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help hooking up speakers

Member for

21 years
Hey guys, I have a decent set of stereo speakers that i've had lying around the house, and I want to hook them up to my recording computer to use as reference speakers to compare mixes with headphones, monitors, and these speakers....that way I have an idea of how it would sound in a cd player or such.

The thing is, like a lot of stereo speakers they have two wires coming out of the back of each speaker, a black and red one both with bare wire on the end to hook into the back of the actual stereo. How can I use these to hook into my computer's sound output, or my digidesign interface output somehow? Is it even possible. I'm guessing i'd need some kind of adapter but can it be wired up this way or am I at loss?


Member for

13 years 6 months

Discrete Mon, 04/14/2008 - 20:52
bent wrote: You should always check your mix on consumer speakers, whether home stereo or in the car - it's a good idea to listen to your mix on as many as possible to see how it's gonna translate.

That's what I was trying to get someone to say who was more of a "pro" than I am.

Member for

16 years 7 months

moonbaby Fri, 03/14/2008 - 22:01
Omigod !!
Jeremy, after all these years of being a "pro audio" guy, and you aren't familiar with Decentset speakers from Switzerland? I read in EQ mag where a pair of Decentset 36DD's were used to track and record the latest Hooters' TV commercial...BTW, the 36DD's are the model that has THREE wires coming out of the back- 2 blacks and a green. I think you're supposed to hold the green one in one hand while you plug the black ones into a socket...

Member for

13 years 6 months

Discrete Sat, 03/15/2008 - 21:11
You'd have to run stereo line out and probably convert from 1/4" to rca to input into a stereo receiver/amplifier. But, like Cucco said, if they built in the speaker wires to the speakers, thus not even giving you the option to run decent wires or connectors to them, I wouldn't think they'd be worth the trouble. If they were a cool old set of Hi-fi's or something, sure. There's value in being able to a/b speakers like that, but maybe not with these. You'd probably do just as well to burn cds and go play them on different stereos. I know it's not as convenient, but hey.

Member for

17 years 6 months

Cucco Thu, 03/13/2008 - 15:13
You'll need an amplifier.

An old receiver or similar should do in a pinch.

However, I should point out something that concerns me:

The use of the term "decent set of stereo speakers" factored in with "wires coming out of the back of each speaker, a black and a red one both with bare wire on teh end..."

I've yet to encounter a "decent set" of speakers that have bare wire coming out of the back of them. I would venture a guess that these are the kinds of speakers that come with some home-theater in a box or all-in-one shelf speaker.

There would be little to no benefit (or even detriment) by hooking these in and using them to monitor for any reason.

Feel free to prove me wrong with model names, pictures, etc...


Member for

13 years 6 months

Discrete Mon, 04/14/2008 - 15:13
On that note, Cucco, wouldn't you reiterate that it is both helpful and appropriate to listen to a mix on both reference monitors and loudspeakers meant for "consumer" use?

I mix with a pair of JBL LSR4328's. These are the first monitors I've ever owned and they're stunningly revealing. When moving from listening to these in a treated room to my Polk Audio RTi-10's in the living room, the experience is obviously quite different. Mostly, things that sounded problematic in the mixing environment tend to get masked by the room. But I also get a sense of what things might sound like on Joe Consumer's hi-fi system.

Member for

21 years

Member Fri, 04/04/2008 - 04:57

I made the same mistake I must admit - when I first designed my studio I put everthing into Mics and interface and new computers. So I looked at my Harmon Kardon Stereo system and said, these look fine! But when I started mixing, I couldn't produce anything that would sound OK in the final mix. The Stereo Amp and the Speakers (not cheapos with wires coming out of the back) just aren't designed to mix music. They enhance the sound for listinging, but are not meant for reference. I broke down and bought some KRK monitors - and Voila, I suddenly had some control over the mix.

Lesson learned. I certainly understand saving the money - but you really need even a low end of speakers that are DESIGNED for reference and mixing. The difference is that reference speakers are giving you accurate sound - reproducing the actual sound as close as possible.

Member for

17 years 6 months

Cucco Fri, 04/04/2008 - 05:07
That's both a common misconception and an example of poor design.

A well-designed loudspeaker is not designed for anything but accuracy. I don't know of any loudspeaker manufacturers that aim to produce a product that favors one aspect of sound over another. Some, by their very nature, do favor certain aspects, but it's all up to personal choice (of parts, design philosophy, etc.) and the compromises that the manufacturer chooses to accept.

The difference between a near-field monitor versus a home-audio based speaker is pretty minimal.

First, crossovers are typically steeper on a studio monitor to allow for greater amplitudes over greater amounts of time. A first order crossover on a studio monitor would likely cause the tweeter to die pretty quickly.

Also, the dispersion of the tweeter is often tailored for close field use.

A wide dispersion from a studio monitor is not a good thing since you now introduce a LOT of the room's characteristics into the equation. Obviously, a home audio speaker strives to obtain a broad sweet spot, the studio monitor does not. (Exceptions are mid and far-field studio monitors. In fact, you'll see many horn-loaded mids and tweeters on mid and far-fields.)

For that matter a LOT of engineers mix on:
- Paradigm Reference 20's
- B&W 805
- Duntech/Dunlavy

These are all home-audio speakers. They all just have a reputation for being very robustly made and neutral in their presentations.