need help with speaker wiring 1/4" problem
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  1. #1
    Tech Convert
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    Default need help with speaker wiring 1/4" problem

    Hi, I have a single wharfedale titan 8 active speaker with XLR/TRS combo connector. I am currently using 1/4" stereo cables to connect my mixer to the speaker using the 1/4" side to connect to the speaker and the other end an RCA (red/white) wire to my mixer. However, I am experiencing distorted/muffled sound with no bass when I plug the 1/4" all the way in. But if I pull it out a little bit, then the full sound comes back.

    This not only happened to the speaker but I realised it happened when plug other 1/4" stereo wires to audio devices and not getting the full sound. I would have to pull the plug out a little to hear the full sound.

    Another example is when I plug the speaker using another 1/4" stereo to my ipod using a female 1/4" to 3.5mm male adapter.

    Is this a manufacturing defect or am I doing it entirely wrongly? Need help urgently. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Tech Wizard
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    Default

    Have you tried a different cable?

  3. #3
    Tech Convert
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    I have tried connecting my ipod using the rca-to-1/4 wire using an rca female to 3.5mm male adapter and it sounds the same if I plug it in all the way.

    The 1/4" is a TRS btw.

    edit:/ just tried with a different cable. still the same
    Last edited by letenous; 04-15-2011 at 06:11 AM.

  4. #4
    DJTT Infectious Moderator photojojo's Avatar
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    Is the pan switched to one side?
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  5. #5
    Tech Convert
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    I got this from another forum.
    I just tried plugging out one of the RCA and plugging the 1/4" side all the way in, and it worked!
    But if I do this meaning the sound becomes mono, and not lacking one channel right?

    will it make any difference if I buy another cable which is both RCA on one side and a mono 1/4" on the other?

    "1.4" or 6.5mm connector when found on pro-audio equipment is usually for mono, if it is 3-conductor (tip ring sleeve) it is usually for balanced mono signal. XLR are usually for balanced mono and never for stereo, so a 6.5mm input converted from XLR is also balanced mono.

    What you're describing is exactly what happens when you attempt to send a stereo signal into a mono balanced input. You find that if you plug out one side of the RCA, the bass comes back.

    Your speakers are mono speakers, so you need two sets of single RCA to 6.5mm cables. A quick way to make this is to get normal RCA cable and those 3.5/6.5mm to 2x RCA splitter adapter, this plug to the 6.5mm input (additional 3.5mm to 6.5mm adapter required for 3.5 to 2x RCA adapter which is easier to find).
    Only one of the RCA on that 3.5mm to 2x RCA adapter will be used. Which one, if you have a multimeter, use the one that corresponds to the tip. Else find it by trial and error. Both speakers must be using either both tip or both ring, if either one is tip while the other is ring and you will find a reduction is bass which is pretty obvious to spot."

  6. #6
    DJTT Tankard fullenglishpint's Avatar
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    That's just what I was about to say. Here's a diagram:


    1. Sleeve: usually ground
    2. Ring: Right-hand channel for stereo signals, negative phase for balanced mono signals, power supply for power-requiring mono signal sources
    3. Tip: Left-hand channel for stereo signals, positive phase for balanced mono signals, signal line for unbalanced mono signals
    4. Insulating rings

    Since you have one speaker it's impossible to have a stereo sound output. For obvious reasons.

    Your problem was caused by the fact that the TRS (top plug above) connecter in the back of your speaker is designed to accept balanced mono sound and not stereo.

    In a balanced mono signal, the connection carrying the negative (2) is just that - the exact opposite of the positive. If you send an unbalanced stereo signal down the same cable (what you get from an RCA output), the 2 signals are both positive and will affect each other when mixed inside the speaker, resulting in a quiet, muffled sound.

    For more info, wikipedia is your friend:

    [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balanced_audio"]Balanced audio - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia@@AMEPARAM@@/wiki/File:Kabel-Symetrisch.png" class="image"><img alt="Kabel-Symetrisch.png" src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/7d/Kabel-Symetrisch.png/220px-Kabel-Symetrisch.png"@@AMEPARAM@@commons/thumb/7/7d/Kabel-Symetrisch.png/220px-Kabel-Symetrisch.png[/ame]

    And yes, simply unplugging one side of the RCA will solve the problem. But I hope you now understand a little better the reasons why
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  7. #7
    Tech Convert
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    oh gosh you guys are freaking awesome!! thanks for the help. I've learned alot

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