Ancient equipment with RCA speaker plugs. How to connect to "modern" speakers? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 05-17-2013, 04:51 AM - Thread Starter
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I have a nice old, JVC Model 4ME-4804. That's a quadraphonic 8-track player/amp.

For inputs it has:

phono (2 channels of RCA connectors)
(and a switch to select magnetic vs ceramic)

aux (4 channels of RCA connectors)
(front left and right, rear left and right)

For outputs it has:

rec out (4 channels of RCA connectors)

speaker (4 channels of RCA connectors, states 8-ohm minimum)

On the front, you select which function (which source) - phono, aux, or 8-track tape.

On the front it also has bass, treble, and volume control dials - as well as a joystick to shift your sound imaging between the 4 speakers.

I have a bunch of extra 8-ohm speakers - but they're all "modern" - with 3-way or 5-way binding posts. I usually use banana plugs for speakers. SO - what sort of connector/adapter do I buy so I can plug in a "modern" 8-ohm speaker into this ancient RCA speaker plug?


EDIT: So far all I've found is this:

http://cdn.opentip.com/Electronics/Iec-Awg-Speaker-Wire-Pair-Rca-Males-p-1574897.html

It looks correct - but it's only 18 gauge. Was hoping for a better wire gauge. I see these exact same pictures (so I'm guessing the exact same product) on three different sites. Any other sellers of a similar product with thicker wires?
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post #2 of 15 Old 05-17-2013, 05:12 AM
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Option 1: cut the RCA plug off one end and strip insulation and attach bare wires to the speaker terminals (or add banana plugs if you like).

Option 2: buy new speaker wire and attach to speakers(same as above) and add an RCA plug on the other end to attach to the amp.
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post #3 of 15 Old 05-17-2013, 05:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

Option 1: ....

Option 2: ... and add an RCA plug on the other end to attach to the amp.

How do you add an RCA plug to speaker wire? How do you attach an RCA plug to 2-wires that are going to a speaker? Does this involve soldering? And where do you buy RCA plugs ready for you to add wires?

I know where to buy banana plugs - and a few other connectors - but I don't see RCA plugs for sale at those web-sites.
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post #4 of 15 Old 05-17-2013, 05:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

Option 1: cut the RCA plug off one end and strip insulation and attach bare wires to the speaker terminals (or add banana plugs if you like).

Option 2: ...

Alright - I tried option 1. (I've got plenty of RCA cables to spare.) I cut an RCA cable in half. As I feared - I have no idea how to deal with what's inside an RCA cable. For a single RCA channel (let's say - for the Left channel) - the RCA cable is a co-axial cable. There's a solid thin wire in the center. Then there's the inner insulation. Then there's the metal shielding - and apparently some more wire wrapped around the metal shielding. Then there's the outer (visible to the eye) rubber cover.

I have no clue as to how to separate that mess into the 2-wire positive/negative needed for any sort of modern speaker connection. That's why I'm asking for advice here. I don't mind buying a do-it-yourself kit if you can point me to the kit and decent instructions.
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post #5 of 15 Old 05-17-2013, 05:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Ahh - here we go -

http://www.ehow.com/how_4885770_convert-speaker-wire-rca-plugs.html - "How to Convert Speaker Wires to RCA Plugs"

or even

http://www.ehow.com/how_6752406_wire-rca-plug-speaker-wire.html - "How to Wire an RCA Plug to Speaker Wire"

Yuck. It requires soldering. So there's no chance I'm doing it. But the article mentions "Cables are sold with the necessary plugs for a stereo speaker, but it's less expensive and more fun to wire the plugs yourself."

SO - I'm left with looking for cables that you can buy - already made - with RCA male connections at one end and positive/negative speaker wires at the other. So far - I've only found one product - and it uses 18 gauge wire. Anyone know of a different product available with thicker wire?

As mentioned earlier - here's the only product I've found so far - http://cdn.opentip.com/Electronics/Iec-Awg-Speaker-Wire-Pair-Rca-Males-p-1574897.html

Thanks,
Bill
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post #6 of 15 Old 05-17-2013, 06:46 AM
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I will come to your house to do the installation connection. Flat rate of $100.
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post #7 of 15 Old 05-17-2013, 07:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill222 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

Option 1: cut the RCA plug off one end and strip insulation and attach bare wires to the speaker terminals (or add banana plugs if you like).

Option 2: ...

Alright - I tried option 1. (I've got plenty of RCA cables to spare.) I cut an RCA cable in half. As I feared - I have no idea how to deal with what's inside an RCA cable. For a single RCA channel (let's say - for the Left channel) - the RCA cable is a co-axial cable. There's a solid thin wire in the center. Then there's the inner insulation. Then there's the metal shielding - and apparently some more wire wrapped around the metal shielding. Then there's the outer (visible to the eye) rubber cover.

I have no clue as to how to separate that mess into the 2-wire positive/negative needed for any sort of modern speaker connection. That's why I'm asking for advice here. I don't mind buying a do-it-yourself kit if you can point me to the kit and decent instructions.


Does this picture help?

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post #8 of 15 Old 05-17-2013, 07:57 AM
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The thin center wire goes to the (+) speaker input. The outer shield and braid, with perhaps a ground wire alongside the shield, can all be twisted together and connected to the (-) input. Make sure the wires are not shorted (i.e. inner wire to outer shield construct).

If I were you, I would just buy the adapter you linked in your first post. It will be just fine; 18 AWG will be just fine for a relatively low-power amp with RCA outputs.

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
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post #9 of 15 Old 05-17-2013, 08:38 AM
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post #10 of 15 Old 05-17-2013, 12:30 PM
 
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Quote:
I have no clue as to how to separate that mess into the 2-wire positive/negative needed for any sort of modern speaker connection.

Use the center conductor for +, the shield for -.
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post #11 of 15 Old 05-17-2013, 06:58 PM
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Before everyone gets carried away. Are you sure those are speaker outs, and not pre-outs?

I am a bit of a JVC connoisseur, and I've seen a 4channel amp that has screw speaker terminals and ones with spring clips, a la these eBay auctions. But, I have never seen one with RCA speaker outs.

What is the providence of the unit in question? Have the RCA outs ever worked?
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post #12 of 15 Old 05-17-2013, 07:21 PM
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A lot of small old units like that had RCA speaker outputs, but more relevant is the OP's statement that the manual (or back) says "8-ohm min".

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
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post #13 of 15 Old 05-17-2013, 10:13 PM
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You could buy those premade 18awg cables linked above, and cut relatively close to the RCA connector. Then solder or crimp connect a heavier gage wire for the remainder of the run. Didn't check out the link on my phone, but I assume the wire is standard stranded pair and not coaxial. If so, the hard part is done for you.

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post #14 of 15 Old 05-18-2013, 05:12 PM
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He could, but I would bet large sums of money he would hear no difference... At least in a blind test without expectation bias.

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
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post #15 of 15 Old 05-18-2013, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigus View Post

You could buy those premade 18awg cables linked above, and cut relatively close to the RCA connector. Then solder or crimp connect a heavier gage wire for the remainder of the run.

This. ^^^

The reason you won’t find heavy-gauge RCA speaker cables is because 18 ga. is about as big as an RCA connector will physically accept. Heavier gauge wire, by the time you get it hot enough to solder, the nylon bushing in the RCA (that holds the center pin in place) will melt, which will ruin the plug. Plus, most RCAs don’t have a barrel large enough to accept large-gauge wire.

So, either live with the 18-ga. or splice in something larger.

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt



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