How to connect Equalizer without Tape Monitor? – Explained

how to connect equalizer without tape monitor

In audio equipment, equalizers are crucial in fine-tuning sound frequencies to achieve the desired audio experience. You traditionally connect an equalizer using the tape monitor loop on a stereo receiver or amplifier. However, with the evolution of audio technology, many modern devices no longer feature a dedicated tape monitor. If you find yourself in this situation, don’t worry. This guide will walk you through connecting an equalizer without a tape monitor, ensuring you can optimize your audio system effectively.

Understanding the Equalizer:

Before we delve into the connection process, let’s take a moment to understand the basic functionalities of an equalizer. An equalizer allows you to adjust the intensity of specific frequency ranges in your audio signal. It typically features multiple bands, each representing a specific frequency range. By boosting or attenuating these bands, you can enhance or diminish certain aspects of the sound.

Required Equipment:

To connect your equalizer without a tape monitor, you’ll need the following equipment:

  • Stereo receiver or amplifier
  • Equalizer unit
  • RCA cables
  • Speaker wire (if necessary)
  • Audio source (e.g., CD player, turntable, etc.)

Step-by-Step Connection Process:

Determine the optimal placement: 

Before connecting the equalizer, decide where to position it within your audio setup. Ensure it’s easily accessible and provides adequate ventilation.

Identify the preamp output and main AMP input: 

Locate the preamp output and main amp input connections on your stereo receiver or amplifier. These are usually labeled on the back panel or in the user manual.

Connect the equalizer input:

 Take one end of the RCA cables and plug them into the preamp output connections on your receiver or amplifier. Ensure you match the left and right channels correctly.

Connect the equalizer output: 

Attach the other end of the RCA cables to the corresponding input connections on the equalizer unit. Again, be mindful of matching the left and right channels accurately.

Connect the audio source: 

If you’re using a separate audio source, such as a CD player or turntable, connect it to the receiver or amplifier using RCA cables or any other appropriate connection method.

Connect the equalizer to the receiver or amplifier: 

Connect a pair of RCA cables from the equalizer’s output connections to the main amp input on your receiver or amplifier. These connections will pass the equalized audio signal back into your audio system.

Power on and test: 

Once all the connections are made, power your audio system and test the equalizer. Play audio through your selected source and adjust the equalizer settings to achieve your desired sound.


Connecting an equalizer without a tape monitor may require adjustments to the traditional setup, but it’s entirely possible and straightforward. Following this article’s step-by-step guide, you can integrate an equalizer into your audio system and fine-tune your sound perfectly. Remember, the key lies in understanding your equipment and making the right connections. So, unleash the full potential of your audio system and enjoy an enhanced listening experience with the help of an equalizer.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Can I connect multiple audio sources to the equalizer?

Using a switcher or selector box, you can connect multiple audio sources to the equalizer. This allows you to switch between sources while maintaining the equalizer’s effect.

What if my receiver or amplifier doesn’t have preamp output or main amp input connections?

In this case, consult the user manual or the manufacturer for alternative connection options. Some receivers or amplifiers, such as preamp-in and main-amp-out, may have alternative connections.

Can I connect the equalizer directly to my speakers?

No, connecting the equalizer directly to the speakers is not recommended. The equalizer should connect the audio source and the receiver or amplifier to ensure proper signal processing.

Do I need a specific type of RCA cable for the connections?

It’s advisable to use high-quality shielded RCA cables for the best audio performance. Choose cables with gold-plated connectors and sufficient length to reach your desired setup.

Can I use a digital equalizer instead of an analog one?

Yes, you can use a digital equalizer instead of an analog one. However, the connection process may vary depending on the digital equalizer model and available input/output options. Refer to the user manual for detailed instructions.

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