Connect Roland keyboard to Onkyo a/v receiver, safe to do? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 12-06-2012, 03:22 PM - Thread Starter
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This forum was my best guess as a destination for this question. If there is a more appropriate forum for this, please let me know.

I have a small 5.2 home system that is based on an Onkyo TX-SR608 A/V receiver. I also have a Roland RD-700SX keyboard that I play for pleasure. The keyboard has standard 1/4 inch plug jacks for right and left channels, a 1/4 inch plug jack for headphones, and 3-conductor balanced plug jacks for connection to a pro amp.

Rather than purchasing a set of separate monitors to listen to the keyboard (I currently use headphones), I would like to connect it to my receiver. Can I do this safely if I have cables built up to connect the 1/4 inch outputs from the keyboard to the RCA inputs on my receiver? I am very apprehensive about damaging my receiver and don't want to take any uninformed risks.

Many thanks,
Greg in WA
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post #2 of 4 Old 12-06-2012, 04:24 PM
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just start with the Roland's ourpur volume low, working up to get it to behave about like any other souce device, and you shouldn't have any problem. The Roland's output levels with the volume up may be much higher than what the receiver expects to see. You'll get distortion, but I doubt you could hurt the receiver. Not hard to find quarter inch to rca cables, either. Guitar Center'll have them.

Be careful wth overall volume. In the back of my mind, from some juvenile experience, I have it in my head that the relatively uncompressed dynamics of a piano sound for example can exceed what the speakers can handle even though average levels are not all that high (the initial transient of some instruments can greatly exceed 10 dB 10 times the power of the sustain that follows a twentieth of a second later). I think I killed some stereo speakers with my old school lowry transistor organ once upon a time. If I'm nuts, somebody will jump in, doubtless.
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post #3 of 4 Old 12-06-2012, 06:45 PM
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No, you're right, jhaz. We tend to forget that 99.9% of the recorded content we listen to is compressed. Even the most pristine audiophile recordings that are untouched by any automated compression still have human hands on the mixing board keeping levels under control, which is simply non-automated compression.

Unprocessed electronic musical instruments not only have potentially wider dynamic range than recordings, but they also can generate really nasty turn-on transients. Always turn the receiver's volume down (or turn it off) before powering up the keyboard. And make absolutely sure the cable connections are secure.

Personally, my HT system is far more expensive than even the best instrument amps, and I would never risk it -- especially when there are plenty of practice amps out there that will do the job -- are designed for the job -- with less fidelity but more durability. A friend of mine has a little keyboard amp with an 8" speaker in it (I think it's from Behringer) she said cost her $50. It's not loud enough for gigging but in her apartment it sounds perfectly OK with the electric piano she practices on.

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post #4 of 4 Old 12-10-2012, 10:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks to you both, jhaz and rdclark. Looks like I'll be saving up for monitors. I realize that I could opt for an inexpensive practice amp like your friend did, rdclark, but it seems a shame to run a $2000 instrument through a $50 speaker. You have confirmed the vague fear that I had about connecting the keyboard to the home audio system, so it's back to the drawing board for me.
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