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This is a common problem I had with many keyboards, and I think it's a standard, somehow: when connecting the headphones to a piano, the internal speakers are disabled. And that's cool!

However, things get a little bit tricky when there is a stage setup. Let's take for instance Yamaha YDP 143. It's a digital piano which has USB output (for MIDI and audio data) and two outputs for headphones.

We want the piano speakers to be used always, even when a jack enters in the headphones output. A cable is used to connect the piano to the main interface, currently sending the audio data via the headphones output.

Is there a way to use both the headphones output and internal speakers in a stage setup when using a digital piano which doesn't have a specific "AUX OUT" output?

Taking this specific case (Yamaha YDP 143), is there any hope that we can use the USB output and some other device to stream the audio data from the USB cable (which should be shorter than 3 meters) through another long cable going to the main interface?

I believe this is a common issue, but I can't seem to find any solutions.

This is the relevant page from the manual:

Obviously, one option would be to hack into the piano and add yet another jack output coming directly from the internal speakers' cables. But I don't feel that's going to be a good idea since the warranty would be lost.

  • I can't find photos of the headphone panel online, but is there no switch for headphones mode? I know that some CLP do have them (I have no YDP available now). – yo' Feb 5 '18 at 8:47
  • @yo' There is no switch... I posted a screenshot from the manual. I talked to a local music store and they said the only way would be to have yet another monitor speaker. Still, isn't there a solution to this? – Ionică Bizău Feb 5 '18 at 9:06
  • Easily achieved if you are handy with a soldering gun: just jumper the leaves (bendable contact strips) on the interior of the headphone jack so that the circuit to the speakers is always connected. You may experience some loss of volume since the source is now driving both the internal speaker amp and the headphones simultaneously – Carl Witthoft Feb 5 '18 at 13:42
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    I'm not sure if it is a common issue. On most stages, the built-in speakers are way too quiet to be able to hear anything from them. – Todd Wilcox Feb 5 '18 at 14:23
  • @CarlWitthoft OP doesn't want to invalidate warranty, – Tim Feb 5 '18 at 14:56
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I can see two solutions.

1) not using the inbuilt speakers. Add monitor speakers instead (speakers aimed at the musicians, with a mix helping with the performance). It is not unusual to want to monitor as example the singer as well, same monitor speakers can be used.

2) get a knowledgeable person to resolder one of the headphone outputs so that it does not break the connection to the internal speakers. Takes perhaps five minutes, including the time to heat the solder iron. There is a bit of risk that the sound quality will siffer a bit (depends). Or if that is shown to be impossible, add a line output (not that difficult really but takes more knowledge and possibly some extra electronics).

  • Note that the resoldering need not work, depending on how the corresponding amps are coneected. Probably the speaker and headphone amps are separate, but if they were not, you won't be able to redo it easily. – yo' Feb 6 '18 at 14:57
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The only option I can think of it to plug the USB output into a laptop with an audio interface, and then send the signal back out through an XLR or 1/4" output from the interface to the mixer. Latency becomes a possibility with this configuration, and you now need to bring a computer to the show. If the 1/4" cable run needs to be long, you might also need a buffer part way through to compensate for resistance. This keyboard model doesn't appear to support using the internal speakers along with the analog output without after market mods. Sending one of the headphone outputs to a small keyboard amp for stage monitoring, or sending the main output to the monitor mixes is probably easier.

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Some Yamaha models (and models of other brands) have a function buried somewhere to manually turn the speakers on and off, but glancing through the manual, this one doesn't have it.

The "real" solution is that the built-in speakers aren't really suitable for a stage performance, and you should be plugged in to some kind of live sound system, which would provide you a monitor mix. But this keyboard also seems to not have a proper audio out jack! Sorry to say, but it seems like this is not a good instrument for a large performance.

Your best bet is probably to connect to an amp via a headphone jack. It's not ideal, but it won't hurt anything. Then, if you really need headphones in addition to the amp, you can use the second jack.

  • What do you mean that it doesn’t have a proper audio jack? – Ionică Bizău Feb 5 '18 at 21:53
  • It does not have an AUX out or LINE out, so it cannot directly drive audio equipment that expects line-level inputs. It only has USB out for driving compatible interfaces (like computer apps & some MIDI controllers). – Bradd Szonye Feb 7 '18 at 1:20
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Inserting the headphone plug operates switches within the socket that isolate the internal speaker. It's easy enough to bypass this switching internally - at least it is if you can get access inside the case, and there's room to use a soldering iron! You'll lose your warranty of course.

I don't know what gave you the idea that audio is available at the USB port. It isn't.

You could mic the piano's speakers, in the same way as a guitar amp is often miked to be put through the PA. Or you could move up to a proper monitoring system where the mixer feeds one or more powered monitor speakers for the benefit of the performers.

In practice, on small gigs, I often arrange the PA speakers so they're pointing partially at the audience, partially at the performers. This OUGHT to be a recipe for feedback, but with decent directional microphones and sensible volume levels it can actually work very well.

Well done for including the manual page in the question, so we could offer accurate advice without having to look up the instrument's specification.

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I personally would look at the possibility of using a parallel wired splitter box plugged into the head phone output and send signals to external amps and devices from that point. You'll need to keep the input impedances high relative to the minimum output impedance of the headphone output, but you can probably achieve as many splits as you need. This method requires an amplifier w/speakers to take the place of the internal speakers that become disconnected when you plug into the headphone output, it will not void the warranty though or change anything inside keyboard itself.

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