Name for obscure audio connectors?
September 12, 2012 12:17 PM   Subscribe

What are the connectors used for the surround speaker outputs in this image called?

I need an adapter to use these connectors with a set of surround speakers but I don't know what they are, which makes it difficult to locate the right item...
posted by Grinder to Technology (17 answers total)
The little red/black dealies down near the bottom? Those are press terminals.
posted by julthumbscrew at 12:32 PM on September 12, 2012

I think Grinder is referring to the 4 pin rectangular connectors. In the first image those are labeled "Use only with model <something>" so they are probably proprietary. I'm just making an educated guess though.
posted by chairface at 12:36 PM on September 12, 2012

Pretty sure it's the four-pin thingies labeled "SURROUND" be asked about. They look suspiciously like the sort of speaker connections you'd find inside a PC.

In the first image, it says, "(USE ONLY WITH MODEL SX-FNV70L)," which is this set of speakers.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:37 PM on September 12, 2012

Response by poster: Yes, the 4 pin rectangular connectors. Does anyone know what they are?
posted by Grinder at 12:45 PM on September 12, 2012

He means these.
posted by The Deej at 1:42 PM on September 12, 2012

Jeez, read the other answers much?

I have seen those 4-pin rectangular connectors before but I can't find a name for them. I think they're proprietary. If you have the original speakers, it might be easiest to cut off the old connectors and splice them onto your new speakers' wires.

Make sure your new speakers are 16 ohm. If they are lower, they will draw too much current and fry your amplifier.
posted by scose at 1:42 PM on September 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I don't know what they are called (other than "pin connectors") but I've had systems like that, and they are propriatary to the unit in question. I think they are that way just to make it easy for people to plug everything in.

That said, I was never able to find an adaptor for them, but if I were ambitious, I would probably take the back plate off and fish out the wires and solder on some regular RCA style universal connectors.
posted by The Deej at 1:44 PM on September 12, 2012

Mod note: A few comments removed, carry on.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:44 PM on September 12, 2012

Response by poster: scose, thanks - I have one of these units and speakers that have phono connectors. I guess I'll have to see if I can replace the connectors on the amp...
posted by Grinder at 1:50 PM on September 12, 2012

Response by poster: The Deej, thanks - that's probably what I will do.
posted by Grinder at 1:57 PM on September 12, 2012

Best answer: It's an AIWA system, You could probably see if those are adaptable to 4-pin DIN plugs. From what I can tell looking at the service manual (you'll need something that can unrar like peazip, winrar, or's part 2 of the multipart rar), the pin layout is ordered from bottom to top and only pins 1, 3, and 4 are used. If it is DIN compatible, that means that GND would not be used. If proprietary digital, then you're probably out of luck (I couldn't make out the manual enough to tell).
posted by samsara at 2:13 PM on September 12, 2012

I had proprietary connectors on a Phillips surround sound system. I just snipped them off and soldered the ends. The only issue is impedence; you probably don't want to plug in a 4 ohm speaker into a 16 ohm amp, at risk of blowing the amp.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:17 PM on September 12, 2012

Response by poster: samsara, thanks, that's really helpful. I really doubt these are digital - the system is from the mid-1990s I think.

Is it easy to convert from 4-pin DIN to RCA phono connectors with an adapter?
posted by Grinder at 2:18 PM on September 12, 2012

Best answer: Here's a snapshot of the service manual that shows the connector. Although I just noticed another spot in the manual here which shows the pin assignment (promising!) It looks like there is a GND assignment after all, so if you're feeling adverturous enough to make your own adapter the pin layout is 1) channel 2) empty 3) voltage 4) ground. The target speaker will need 16ohms or greater resistance.
posted by samsara at 2:25 PM on September 12, 2012

Response by poster: samsara, thanks again, I'm not sure that I understand all of this but I will get hold of a soldering iron and have a go.
posted by Grinder at 2:37 PM on September 12, 2012

Sure thing, it's about at the end of my knowledge range too. I suggest using female jumper wires to interface with the pins, and then splice/solder your adapter cable from there. Also use a multimeter to make sure you have the right level of ohms as Blazecock Pileon mentioned above. Good luck!
posted by samsara at 2:53 PM on September 12, 2012

Channel will be the signal. You'll need to test to see if it is digital or analog. Easiest way -- is it AC voltage, or DC?

Voltage is, well, power. It could be used to power a remote amp on the proprietary speaker unit - or just an "I'm on" light The fact that there's only one ground implies the signal is analog.

I'd test it with a cheap speaker and a couple of jumpers with croc clips. If you get actual sound from pins 1 and 4, then you have analog.

Bonus points for figuring out what to do with the power.
posted by eriko at 4:36 AM on September 13, 2012

« Older Idiopathic delayed note syndrome   |   How to pick a good memory foam mattress. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.