the setup that works is Souncard Outs 1/2 > RCA L/R to single 1/8" Stereo (female) Y adapter > 1/8" Stereo (male) to 2 1/8" Stereo (female) Y adapter > 2 sets of speakers. Thanks for all the advice guys. Very much appreciated. Happy 4th.

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