How Do I Convert Speaker Wires to an RCA Jack?

Speaker wires can be connected directly to the speaker’s terminals. Doing this severely limits the portability of the system. It also complicates maintenance. Substituting RCA jacks and plugs for direct connections takes more time during initial installation but reduces the amount of labor needed for future maintenance on a stereo or sound system. RCA connecters provide simple, reliable connection between speakers and a sound source. The installation process is simple and the investment in tools and supplies is minimal for this project.

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RCA jacks make speaker connections simple.

Step

Use wire strippers to remove 1 inch of insulation from the ends of both speaker wire conductors.

Step

Plug the soldering iron into an electrical outlet and allow it to heat to operating temperature.

Step

Tin both speaker wire leads. Heat each lead individually with the soldering iron. Apply a small amount of solder to each lead. When properly heated, the solder will flow into and over the copper leads turning the bare ends of the wire silver. Use only enough solder to lightly cover the exposed wiring.

Step

Tin both terminals on the RCA jack. Heat each terminal individually and apply a light coat of solder as in Step 3.

Step

Insert the positive speaker wire lead into the jack’s positive terminal. In the case of a slotted terminal post, insert the lead through the slot and twist the wire around the terminal to hold it in position. The positive terminal on an RCA jack is the one connected to the center post. The negative terminal is connected to the collar fitting.

Step

Solder the speaker wire in position. Heat the terminal and wire with the soldering iron and apply a small amount of solder to the connection.

Step

Repeat Steps 5 and 6 to connect the negative lead to the negative speaker terminal.