How to Hook Up My Home Stereo Equalizer

By Jackie Lohrey

Treat your ears to the sound of increased clarity and create almost unlimited options for customizing the music you listen to by adding a graphic stereo equalizer to your home stereo system. A graphic stereo equalizer is an add-on component that uses adjustable controls to equalize frequencies in sound. Equalizers can boost or reduce sound frequencies to accommodate for room acoustics or user preference. Many have a colored meter to display a visual display of sound frequency variations. Answering the question "How do I hook up my home stereo equalizer?" is as easy as connecting a few pairs of audio cables and turning a button "on."

Things You'll Need

  • Two pair shielded audio cable with male-to-male phono-type (RCA) connectors

Instructions

Step 1

Choose cable style and length. Cables are available in lengths ranging from 18 inches to over 50 feet. Determine the length you need by the proximity of the equalizer to the main unit or receiver. Quality is important when choosing connection cables. Poor quality cables result in poor quality sound. Look for cables that have an oxygen-free copper center conductor, separate shields to combat interference and gold-plated conductors to aid in transferring a high-quality signal.

Step 2

Turn off and unplug the main receiver and any add-on components connected to it.Make sure the equalizer's power button is set to "Off" or "Out" and the plug the power cord into the back of the machine.

Step 3

Connect the equalizer to the main unit, or receiver. Locate the "Amp Out" jacks on the back of the main unit, or receiver. Connect the red cable to the right channel and the white or black cable to the left channel. Plug the opposite ends of the cables into the coordinating right and left "Main In" or "Input" jacks.

Step 4

Add a tape deck, CD or DVD player. Most equalizers allow for connection of additional components. To add additional components, connect the red cable to the right channel and the white or black cable to the left channel of the equalizers "Main Out" or "Out" channel jacks. Plug the opposite ends of the cables into the coordinating right and left "Main In" or "Input" jacks of the component.

Step 5

Plug all electrical cords back into power source.

Tips & Warnings

  • Purchase connection adapters to allow for hook up of additional components.
  • Besides color identification, cables will have "In" and "Out" labeled on connector ends. If that still seems confusing, just remember that "red is right." No matter what the color of the other connector, it has to be left.
  • Connection cables included in the purchase of a new equalizer are normally low quality cables. Consider upgrading before adding to your system.
  • If you choose to use a power strip or other type of extender cord, make sure it is suitable for polarized plugs.