Y-Connectors – Why Not Wye?

by Dennis Bohn at Rane

In this article, Dennis Bohn from Rane explains why using Y-connectors is not considered a good practice and why it could damage your equipment.

  • Subwoofing in Mono
  • Unbalanced Summing
  • Balanced Summing
  • Output Impedances

Wye-connectors (or “Y”-connectors, if you prefer) should never have been created.

Anything that can be hooked-up wrong, will be. You-know-who said that, and she was right. A wye-connector used to split a signal into two lines is being used properly; a wye-connector used to mix two signals into one is being abused and may even damage the equipment involved.

Here is the rule: Outputs are low impedance and must only be connected to high impedance inputs — never, never tie two outputs directly together — never. If you do, then each output tries to drive the very low impedance of the other, forcing both outputs into current-limit and possible damage. As a minimum, severe signal loss results.

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