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post #1 of 24 Old 08-11-2014, 06:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Stereo output on a mono speaker

Hello AVS!

I have been researching the proper configuration of mono output from a stereo source and am surprised at the complexity of the solutions I've stumbled upon. I am here for your insight in case I'm overlooking a simpler, more appropriate solution.

I have two bathrooms, and each has just one speaker in the ceiling. The goal is to get both L&R channels of audio playing through these two mono ceiling speakers on either side of the home. The equipment I have to work with currently is the following:

- Generic receiver (Yamaha HTR-3065) with standard stereo RCA output
- Audiosource AMP-100 amplifier (which seemed like a good idea to have at the time)
- Polk RC80i In-Wall Speaker x2 (one mono speaker for each of two bathrooms)
- Monoprice Volume Control Knob x2 (one for each bathroom)

A single speaker wire has already been run for each speaker, and speakers have been installed so I would really like to avoid modifying that element of the configuration. How would I properly configure my gear to play both L&R channels of audio through both speakers in mono?

Many thanks.

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post #2 of 24 Old 08-12-2014, 04:30 AM
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Originally Posted by VeteranAVSMember View Post
Hello AVS!

I have been researching the proper configuration of mono output from a stereo source and am surprised at the complexity of the solutions I've stumbled upon. I am here for your insight in case I'm overlooking a simpler, more appropriate solution.
How complex a solution are you looking at?

I'll be back later...


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post #3 of 24 Old 08-12-2014, 05:47 AM - Thread Starter
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How complex a solution are you looking at?
Outside of AVSForum, I found a thread which stated that it's not as easy as you might think, and that summing the two channels could cause the amp to blow:
http://forums.audioholics.com/forums...into-mono.html

Right here at AVSForum, I stumbled upon the following thread:
Easy way to combined L/R outputs into mono?

...which brought me to the following site:
http://www.rane.com/note109.html

Homemade passive summing devices, combiners, etc; these are a bit overwhelming. I'd rather procure something built by a reputable manufacturer than pull out the old soldering iron with fingers crossed. Again, just trying not to over-complicate things given my current setup.

Thanks!
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post #4 of 24 Old 08-12-2014, 06:07 AM
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You must use a combiner box to get a mono signal from the receiver L/R outputs. Use a Y cord out of it to both channels of the amp, with each speaker driven by its own channel.

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post #5 of 24 Old 08-12-2014, 06:29 AM
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Not pretty, but will work. I am sure others will have thoughts on it.

Since the speakers are already wired, the wiring options need to be adjusted at the AMP/AVR side.

Speaker 1, (+) wire to Right (+) Amp Channel. (-) wire to Left(-) Amp Channel.
Speaker 2,(+) wire to Left(+) Amp Channel, (-) to Right(-) Amp Channel.

Feed the Amp a mono signal(if possible), or 'All Channel Stereo'(if possible).

Again, not perfect, but will work. Will work better if you can send a mono signal, but if you could, then this whole exercise is moot.

Last edited by underminded999; 08-12-2014 at 06:33 AM. Reason: spelling
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post #6 of 24 Old 08-12-2014, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by VeteranAVSMember View Post
Hello AVS!
...A single speaker wire has already been run for each speaker...
Sorry, re-read this sentence.

To clarify, is it a single wire, or single pair to each speaker?
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post #7 of 24 Old 08-12-2014, 08:57 AM
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If soldering a couple of resistors is too overwhelming...

http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/MX400.aspx

http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-MICR...ds=audio+mixer

http://www.amazon.com/Hosa-Cable-GPR...+to+1%2F4+inch

http://www.amazon.com/Hosa-YRA-104-M...female+y+cable

There's your shopping list. Find your own bargains.

One mixer
three adapters for RCA to 1/4" plug (you reuse old RCA cables) - or equivalent
One RCA Male to Female splitter (reuse old RCA cables again) - or equivalent

Use two inputs to the mixer (left and right of the stereo), take one output (mono) and split it to the inputs of the amplifier.

