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Ancient speaker system in the pool hall I'm in charge of. It's got that kind of jack with a red and white opening that feed together into one wire that plugs into my laptop.

You can tell I know what I'm talking about.

Anyway, the white opening is broken. Can't plug it in. So I just plug in the red one, which is labeled "r". So the speakers that are plugged into "l" in the back don't work. So I take the "l" wire in the back and plug it in right next to the "r" speaker so that the "r" signal is going through both.

Now it's really loud in here, and I can't hear the music well enough to tell, but I'm curious: Am I actually losing any signal by doing it this way? It seems like it would, but from what I can hear it seems alright.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Sounds like you are probably losing the left channel of the stereo signal. You are losing half of the stereo mix. Usually music is mixed in stereo so that when the listener experiences the music from two speakers placed properly in front of them the sound will seem to come from a wall in front of the person (sounds will seem to come from in between the speakers).\

You should try to set the output of your system (the laptop) to mono mode, or use a mono jack coming out of your laptop. This will make sure you don't hear funny artifacts like a singers voice fading in and out, or only a loud drum beat at the beginning of a song.

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