Hooking up two amplifiers with a single RCA is a simple way to connect additional speakers and improve the overall quality of your sound system. RCA cables are popular and so is a convenient way to connect two amplifiers. In fact, you can connect multiple amps just by splitting one RCA jack.
In this article, we will simplify the process of connecting two amplifiers with one RCA jack. Read on for the equipment you need and the simplest ways to hook up two amps with one RCA jack and enhance the quality of your sound system.
There are three main ways to hook up two amps with one RCA jack. These are using a Y splitter cable, daisy chaining the connection, or using a line output converter. Read on to learn more.
The Main Equipment Required
Before hooking up two amplifiers with a single RCA jack, be sure you have the right amplifiers to avoid time-wasting and making mistakes.
Depending on your needs, choose either a small signal or a large signal amp. The former uses the Common Emitter configuration and amplifies DC power to AC.
On the other hand, a large signal amp’s configuration is Common Base and amplifies large input voltage signals. The type of amp you choose directly influences the kind of experience you will create when you hook up the amps with a single RCA jack.
2. RCA Plugs
RCA connectors are electrical connectors that transmit video and audio signals and are colored red for the right channel and white for the left channel.
The shading is designed to help you make the right connections when hooking the amp and the RCA jack.
3. Line Output Converter (LOC)
In some cases, you also need a line output converter. They convert the high-voltage signals to RCA preamplifier-level signals. Using a LOC is a popular way to hook up an amplifier without RCA jacks.
Steps to How To Hook Up Two Amps With One RCA Jack Each
There are three methods that you can use to split RCA for multiple Amps and hook up two amps with one RCA jack:
- Connect using RCA Splitter Cables
- Daisy Chain Connection
- Line Output Converter (LOC)
We explain each method below.
Method 1: Use RCA Y Splitter Cables
The simplest and most efficient way to connect two amplifiers with one RCA jack is to use an RCA Y splitter cable.
Keep in mind that there are a few benefits of using these cables apart from the obvious fact that it splits a single signal into two signals.
Step 1: Set up the amp with one RCA output
Carefully set up the amplifiers. Of course, each should have one RCA output jack.
Step 2: Unplug the white and red plugs.
Check if the white and red male plugs had been plugged into your amp’s RCA jack. If so, unplug them.
Step 3: Plug in the RCA Splitter Cables
Ensure the RCA jack is in the right condition. If there is any dirt, clean it and then plug in the splitter cable.
Step 4: Hook up the amps.
After hooking up the splitter cables, you will have two sets of white and red male plugs to connect your two amps. These red and white male plugs can then be connected to two amplifiers, solving the problem!
Step 5: Test out the Connection
If you have followed the above simple steps, your audio system should deliver the best quality sound. However, you also need to choose pieces of equipment that suit your needs to have the desired result.
After you have made the connection, turn on your sound system. And if you notice a problem, check the quality of your connection and whether you have followed the above steps. You can also go on to another method if you prefer.
Method 2: Daisy Chain The Connection Between The Amplifiers
If you want another easy way to hook up your two amps with a single RCA jack, a daisy chain connection will work. This connection is quite popular due to its simplicity and safety.
Here are the steps:
Step 1: Sep up your one-output-RCA-jack amps as usual
Step 2: Set up the amps to be connected and empty their input and output jacks
Step 3: Connect the Y splitter to the RCA jack.
Once you do so, you will have a connection that resembles a branch emerging from a stem
Step 4: Use the wires from the Y splitter to connect the two amps with the RCA jack
Now connect one end of the splitter wire to the input jack of the first amp. Also, connect the next end from the splitter to the output of the same amplifier. Next, connect the second wire (with a male plug) to the second amp.
Step 5: Test out the connection
As we have seen in the first method, your sound system may fail to work if you make a mistake with the setup or chose the wrong connections. To be sure you have done a great job, use the same testing model we used in method one above.
But you still have another easier and safer method of hooking up two amps with a single RCA jack. You can give it a go if you feel it necessary.
Method 3: Use Line Output Converter To Connect Multiple Amps
Firstly, we need to understand what a line output converter or LOC is. A line output converter or LOC is a device that converts high voltage signals to RCA preamp level signals. These signals can be used by amplifiers.
This method involves creating additional RCA hacks from the high-level input. You can use it whether your system has a single RCA jack or none.
A LOC allows you to increase the number of RCA jacks or even create an RCA jack if your system does not have any.
To convert the output and increase the number of RCA jacks, you use a line output converter (LOC). This device has the ability to convert a high-voltage signal to RCA preamplifier-level signals, which amps can use.
A line output conversion uses standard transfer and high-voltage resistors. The device’s output is an RCA jack, which is designed to connect with the amp.
Follow these two steps to split RCA jacks with a LOC:
To get 2 RCA jacks:
Step 1: Connect your line output converter to any head unit’s output
Step 2: Use the output of the LOC as the second RCA jack
To get 3 RCA jacks:
If you want three RCA jacks, you can split the built-in RCA jack by using splitter cables into two. You can then also create one with LOC so that you have 3 RCA jacks.
Remember, a line output converter can help you to use more than two amps. For example, you can create three RCA jacks by splitting the built-in jack using splitter cables into two. You then create one more CRA jack with a LOC.
Pros and Cons of LOC and Splitter Cables
Y Splitter Cables Pros and Cons
Pro: Splitter cables are easy to use, cheap, and can split RCA cables when you want to hook up two amps with a single RCA jack.
Cons: Sound quality may be reduced since a single RCA jack is designed for a single amp. The two amps will be sharing the power meant for one. However, they do offer some sound quality benefits such as increased dB levels.
Line Output Converter Pros and Cons
Pros: Connects from the head unit instead of the same RCA jack.
Con: More costly than splitter cables
Can You Run Two Amplifiers Off One Cable?
The best way to connect multiple amps to a single power cable is to use a power distribution block. This helps you to use just one cable for the connection and then use shorter individual cables to connect to each amplifier.
Do Using An RCA Splitters Reduce Quality?
f you connect RCA cables to the line-out of a sound card, it should not pose an issue. The input impedance is around 50k Ohm, the current is tiny. In such a real sense, it does not affect the quality.
Using splitter cables and line output converters are the two primary techniques you can use to hook up two amplifiers with one or more RCA jacks without trouble. It’s important because sometimes you want to connect multiple speakers to your amp.
All you need are the equipment we have discussed and essential information on the safest and easiest way to interface the devices, as we have explained.
We trust this guide will help our readers hook up two or more amps with a single RCA jack with greater ease.
Norvan Martin is the founder of BoomSpeaker.com. He is a professional Electronics Engineer and is passionate about home theater systems and AV electronics. BoomSpeaker was created as an online hub to share his knowledge and experiences as it relates to home theaters and home audio electronics.