System hook up question, 1/4 in ch to RCA
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  1. #1

    Default System hook up question, 1/4 in ch to RCA

    Last week I played my first bar gig in 7 years, after strictly being a wedding and event DJ, and I ran into some problems.

    It was a small bar, that had a NAD home amplifier. The bar own said there's two cables in the back and I just hook them up. So I found two female XLR's just as he said. I brought my Kontrol S2, and got my 1/4 male (the main outs on the S2) to XLR male cables and plugged them into the cables hanging out of the DJ table, only nothing came out. My system worked for sure, because I got sound out of my monitor and the headphones.

    They insisted their system worked, and people had been using it only days prior, so I took a look. They had a DI box (is this the correct term? I thought DI boxes were only used for mix inputs?) in the chain so it went 1/4inch out of my S2, into an XLR which ran the length of the bar. The XLR's plugged into a DI box, which I believe had 1/4inch to RCA cables with the RCA's going into the back of the amp (tape input).

    Am I missing something here? I tried everything and couldn't get any sound out of the house system. One of the guys there said I could put a second DI box in the chain, so that my outputs went into the DI box, had XLR's coming out of them, and then going into another DI box which had RCA's coming out and going into the amp.

    I'm not positive, but having two DI boxes didn't seem right.

    Can someone out there shed some light on this?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Tech Mentor Audeo's Avatar
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    Well, the only thing I can think of (as a quick fix) is to take the DI boxes out of the path and plug the S2 directly into the NAD amp.

    But to be honest, anyone using a NAD home amplifier to power speakers for a bar.. isn't that trustworthy.

    From what I can guess, the DI boxes are being used solely for ground lifting purposes and maybe to turn the input volume down with a few dB's.

    Other suspects can be that the DI boxes weren't turned on. From what I know, most of 'em use 48v provided by a mixing console. A NAD home amplifier isn't capable of doing that. But it might be the off chance that they use 9 volt battery powered DI boxes.
    Another could be that your Master Output wasn't set right, but I'm assuming you already checked that.
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  3. #3
    DJTT Administrator del Ritmo padi_04's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Audeo View Post
    Other suspects can be that the DI boxes weren't turned on. From what I know, most of 'em use 48v provided by a mixing console. A NAD home amplifier isn't capable of doing that. But it might be the off chance that they use 9 volt battery powered DI boxes.
    This

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Audeo View Post
    Well, the only thing I can think of (as a quick fix) is to take the DI boxes out of the path and plug the S2 directly into the NAD amp.

    But to be honest, anyone using a NAD home amplifier to power speakers for a bar.. isn't that trustworthy.

    From what I can guess, the DI boxes are being used solely for ground lifting purposes and maybe to turn the input volume down with a few dB's.

    Other suspects can be that the DI boxes weren't turned on. From what I know, most of 'em use 48v provided by a mixing console. A NAD home amplifier isn't capable of doing that. But it might be the off chance that they use 9 volt battery powered DI boxes.
    Another could be that your Master Output wasn't set right, but I'm assuming you already checked that.
    Yeah I'm not even gonna talk about the system itself. You should see the speakers, they have these little bookshelf speakers all around the place that have 5inch (possibly 4 inch) woofers (if you can even call them that), and 1 inch tweeters.

    Anyhow, so the DI boxes aren't necessary? I totally forgot that they might have batteries, and assume they were passive.

    So if I plug the S2 directly into the amp without a DI, what's the worst that can happen, a really hot signal?

  5. #5
    Tech Mentor Audeo's Avatar
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    4" woofers.. lol yeah I know the feel..
    The worst that could happen is that nobody starts dancing. But that aside, plugging in the S2 directly into the NAD amp is kind of what the S2 is designed for. Sending a line signal to a mixer or an amp.
    the DI boxes are there to lift the ground, eliminating the hum that can sometimes build up with improper grounded gear.

    so tl;dr = yes, you can just plug the s2 in to the NAD amp. just set the the master to -10 to give the system a little headroom.
    Midi Fighter|Kontrol X1|A4DJ|HDJ2000|MBP 13" 2,53Ghz 60GB SSD/500GB HDD

  6. #6

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    I brought in an NX550P for a monitor that had no problem dwarfing their system...

    Thanks for the help guys, I'll try out those suggestions.

  7. #7
    Tech Wizard
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    A DI box is designed to take a line level signal and turn it into a mic level signal. along with ground lift and some times other things.
    Usually powered by phantom power (which NAD amps dont have) or a 9v batt.
    Sound to me like the box is a debalancer. taking a balanced ie xlr signal and turning it into an unbalanced ie RCA signal suitable for a home amp.Pretty crappy solution but should be ok.
    I suspect your problem is which pin is hot. usually pin 2 is hot but occasionally pin 3 is hot. If you mix the two nothing works.
    Bypassing it all would be a good option.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by djrosco View Post
    A DI box is designed to take a line level signal and turn it into a mic level signal. along with ground lift and some times other things.
    Usually powered by phantom power (which NAD amps dont have) or a 9v batt.
    Sound to me like the box is a debalancer. taking a balanced ie xlr signal and turning it into an unbalanced ie RCA signal suitable for a home amp.Pretty crappy solution but should be ok.
    I suspect your problem is which pin is hot. usually pin 2 is hot but occasionally pin 3 is hot. If you mix the two nothing works.
    Bypassing it all would be a good option.
    Sorry but some of what you're saying is foreign to me. Are you saying that not using the DI box and just using an XLR to RCA converter is the solution?

  9. #9
    Tech Wizard
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