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How do I hook up a Cecilio to an A/V amp with RCA jacks?
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New member
January 29, 2013 - 2:29 pm
Member Since: January 29, 2013
Forum Posts: 1
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I recently bought a Cecilio electric violin.  I am rather out of practice, but am happy with the sound I get just playing it acoustically and also with the headphones.

I am not sure, however, how to hook it up to my A/V amp.  I don't see an input for a 1/4" or 1/8" jack.  Searching online, I see various adapters and cables that might allow me to hook things up, but would it work?  Is impedance matching (is that even the right terminology) a concern -- could I ruin my amp or violin?  Would I get good or at least okay sound that way, or would I need to get a guitar amp or violin amp?

Somehow trying to Google for the answer, I came up with nothing.  The Cecilio site seems to have very little information (nothing specific about their electric violins, just general violin maintenance).  I tried to search these forums and didn't see anything I could recognize as relevant.  (Looking for "RCA" seems to consider the "Marcato on the Violin" tutorial link a hit, so that was useless in my search queries.)

I am feeling confused and stupid and frustrated.  If anyone can help, that would be much appreciated!


January 29, 2013 - 3:23 pm
Member Since: May 4, 2012
Forum Posts: 2379
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Not knowing the precise specs of either your AV amp or Cecilio electric violins, it isn't really possible to say for sure if damage could occur.  However, it is not unusual to put a headphone output (3.5 mm) into an RCA jack input on assorted devices.  So I would say it is unlikely to damage anything so long as you bring your levels up from low to what produces a reasonable volume.

Whether or not you'll like the sound will be another matter.  What makes a good AV amp or stereo amp doesn't necessarily make a good instrument amp.  But if it is what you've got at the moment, it's what you've got.

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

January 30, 2013 - 10:56 pm
Member Since: January 22, 2013
Forum Posts: 7
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Because the Cecilio is battery powered the output should be fine going straight to the amp. Passive (battery-less) instruments usually need a pre-amp, unless they are hooked up to a guitar amp.

Some older amplifiers have an input marked phono. These inputs also have a pre-amplifier, but it's for a record player and may not sound right.

About the only way you could break you instrument is if you accidently plugged it into the speaker output of the amplifier. It's not very common but there are amps that use  RCA jacks for the speaker connections. Most guitar amps also use the 1/4 jacks for speakers.

Also, make sure the amp is off when you plug the instrument into it. If you plug in while the amp is on, the loud popping sound could damage the speaker.

  1. The ideal procedure is to turn everything off first.
  2. Then plug the instrument into the amp.
  3. Set the volume on the amp to 0 and the instrument to 5.
  4. Turn on the instrument.
  5. Turn on the amp
  6. Adjust the voliume (amp and instrument) untill you like the sound.
    • Lots of hum, turn down amp, turn up instrument.
    • Lots of distortion, turn down instrument, turn up amp.

If you don't like the sound, you can try using the headphone output on the Cecilio.

Fort Lauderdale
February 1, 2013 - 10:40 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11593

You can use a female rca jack to 1/4" male along with a regular RCA cable. Then as mentioned above, the active Cecilio pick-up should be ample for your amp input.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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