How to connect a subwoofer to studio monitors?
August 8, 2012 11:02 PM   Subscribe

How do I connect two studio monitors and a subwoofer to my keyboard? (I get sound out of the woofer but not out of the monitors.)

I have the following setup:

- Two studio monitors (the back looks like this)

- A piano keyboard which outputs RCA or XLR

- A subwoofer (image of back here)

I want to connect the subwoofer to those two monitors (from the keyboard). I tried connecting the subwoofer out with this but no sound comes out of the monitors. Same if I connect the woofer out to monitors via a speaker-to-RCA cable. Sound comes out of the woofer but not the monitors.

Do I need something else to make this setup work? Thanks in advance!
posted by mcav to Technology (5 answers total)
It sounds like the output you're connecting to is a line out. That means it's not amplified. Unless your keyboard has amplified outputs you can use instead, you need either an amplifier or a set of amplified speakers. Your subwoofer has a built-in amplifier, which is why it works.
posted by primethyme at 11:09 PM on August 8, 2012

Are those banana jacks on the sub? That’s what it looks like. Both the sub and the speakers are powered (that’s what the "active means"). All you need is the banana connectors. In to the sub speaker in, out of the sub speaker out to the monitors rca connectors.

Make sure the monitors are turned on.
posted by bongo_x at 11:12 PM on August 8, 2012

I'm guessing that the speaker out connectors on your subwoofer only work if you're using the speaker in connectors, which you can't use because your keyboard doesn't have an amplified output.

Just use a couple RCA splitters like this and connect the both the monitors and the subwoofer directly from your keyboard. You won't be getting the benefit of a crossover in that your monitors will be getting low end bass as well as your subwoofer, but that's not that big of a deal. The subwoofer does have a low-pass filter, which is good.
posted by zsazsa at 11:49 PM on August 8, 2012

It looks like both the sub and the monitors are amplified.
posted by bongo_x at 11:55 PM on August 8, 2012

Aha! It never occurred to me that I could just hook them both up directly from the keyboard (which has multiple outputs). Hooked up the speakers to XLR and the sub to RCA and it sounds good enough for me. Thanks all.
posted by mcav at 4:27 AM on August 9, 2012

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