How to Connect a Graphic Equalizer

Updated April 17, 2017

A graphic equaliser is a device that allows you to boost or cut the volume of several frequencies in an audio signal. Graphic equalisers are so named because the control surface is organised like a bar graph, with a series of volume sliders arranged horizontally. Adding a graphic equaliser to your audio system allows you to adjust the overall sound of your music to taste, or to compensate for the acoustic properties of your listening space.

Disconnect your audio source from your amplifier. Graphic equalisers are most effective when placed in the signal path as close to the final amplification stage as possible.

Disable any equalisation active in your audio source. Any features like "Bass Boost," or equalisation presets like "Rock" or "classical" should be switched off or set to the neutral or zero settings. This provides your graphic equaliser with an unaffected, or "Clean" signal.

Power off your audio source and amplifier. Use balanced audio cables to connect the main left and right outputs of your audio source to the corresponding inputs of your equaliser. These should be clearly labelled. If your stereo system only offers RCA connections, use stereo RCA cables for these connections.

Connect the main left and right outputs of your equaliser to the corresponding inputs of your amplifier.

Set all the equaliser sliders to their zero positions and power on your audio source and amplifier. If you hear any distortion in your audio, reduce the output volume of your audio source.

Things You'll Need

  • Balanced audio cables
  • RCA stereo cables
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About the Author

David Medairos is a freelance writer and musician. With more than 10 years of experience in various fields, he has amassed a general knowledge of most technical and mechanical subjects, computer science and audio engineering, as well as R&D, customer service and marketing. He has written for "Connections Magazine," and is a frequent blogger on several consumer tech sites.