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Splitting audio - Important Question....

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Anonymous
March 22, 2005 8:10:15 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Hey all,

I just set up one of these
(http://www.kb-electronics.com/aw-811.html) in my Grandma's house --
and it works flawlessly! (how many Grandma's do you know that want
streaming internet audio throughout their entire house...haha)
However, her computer, although brand new, doesn't have a dedicated
audio line out. The two outputs available in the sound card are
speaker out (doesn't SAY speaker out, but it's the icon with the arrow
pointing out of the sound wave) and a headphone out.

Now, ideally, I would have liked to plug this unit into the line out so
that we could have the regular computer speakers working at the same
time as this unit. For now, however, when she wants to use the
wireless speaker, she just plugs the transmitter into the headphone
jack (luckily, it's in front of the tower). This, obviously cuts the
computer audio from the regular speakers. N

Now, I was thinking about putting a splitter into the rear speaker out
jack, and having the regular speakers in one jack, and the wireless
transmitter in the other. However, the manual strictly states not to
plug the transmitter directly into the speaker output jack, and to only
use line-out or the headphones jack because using the speaker out will
cause permanent damage to the transmitter.

So, my question is

1) What's really the problem with using a splitter and plugging this
in the speaker out (i know i may lose a bit of volume, but i can
compensate i am sure)?

2) if i am able, according to you guys, to use a splitter in the
speaker out without damaging the transmitter, would this be the best
solution? The splitter could be a simple $3 headphone splitter from R.
Shack, right? It wouldn't have to be amplified, would it?

3) Is there a way to tell the computer/soundcard NOT to cut out the
regular computer audio when something is plugged into the headphone
jack? If this is an option, everything would be solved.

I hope the situation is clear now.... I look forward to your
responses....

Thanks,

Matt!
Anonymous
March 22, 2005 9:20:38 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

magicianstalk wrote ...
> I just set up one of these
> (http://www.kb-electronics.com/aw-811.html) in my Grandma's house --
> and it works flawlessly! (how many Grandma's do you know that want
> streaming internet audio throughout their entire house...haha)
> However, her computer, although brand new, doesn't have a dedicated
> audio line out. The two outputs available in the sound card are
> speaker out (doesn't SAY speaker out, but it's the icon with the arrow
> pointing out of the sound wave) and a headphone out.

If it is "brand new" it is almost certaintly a "line out". The symbol
you cite is the "line out" icon and essentially ALL "computer speakers"
have their own power amps and expect line-level input. There may
not have been any sound cards made with "speaker-out" in several
years.

Note that actually identifying Make/Model of the computer (or the
sound-card) will save everyone a lot of useless speculation.

Using a "Y-adapter" or "splitter" as you call it will likely work
just fine.
Anonymous
March 22, 2005 4:27:36 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <1111497015.498814.206780@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com> magicianstalk@hotmail.com writes:

> The two outputs available in the sound card are
> speaker out (doesn't SAY speaker out, but it's the icon with the arrow
> pointing out of the sound wave) and a headphone out.

The one with the speaker is, or will serve as, a line output.

> Now, I was thinking about putting a splitter into the rear speaker out
> jack, and having the regular speakers in one jack, and the wireless
> transmitter in the other. However, the manual strictly states not to
> plug the transmitter directly into the speaker output jack, and to only
> use line-out or the headphones jack because using the speaker out will
> cause permanent damage to the transmitter.

Sounds like BS to me. Are the present computer speakers powered (do
they plug in to an AC outlet?) If so, then they have essentially the
same kind of input as the wireless speaker transmitter. If they're
passive and get fairly loud, then there's a real power amplifier in
the sound card (most don't have such nowadays but I can't put a date
on it). Use the headphone output instead.

> 1) What's really the problem with using a splitter and plugging this
> in the speaker out

Corporate liability.

> 2) if i am able, according to you guys, to use a splitter in the
> speaker out without damaging the transmitter, would this be the best
> solution? The splitter could be a simple $3 headphone splitter from R.
> Shack, right?

Right.

> 3) Is there a way to tell the computer/soundcard NOT to cut out the
> regular computer audio when something is plugged into the headphone
> jack?

