Need help getting VCR to play stereo sound - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 07-19-2013, 04:37 PM - Thread Starter
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So I have VCR with stereo capabilities. I decided I wanted to hook the VCR up to a pair of logitech computer speakers I have (just to have better sound than my CRT TV puts out), and have a problem. I used this method right here to hook the speakers to the VCR:

http://www.ehow.com/how_6906555_connect-vcr-player-speakers-receiver.html

So essentially, I got a y-split that converts the audio RCA plugs into a 3.5mm female. I then plugged the speakers into the 3.5mm jack. However, audio is only playing through one speaker and not both.

I tried it on two different VCRs and had the same result for both. I have also tried multiple tapes. Anyone know why the audio is only coming through one speaker? I'm not much of an audio type of guy, so it may be something simple.

Thanks in advance for reading!
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post #2 of 13 Old 07-20-2013, 11:00 AM
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You have to do some trouble shooting.

You said you tried multiple VCR's and multiple tapes. That pretty much rules both out as being the problem source. That leaves the cable and the speakers.

When you plug in the speakers is it always the same one that doesn't play?
Try reversing the left and right connections into the VCR. Which ever speaker was playing, now should go off and the other speaker should work.

If the same speaker as before still doesn't work, that speaker is suspect.

If both speakers pass that test, then the cable is the most likely suspect.
In that case:

Test the cable with some other source if you can, like a working CD player or cassette deck that has the same kind of left and right audio outs as the VCR. Connect the Y cable, play a stereo source, and if one speaker still fails, it's probably the cable.

Are you sure that you have a proper stereo adapter cable. There are similar looking Y cables meant to split a mono signal into left and right and they would not work.
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post #3 of 13 Old 07-20-2013, 11:04 AM
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First thing I'd check: Are you sure the Y-adapter is stereo? Not all necessarily are. Especially if the RCA plugs and cables previously gave you stereo sound when you hooked the VCR up directly to your CRT TV (therefore your VCR and TV's audio settings would not be the problem, nor would your RCA cable), and if you can confirm the speakers both work fine (by connecting them to a computer's audio output, for instance), your Y-adapter is where you might want to look first.
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post #4 of 13 Old 07-20-2013, 11:18 AM
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One more easy thing to try: Once you make sure the Y-adapter is indeed a stereo one, make sure the male 3.5mm plug from your speakers is inserted in all the way into the female 3.5mm jack on the Y-adapter, to ensure internal contact is being made along the entire shaft. Sometimes you think you're all the way in, but you can push in deeper to achieve complete joy. smile.gif
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post #5 of 13 Old 07-20-2013, 11:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plplplpl View Post

First thing I'd check: Are you sure the Y-adapter is stereo? Not all necessarily are. Especially if the RCA plugs and cables previously gave you stereo sound when you hooked the VCR up directly to your CRT TV (therefore your VCR and TV's audio settings would not be the problem, nor would your RCA cable), and if you can confirm the speakers both work fine (by connecting them to a computer's audio output, for instance), your Y-adapter is where you might want to look first.

Interesting. I figured they all were stereo since they use both the red and white plugs. I bought it at Radio Shack and already threw away the packaging. However, I don't remember seeing anything on the packaging indicating whether it was stereo or mono. I'm going to see if I can find the item on their website.

Also, it is plugged in fully, so I don't think that's the problem. But I am going to try the speakers with my computer to see if they are both working.
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post #6 of 13 Old 07-20-2013, 11:46 AM - Thread Starter
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So this would be the cable I am looking for, correct?

http://www.amazon.com/3-5mm-Stereo-Female-Y-Cable-6-Inch/dp/B000I23TTE

It says it is stereo, so I am assuming it will work the way I want.
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post #7 of 13 Old 07-20-2013, 12:02 PM
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That looks right.

I'd bet money on the problem being the wrong cable or a defective one. They go bad very often.

You did say you tried more than 1 VCR and different tapes too. Just a note that VHS hi Fi tapes also have a separate lower quality mono track. You have to make sure your Stereo VCR is set to play the Stereo tracks and not that mono one. That should be an option somewhere in the VCR's menu. Also note that on some VCR models if the tape isn't tracking well, the VCR may default to play the mono track.
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post #8 of 13 Old 07-20-2013, 12:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xlr8r View Post

That looks right.

I'd bet money on the problem being the wrong cable or a defective one. They go bad very often.

You did say you tried more than 1 VCR and different tapes too. Just a note that VHS hi Fi tapes also have a separate lower quality mono track. You have to make sure your Stereo VCR is set to play the Stereo tracks and not that mono one. That should be an option somewhere in the VCR's menu. Also note that on some VCR models if the tape isn't tracking well, the VCR may default to play the mono track.

It's either the cable or the vcr settings (which I will try to adjust in a minute). I just plugged the speakers into the computer, and both work fine. It may very well be the cable, I really should have checked. I'll post an update as to whether the VCR settings were the culprit.

Edit: Just t tried to change the settings in the VCR menu, but there is no option to adjust audio. frown.gif Honestly, it's probably the cable. I paid 7 bucks for it, but the one on Amazon is way cheaper, so I will probably just order it. If it doesn't work either, I won't be out much money.

Double edit: There is indeed an audio setting, you can choose from "mix, linear, or hi-fi." So I am assuming hi-fi would be what I want? Either way, it still isn't making a difference. I just placed an order for the one from Amazon. So cheap, and I didn't even have to pay for shipping. Plus if you look at the customer reviews, people are using it for pretty much the same purpose as me and it seems to work fine for them.
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post #9 of 13 Old 07-20-2013, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by georgeisabamf View Post

However, I don't remember seeing anything on the packaging indicating whether it was stereo or mono.

Look on the 3.5mm jack itself. Is there one black band or two? If there is one, it's mono, two it is stereo.

Don't believe everything on the Interwebz! A duck's quack DOES echo!
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post #10 of 13 Old 07-20-2013, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by plplplpl View Post

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post #11 of 13 Old 07-20-2013, 08:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulpa View Post

Look on the 3.5mm jack itself. Is there one black band or two? If there is one, it's mono, two it is stereo.

Interesting! There is indeed only one, so now I know for sure what the culprit is.
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post #12 of 13 Old 07-25-2013, 10:26 PM - Thread Starter
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I know this thread is mostly dead, but I thought I'd share what happened. I received the new y-split cable today, and sure enough, it works! So obviously the old one wasn't stereo. Thanks for the help everyone!
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post #13 of 13 Old 07-25-2013, 11:55 PM
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And there you go, a very simple fix. You thought it was a bad audio channel in your machine or something like that I bet. Frequently it's the simple things that are at fault.

Luke

Evil is charming and beautiful. It makes you doubt yourself. It asks for one small compromise after another until it whittles you down, and it functions best when no one believes in it.-JOA
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