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Stereo/computer gurus--help me connect my stereo and my PC!

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Ty McNeely, Apr 22, 2004.


  1. Ty McNeely

    Ty McNeely

    Mar 27, 2000
    TX
    Well, here's what I'm wanting to do, but I don't know if it can be done.


    Since I have a fairly large collection of music on my PC, I'd like to try and connect my PC and my TV to my stereo. Can this be done? I know it usually takes RCA's to go from TV to stereo, but what would it take to go from PC to stereo?

    Thanks!!
     
  2. Marlat

    Marlat

    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    You will generally need a 1/8th inch TRS (tip ring sleeve) plug to go to the line out of your soundcard / computer and on the other end of your cable you need two RCA plugs (for the line in of your stereo).

    The cable looks like a Y cable, but its really not because the TRS plug has two separate connections for the left and right channels.

    You should be able to get that cable from any electrnoics store it will be called 1/8 inch to RCA or something like that.
     
  3. Thor

    Thor Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dude, you KNOW this is supposed to be in the forum
    where the stereo to PC stuff is.

    Really, this forum is only to talk about
    how you might have had to do community
    service because you ....


    Well, let's not go there ....

    :bag:
     
  4. Ty McNeely

    Ty McNeely

    Mar 27, 2000
    TX
    Sweet!!! My (computer) stereo system actually came with that plug.


    Now the question is how to get all of these RCA's into my stereo! Do they make cables that are basically a Y cable for RCA's with 2 of them to go to the stereo and then 4 others (2 sets of 2, technically) to come from the PC/TV?

    Thanks. You rock! :)
     
  5. Marlat

    Marlat

    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    If I read what you are asking correctly, I think you just need to buy two separate cables.

    The stereo is likely to have at least one input, however to do what you intend ie PC + TV into stereo, the stereo will need two separate inputs (one for each set of RCA cables).

    If it only has one input, a radio shack near you should have a little switching device for a couple of bucks that allows you to input a few sets of RCAs and "switch" them to a single output which you can then run into your stereo. Kinda like an A/B box for your bass.

    PM me if you get stuck.
     
  6. Ty McNeely

    Ty McNeely

    Mar 27, 2000
    TX
    OK, I see what you're saying. I'll just have to switch them to get it to work like I want.

    Do they not make anything like this?? (horrible drawing, I know, but bear with me :D )
     
  7. Marlat

    Marlat

    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    OKay, technical point, all the plugs on that cable would be male. Secondly, the cable from the TV to Stereo would be RCA to RCA, whereas the cable from the PC to Stereo would be TRS to RCA, so it is highly unlikely that there would be a cable commercially available.

    If you were proficient with a soldering iron, I guess you could make one, but you would be far better off buying a cheap switching device from radioshack because it would allow you to easily switch between PC sound and tv sound without having to change the cable in the back of the stereo.

    Are you sure your stereo only has one set of RCA inputs? A lot have more than one nowdays?
     
  8. Ty McNeely

    Ty McNeely

    Mar 27, 2000
    TX
    I set it up that way because first of all, the TRS>RCA Y-cable that I have is FEMALE for the RCA end, so a MALE connector would be required to go into that. Then I'd also have a male connector going from the TV to the stereo, so you'd need something for that to go into.

    Basically it would be like this:

    Stereo>Y connector to 2 sets of 2 female connectors>male cable leading to TV>male cable leading to Y cable for TRS>computer


    make sense??
     
  9. Ty McNeely

    Ty McNeely

    Mar 27, 2000
    TX
    To address this question, honestly, I don't know if it does or not. I'm inheriting it from my mom because she never usues it anymore (they travel all the time). It's about 2 or 3 years old. I'm just preparing for the worst in case it DOESN'T have it :)
     
  10. Marlat

    Marlat

    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    Okay I get you, umm they may make a cable like that, but i'm not sure as I have never had a need to use one. Assuming that you could get a cable like that there is no reason why it wouldnt work, although the signal going from the output of the tv would travel to the output of the computer as well, im not an "electrical" person so I dont know if this would do any damage or not.
     
  11. Ty McNeely

    Ty McNeely

    Mar 27, 2000
    TX
    I don't see how it could really do any DAMAGE, but I suppose it COULD interfere with things a little bit.

    I'm trying to figure out a way to do it without the switch. I realize the switch wouldn't be that big of a deal, but it just seems like a nuisance that could be avoided with a little bit of preparation and research.
     
  12. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    At church we run three tape decks off the mixing desk to record the sermons. The desk only has one pair of RCA/phono outputs. The cable we use is a standard male left and right at the desk end. However, the plugs at the other end have both male and female connectors. That means we can get the signal to the first deck and also piggy back another lead down to the next deck (and then another of those leads for the third deck). That's been working fine for us for two or three years, so a similar arrangement could theoretically work for what you're after.

    It sounds like what you're really after is a simple mixer... but just the wires could work if you can get the male -> male/female leads.

