What do I need to know about hooking up a computer to a mini-stereo system?

Today’s project is to run a line from my friend’s computer to his mini-stereo and I thought I’d check with you guys as to possible pitfalls…

The reason we are doing this is that his computer speakers are small and non-amplified: he wants a bigger sound and thought that he’d take advantage of the existing mini system.

My concerns are:

  1. The crappy signal you usually get out of a computer, will this likely be a show-stopper? Is there any way to condition or filter the output?

  2. The two systems are quite far apart: about 40 feet. Will this be a problem?

  3. The mini-stereo has connectors on the back labeled “MD”. I’ve never seen this before but they appear to be similar to AUX In/Out. Someone told me that “MD” is Mini-Disc. Will these work for the inputs?

I would appreciate your thoughts!

I run my sound through a receiver unit into the CD inputs. Yours should work fine useing the Mini Disk inputs. I had to get a spliter 'cuz my soundcard does not have RCA out puts just headphone stile jacks. Mine sounds great but I only run it about 3 ft. but 40 ft should not be a problem as long as you use only one cable. But wont it sound funny with your sound comeing from that far away,especialy for games.

I started to give an involved answer listing all the necessary shileded cords and adapters but in the end, for technical reasons, the distance renders the project impractical both in terms of cost and ulimate fidelity. Just cough up the 50 or so necessary for a decent set of PC speakers. There are even some nice three and five way with sub-woofer systems you can get on sale for around 30. - $ 50. with a rebate.

IIRC Officemax (or Office Depot it’s one or the other) has a 30% discount on all in store PC speaker systems this week ending today. You might also try Ebay and Circuit City.


Thanks Stinky.

He wants it to play music, so he won’t necessarily be near the computer while it’s playing. But that’s a good point, I think we need a switch so that he can switch the sound back to the computer speakers when playing games or doing computer work.

Just to clarify: I assume your “splitter” is a cable with headphone jack at one end, and RCA plugs at the other?