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whats the cheapest way to have a CD in, XLR out - no PC?

I'm sorry if I've misplaced this thread, I actually had minor reservations about even placing it on this website (my first post... hello, hello, yes yes good to be here, glad to meet you.. hi . .) but this seemed the most appropriate place even though I don't plan on recording - per se. . .

I have a Kawai MP8 digital piano, two HS50M monitors, and a HS10W woofer on the way. My primary intention for this studio is for the whole thing to act as a replacement for an acoustic piano.

However, spending close to a grand on monitors which accurately reproduce sounds seems to have opened up a small pocket of untapped potential in the form of an unborn home entertainment station.

which brings me to why I am here: I'd like to find a way to play CDs on the HS50M (powered nearfield monitors), preferably via XLR inputs, without going through a personal computer.

down the road I am definitely going to look at recording and mixing some music, and will probably expand a little into the consumer-grade recording hardware available (mixer, mics, etc). I have spent my budget on the piano already, but think I could afford up to $500 if I absolutely had to. Preferably I'd like to spend under 100 right now.

Most important concern to me is sound quality; I just want to see what the monitors are capable of. Adaptability for future use is a distant second, but still a concern.

any help would be GREATLY appreciated, even if its just a gentle nudge toward a more appropriate forum or website, or even an FAQ.

I'll do any recommended research if you can give me a starting point (y)


Boswell Fri, 03/02/2007 - 02:42
The HS50Ms have a specified input sensitivity of -10dBu (about -12dBV), so can be driven from any old CD deck. Most CD decks have phono (RCA) outputs, so you need a pair of RCA to 1/4 inch mono jack leads, as the HS50Ms have both XLR and jack inputs.

You would be well advised to get a deck that has a volume control, as there would otherwise be no way of controlling the sound level without grubbing round the back of the monitors. Alternatively, you could use a conventional hi-fi preamp or integrated amp and pick off the signals for the monitors from the tape record outputs. Again, these need to be post-fader, i.e. affected by the volume control.

Be warned that near-field studio monitors do not necessarily make good hi-fi speakers. They are designed to be analytical and uncompromising, and may not fit in with your idea of a relaxing session listening to your favourite CDs.

zemlin Fri, 03/02/2007 - 03:26
I'd get a small mixer so you can route several things to the monitiors and get a volume control in the process!

Mackie 1202 mixers go on ebay for $100-$150. That also give you 4 reasonable mic preamps for when you want to start messing with recording.

The stereo channels would work well for routing your CD player to the monitors. You'll just need to get RCA -> 1/4" cables - easy to make if you have a soldering iron - not hard to find if you know where to shop.

Don't worry about the differences between 1202, 1202VLZ, and 1202 VLZ Pro - I prefer the sound of the VLZ series over the VLZ Pro, but it's a very slight difference and probably not a factor on the line inputs.