    Wulf
     
  13. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Ty, I've got a y-type RCA device and it's connected to the AUX input of my stereo. That way I can run 2 seperate devices through the AUX, namely my PC, and my VCR (the TV is old the the RCA audio output sounded horrible, so I run the TV through the VCR, then on to the Stereo and it works bichen).

    The PC cable has a stereo 1/8 jack at the PC end, and RCA at the other. Both this cable and the RCA y-adapter are readily available at Tandy (our version of Radio Shack). I think it only cost $10-$15Aust all together............
     
  14. Ty McNeely

    Ty McNeely

    Mar 27, 2000
    TX
    Is the "y-type RCA device" that you speak of like what I have in that picture up there?? 2 male jacks to go into the AUX of the stereo and 4 female jacks on the other end to come from the PC and the TV/VCR?
     
  15. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia

    THIS is what I'm using.

    THIS should also work.

    I've also used a version that has wires and actually looks like a Y but I can't find a pic.

    You'll need 2 of them, one for red and one for white. And don't do what everyone (including me) does an plug both ends of one RCA lead into one Y adapter, effectively plugging both left and right outputs from the source device into only one side of the stereo. If only only one speaker is making any noise, you'll know you've mucked it up :)
     
  16. I advise against mixing inputs on the same cable, even if the tv and computer aren't playing at the same time (Multiple outputs is fine though, like wulf said). All other advice above sounds good.
     
  17. Ty McNeely

    Ty McNeely

    Mar 27, 2000
    TX
    I'm curious....

    I know this is much like the instrument cable debate, but can anyone tell a difference between, say, Monster cables and connectors and just plain old cheap cables and connectors? The prices are, I would say, drastically different, so I'm wondering if there's giong to be a difference in sound?

    For example, a Monster male>2 female Y connector is $5, while a cheap-o is $2.49. Since I gotta have 2, that's $5 bucks. The difference in price for even the CHEAPEST Monster cable is about $25 at comparable lengths. Would it be worth it to spring the extra $30 or $40 to get GOOD quality cables and connectors, or should I just save?

    I've tracked down almost all of the connectors and such that I'll need, so now I'm ready for school to end so I can start puttin' it together.


    Last question, I promise :D

    On my Fender BXR60, it has a "Tape In" section with 2 RCA jacks. Would it be possible to run ANOTHER cable from the stereo into this "Tape In" and sorta use the Fender as a sub, if I so desired? :D
     
  18. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    1/ Ty you're a smart person. Don't waste your money!

    2/ You DON"T want to send an already amplified signal to the Fender coz it could damage it.

    Does your stereo Amp have a "sub-out". If it doesn't, it's going to be difficult, but not impossible. If it's a standard Hi-Fi amp, it probably doesn't have one so I won't go into the detiail of how to connect it this way unless you ask me to.

    If you can somehow split the signal before it gets to an amp, it can work. You could get another 2 of those y adapters and connect them to the output of the source device, thus splitting the output into 2. Then run one signal to the Hi Fi amp and the other signal to the Fender.

    There's a couple of problems here.

    Firsty we haven't used a cossover so the Fender is recieving a full range signal. Ideally you'll want to cut all the mid and high frequencies and leave it to tackle the lows only. Your amp's EQ may not do this effectively but it's worth a try. The other option too comnplicated - to put If you put a 10mH inductor in the positive cable after the fender's amp section but before the speaker. It'ss act as a crude passive crossover and cut everything above 120Hz by 6dB per octave (I've assumed it's an 8 ohm seaker) Trouble is you'd have to disconnect the inductor every time you wanted to use it as a bass amp - too much mucking around for me.

    Secondly, I can't see a practical way of getting both the PC AND the TV into the Fender at once. A mixing desk would work but.............
     
  19. Ty McNeely

    Ty McNeely

    Mar 27, 2000
    TX
    No no...

    it won't be an amplied signal. It'll be just like a "line out" from my computer or from the DVD player. I suppose the thing to do would be (oh dear--this gets complicated) to split the signal off to the amp before it gets to the stereo.

    I dunno. It may be too much trouble, I'll just see what I have. I'm just an audio FREAK. I sprung for an extra $200 for a good speaker system for my computer just because I can't stand poor-quality stuff.
     
  20. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Mee too Dude. I built a speaker system for my PC which as we speak is shaking the house as we're getting ready to go out tonight (actually I'll be on stage playing bass. Everyone else will be partying). The sub is 2x10" car audio woofers in a sealed enclosure, and so far I've built 1 satelite speaker which is a 4" with a silk-dome tweeter. Eventually there will be 5 of them for a surround sound setup.... eventually. But there's no rush because as is, it's a monster PC speaker setup which also acts as a great bass practice amp and home all round Hi-Fi.

    Don't give up. Do it bit by bit if you have to. But nothing beats having a great sound at home!