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Rca Phono Leads.......or Something Else?

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jackthehat | 20:26 Mon 20th Jul 2020 | Technology
8 Answers
I have inherited a rather tidy CD unit which I should like to connect to our existing surround-sound system.
Presently, the stereo-speakers connect to the unit via the bare ends of the wires being poked and clipped into the output ports. I no longer want to connect these speakers to the unit.
My surround-sound amp only accepts RCA (white/red) plugs.

How can I bridge the gap between unit and amp?

Is there a proprietary cable to do the job (and what is it called), or is there a more Heath-Robinson solution to this?

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If I understand the situation correctly, you want to feed the CD unit's output to the (input of the) amplifier. That being the case and where the amplifier is fitted with RCA terminals then you need a cable which has one end in RCA and the other to match whatever the CD unit accepts. The question is: What type of output terminal is there on the CD unit ? Is the CD unit a...
22:11 Mon 20th Jul 2020
If both machines have amplifiers and input and output RCA connections you could slave one to the other but that's at the preamp stage.

You still need speakers connected at the end of the line to make some noise.

I think.
Question Author
No RCA ports on the CD unit, douglas.....that's the problem.
I think the short answer is no, it can't be done.
Question Author
LoL....I rather think you may be correct.
If I understand the situation correctly, you want to feed the CD unit's output to the (input of the) amplifier. That being the case and where the amplifier is fitted with RCA terminals then you need a cable which has one end in RCA and the other to match whatever the CD unit accepts. The question is: What type of output terminal is there on the CD unit ?

Is the CD unit a portable one or is it a strictly mains type ? In the case of the former then there will be a headphone output which you can use - almost certainly one for a 3.5mm stereo jack plug (same as on common headphones). If the latter then you need to look at (most likely) the back of the unit.

Whatever the other end needs to have, you can search on eBay for "RCA to 3.5mm jack plug cable" (or vice-versa) or whatever other instead of 3.5mm jack plug as appropriate. You then simply interconnect the two units once you have the cable - you need to choose an appropriate input line on the amplifier.

One point, when playing something for the first time using the connection then watch out for there possibly being a degree of mismatch between volume levels. Start with the amplifier volume set quite low and turn it up to whatever is appropriate - you may find that the speaker volume is higher on CD output at the amplifier volume settings you are used to.
My concern here, JTH, is that you say that the outputs from the CD unit are designed to go to speakers, rather than to an amplifier. (i.e. the CD unit must have an internal amplifier built into it). If so, connecting the (already amplified) signal to another amplifier risks seriously overloading the circuitry of that second amp.

However, if you wish to go ahead anyway, just buy a cheap phono-to-phono lead in a discount store and chop the plugs off one end. Then split the inner cores of each cable into their component parts, trim off the plastic covering and push the wires into the connectors on the CD unit.

Alternatively you can join two leads together like this:

Maybe best connected with the CD player volume control at minimum, and then carefully increase volume until the amp seems happy with it. But one might want to stick something over the CD player's volume control to stop it getting knocked afterwards.

(Alternatively knock up some voltage protection circuitry to feed the signal to first. But you may wish to seek out an electronics enthusiast to do that for you. It also could add potential additional noise to your signal. If going that far maybe one could open the CD player and find a good place to tap off the signal prior to it being fed into the CD player's amp. )
Question Author
Buenchico - That's the sort of thing I was considering. :o)
But given your explanation of the amps, etc. I believe it might be foolish to attempt to do so; I don't want to cause damage to either of the units.

However, having investigated the CD unit, I am happy to report that it 'does' have a jack-plug port and so I will be following the advice given by KARL.

OG - Your advice contained within the paranthesis appears to be written in a language so foreign to me that I am unable to make best use of it. :o)

Thank you all.

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