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Using Y-cable

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  • Using Y-cable

    I need your help guys.. I would like to know whether connecting a mixer to an amp with an Y-cable in this way is OK or not.  Will it cause any risk of damage to the mixer? If this type of connection is not recommended, please suggest a better option.  Thanks


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  • #2
    Yes, it will work, but it might not be optimal. I don't see where you are using a cross-over. Are the four speakers all full-range, or do you have a pair of subwoofers?

    Is there a "thru" output on your amps? If so, you don't need the "Y" cord, just a straight cord from the thru on the first amp to the input of the second amp.

    Posting your specific gear (mixer, amps, speakers) might help us offer suggestions on the pros and cons of various ways to hook up your system. You might also want to post on Live Sound and Production; there are lots of experienced folks there who can provide solid advice. (More action than here, it seems). Mark C.
    "Good tools are expensive. Cheap tools are damned expensive."


    • Kazinator
      Kazinator commented
      Editing a comment

      Assuming that the amplifiers are identical, what will happen is that the impedance seen by your mixer is cut in half. This is not serious enough to damage anything.

      For instance if the amplifier inputs are 10,000 ohms, if you drive two of them in parallel, you're facing 5,000 ohms.   This is fine if the driving device can push 5,000 ohms without tone suckage: which any half decent piece of gear should be able to do.  If the mixer has, say, something like NE5532 op-amps for its outputs, it can drive down to 600 ohms.

      Check the amp's input impedance, divide by two, and cross-check that with the minimum impedance expected by the mixer. Simple as that.

      And use your ears: plug into one amp, give it a listen, the compare with two amps, listening for any tonal change: high frequencies getting muffled, blatty tone, etc.

      Never use a simple Y cable in the other way: to splice two outputs into one input. Outputs are low impedance: each output basically short circuits the other.  Passive mixing requires some resistors to prevent that.