I'll be back later...


links::: 1.5RQ > digits > 1177a > OpenDRC-DI > DEQ2496 > DAC2 > KCT > FPB 350mcx > reQuest > Sweetspot

Last edited by RayDunzl; 08-12-2014 at 09:12 AM.
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post #8 of 24 Old 08-12-2014, 07:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by RayDunzl View Post
If soldering a couple of resistors is too overwhelming...

http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/MX400.aspx

http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-MICR...ds=audio+mixer

http://www.amazon.com/Hosa-Cable-GPR...+to+1%2F4+inch

http://www.amazon.com/Hosa-YRA-104-M...female+y+cable

There's your shopping list. Find your own bargains.

One mixer
three adapters for RCA to 1/4" plug (you reuse old RCA cables) - or equivalent
One RCA Male to Female splitter (reuse old RCA cables again) - or equivalent

Use two inputs to the mixer (left and right of the stereo), take one output (mono) and split it to the inputs of the amplifier.
Underminded999, I have only one speaker wire leading to each speaker, not a pair of speaker wires leading to each. Your wiring explanation was what I was originally expecting for this setup: a little positive R & negative L cross-wiring deal but the more I read, the more complicated it became.

I will be picking up the gear recommended by RayDunzl, and the configuration makes sense to me (I've never tinkered with mixers but excited to begin!). I appreciate everyone's input, including you, Bill. Still love this forum as much as I did a decade ago. Thanks, guys, for the help. I will follow up with results.
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post #9 of 24 Old 08-12-2014, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VeteranAVSMember View Post

...I have only one speaker wire leading to each speaker, not a pair of speaker wires leading to each...
I hope you mean you have one cable (with at least two wires inside) going to each speaker.

If there is really only one wire, you may have some more work to do.

I'll be back later...


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post #10 of 24 Old 08-12-2014, 08:52 PM
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The easy, cheap solution is the passive circuit described on the Rane web site - a couple of resistors less than a dollar, but stereo separation is lost at the preamp outputs.

Ray's solution has the advantage that it keeps stereo separation between the left and right at the preamp outputs in the case that you want to drive one amp with a mono signal and another amp with a stereo signal.

2-Ch (HT L/R): Oppo BDP-105 BD, Adcom GFP-750 pre, Bryston 10B Sub Xover, Bryston 4BSST2 / Paradigm Signature S4 v.2 (L/R), (2) SVS SB12-NSD (Subs)
Home Theater: Bryston 4BSST2 amp / Paradigm CC-590 (C), Outlaw 7700 amp / (4) Def Tech UIW-RSSII (LS/RS/LB/RB), Samsung 46” 3D LCD
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post #11 of 24 Old 08-13-2014, 05:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by RayDunzl View Post
I hope you mean you have one cable (with at least two wires inside) going to each speaker.

If there is really only one wire, you may have some more work to do.
Excuse the ambiguity. I have one speaker cable running to each speaker.

I'll read up on the Rane solution and try to wrap my head around it. The enclosure is also something that is commonly discussed - metal being preferred over plastic. In the meantime, tinkering with adapters and solid German engineering works for me!

Thanks again, fellas
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post #12 of 24 Old 08-13-2014, 06:49 AM
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To clarify, the two speaker spring clips, at the speaker end, only have one wire going to it? Is it the Red or Black? You can run that wire to the corresponding connection at the AMP/AVR side. You would still need to feed the AMP/AVR a mono signal though...

POLK RC80i

http://www.polkaudio.com/products/rc80i

Alternatively, can you attach a correct two wire speaker wire to the existing single speaker wire and pull the correct wire through to the speaker? If so, you can save yourself a lot of heartache.

OR

Is the speaker wired correctly, but the volume control not? Same as above, can you pull the correct two wires to the volume control?

Last edited by underminded999; 08-13-2014 at 06:54 AM. Reason: Additonal inquiry.
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post #13 of 24 Old 08-13-2014, 08:39 AM
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It sounds like everything is already wired correctly - for mono. Both roooms: one amplifier channel -> one pair of wires -> one side volume control input -> output of that same side of the volume control -> mono speaker.

