Mic splitter question


Do mic splitters reduce the signal level? E.g., a 1x2 splitter, is the signal coming out in each output weaker than what went in?

Perhaps this is true of some splitters but not all?

Time to babble… :)

Reduce the signal? Probably, if it’s a “real” splitter.

A simple unbalanced Y-chord (can’t be used with phantom power or true balanced lines) will simply split the signal and do little else.

Because input impedance (what your going to) “should” be about 10 times that of the output impedance of the mic (or what it signal is coing from) then there will be little loading. To have the signal drop much the mic would need to be loaded down a little. (max power transfer is when input and output impedances match - volts actually drops to half at that point). Usually this is only a thought when dealing with speakers and amps. (match that Marshall 8 ohm cabinet with the ohm selector for 8 ohms on the Marshall amp or someone will be an unhappy camper) Loading is what happens when a hi-impedance mic is plugged into a low impedance input. The signal drops and it can sound like crap.

“Real” passive splitters (not Y-chord types) will probably have an inline resister for each input to help separate them, or even a transformer. This is so whatever one side goes to won’t affect whatever the other output goes to. even if shorted. Cheap powered types are probably passive splitters with an OP amp to account for any loss of signal. These are like passive mixers in reverse.

Those switch boxes used to add multiple inputs to a stereo (push a button for the VCR, another for the DVD player, another for the CD, another for
the cassette) are sometimes more than switches. They work just fine in reverse to send a single source to multiple places. Some allow sending to multiple places at the same time. If they do then they probably have resisters inline.

But, yes they do have a little signal loss. It’s not usually enough to be worried about.

In reality, you can use a Y-chord and be happy. (unbalanced and non-phantom only)

Well, suppose I want balanced?

Quote: (TomS @ Jan. 18 2008, 12:41 PM)

Well, suppose I want balanced?

Get an active splitter or use a mixer with direct outs and/or inserts.


Well, you CAN split a balanced line, just like an unbalanced. As long as none of the wires get crossed. The main danger is if phantom power in on. Just make a Y-cable so all like numbered pins are wired together. That said, some balanced inputs may not be happy wired together. It really depends on how the inputs are wires. I’ve done it without problems many times, but my mixer didn’t have phantom power. I was sending to two channels so one could be used direct out as a separate monitor and the other to the mains on a PA…long ago.

But, yes…what D said.