airtunes vs. tivoli deathmatch
January 7, 2006 7:33 PM   Subscribe

i just bought a tivoli system (kloss model 2, extra speaker and cd) and have it on the bookshelf but some questions:

The Tivoli staffperson I emailed said it had an aux in and would work fine with my airtunes setup. However, there's an aux in (for the CD player, I think?) and a "mix in" which is also a single (mono?) mini rca. My old stereo went mini RCA (airtunes) > full size right and left stereo jacks (stereo), so now I've run a single mini RCA cable (on both ends) from airtunes to the "mix in" jack and it sounds just OK. Not as good as the cheapie sony boombox we used to have. Is this because before I had stereo sound coming in and now I just have mono? Is there a better way to hook this stuff together? I really like the warm sound of the Kloss speakers and it looks very pretty, and I like the big knobs ... I assume there must be some way to make the music from my powerbook sound better than it does on my crummy powerbook speakers; right now they sound about the same.
posted by luriete to Technology (10 answers total)
The Mix in is meant to be used to mix whatever is coming through that jack with the currently selecte input. Meaning if you're listening to the radio and have your computer connected the mix input, then you'll hear the radio and your computer sounds. If there's a dedicated aux input, use that instead.
posted by pmbuko at 7:39 PM on January 7, 2006

There is a dedicated aux input, but the CD player goes into that, according to the directions.

Tivoli told me I could use my airtunes with this; cetainly I don't need to disconnect the CD to plug airtunes in every time I want to play music wirelessly? That's crazy. Is there some sort of Y-splitter I can use in the aux-in port so that both the CD *and* airtunes feed into it, and only that which is playing comes through the amp?
posted by luriete at 7:53 PM on January 7, 2006

To borrow from an answer earlier today...
would one of these work to split merge the line-in?

posted by misterbrandt at 8:36 PM on January 7, 2006

Yes! That's exactly what I need. Thanks!! I will go see if they have it at the hardware store or radio shack tomorrow.
posted by luriete at 9:44 PM on January 7, 2006

one question though: does one pin mean mono not stereo? so the cd going in to the tivoli amp, with 2 speakers, is just mono sound split in two?
posted by luriete at 11:39 PM on January 7, 2006

It is possible to get a Y adapter that separates the stereo signal - if you go to a Radio Shack you might inadvertently end up with one.

What you need is a decent quality headphone splitter. Belkin seems to make a fairly decent one.

I use my Tivoli model two with an original Slimp3 (similar to airtunes) and am extremely happy with it. But because all of my music is stored on my computer, I don't much need a CD player. You might consider exchanging yours for the Tivoli subwoofer. It adds a lot to the system and improves bass response considerably. What's more, you won't need that headphone splitter anymore!
posted by aladfar at 11:52 PM on January 7, 2006

one pin does not mean mono. to see if it is mono or stereo, count the number of black stripes on the pin. a stereo plug, like the one shown above, has two black stripes. a mono plug has one.

that only tells you about plugs, not sockets (the hole you plug into). to tell whether a socket is stereo or mono you need to open up the box and look inside.

note that you can plug a stereo plug into a mono socket and you'll usually hear an average of left and right on both speakers (ie mono). if you plug a mono plug into a stereo socket you get mono. in other words, you always get both speakers playing, but for stereo both the plug and socket need to be stereo.
posted by andrew cooke at 12:50 AM on January 8, 2006

oh, sorry, no. stereo plug into mono socket is probably more likely to give you left or right on both speakers, rather than an average. sorry.
posted by andrew cooke at 12:51 AM on January 8, 2006

I use a little radio shack brand box with two buttons on the top. 'round the back there's 2 sets of stereo A/V inputs and one stereo A/V output. flipping the buttons switches the inputs. works like a charm for my stereo set-up--the DVD player goes in one and the computer in the other, then whichever I want comes out of my stereo speakers. (I don't use the video lines)
here's the owner's manual (pdf, only picture I could find on first page)
posted by carsonb at 7:56 AM on January 8, 2006

A splitter (like misterbrandt's) is not likely to work as well as the switch box (like carsonb's) for merging inputs. That's because when you're playing the CD player, you will actually be driving the outputs of the Airport Express along with radio's inputs, and the other way 'round too. Depending on the input impedance of the output jacks this may murder your sound quite badly. I'd definitely go with the switchbox, or else a line mixer of some sort (but the switchbox will be way cheaper).
posted by kindall at 8:38 AM on January 8, 2006

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