How to hook up a graphic equalizer to a receiver

Updated April 17, 2017

Graphic equalisers are an integral part of any stereo system. The equaliser allows you to boost or cut specific frequencies to tailor sound to room acoustics. It also allows you to compensate for speakers and cabinets that boost or attenuate certain frequencies and throw off the tonal balance of your music.

Purchase two RCA cables. Unless your receiver and equaliser are far apart, use "patch style" cables. These are generally one foot or less in length.

Locate the tape out jacks on your receiver. This is typically located on the back of the receiver. Plug in one patch cord to the receivers tape out jacks and insert the other end into the audio inputs of the graphic equaliser.

Locate the audio outputs of the graphic equaliser. They are generally found on the back of the equaliser right next to the audio inputs. Plug the second patch cord into the audio outputs of the equaliser and into the tape inputs of the stereo receiver.

Connect the equaliser to a wall outlet and power on the system. Use the sliders or knobs on the front of the equaliser to make audio adjustments as needed.


Equalisers should be used to make minor adjustments to compensate for room or speaker effects. Adding too much equalisation can cause distortion.


Always make sure that your stereo components are powered off when you are removing or adding items to the system.

Things You'll Need

  • Graphic equaliser
  • 2 pairs of RCA patch cables
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