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My Setup Is Crazy-Convoluted! Please Help Me Manage It?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi, thanks for reading!

Between my computer, my turntables, my CD player, my laserdisc player and my video game systems, I've got a ton of devices outputting through standard RCA - but the processing unit through which I want to route everything only has one set of 1/4 inch inputs and one set of XLR inputs.
Further complicating matters is that, from that processing unit, I also need to output to my headphone amp, my speaker amps, and loop back into my computer so that I can process audio tracks I create and record the output.

Crazy, huh? I just don't know how to get it all hooked up the way I need it - without switching out tons of connections all the time! Is there some kind of switchbox I need? Or is there a stereo receiver with all the inputs and outputs I require? I just don't know!

What's the most affordable way to get all of those sources routed this-way-and-that without opening them up to interference/degradation?

post #2 of 11
The cheapest thing I could think of that should work would be an older high end AV receiver. You'll need to make sure it has pre-outs so you can still use your amplifiers bypassing the internal amps. Depending where you live, you might be able to get one on craigslist for $100-200.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi Jettore, thanks for your reply!

Can you explain how the connections would work with something like that? I almost picked up a stereo receiver to use, but it really didn't seem like it could help me too much since its only outputs were through the headphone jack and the speaker-outs.
post #4 of 11
There are stereo receivers that could do it, but a AVR(surround sound receiver) will probably be easier to find used. I can try and break it down by connection the best I can.

CD Player
Video Game system

So that's 4 input that are currently using rca jacks or if any of these support digital outputs you could use that also. Any higher end AVR would have plenty of inputs for these.

Turntable - Are you using a preamp or do you have something with a phono input you are currently using? If preamp then it's just another standard input on the avr.

For outputs it sounds like you are using stand alone amplifiers. If that is the case then you need to make sure the AVR has preout connections. That's why you need to look for an older high end unit. The preouts bypass the internal amplifier in the AVR so you can plug them directly into your amplifier.

Older AVR's should have a tape loop, so I think you can use that for your computer input. I think the tapeloop bypasses any processing so you will get an untouched signal. I'm not 100% sure, but that's how I think it works.

Hope that helps some. There may be a better cheaper way that I'm not sure about.
post #5 of 11
As an example, it looks like this would have everything you need as far as I can tell.

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi Jettore, thanks again for your response.

But what about the processor?

I've got five or six sources that need to be input into the processor, and then the processor needs to, in turn, output to one of several devices: headphones, speakers or back into the computer's line-in.

So there are two "bottlenecks" right now where I'm having to switch connections all the time, not just one.

So that causes a receiver such as you've described to not seem like a complete answer to my troubles - unless I'm not understanding the totality of your suggestion.

Thanks though!
post #7 of 11
What are you using as a processor?
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi Jettore!

I am using Aphex 204 Aural Exciter and Optical Big Bottom.

It has 1/4" input and XLR input! Would I gain anything by taking all of my RCA devices and making them input into the XLR?

It also has 1/4" output and XLR output. Same question - if the sources are RCA, will XLR make any difference for output here? I don't know!

Okay thanks! Bye!
post #9 of 11
OK, then it would also need a Tape Montor Loop(note: not a Tape record loop). A tape monitor loop would allow you to connect the Aphex and then with a Tape Loop button on the avr you could send the signal path through the Aphex and then out to your selected output.

Another option would be just to use your Aphex with a selector switch on both side of it.
There are a lot of options so you could find the rights ones for what you need.
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Will a low-end/cheap switcher box introduce EMI into the signal? I see some for $25, and others for $200 - I can't afford the super expensive kind right now unfortunately.
post #11 of 11
That I'm not sure about.
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