Connecting an Equalizer to an Amplifier in 6 Simple Steps

Connecting an Equalizer to an Amplifier in 6 Simple Steps

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Audio hardware can be complicated to set up. It may require extensive knowledge and skill so that all the components function properly.

In an audio setup, the equalizer is the part that allows you to fine-tune the audio signals while the amplifier boosts the signal before sending it to the speakers. Meanwhile, the receiver is the heart of the setup.

So how do you connect an equalizer to an amplifier?

It’s actually easier than you think and I’ll be discussing the steps below. I’ll also teach you how to connect an equalizer to a receiver. Let’s get to it!

How to Connect an Equalizer to an Amplifier 

If the amplifier has preamp in and out channels, connecting an equalizer to an amplifier is a straightforward process. 

Here are the steps:

  1. Get two pairs of RCA cables. This is to run the signal in a loop.
  2. Make sure the cable length is adequate and not longer than the distance between the devices.
  3. Connect one pair of RCA to the preamp output of the amplifier and the preamp input of the equalizer. These are located on the rear of both devices.
  4. Connect the other pair of RCA to the output channels of the equalizer, and the preamp input channels of the amplifier.
  5. You can also use the tape monitor equalizer connectors if they’re available on the amplifier.
  6. Switch both devices on and tweak the sound using the equalizer.
HiFi Amp Amplifier Stereo
Hi-Fi Amplifier | Make Life Click

What Does the Equalizer Do?

Just as its name suggests, the equalizer is used to equalize different audio signal levels and make them sound evenly loud when you hear them through the speakers.

The equalizer is meant to improve a weak audio signal and boost its sound quality by making different frequency waves more even. 

Apart from boosting the sound quality, one of the most important roles of the equalizer is to increase volume levels.

An equalizer adjusts the audio signals on three different levels. On the input level, you select the frequency span you wish to adjust, while the mid and bass levels allow you to make changes and adjustments to the preselect input frequencies.

Simply put, the equalizer module helps you fine-tune the sound you hear and adjust it according to your preference.

For example, if one corner of the room sounds quieter than the other, you can adjust the sound levels through the EQ module.

Identifying the Types of Connectors

Before connecting an equalizer to an amplifier or a receiver, it’s important to know the types of cable pins and connectors. 

There are three types of connectors used to connect audio equipment:

  • RCA (Radio Corporation of America) connectors
  • TRS (Tip, Ring, and Sleeve) connectors
  • XLR (External Line Return) connectors

RCA connectors are the most common way to transfer audio and component video signals.

TRS connectors are another common way to connect audio hardware. They’re used to combine two mono channels into one stereo channel. These cables are also for home security systems because they protect against power surges and radio frequency interference.

XLR connectors connect professional audio equipment and lighting controls for big stages.

HiFi Amplifier on a shelf
Sony Home Theatre Receiver | Make Life Click

How to Connect an Equalizer to a Receiver

In an audio setup, the equalizer can also act as a bridge between the receiver and the amplifier if the receiver doesn’t have a preamp-out channel. 

Here’s how to establish a receiver-amplifier connection through the equalizer:

  1. Connect the equalizer with the amplifier following the steps in the previous section.
  2. Get two more pairs of RCA cables with equal lengths to make the loop connection.
  3. Connect one pair of cables to the tape monitor output connectors of the receiver and the equalizer’s right and left input channels.
  4. Connect the other pair of cables to the output connectors of the equalizer and the tape monitor input connectors at the back of the receiver.
  5. Turn on the devices and use your equalizer.

How to Connect a Graphic Equalizer to a Preamp

A preamp is a separate device that you can add between the receiver and the equalizer to boost the sound signal even further. 

Here’s how to connect a preamp to your equalizer:

  1. Get two pairs of RCA cables.
  2. Connect one pair of the RCA cables to the receiver’s output and the preamp’s input connectors.
  3. Connect the other cables to the preamp output and equalizer’s input connectors.
  4. This way, the signal is transmitted from the receiver, through the preamp, and onto the equalizer and has higher quality.

How to Connect Equalizer to Integrated Amplifier

An integrated amplifier is an amplifier that already comes with a preamp, power amp, and tone controls – all in one component. And they’re becoming more and more common.

Connecting the equalizer to the integrated amplifier can give you the best sound quality.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Get two pairs of RCA cables for this setup.
  2. Make sure the cables are just as long as the distance between the devices.
  3. Connect one pair of cables to the integrated amplifier’s preamp output connectors and the equalizer’s input connectors.
  4. Connect the other pair of RCA cables to the equalizer’s output connectors and the integrated amp’s input connectors.
  5. This will create the necessary loop so that the devices work with each other.
  6. Plug both devices into the power outlet and turn them on.
  7. Tweak the equalizer to modify and improve the sounds. You can also experiment with different settings depending on the size and layout of the room.
Connecting an Equalizer to an Amplifier
Source: JumpStory


While connecting an equalizer to an amplifier may sound complicated and confusing because of multiple terms and overlapping components, it can be pretty simple as long as you closely follow the steps above.

If you have any questions regarding equalizers, feel free to comment below and I’ll be more than happy to answer them.

A passion for writing and ongoing research projects gives Catherine an incredibly broad knowledge of all things. She has authored an incredible number of articles and can be found in the wilderness when not attached to technology or listening to podcasts.

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