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3.5mm to RCA jack question for HTPC


Established Member
Hi all,

I want to move from SPDIF to 3.5mm to RCA conectors on my Denon 1705 so I can hear HD sound but I'm having a brain dead moment.

Do I need to find a 1 3.5mm to 1 RCA cable x 6 or do I need the 1 3.5mm to 2 RCA cable ?

I cant seem to find the 1 to 1 version I think I need? I seem to have 6 coloured outputs on my motherboard and I think (from looking at a picture as my amp is tucked away) that my external inputs are 6x RCA - so why do all the 3.5mm cables goto stereo RCA's?


Stephen Neal

Distinguished Member
I think you usually need 3 x "3.5mm stereo jack to 2 x RCA Phono" cables for 5.1, and 4 of them for 7.1.

This is because there are 6 channels for 5.1 and 8 channels for 7.1 - and each cable carries two channels (i.e. a stereo pair).


Established Member
mmm, let me use some images to make sure we are on the same wavelength.

This is the back of my motherboard:


There are 6 outputs, one for each speaker (left/right/center/sub/back right/back left).

This is the back of my amp, I would ahve to use the external input which is bottom left:


Again, six inputs, one for each speaker (left/right/center/sub/back right/back left).

So surely I need 6 sets of "1 x 3.5mm to 1 x RCA jack" - one for each speaker? :confused:


Standard Member
You only have to use 3 of the outputs on the pc, they aren't one per speaker. The green is front left/right, black is rear left/right and orange is centre/sub. Grey is side speakers for 7.1.

Only 3 sets of cables needed.

Stephen Neal

Distinguished Member
right it all makes sense now, so 3 sets of 1x3.5mm to 2xRCA will do, phew, got there in the end! :smashin:

The confusing thing is describing the lead as "1x3.5mm" which makes you think it carries one signal when it is "1x3.5mm STEREO" which means it carries two signals.

As mentioned above - each 3.5mm socket carries two audio signals, so to get the 6 signals required for 5.1 you need to connect to 3 of the 3.5mm stereo sockets, or for 7.1 you need to connect to 4 of them. Don't forget that the other audio sockets can have alternative purposes - such as audio input.


Established Member
I realised the stereo carried 2 signals it was just the fact I had 6 outputs on my motherboard which I though matched up to the amps six inputs - but its all clear now and I ordered some (gold plated oooo) cables for about £4.50 online!

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