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y360
2007-12-27, 05:46
I have powered computer speakers that are connected with a Y splitter cable to both a squeezebox and a portable mp3 player.
Obviously I never play both devices concurrently.
I'm concerned that I may be compromising the sound or causing damage by using a parallel connection like that.
Should I introduce an A/B switch to select between the squeezebox and the portable mp3 player ?

iPhone
2007-12-27, 10:42
I have powered computer speakers that are connected with a Y splitter cable to both a squeezebox and a portable mp3 player.
Obviously I never play both devices concurrently.
I'm concerned that I may be compromising the sound or causing damage by using a parallel connection like that.
Should I introduce an A/B switch to select between the squeezebox and the portable mp3 player ?

If I were using a switch, I would use a true A/B switch that switches both the signal and ground lines not just the signal line. This type of switch provides full isolation of both output devices. The main problem I see is that you are using a simple Y splitter, you are probably using the headphone jacks on both devices which is not recommended for the Squeezebox. You should be using the RCAs to provide a signal to the computer speakers.

As to sound quality, you are joking, right? You are using computer speakers, that should say it all.

My advice: get a true A/B switch. Once you have the switch determine what type of cables you need. As an example, you could get a Stereo RCA male to mini cable, A/B switch with minis, and use the current mp3 player cable. Not knowing the MP3 player, you would probably be alright just getting the Stereo RCA male to mini cable and using the Y splitter you have as long as you only have one device on at a time.

Last question, who needs an MP3 player at the same location that they have a Squeezebox? My hard drives hold all my music, there will never be an MP3 player larger enough to hold my library. Just wondering?

y360
2007-12-27, 13:44
Thank you for your advice.
This setup is for my 70 year old father who's as far removed from technology as you can imagine.

He's been enjoying listening to a simple 1GB MP3 player with headphones, and I just got him a pair of Logitech R20 speakers, so that he can listen without the headphones.

Then it occurred to me that I might try and set up one of my squeezeboxes and see if he can manage it. Its going to be mostly SN because the PC in his house is not running 24/7.

I would like to allow him to listen to the MP3 player in case the squeezebox proves too complicated to operate.

Anyway I just tried plugging the MP3 player in parallel while the SB was playing and as soon as I did that the sound got noticeably distorted, so an A/B switch is mandatory.

iPhone
2007-12-27, 14:14
Sounds like a plan. Since you 'have' to get an A/B Switch, might as well make sure the source from the SB3 is coming from the RCA outs instead of the headphone jack while you are buying a switch and proper cables. The headphone jack on the SB should really only be used for head phones.

Maybe even easier for your father would be headphones with the MP3 player and the proper Stereo RCA to mini for the SB3 and powered speakers. If he really likes the SB3 and can handle it, I am betting the MP3 player is only going to be used when away from the PC anyway ie portable with headphones. Just a thought.