How to connect a keyboard to a stereo?
November 9, 2008 3:55 PM   Subscribe

What's the best and least expensive way to connect an M-Audio 88SX keyboard to a stereo? The keyboard has two 1/4" jacks, one for left and right outputs.

I have a new M-Audio 88SX keyboard that has two 1/4" audio outputs, one left/mono and one right.

What is the best way and least expensive way to connect the keyboard to a stereo? (I'd like to get the best possible listening experience for the lowest cost.)

I already have a few 1/8" to 1/4" adapters.
I also have a 3.5mm headphone to RCA adapter (red and white).

Thank you!
posted by mtphoto to Media & Arts (6 answers total)
You'll probably be fine popping one of those 1/4" adapters into the headphone socket, and then hooking the phono adapter to your stereo, assuming it has some phono inputs. That way you'll get any stereo sound effects without having to buy any more cables. It's conceivable that you'll get a small quality increase by using a pair of 1/4" to phono adapters hooked from the left and right output to a left and right input on your stereo, but I'd assume the difference would be minimal.
posted by Magnakai at 4:15 PM on November 9, 2008

Simplest solution is a cable like this. The suggestion of going mono is reasonable, but on some keyboards, this may mean you'll get an overdose of the low frequencies and less highs, or vice versa. At least, that's how the piano sound works on my keyboard.
posted by knave at 4:27 PM on November 9, 2008 [1 favorite]

Knave is right - you should be using the 1/4" audio outputs on the keyboard, not the headphone outs. Connect them to an Aux input on the stereo, not to a Phono input.
posted by Paid In Full at 9:14 AM on November 10, 2008

That adapter is exactly what I was looking for!
It costs less than $10, which is great.

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions!
posted by mtphoto at 11:28 AM on November 10, 2008

The headphone socket should be stereo, which is why I suggested it was a simple alternative that wouldn't require buying another cable. Using the word phono may have been misleading, as the phono stage on a stereo is for connecting a turntable. I was simply using it as the plug type, which Americans tend to refer to as the RCA connector.

Anyway, like Knave said, dual jacks to dual RCAs is probably the best solution. Enjoy!
posted by Magnakai at 2:46 PM on November 10, 2008

Looks like I misinterpreted you, Magnakai. Sorry. :)
posted by knave at 8:55 PM on November 10, 2008

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