How to: better volume/sound? Traktor Kontrol Z1 with RCA cable to active speakers

Willi74 Member Posts: 11 Member
edited December 2023 in Traktor Software & Hardware

Hey community, I really appreciate the chance for help here.

If I am in the wrong category...please move my question.

I hope, I can explain adequate in english ;-)

For a little bit of mixing at home just for fun, I got the Traktor Kontrol Z1.

I really like this significant device, but I can't manage to get a proper sound.

Setup: Laptop Acer Aspire A315-44P-R53H connected with USB to Traktor Z1 connected with RCA cable 2x red and white to Line in of active speakers Klipsch r 50 pm.

Problem: The volume is very low, sound is weak compared to Bluetooth.

When the Kontrol Z1 is connected with RCA, the volume drops very significantly and the sound seems poor.

When I connect the laptop (or smartphone) without the Kontrol Z1 to the Klipsch with Bluetooth, I get a very rich sound, loud and punchy. So I think the boxes are not the Problem.

I've tried different RCA difference.

All audio settings in the preferences of Traktor Pro 3 are accurate, and I've tried multiple settings.

The Kontrol Z1 just has the 2 main outputs

Even when I connect an old smartphone with 3,5 jack to the boxes...great sound.

I bought a 2 RCA to 3,5 jack cable to connect the Z1 with the boxes...again poor sound.

I am not an expert (as you can see) and maybe I just have to live with it because it is normal?

Would be great if you have suggestions for me.

Big Thanks from Germany, Willi



  • Uwe303
    Uwe303 Moderator Posts: 2,915 mod


    have you tried to use the Z1 as os soundcard and use another player. Normally the output of the Z1 is loud/hot enough with +12 dBu. where are the vu meters in traktor?

  • Willi74
    Willi74 Member Posts: 11 Member


    Hallo Uwe, vielen Dankfür deine Antwort.

    Ich habe natürlich den Z1 als Soundkarte für das System gewählt, aber ich muss ja dann auch den main out vom Z1 belegen, also logischerweise Lautsprecher.

    Dadurch bleibt die Problematik gleich, schwache Lautstärke über das cinch / RCA Kabel.

    Eine Messung mit einer App ergibt folgende Werte, natürlich nicht auf die Kommastelle genau, aber im Verhältnis ganz deutlich:

    Über Bluetooth habe ich im selben track bei unveränderter Lautstärke Einstellung zwischen 70-80 dB.

    Wenn ich den Z1 anschließe (cinch / RCA an die Aktivlautsprecher in den Line in) 50-60 dB.

    Klingt auf dem Papier vielleicht nicht so schlimm, aber fühlt sich wie 50 % weniger an.

    Wenn ich dann den Z1 (main out 2 RCA / cinch zu 1 Klinke 3,5 in die Lautsprecher) anschließe, erhalte ich 55-65 dB. Das ist ja schon mal eine Verbesserung, aber natürlich würde ich gerne den satten Sound wie über Bluetooth erreichen.

    Was kann da nicht stimmen?

    Der Line in am Lautsprecher ist doch für vorverstärkte Zuspieler gedacht,oder? Und der Z1 am Laptop ist doch quasi ein Vorverstärker, denke ich.

    Oder habe ich einen Denkfehler?

    Kann es sein, dass sich die beiden "Verstärker" in Z1 und Lautsprecher irgendwie in die Quere kommen?

    Oder hat das was mit den Anschlussmöglichkeiten zu tun hinsichtlich symmetrisch / unsymmetrisch? Davon lese ich immer wieder, aber kenne mich überhaupt nicht aus.

    Noch eine Idee, was ich probieren könnte?

    Danke und Grüße


    Hello Uwe, thank you very much for your reply.

    I have of course chosen the Z1 as the sound card for the system, but I also have to use the main out of the Z1, which logically means loudspeakers.

    So the problem remains the same, low volume via the cinch / RCA cable.

    A measurement with an app gives the following values, of course not accurate to the decimal point, but in proportion quite clear:

    Via Bluetooth, I have between 70-80 dB in the same track with the same volume setting.

    When I connect the Z1 (cinch / RCA to the active speakers in the line in) 50-60 dB.

    It may not sound so bad on paper, but it feels like 50% less.

    If I then connect the Z1 (main out 2 RCA / cinch to 1 jack 3.5 into the speakers), I get 55-65 dB. That's an improvement, but of course I'd like to achieve the same rich sound as via Bluetooth.

    What could be wrong?

    The line in on the speaker is intended for pre-amplified players, right? And the Z1 on the laptop is basically a preamplifier, I think.

