I have a soundbar for my TV and an amplifier for music. They are never used at the same time. I have one subwoofer that I want to use for both. Currently I manually switch the RCA cable. Would it be okay to plug them both in at the same time with a Y cable? Would something weird happen, like the signal would go back up toward the other device and run through the powered-off amp at some unknown impedance level?

  • You'll be driving power into the switched off device with a Y connector. Might be OK, but it is a risk. They used to sell stereo switches for exactly what you want to do. 8 pole double throw, or some such. They might be fairly exotic in these days when cruddy speakers and amps are the norm. I'd look hard before attempting a Y connector; and be ready to yank fast when things start to smoke. Commented Mar 12, 2020 at 22:13
  • A selector is like $7.00 amzn.to/2TLCeef I can't imagine why you would try a Y-cable with unknown effect? Commented Mar 13, 2020 at 0:29

1 Answer 1


I tried that exact same thing back in my younger years and found out that the signals definitely back fed into each other and weakened the signal going to the subwoofer. Whether or not it would have burned out the equipment, I don't know because I immediately went back to the A/B switches I originally had used. The setups today are not made as well as the ones back when I did this so I'd shy away from trying it. Just get a two channel A/B switch. I'm sure they have remote control ones.

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