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Confused About Connecting My Mixer To PA Speakers

Discussion in 'Cables & Switches' started by DodgyDavid, Jun 5, 2010.

  1. DodgyDavid

    DodgyDavid Member

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    Hey, I hope ive posted this in the right section. Ive recently bought a 10 channel mixer that I intend to use for band rehersals, I have so far been pretty successful at getting everything set up. However, I got my hands on some PA speakers and im having some, admittedly novice problems.

    There is an XLR female output on my mixer, for both left and right channels and both my speakers have both Gold plated terminals and 6.3mm Jack socket inputs, positive and negitive. Im struggling getting my head round how to plug these into each other. Obviously with no XLR connection on my speaker I can't use that method, I'm completely lost on the whole positive/negitive thing when using my mixing board. So I am really in need of some advice on how to plug my mixer with these connectors to my speakers.

    As I said a novice question, but I am struggling to find an answer, thanks in advance!
  2. Andy8421

    Andy8421 Member

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    David,

    Some more details on the mixer and speakers would help (make, model), but from your description it sounds like you are missing a power amp.

    The output of most mixers are at line level, far too low to drive speaker. You need to plug the output of the mixer into a power amp, then the output of the power amp into the speakers.

    This will boost the signal to a sufficient level to drive the speakers.

    There are exceptions to this, but given your info, this appears most likely.
  3. MarkE19

    MarkE19 Moderator

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    Yep, agree that the chances are you need to add a power amp into the chain to drive the speakers. However some mixers are powered and can be connected directly to the speakers, so as already suggested give us the make & models of speakers & mixer and we will confirm if an amp is required or not.

    The XLR output from the mixer can be connected to the 1/4" jack input of the speakers (or amp if required) by using a cable such as This or This - just check if the outputs on the mixer require a male or female XLR plug, but chances are you need a male XLR plug (second link).

    Mark.
  4. DodgyDavid

    DodgyDavid Member

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    I'm struggling to find anything on the internet about it and I got it used with nothing but the mixer, But the mixer is a Prolight WARRIOR PM 10:2. Below is an image of the output section and logo of the mixer. Ive got two XLR females to 1/4 jacks which can plug into the speakers but getting only really quiet high pitched squeels if using them. The speakers I am using are cheap two Skytec QT Series 100W (PMP) 6" PA Speakers. Thanks for the help so far, I hope this helps.

    [​IMG]
  5. ben.bayliss

    ben.bayliss Member

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    The mixer does not have an amp, and the speakers are passive. You need a power amplifier (not an 'amlifier' - please change that label immediately!!) in between in order to drive the speakers.

    edit: Just to add that the cables Mark linked to are not suitable for situations where the mixer has a built in amplifier. Yes they are XLR to Jack cables, but the cable itself has to be speaker cable which those are not. They would not be able to carry the current needed without getting hot/melting and sounding really bad in the process due to the very small amounts of copper used in the conductors.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2010
  6. MarkE19

    MarkE19 Moderator

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    I was thinking that the mixer was only outputting at line level (ie didn't have an amp) but could not find anything to confirm this so thought it best not to comment. As the OPstated, there is nothing easily searchable on the internet about the mixer - welll not that I could find.
    Sorry but this is a little OTT as many PA amps do have a volume control and can still be connected to the output of a mixer - I've even seen them with selectable inputs, so IMO there is no need to request an old label on the mixer to be changed because it is incorrect!
    Yet again I disagree with the above. I have worked as a PA sound engineer (as a hobby rather than actual job) for many years and have used many different types of cables for connecting the amps to speaker. I've used mains cable and bog standard jack & XLR cables etc with absolutely no issues.

    Mark.
  7. DodgyDavid

    DodgyDavid Member

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    Thanks a ton guys for all of your input. Lol, the label was like that when I got it, never actually noticed untill now :laugh:. Ive managed to get a karaoke Amp, one of these: Skytronic compact Hifi Karaoke amplifier 400W, with the ability to use speaker cables to connect to a speaker and a XLR Female to RCA to plug into it, I have to wait a few days for my speaker cables to arrive I am very much hoping that this will be enough to drive the speakers. Ill report back!
  8. ben.bayliss

    ben.bayliss Member

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    My comment was a lighthearted dig at the poor spelling on the label - nothing to do with what sort of amplifier be used. :)

    Well then you were very lucky or working with very forgiving equipment. I have been a professional engineer for many years now and have witnessed countless times where people have accidentaly used signal cable to try and connect loudspeakers to their amps and then wonder why they can't get any level out of them (or they're buzzing along very quietly).

    The point is, if someone has nothing currently they should at least get the cables which are correct, rather than buy something which is less than ideal but which might just work. I wasn't correcting you to be nasty, just point out that speaker cable should be used when connecting speakers to amps.

    We wouldn't suggest someone chop the phono plugs off a set of interconnects to use as hifi speaker cable on this forum, so the same applies when talking semi-pro audio gear, no?

    DodgyDavid: Sounds like you've got all the right bits now. Hope it all works once it's all arrived! :)
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2010
  9. MarkE19

    MarkE19 Moderator

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    :oops: TBH I must have looked at that label several times and never noticed the spelling :facepalm:
    I agree with that, but like you I was fairly sure the mixer was unpowered and therefore thought it worth posting the links I did - and they 'should' be ok if the mixer did have an internal amp
    Oh I don't know, I'm sure we could persuade some people to spend £200+ on a set of high quality phono leads and chop the ends off. It would break the monotony of work :devil:

    Mark.

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