RCA cables work as connectors between two devices that support RCA connectivity. Essentially, RCA cables are designed to carry audio and video (AV) signals. RCA cables are what you need to hook amplifiers to a receiver and speakers. But what if you have one RCA cable but you want to connect multiple amps? Is it possible? If possible, how can you do it? In this article, we’ll show you how to split RCA for multiple amps.
Methods for Splitting RCA for Multiple Amps
It is possible to split RCA to connect multiple amps. There’re three effective methods for splitting RCA. These methods include:
- Daisy chain connection method
- Using RCA splitter
- Using Line output convertor
Let’s discuss these methods in detail, including their pros and cons.
Method #1. Daisy Chain Connection Method
It is among the most preferred methods for splitting RCA cable for multiple amplifiers. With this method, you’ll need to do some little electrical work to get it right. Fortunately, the steps involved are minimal and simple.
For this method, you will need a daisy chain splitter. It is readily available and affordable. Here’re the steps to follow to split RCA for multiple amplifiers with a daisy chain connection:
Step 1- First, set up the device you want to connect with the single RCA jack.
Step 2- Set up the first amplifier you want to connect. To do this, remove any cables and devices connected to the outputs and inputs of the amplifier.
Step 3- Connect the RCA jack with the daisy chain splitter.
Step 4- Next, you need to connect the daisy splitter wire to the input of the first amplifier.
Step 5- Connect the splitter wire to the output of the first amplifier.
Step 6- The second splitter wire has a male plug. Connect the male plug to the second amp.
Step 7- You have now connected the two amps.
Pros of using daisy chain connection
- A daisy chain splitter is very affordable
- You can use it without an RCA jack
- It is a great alternative to using an RCA splitter cable
Cons of using daisy chain connection
- You need to use the cable carefully
- There is some likelihood of electrical failure
Method #2- Using RCA Splitter
Using an RCA splitter is the simplest method to connect multiple amps by splitting an RCA jack. Here’re the steps to follow to split RCA for multiple amps with an RCA splitter:
Step 1- Start by setting up the device you want to connect multiple amps with RCA.
Step 2- If the red and white male plugs are hooked to the device, unplug them.
Step 3- Next, plug the RCA splitter cables from the ports you unplugged the male RCA plugs.
Step 4- Now you have two pairs of red and white plugs that you can hook to two amps. That way, you will use an RCA splitter rather than a standard RCA cable.
Pros of using RCA splitter
- An RCA jack splitter is easily available and affordable
- It’s very easy to split RCA jacks
- It’s a simple method to hook multiple amps
Cons of using RCA splitter
- With this method, the power output is split and the sound quality reduces
Method #3. Using Line Output Converter
A line output converter (LOC) is a small device you can use to split RCA without any risk of electrical failure or poor connectivity. Also, it works effectively without splitting the amount of power that gets to the two amps. It works by converting high voltage audio signals into RCA level audio signals. A LOC multiplies the number of jacks you’ll have at your disposal to hook multiple amplifiers.
With a LOC, you’ll have RCA ports even when your device doesn’t have them. Thus, regardless of the kind of amps you’re connecting, you can easily use a LOC to split RCA and hook multiple amps. Here’re the steps you should follow:
Step 1- Check for the amp output ports.
Step 2- Hook the LOC to the outputs on the amp. That way, you will use the LOC as the RCA jack.
Step 3- Upon connecting the LOC, you will have an extra RCA. Connect it to the second amp.
Pros of using LOC
- Amp power is not shared
- No risk of electrical problems
Cons of using LOC
- More expensive than using RCA splitter and Daisy chain connection methods
Upon reading through this article, you now know how to split RCA for multiple amps. Doing so will help you connect multiple amps when you only have one RCA jack or port on the device you want to hook multiple amps. While an RCA splitter is easy to use and affordable, it affects the audio quality due to sharing power between the amps. On the other hand, using a daisy chain is a little technical. If you want the best results, use a LOC even though it costs a little more than an RCA splitter and daisy chain connector.
Michael Evanchuk is a San Francisco-based sound engineer with 20 years’ experience installing, troubleshooting, and repairing commercial, automotive, and household sound equipment. Evanchuk owns an auto stereo center, where he offers highly competitive car audio installation and repair services. He has written dozens of articles on different sound engineering topics, all of which have been published in leading journals, blogs, and websites.