Connecting 2 Inputs to my new 5.1 System?

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Connecting 2 Inputs to my new 5.1 System?

Okay, this is kind of hard to explain so i've provided a link to a picture of my system that will allow you guys to understand it easier. I'm kind of stuck on this so any info you could give me would be great.

I recently bought a Logitech Z-5300E 5.1 surround sound system for my PC. It features a new "Matrix Mode" which allows me to connect a stereo source (DVD Player) and it will emulate 5.1 surround sound with it. The system came with an adaptor to do this. However, the problem I'm having is that I can't connect my PC and my DVD Player at the same time. It's kind of a pain having to switch them on the back of the sub all the time. If you look at the provided picture there are three 3.5mm plugs that go from my computer to the sub to provide the real 5.1 sound. Only the green one is used when I plug in a DVD player to "emulate" the 5.1. What I would like to do is somehow "split" the green plug so I can connect both the stereo adapter and the plug from my PC. I don't want to lose any audio quality though so I have been told to go with an Audio switch opposed to a splitter. I have no idea what to buy though all I can find are ones that will switch stereo sources, not 3.5mm plugs. Does anyone know? I don't want to damage the system or degrade the quality. If possible I'd like to hook a satellite reciever up as well as the DVD Player and PC. This would involve splitting it 3 times or using a "3" switch.

EDIT: Would using something like this reduce the quality or send to much to the sub and possibly break it?

Matt Whitlock
I'd opt to use a four way

I'd opt to use a four way audio switch over any kind of splitters, especially if you want to connect more than two devices. I'm not familiar with any switches that take 1/8" inputs, but with the right adapter cables, it can be done. In fact, the KVM I'm using didn't have audio switching built in, so I'm using a standard 4 way switch to get audio from multiple PCs to one set of powered speakers.

Here's what you need to do:

Get a regular 4 way switch. Try to find a model that includes an RCA and 1/8" output. The Terk VS-4 has this, and a number of other models. Having the second 1/8" output will probably save you a few bucks on another adapter cable. Here's a picture of the Terk model:

You'll connect your DVD player and Sat receiver to the inputs using regular RCA cables. You'll then need a 1/8" to RCA adapter cord to connect your PC to the RCA inputs.

You can find these at just about any electronic stores. Here's what it looks like:

Once you have your sources plugged in, connect the included green 1/8" to 1/8" cord that came with your speaker system into the 1/8" output on the switch, and the other end to the "Front" jack on your speaker setup. If you buy a switch without a 1/8" output, you'll need another one of those adapter cords picture above. That will allow you to plug the RCA output on the switch into the 18" jack on the speaker setup. Whatever input you select on the switch will come out of the speakers, and you don't have to worry about all the devices being on at the same time.

Will this reduce audio quality? Some, but it mostly depends on the quality of the switch and cables you purchase. Provided you opt for decent (doesn't have to be super high quality), I doubt you'll notice any difference.

Good luck, and let us know how it turns out!

Thanks a lot for your help. I

Thanks a lot for your help. I've found a few on eBay but am unsure about the quality so I think i'll get the Terk one you mentioned. It's $21.95 Canadian plus $6 shipping. Unfortunately in Canada Circuit City bought out RadioShack and they've raised their prices and got rid of all the stuff that they're known for. Therefore, unless I want to buy a $80 one i'll have to look elsewhere. I went in and asked for a certain type of resistor a few weeks ago and the guy asked me to refresh his memory on what a resistor is. (In the end they didn't even have one, go figure). But thanks again for your help I really appreciate it. It didn't occur to me that the 3.5mm (ya, i know, metric) plug is the same as the red and white RCA plugs. I'll let you know how it goes when I get my switch in a week or so.


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