There is nothing wrong with that amp - I used to have one of their stereo amps that powered my center channel speaker - never had a problem with it - unless the quality has changed of late, that is a perfectly acceptable amp for whole house audio at moderate levels (which is all you should be running unenclosed in-wall speakers anyway). Nice that it has a volume control, you would be able to set the max volume you wanted in those rooms and then the in-wall volume controls could reduce volume further - wouldn't be sending full power to the local volume controls all the time (they can get warm with constant high power).

Not sure why those speakers are so expensive at Amazon - your link says $300 - the same speakers "direct from Amazon" are only $140. Those are the EXACT speakers that I put in the ceiling of my dining room and they are great - but I only paid about $140 (and free ship because the wife has Prime)
Polk Audio RC80i 2-Way In-Ceiling Speakers (Pair, White)- $140

I don't want to confuse the issue, but that amp could run two sets of speakers - a mono pair (bathrooms) and a stereo pair (another room) - if not interested stop here. To run both mono AND stereo to two sets of speakers, connect the amp straight to the preamp source (your AVR?) using standard RCA cables. Connect the stereo pair of speakers normally to amp (either speakers A or B). Connect the other speaker outputs from the amp to a "speaker level Stereo-Mono Converter" (see below) and connect the outputs of this summing transformer to the speaker wires for both mono speakers.

Audioplex Monomixer 200B Stereo-Mono Converter - $48 direct


2-Ch (HT L/R): Oppo BDP-105 BD, Adcom GFP-750 pre, Bryston 10B Sub Xover, Bryston 4BSST2 / Paradigm Signature S4 v.2 (L/R), (2) SVS SB12-NSD (Subs)
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post #14 of 24 Old 08-13-2014, 08:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by underminded999 View Post
Not pretty, but will work. I am sure others will have thoughts on it.

Since the speakers are already wired, the wiring options need to be adjusted at the AMP/AVR side.

Speaker 1, (+) wire to Right (+) Amp Channel. (-) wire to Left(-) Amp Channel.
Speaker 2,(+) wire to Left(+) Amp Channel, (-) to Right(-) Amp Channel.

Feed the Amp a mono signal(if possible), or 'All Channel Stereo'(if possible).

Again, not perfect, but will work. Will work better if you can send a mono signal, but if you could, then this whole exercise is moot.
+1

I've been doing some landscaping in my backyard, and instead of buying a ghetto-blaster or BT speaker, I took an unused center channel speaker, and a spare Dayton amp and cross wired the speaker as above.

Have had no issues.
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post #15 of 24 Old 08-14-2014, 05:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by underminded999 View Post
To clarify, the two speaker spring clips, at the speaker end, only have one wire going to it? Is it the Red or Black? You can run that wire to the corresponding connection at the AMP/AVR side. You would still need to feed the AMP/AVR a mono signal though...

POLK RC80i

http://www.polkaudio.com/products/rc80i

Alternatively, can you attach a correct two wire speaker wire to the existing single speaker wire and pull the correct wire through to the speaker? If so, you can save yourself a lot of heartache.

OR

Is the speaker wired correctly, but the volume control not? Same as above, can you pull the correct two wires to the volume control?
One single speaker cable (with standard positive and negative leads) has been run to each speaker. I am going to start tinkering with Ray's suggestion now! That Audioplex monomixer looks like it could have also gotten the job done, so thank you for the recommendation, mtn-tech. I should mention that the volume knobs only have cable running through one channel (Right channel). Anything wrong with that from a technical standpoint?

Thanks!
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post #16 of 24 Old 08-14-2014, 05:19 PM
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... I should mention that the volume knobs only have cable running through one channel (Right channel). Anything wrong with that from a technical standpoint?

Thanks!
I wouldn't think so.

I'll be back later...


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post #17 of 24 Old 08-14-2014, 08:32 PM - Thread Starter
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I wouldn't think so.
Everything worked... almost! Initially I was just getting a quiet buzz coming from the speakers after connecting everything and cranking the volume up, and thought I might have received a faulty AMP-100. Then I tested other speakers, other RCA cables, and finally discovered that - of all things - the Audio Out on my receiver apparently isn't functioning! So close! I don't think the Audio Out is something that can be disabled so it's possible that my Yamaha is beginning to flake out early (have only had it since 2012). Will have to look into that.

