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frederikolafsen
Jul 7, 2011, 08:09 AM
Hi all - I am hoping to get some advice from someone that knows more about audio than I do. It's a pretty simple question for the right person, I am sure, and any help would be GREATLY appreciated.

I am looking to purchase a set of bi-amped studio monitors to use as my PC speakers and was hoping that someone knows enough about these speakers to tell me what I will need to do to hook them up to my MacBook. I have 1/8in audio out and I believe that these speakers have 1/4in audio in. Do I need a converter of some sort? Anything extra? Sorry for being so vague - I wish I had more of a mind of audio electronics. Thanks!

These are the speakers I am looking into: http://www.amazon.com/Fostex-PM0-4W-Powered-Studio-Monitors/dp/B001AZEYLU



jackerin
Jul 7, 2011, 08:19 AM
Something like this.
http://img811.imageshack.us/img811/3908/153180.jpg (http://www.thomann.de/fi/the_sssnake_ypk2050.htm)

Fishrrman
Jul 7, 2011, 09:46 AM
"I am looking to purchase a set of bi-amped studio monitors to use as my PC speakers and was hoping that someone knows enough about these speakers to tell me what I will need to do to hook them up to my MacBook. I have 1/8in audio out and I believe that these speakers have 1/4in audio in. Do I need a converter of some sort? Anything extra? "

Looking at the back of the speakers you mentioned, there appear to be two input ports.
One is a 1/4" "TRS" (tip/ring/sleeve) -- it looks like a "stereo" input but it's not. Rather, it's a "balanced mono" input.

There is also another input port, but from the pic I couldn't tell whether it's an "RCA" type connector or a 3.5" "mini plug". Looks to be RCA to me.

There are numerous ways to make the connection. Perhaps the best thing for you to do is to buy the speakers you want, with the realization that you're not going to be able to hook them up immediately. It may take a few more days (even a couple of weeks) to "get the right connection", particularly if you're not sure what you're doing.

You can just buy the right combination of cables and plug into the Mac's audio out port.

However, if you really want the best sound possible, you _might_ consider springing for a "USB/DAC" (USB-to-"digital-to-audio-converter") and make your connections from that unit.

Let's do a simple audio port cable connection first.

You will need some kind of "Y" cable -- also called a "splitter" -- to convert the stereo output (audio out "mini plug") into two separate mono cables.

It will look like this:
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=240-135&FTR=240-135

You may need "RCA extension cables" as well:
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=240-540&FTR=240-540
(just to "get enough length" to reach each speaker)

IF the speaker has an RCA input, you won't need anything more.
HOWEVER, if you want to plug into the 1/4" ports, you'll need a conversion plug on each RCA cable:
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=091-1010&FTR=091-1010

IF the speakers have mini (3.5mm) input ports, you can probably do your cabling with 3.5" components. I just used the above because it looked like the ports are 1/4" & RCA.

NOTE: I've ordered from partsexpress.com before, a good outfit to buy from.

THERE'S ANOTHER WAY TO GO, AND GET BETTER SOUND:
That is, to get a "USB/DAC" standalone "convertor box", and run your outputs from whatever's available on the back of that box.

The advantage to using a USB/DAC is that the Mac's digital-to-analog convertors are OK, but those in a USB/DAC box are going to be better.

You then hook the box up to an available USB port, and connect your speakers to the box.

Here is a sampling of various USB/DAC's (check reader reviews):
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=USB+DAC&x=20&y=18

frederikolafsen
Jul 7, 2011, 03:21 PM
Thank you both so much! I will give all of the links a look and see what would work best. The input is greatly appreciated! :)