Sterero/Mono jack plugs

  prycey 15:38 24 Sep 2005

I have some computer speakers that are linked to speaker wire via a 3.5mm double ended female stereo adapter. On each end of the speaker wire I have two 3.5mm jack plugs. However, if I want these speakers to work well (so they sound clear), I have to pull the jack plug out of both the adapter and computer about half way.

I noticed that the jacks on both ends of the wire are slightly different lengths; one is very slightly longer than the other. I did buy 2 stereo jacks to put on the wire, but I think the guy might have given me one mono and one stereo jack by accident.

Does the difference in length mean one is stereo and the another mono, and if so, which is which? Or am I doing something wrong altogether?


  Terry Brown 15:43 24 Sep 2005

If you look at the end of the Jack plus a stereo has 2 sections (+ main body) and the Mono has 1.

The double stereo adapter is meant to take 2 mono jack plugs. This could be the problem

  prycey 16:51 24 Sep 2005

Ok, I understand what you mean by the stereo/mono difference, but do the slightly different length jacks do anything different?

I don't understand when you say, "The double stereo adapter is meant to take 2 mono jack plugs. This could be the problem".

Sorry, I'm going through a blonde moment!

  bloo meeny 17:32 24 Sep 2005

click here

and read the bit about Stereo/Mono compatibility, and also follow the "tip,ring,sleeve" link but don't worry about causing damage to your equipment !!

You need a MONO (2-way) plug on each speaker wire, although if you have STEREO plugs you can use them but wire the TIP and the SLEEVE only (leave the RING, or middle connection, DISCONNECTED)

More importantly, your 2-way adaptor MUST BE a STEREO plug (3-way) to 2 MONO sockets, and it's almost impossible to tell just by looking !!

Hope the above helps - just ask if you need further guidance :o)

  DieSse 17:40 24 Sep 2005

I'm confused here - speakers don't normally use stereo plugs - there's only two wires to a speaker - though computer speakers normally do have a single stereo wire and plug to the first speaker (which contains the amplifier) and a simpler system (often hard wired) to the second speaker.

So my confusion is over exactly what you've done to extend the wires - which ones, and, particularly, what is the adapter you talk about - what's it doing and where have you put it?

Can you explain more in simple terms exactly what you've done please.

I've not seen jacks of different lengths - so I can't comment why you should have ones like that - how big a difference are you talking about?

  prycey 19:05 24 Sep 2005

oh, maybe I hould have said: these are computer speakers (two of them), which are connected to a bass speaker, and there is only one wire which leaves the bass speaker, which then connects to the computer.

I have these speaers the other side of y room, meaning that I need an 'extension' to connect the bass speaker (which is connected to two small speakers also) to the computer. I am using a double ended female stereo adapter to connect the bass speaker to the adapter, and speaker wire with a 3.5mm stereo jack on either end to connect the wire to the computer

here's a diagram:
click here

where i have labeled "stereo jack", i'm not sure if they both are. they both look like stereo jacks but one is about 1mm longer than the other

here are the speakers i have:
click here

i appreciate the help guys! i'm not very good at this kind of stuff

  bloo meeny 21:53 24 Sep 2005

Ok, this is something entirely different - and it SHOULD be much simpler :-)

As far as I can tell, these are passive speakers (meaning they don't require batteries or use a mains adaptor). The satellites are wired direct to the bass unit, and I assume the wired volume/bass control is also.
So it's just an extension to the 3.5mm Jack Plug that's required.

The fact you say you need to unplug half-way at each plug indicates a possible wiring problem.

Firstly, check the speakers work by plugging directly into the computer (as I assume they did before).
Also, you should check the cable and double adaptor by testing with a portable stereo player and headphones, or similar.

A difference of 1mm length will make no difference between the 2 plugs.

Bear in mind that using a cable with plugs AND a double female adaptor adds another 'connection' and therefore resistance - with a possible effect on the sound quality, especially over time. Would be better to use something like a headphone extension cable with a plug one end and socket at the here

Let us know how you get on.

  bloo meeny 22:06 24 Sep 2005

"and speaker wire with a 3.5mm stereo jack on either end to connect the wire to the computer"

As DieSse rightly points out, speaker wire has only two wires. If you've made up your own extension, you need a 3-way cable.

Make sure you connect the wires as follows:


This is explained in my earlier link.

  DieSse 09:59 25 Sep 2005

Sorry - out to dinner last evening - as bloo meeny spotted, your diagram tells it all, and you need to use multiwire cable as you extension.

It's very fiddly to wire up - and I have seen such cables prefabricated up to about 10m - so it might be easier to look for one such.

  prycey 13:02 25 Sep 2005

thanks for the help guys. to be honest, i'm a bit confused about all of this rigging up. it seems like a lot of unneeded hassle. I think I'll just get an extension wire as suggested - is a multiwire cable the same as bloo meeny gave a link to, on eBay?

i really appreciate the help though. thanks a lot!

  DieSse 14:02 25 Sep 2005

"is a multiwire cable the same as bloo meeny gave a link to, on eBay?"

That's exactly the right type - you can also get them longer if needs be.

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