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Y Cables --are good? advice from the Pros
Old 3rd November 2018
  #1
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zak7's Avatar
 

Y Cables --are good? advice from the Pros

Hello,

I want to take the analog out of my DAC that is stereo and put a Y cable so they can go to my Monitor Section (then Speakers) and the other signal to a good Headphone amp, I do not like the quality of the headphone amp of the Monitor section I have.

My question is if a Y cable have to have certain specs to don't degrade the sound?

or as long as is a good quality cable all is good?
Old 3rd November 2018
  #2
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you're gonna lose some level (around 3db) on each leg and get a 'gain'/level mismatch between gear, so you better use an active splitter or use the headphone amp's line outputs (if there are any) - but of course using y-cables to split signals mostly does the job (and cable quality has almost no measurable influence on results).
Old 4th November 2018
  #3
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Modern gear is voltage matched so that, provided your DAC has a low output impedance and the gear you are feeding has a sensibly high input impedance you won't experience any loss of signal level or quality by using a splitter.
Old 4th November 2018
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with passive splits (and hence with y-cables), you will lose level, no matter what the impedance of the gear is. and it does not stop you from level matching as there are still massive differences between max. output and max. input levels before clipping with most gear, even from the same manufacturer...

3db may not sound like much (and of course they can mostly be gained somewhere else along the signal chain) but if you lose that amount of level on a high power pa system playing to a large audience, it might cost you your job!

Last edited by deedeeyeah; 4th November 2018 at 01:32 AM.. Reason: edited
Old 4th November 2018
  #5
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Are we talking about pro gear? No, you won't lose anything. James is correct above. Just do it.
Old 4th November 2018
  #6
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I've done this many times - split signal at the patchbay with a Y cable - and no, there is not a loss of level or sound quality. This is very easy to demonstrate yourself.

To the OP - Yes just use good quality cable and connectors. And double check that it's working properly using a meter and your ears.
Old 4th November 2018
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Reierson View Post
Are we talking about pro gear? No, you won't lose anything. James is correct above. Just do it.
Yes, I want to put a Y Cable for the analog out that feed my speakers so I can use a dedicated Headphone amp ..... but I do not want to degrade the sound of the signal that feed my monitors and what would feed my headphones now
Old 5th November 2018
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zak7 View Post
Yes, I want to put a Y Cable for the analog out that feed my speakers so I can use a dedicated Headphone amp ..... but I do not want to degrade the sound of the signal that feed my monitors and what would feed my headphones now
you're not degrading the signal or put your gear at risk using y-cables to split signals.

(but level loss can indeed easily measure with just a volt meter: if there wouldn't be any, signals then could be split a hundret times without any loss?! and how about sending the signal into several devices with different input sensitivity? - and yes, i'm talking pro gear: i wouldn't dare assaulting thousands of people with cheap gear)
Old 5th November 2018
  #9
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A low impedance driver barely even sees a high impedance load. This is a non-issue with short cable runs at line level. Just do it already.
Old 5th November 2018
  #10
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thanks guys!
Old 6th November 2018
  #11
Gear Head
 

I have to agree...no problem at all, at least with a short y cable.
I made roundtrip measurements with and without a short y-cable and there was a level drop of about 0.1 dB, if at all. Measurements were made with pink noise and a 1kHz sine wave. So don't worry, just get a quality cable and do it
Old 4 weeks ago
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
you're not degrading the signal or put your gear at risk using y-cables to split signals.

(but level loss can indeed easily measure with just a volt meter: if there wouldn't be any, signals then could be split a hundret times without any loss?! and how about sending the signal into several devices with different input sensitivity? - and yes, i'm talking pro gear: i wouldn't dare assaulting thousands of people with cheap gear)
If the output impedance of your source is 100 ohms and the input impedance of your destination is 10k ohms then feeding 100 similar devices will only result in a 6dB reduction in level to each destination. If the output impedance has a reactive component (rather than being totally resistive) then the sound may be altered by this loading but it wouldn't be a total disaster.
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