Need help hooking up a sub...

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Pat_DiLella, Jun 24, 2003.

  1. Pat_DiLella

    Pat_DiLella Extra

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    Last week I bought some speakers for $75 on closeout at BJ’s to use as home theather speakers. They are Pioneer speakers and the package included 2 front speakers, 2 surround speakers, 1 center channel speaker, and a subwoofer. After doing a little research I found that the speakers were part of a home theater system that came with a dvd and receiver. I bought only the speaker package.

    I went to hook the speakers up and ran into a problem hooking up the subwoofer. The subwoofer that came with the package is supposed to be wired to the receiver like any other speaker via 2 speaker wires. My receiver is a Pioneer VSX –711 and it has an input for a powered subwoofer but no connection terminals that I could use to wire it in, thus making the speakers I bought useless since I can’t hook up the sub. Is there any kind of adapter I could buy that I could use to wire the subwoofer to and then run a cable to the back of my receiver into the subwoofer connections? Or can I wire it to anything else? I can’t think of a way to do it. There are no outputs on inputs on the back of the sub.

    Also in general is a powered subwoofer “better” than one that is not powered? I am not looking for anything great, just something that will give me nice clean sound for home theather and music.


    Thanks
     
  2. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Use wiring (2 sets of speaker wire) from your receiver's L & R outputs and wire that to your subwoofer's input, then use another 2 sets of speaker wire and wire from your sub's output to your L & R speakers.
     
  3. LeeH

    LeeH Stunt Coordinator

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    the problem with wiring the sub parallel with the front l/r speakers is that it reduces the impedance to 4 ohms. The Pioneer receiver you are talking about cannot run at that low of ohms and can over heat the amp. Is there a phono-type line output on the back of the receiverfor the sub? If there is you could get a separate amp to run the sub (or an old receiver if you have one).

    Good luck!
     
  4. RickMo

    RickMo Stunt Coordinator

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    While it is true that wiring speakers in parallel will reduce the impedance the amplifier "sees," some subwoofers' impedance is very high, high enough not to create a problem for the amp. According to an answer I received from Polk, the impedance the amp sees is in the thousands (if I remember correctly, and this would apply to the Polks). This would mean that connecting the speaker out terminals to the sub, then from the sub to the mains, should not tax the amp unduly. You may want to check for the specifics concerning your sub.
     
  5. Pat_DiLella

    Pat_DiLella Extra

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    Thanks for the reply guys. The problem is the sub does not have any inputs or outputs on the back of it... just 2 wires coming out of the back to plug into the receiver. So I can wire any other speakers into the back of it. I guess I am looking for a way to connect those 2 wires to the sub output on the back of the receiver. I am wondering if there is some sort of banana plug or something that I could connect the wires to and then plug that in to the back of the sub. Not sure if there is a way to do that or not, and if so would it hurt the receiver at all.
     
  6. Brian Fellmeth

    Brian Fellmeth Supporting Actor

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    If I understand correctly, the sub has ONLY one wire pair to communicate with the outside world- no RCA jacks and no terminals for speaker wire.

     
  7. Pat_DiLella

    Pat_DiLella Extra

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    Brian, yes there is only speakerwire coming out of the back of the sub. If I understood you correctly I can hook up the speakerwire from the sub to an old receiver( I have an old pioneer receiver from the 80's somewhere in the basement that I think still works)and then run an RCA cable from that old receiver to the sub out jack on the VSX-711. Is this correct? Also the speakerwire itself on all the speakers is pretty thin, could that affect the sound quality of the speakers and the sub too? I would like to make this setup work if I could (since I can't find my receipt for these speakers) but if it is going to sound terrible it might not be worth it to mess around with it.
     
  8. LeeH

    LeeH Stunt Coordinator

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    Pat, that was what I was trying to tell you (but I was a little tired last night). Yes, just plug an RCA cord from the back of your new receiver and plug it into an input on your old receiver. I would take the plug and plug it from the old receiver into in the power output of the new receiver if it can handle the load to turn it on or off without having to turn both on every time. Are you saying that the speaker wire coming from the back of the sub is a little thin? If it is than I wouldn't worry about it if it is short. I used to run my sub from a peavey amp with like 18ga wire. The result was that the amp clipped sooner when turned up loud. I changed the wire to 16ga and it clipped at a much higher level. I guess it depends on how loud you like your music or movies. I love my music loud so I am changing all my wires to 12ga soon (hopefully today[​IMG] )
     
  9. RickMo

    RickMo Stunt Coordinator

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    My bad. I misread the original situation and replied thinking you had a POWERED sub. Pat, you're on the right track. Basically, you're turning your passive sub into a powered one by using another amp. So you're correct in that you use an RCA cable from the new receiver's "sub out" to an input on the old amp (maybe "tape in"). Then, connect the sub's two wires to the speaker output of the old amp. Speaker wire gauge is more a factor when running long lengths. 16- or 18-gauge wire will suffice in many situations.
     
  10. Pat_DiLella

    Pat_DiLella Extra

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    thanks guys, going to try this out and see how it works. Hopefully it will sound good. Will let you know.
     
  11. Pat_DiLella

    Pat_DiLella Extra

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    well I can't find my old receiver, I think my wife sold it at a garage sale last year. If I were to buy and amp to hook up the sub do I need a certain wattage or a certain amt of power from the amp? I see radio shack sells an RCA amp for $60, would this be sufficient for what I need it to do?

    Thanks
     
  12. Brian Fellmeth

    Brian Fellmeth Supporting Actor

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    Try to pick up a Sansui or pioneer from the 70's at a thrift store or yard sale. The more power the better- 60 watts of so is a minimum. Remember, a blown channel is not a deal buster. With a little luck, you'll find something better than the Radioshack amp for about 20 bucks, which is probably about what your wife got for yours.
     

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