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split 1 analog RCA into 3 analog RCA?


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Hello, I am searching for a product that will allow me to split a single RCA analog audio signal to 3 RCA analog signals without much signal quality loss.  Does anyone know of any high quality product that can do this for me?

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On 1/10/2021 at 8:20 PM, starstrike said:

Hello, I am searching for a product that will allow me to split a single RCA analog audio signal to 3 RCA analog signals without much signal quality loss.  Does anyone know of any high quality product that can do this for me?

 

What you need is an RCA breakout box.  Perhaps a Google search will lead to specific products and reviews?

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Your choice of product depends on what you plan to do with it.  The product you show is an amplifier that will drive multiple loads simultaneously.  You do need something like that if your goal is to drive 3 inputs simultaneously with one source because you have to match impedances or the source won't be able to drive the aggregate load.  I don't know what chip(s) it uses and haven't heard it. But from experience with their products over decades,  that Radio Shack amplifier is probably not a high quality audio device. 

 

If you just want to be able to direct one signal to any of 3 different inputs one at a time, you only need a passive switch.  What you want for driving multiple simultaneous line inputs from a single source is a distribution device, which can either be an amplifier or a transformer-coupled passive device that will reduce gain a little bit in return for linear frequency response and freedom from added electronic noise & distortion. I've used the Rolls 134 distribution amp with good effect at reasonable (under $100) cost.  It's not a truly fine amplifier, but it's probably the best you'll do for under a few hundred dollars. Good passive devices are generally much more expensive, as are pro distribution amps. Of couse, good line level switches also cost a bit more than you might expect, because they use high quality components and construction to provide better shielding and a cleaner signal path.

 

Here's more, if you're interested in understanding why you should use a proper distribution device rather than a simple splitter if you want to drive multiple loads.  Driving multiple parallel inputs with one line level signal means trying to drive 3 high impedance loads (normally 10 kOhms each for unbalanced line input in consumer electronics) in parallel, which will grossly reduce the input impedance seen by the source.  The formula for the resistance of parallel resistors is 1/R(total) = 1/R1 + 1/R2 + 1/R3 + ... + 1/R(n) and you have to then calculate the total resistance from that inverse value (which is called  conductance).  For three 10k line level inputs in parallel, the resistance seen by the source will be 3.33 kOhms.

 

Many consumer audio products won't drive the lower impedance load fully or linearly and you may hear the degradation in SQ, depending on the source device and impedances involved.

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What im doing is sending a stereo analog signal from various sources (7 sources in total) to 3 Martin Logan MDA16 amps.  These 3 amps distribute sound to 35 speakers spread all around my house as a whole house audio system.  The back of one of the amps looks like this:

 

mda16-back-panel.jpg

 

The amp has 8 stereo RCA inputs.  The amp does allow me to chain out 2 sources.  But I have 7 sources, so I need to split some of them to all 3 of the amps.  My goal is to create very little signal loss when doing so.

 

Do you think something simple as this device would do the job without quality loss?  https://amzn.to/3nFI3Wa

 

Or should I invest in that Rolls 134 distribution amp instead?  Money is not much of an issue for me, i just want the best quality when splitting the audio.

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You don’t need a distribution device.  ML MDA16s have comprehensive digital I/O along with analog pass-through. You have many options for multi-room home audio, none of which requires an analog distribution amp or switch.  You can chain the 3 MLs at the inputs, connecting your sources to one and linking the inputs to those on the other 2.  You can also make a chain using analog outputs  to analog inputs, although the beauty of those amps is their networking and digital control capability. 

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