    Or am I making a mistake?

    Could it be that the two "amplifiers" in the Z1 and the loudspeaker are somehow getting in each other's way?

    Or does this have something to do with the connection options in terms of balanced / unbalanced? I keep reading about this, but I don't know anything about it.

    Any other ideas what I could try?

    Thanks and best regards

  • Uwe303
    Uwe303 Moderator Posts: 2,915 mod

    Yes the Z1 has a D/A converter and a preamp built in with, as I wrote, +12 dBu output power, this should be more than enough to drive a consumer speaker. Maybe it sounds different because of some FX applied if you use bluetooth like some dolby enhancement stuff. But what sounds really strange to me is that you wrote even a headphones output from a cellphone is louder, but +12 dBu means 3Veff or 8Vp-p (peak to peak). What are the settings for the limiter and headroom in traktor preferences.

  • Willi74
    Willi74 Member Posts: 11 Member

    Hey Uwe, thanks again for your answer. I'm using no headroom in the software, limiter is transparent.

    It has nothing to do with the settings, it's definitley the RCA connection. The "basic volume", when you start a track with the Z1, is very very low, compared to the other connections.

    When i set to room volume with the Z1 and then switch the soundcard setting to the (powered) blows me away and i have to turn the volume down a lot to get back to room volume.

    Maybe it is something with the speakers, that they are somehow not ment to be played via the cinch line in.

    I will try the next days with other speakers from a friend and will come back here for an update.


  • zephry
    zephry Member Posts: 560 Pro

    I just looked up those speakers. They have a line/phono switch. You should have it on line. And from what it looks like be using the Aux port. The Rca is labeled Phono so they might only work with Turntable.

  • red_nick
    red_nick Member Posts: 94 Member

    Confusingly phono can just mean the RCA connector. As long as they're set to line it should be fine.

  • Willi74
    Willi74 Member Posts: 11 Member

    Hey zephry and red_nick,

    thank you very much for the further suggestions. I also understood that the RCA set to "line" can be a connection for other players, e.g. CD player or even the dj controller.

    This description sounds like it (I cannot post links, it's from

    "Also internalized in the main loudspeaker are an internal DAC - with USB (for a PC or Mac), TOSLINK (for a TV or games console) and Bluetooth - plus an MM phono input (for a turntable) that's switchable to line-level (for a legacy streamer or CD player)."

     I really hope i can find out. No matter how I connect the Z1...the sound is never as good as without it

    Last question for today: Could it be that the two "amplifiers / DAC in the Z1 and the speaker are somehow getting in each other's way?

    I really appreciate your help, thank you very much.


  • zephry
    zephry Member Posts: 560 Pro

    The volume knob pushes to cycle through audio modes also doesn't it. Make sure the speakers mode is not still on Bluetooth mode.

    Should be analog mode which is I guess is a green led?

  • zephry
    zephry Member Posts: 560 Pro

    I had a Sony system I hated. So many settings and the remote buttons always got pushed and would enter some settings that was useless.

  • Uwe303
    Uwe303 Moderator Posts: 2,915 mod
    edited December 2023

    And on top I can't find some real specs from the klipsch speakers what max voltage you can put into it without distortion, also no over indicator or a possibility to change the gain. But normally line/out in is 0,3 Volts, so much less that the Z1 can produce.

  • Uwe303
    Uwe303 Moderator Posts: 2,915 mod
    edited December 2023

    Have you installed the drivers from that website and have you use the asio driver if there is one (unfortunately there is contradictory info about that on the internet), if not also check the windows mixer, that all apps are set to max volume for the Z1 and the master too. And do you use it with the power supply.

  • Willi74
    Willi74 Member Posts: 11 Member

    All drivers are up to date, all apps are set to max volume, power supply always connected.

    I had contact with the Klipsch support: "Thank you for contacting Klipsch! It looks like there is a compatibility issue. I would try a factory reset to see if its an issue with the microprocessor."

    After difference, very bad sound.

    Tomorrow I will connect the Z1 with a PA speaker, the box MBA120W mkII HTHT and then I will know if it's a problem with my speakers or with the controller.

    I will update here. Cheers

  • zephry
    zephry Member Posts: 560 Pro

    Did you try cycling through the modes of the Klipsch speakers and have that toggle switch on the line in? Was there any difference in sound or volume cycling the modes they describe by pushing in the volume knob?

  • Willi74
    Willi74 Member Posts: 11 Member

    Hey zephry, of course the toggle is on the line in, always and furthermore absolutely no difference cycling the modes by pushing in the volume knob.

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