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Need sub connection advice changing out receiver


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3 replies to this topic

#1 of 4 OFFLINE   John Lennon

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Posted August 12 2011 - 06:59 PM

I have a total idiot situation. I have been looking for hours on different forums can't quite find the answer, but hope some kind soul will have some input. Forgive the inevitable noobness of which I'm sure this post will reek. I'm also definitely going to provide too much detail since I'm not sure what's important. Right now I have what I understand to be a pretty okay two year old home theater receiver, but I am only using two L/R satellite B&W 600-series speakers and a powered B&W 600-series subwoofer. My room is just not going to support more surround speakers, and my main focus is music as opposed surround sound, so I've preliminarily decided to replace the receiver with something more focused on two channel, although I will still expect the new system to handle the audio from my ps3 and U-Verse (both currently set up HDMI into receiver, then HDMI out to the TV for the visual end). My main music source has been and will be my PowerMac, which I currently have optical Toslink'ed into my receiver. Since my regular music source is a computer, and since I am also thinking of adding a middle-to-higher-end set of headphones to this whole setup, my current idea is to get a Peachtree Nova integrated amp, since it (a) has a well-reputed DAC to help improve the final result of the music out of the PowerMac and (b) it has an acceptably-reputed headphone amp to help whatever set of cans I eventually decide to get, and © it should also handle and maybe even improve the audio end of the ps3 and U-Verse, and does all this in one package (I don't have a lot of space or tolerance for clutter). If anyone has any thoughts about any of the above, I'd welcome general input, but my burning question goes to using my present subwoofer with the new Nova I plan to get. In my current setup, my receiver has a single "subwoofer out" RCA and my subwoofer has both an L and R "line in" RCA (I understand a lot of subs only have one input, but this has two). I'm using an expensive subwoofer interconnect right now, which has what audioquest describes as a "second tail to drive a second input." I am not using the second tail, though; the interconnect just runs from the "sub out" on the receiver to the left channel of the "line in" on the sub, with the right channel "line in" on the sub currently unused and the "tail" on the interconnect just left dangling. I was told this was the thing to do with my current setup. The Nova, though, does not have just one "Sub Out" RCA. Instead it has both an L and R "Pre Out." The question then becomes, with both an L and R "Pre Out" on the Nova and an L and R "Line In" on the sub, what should I do? Seems like every question on the internet concerns what one does with two outs and one in or two ins and one out, but here there are two of each. Should I just use the present interconnect basically like I have been, running from one of the Pre Outs on the Nova to one of the Line Ins on the sub, and with the second "tail" still dangling? Should I use the second "tail" of the interconnect on the Nova, so the connection as a whole runs from both the L and R Nova Pre Outs to just one of the sub Line Ins? Should I get a second interconnect so there are two interconnects, L to L and R to R from the Pre Outs on the Nova to the respective Line Ins on the sub? Would that help anything at all, given that a subwoofer signal is mono anyway? For any crazy reason I'm not seeing, would I need to add some kind of separate new Power Amplifier, and split each of the L and R "Pre Outs" from the Nova to go both into an L and R on this new proposed Power Amplifier and separately into the L and R "Line Ins" on the sub? I only mention that last option because the B&W manual for the subwoofer mentions that as what to do if you are connecting the sub to a "Pre/Power Amplifier," whatever that means. I wouldn't think that would be necessary or desirable but like I said I'm a noob. Or am I totally just missing the boat here and need to rethink everything? For incredibly obvious reasons, I do not want to overload or fry any new or old components. I am completely impressed by this forum I've discovered in the last week and look forward to learning so I don't have to ask these dumb questions, but the above is my predicament for now and I'd very much appreciate people's thoughts.

#2 of 4 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted August 12 2011 - 10:48 PM

My main music source has been and will be my PowerMac

What format is your music in? If it is compressed, what is the bit rate? I ask because the better you components, the worse compressed music will sound. Better equipment allows you to hear everything including compression artifacts. Since compressed music loses dynamic range, it might not be a wise choice to spend your money doing this.

I'm using an expensive subwoofer interconnect right now

Not required. A lot of us here use RG-6 coax cable as our sub cable. It's easy to run through the walls and relatively cheap.

The question then becomes, with both an L and R "Pre Out" on the Nova and an L and R "Line In" on the sub, what should I do?

Go to Monoprice.com and get 2 sub cables or 2 video cables or 2 digital coaxial cables (all the same construction) and connect your pre-amp outputs to the inputs of your sub. Doesn't matter about keeping left or right the same because your sub sums them into a single channel immediately inside the amp.

would I need to add some kind of separate new Power Amplifier

Based on your additional info, no. Does your sub have pre-amp outputs? Are they filtered? If yes to both, then I may change my answer. That will remove the bass from the signal and allow a 2nd amp to run more efficiently.

I am completely impressed by this forum I've discovered in the last week

Thanks. I was late to the party and I joined last century.

#3 of 4 OFFLINE   John Lennon

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Posted August 14 2011 - 06:27 AM

Thanks for your thoughts! My music formats vary but for the most part it is ripped from CDs in Apple Lossless (457 bit rate), so the quality issue you mention I wouldn't think would be a problem. Still a little confused about the cable issue, though. Is there an advantage to using 2 sub cables instead of just using my existing interconnect? I understand that the expensive interconnect probably wasn't worth the money, but I do already have it, and if there's no discernible advantage to using 2 cables instead of 1, I'd just as soon stick with it. Either by just going L to L or by using that second "tail" to go both R/L on the Nova to L on the sub. But if there's an actual advantage to using 2, I'll use 2. Sub does not have any outputs so that answers the Power Amplifier question. Thanks again!

#4 of 4 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted August 14 2011 - 10:00 AM

Your current cable will not properly work with a stereo receiver. Your current A/V receiver is already summing the bass information before sending it out of the LFE jack. If you use your current cable on the new receiver, you will only get 1/2 of the bass information. On most recordings it will not matter as the bass is mono. On some, it is not and you will miss 1/2 of the low frequency information.




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