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Using Yamaha EP-1 with SPD-S - polarity issues and mono RCA issues

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  • Using Yamaha EP-1 with SPD-S - polarity issues and mono RCA issues

    Hi everyone,

    Here are some posers for you. I'm trying to use a Yamaha EP-1 with my SPD-S. Now I understand you have to switch the polarity if you are using a Yamaha expression pedal with Roland gear. I'm not confident with the soldering iron yet but I did happen to have two Y jack cables (stereo jack at one end and two separate mono jacks at the other). So I simply took two jack male to female convertors, and connected the two pairs of mono ends of the Y cables together like this:


    but 'backwards', i.e. red to white and white to red, as I read... somewhere... that that will reverse the polarity.

    Now the problem is that when the EP-1 arrived I saw that its output is a single RCA, which I would have known if I'd done more research:

    i.e. it is mono. It came with an RCA to jack converter, but that's not much help if the signal after the converter is still mono. I tried for the hell of it, so I had:

    EP-1 with a single RCA output (mono)... RCA to mono jack converter... male to male jack converter...
    ...with plugged into it the ---<>--- red to white and white to red arrangement I described above...
    ...with the other end of the second Y cable plugged into the SPD-S.

    Needless to say it didn't work. I only tried because while I know obviously if it's an audio signal you can't connect a mono jack to the stereo end of a Y cable and then expect to 'split' it down the two mono ends (as there simply aren't two signals to split), I don't know what polarity actually is, and I figured it might be in principal possible to 'reverse' this kind of signal like this in some meaningful way...? But clearly not.


    is it only possible to reverse the polarity of an expression pedal whose output is just a single RCA by fiddling around with its insides? Is there any other way?

    Anyone tried using a Roland EV-5 expression pedal (which is recommended for the SPD-S so presumably has a jack output and the right polarity) while drumming sitting down? Do you find the range of movement big enough? I want to use it to gradually raise the cutoff level of an LPF, Fatboy Slim style.

    Is what I read about reversing the polarity of a signal with two Y cables even true?

    Depending on answers to the above... anyone want to buy a Yammy EP-1?


  • #2
    The photo you saw using two Y-cables to reverse polarity was for a Yamaha FC-7 expression pedal, which uses a Tip/Ring/Sleeve connector (as does the Roland EV-5). I believe the FC-7 uses the extra connection for its "fortissimo function" and the EV-5 uses the extra connection for its minimum volume knob.

    Did you try connecting your Yamaha EP-1 to the SPD-S EXP PEDAL input using only the RCA to 1/4" jack connector which came with it?

    • Roland TD-20+TDW-20, TD-8, SPD-S, PD-105, PD-6/8, CY-5/6/8/12, FD-6/8, KD-7/8, RT-10K, PM-30, DB-90
    • Hart Acupad, Hart Hammer, Pintech Dingbat, Sony MDR-7505, Shure E2, 512. Pacific CX, Zildjian A Customs.


    • #3
      Yes but it didn't work! The polarity problems that led to this adventure in the first place I guess.

      Thanks for the response though.

      Having sat at my kit and played around with the pedal actually it is quite uncomfortable to get it to the all the way up position as you have to sink your heel right down, and I like to sit quite high up at my kit. So I might just cast the EP-1 back into the eBay pool and pick up an EV-5 for the same money...

      Our guitarist has used the shallower guitarist style expression pedals for the kind of effect I'm going for and he says you get enough control, anyway.