Rewire the jacks on the sound card. I don't think you're ready for
this.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
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Anonymous
March 22, 2005 4:49:10 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<magicianstalk@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:1111497015.498814.206780@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com
> Hey all,
>
> I just set up one of these
> (http://www.kb-electronics.com/aw-811.html) in my Grandma's house --
> and it works flawlessly! (how many Grandma's do you know that want
> streaming internet audio throughout their entire house...haha)
> However, her computer, although brand new, doesn't have a dedicated
> audio line out. The two outputs available in the sound card are
> speaker out (doesn't SAY speaker out, but it's the icon with the
arrow
> pointing out of the sound wave) and a headphone out.


The outputs of a computer sound card are almost always quite limited
in terms of voltage output. They net out to being line-level outputs
whether they are marked as being line outputs or speaker outputs or
headphone outputs.

> Now, ideally, I would have liked to plug this unit into the line out
> so that we could have the regular computer speakers working at the
> same time as this unit.

That's what splitters are for.

> For now, however, when she wants to use the
> wireless speaker, she just plugs the transmitter into the headphone
> jack (luckily, it's in front of the tower). This, obviously cuts
the
> computer audio from the regular speakers.

It's possible that the major difference between the so-called speaker
and headphone jack is this cut-out feature.

> Now, I was thinking about putting a splitter into the rear speaker
out
> jack, and having the regular speakers in one jack, and the wireless
> transmitter in the other.

I recommend doing this!

> However, the manual strictly states not to
> plug the transmitter directly into the speaker output jack, and to
> only use line-out or the headphones jack because using the speaker
> out will cause permanent damage to the transmitter.

There are speaker outs and there are speaker outs. The speaker out
terminals on a 100 wpc stereo receiver could conceivably damage the
equipment that they are attached to. The speaker outs on a computer
line card aren't going to cause equipment damage.

> So, my question is

> 1) What's really the problem with using a splitter and plugging this
> in the speaker out (i know i may lose a bit of volume, but i can
> compensate i am sure)?

No problems are likely likely.

> 2) if i am able, according to you guys, to use a splitter in the
> speaker out without damaging the transmitter, would this be the best
> solution? The splitter could be a simple $3 headphone splitter from
> R. Shack, right? It wouldn't have to be amplified, would it?

The passive spliter from RS will do the job and has done the job for
me in similar circumstances.

> 3) Is there a way to tell the computer/soundcard NOT to cut out the
> regular computer audio when something is plugged into the headphone
> jack?

Not that I know of.

> If this is an option, everything would be solved.

The problem is solved anyway - get the splitter for the so-called
speaker output jack on the sound card.
Anonymous
March 22, 2005 4:58:12 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<magicianstalk@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:1111497015.498814.206780@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> The two outputs available in the sound card are
> speaker out (doesn't SAY speaker out, but it's the icon with the arrow
> pointing out of the sound wave)

That should be the line out. Typically, the speakers will plug into this
jack because the speakers contain the amplifier(s) as part of the speaker
assembly. If this is the case with your Grandma's, you should have a power
connection of some sort going to one of the speakers - the same one that
plugs into the computer usually.

If this is not the case and you are running non-powered speakers from this
jack, then it is likely that whoever built the computer (not brand name I
would assume in that case) disconnected the line level wires inside and
connected the jack to an internal amplifier.

If on review, you find that the jack is actually a line-level jack, you
shouldn't have any problem plugging a splitter into it and running both the
speakers and the other device off of that one plug.

Jeff
Anonymous
March 23, 2005 5:56:21 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Hey all,

Thanks for the responses -- they were very clear -- and
confirmed by thoughts.... I don't have the exact model, but it's a
high-end Compaq that was bought about a year ago....


Ya know -- if i remember correctly. I believe I saw a sticker next to
the "speaker out" port on the soundcard that said "note: powered
speakers must be used." Plus, like i said, it was a line out icon, not
any kind of speaker designation. Now, to me, that would mean that
that port was NOT powered, like you guy's said.... And the speakers
that came with the computer are a powered subwoofer 3 piece set -- so i
would definitly say that it's a simple line out like you guys said.....


Thanks again!!!!!


Matt
!