Anyway, I tried the setup with a different audio source and it works like a charm. Pretty nifty rig.

Thanks again for all of the guidance!
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post #18 of 24 Old 08-14-2014, 10:40 PM
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The Audio Out may not be active for all types of input to the receiver.

I can't remember exactly (and don't have an AVR myself).

Try FM or a CD player or at least each possible source of playback you have at the receiver.

I'll be back later...


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post #19 of 24 Old 08-15-2014, 11:20 AM - Thread Starter
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The Audio Out may not be active for all types of input to the receiver.

I can't remember exactly (and don't have an AVR myself).

Try FM or a CD player or at least each possible source of playback you have at the receiver.
Well this is interesting. No luck sending audio from an Oppo BDP-95 into the AVR and back out again using the Audio Out. Just quiet hiss. However, I've been able to enjoy perfect mono output using my laptop as a source, bypassing the AVR with a Mini-din to RCA adapter and Ray's configuration. No problems here. But when I try sending audio from the Oppo BDP-95 via RCA - again bypassing the AVR for the sake of identifying the weak link - the output from the mono speakers is barely audible music with hissing layered on top. Am I missing something here? I've tried several different RCA cables and they all work fine with the laptop as the source. This might deserve a new thread. Sheesh!
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post #20 of 24 Old 08-15-2014, 03:39 PM
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http://c.searspartsdirect.com/mmh/li...M/1211378L.pdf

page 27

There are video out jacks with audio. Maybe they work.

I'll be back later...


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post #21 of 24 Old 08-15-2014, 08:52 PM - Thread Starter
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http://c.searspartsdirect.com/mmh/li...M/1211378L.pdf

page 27

There are video out jacks with audio. Maybe they work.
I considered the A/V jacks, but before I journey down that path, I'm starting to suspect something might be amok with the amplifier or possibly my stereo-to-mono rig. This evening the amp began clipping at very low volume levels regardless of which speaker it was powering (both, just one, or just the other - even tried swapping the speakers to the opposite channels, still clipped). The amp didn't feel even slightly warm while it was clipping every 5 to 10 seconds. Note: the two input levels on the MX400 were turned all the way up to 10, so I've moved them both down to 5, and I know that gains and clipping are correlated. Could having the input levels turned all the way up to 11 be the cause of clipping? I'm about 20 minutes into testing at Input Level 5 and no clipping yet, but don't want to get too excited. Many thanks.

p.s. Ray, if no AVR, then what? HTPC? Dedicated amp for each audio source?
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post #22 of 24 Old 08-16-2014, 06:56 AM - Thread Starter
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I think I answered my own question. Once the input levels were turned down (to about 2) on the MX400 micromixer, the Oppo is now playing CDs just fine piped into the Audio In on the AVR, with the mixer attached to the Audio Out. I think you're right, Ray, about USB input not sending audio through the Audio Out on the AVR (unless I'm just overlooking a setting). Interesting thing was that the mono speakers continued to play even when the AVR was turned off despite the audio signal flowing through Audio In and Audio Out on the AVR.

So what I'm taking away from this is that the Input Level on the mixer should be turned down to avoid making the amp clip.

Awesome!
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post #23 of 24 Old 08-16-2014, 07:18 AM
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Good job.

AVR's are strange beasts when it comes to simple things, maybe.

What you experienced with the "clipping" or whatever you heard comes under the subject header "gain staging".

This disucusses it, a bit.

http://www.basic-home-recording-stud...n-staging.html

I'll be back later...


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post #24 of 24 Old 08-16-2014, 12:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by RayDunzl View Post
Good job.

AVR's are strange beasts when it comes to simple things, maybe.

What you experienced with the "clipping" or whatever you heard comes under the subject header "gain staging".

This disucusses it, a bit.

http://www.basic-home-recording-stud...n-staging.html
This is a good read, especially being new to mixers, thanks. By 'clipping' I meant the amp would shut off momentarily and go into protection mode. Did not mean it in the context of frequencies being omitted from playback. Meanwhile, still enjoying flawless playback over here!

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