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Best (Cheapest) Option for Passive Subwoofer Amp (1 Viewer)

jrichmond

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Jeff Richmond
My wife and I have had a Kenwood VR-615 surround sound system that has lasted us 10 years. The display on the front died about a year ago, and we just got around to replacing the receiver.
We bought the Sony STR-DH520 (from Wal-mart for $230), but when I went to plug in the subwoofer from our old Kenwood system, I realized that we had a problem. The Sony receiver only has an RCA output for the subwoofer, but the Kenwood sub only has speaker wire inputs. After some quick Google searches I found that it's because the sub is passive, and needs a powered amplifier. Here are the subwoofer details...
I'm a complete noob when it comes to the audio or electrical world, so I need some help. I've been trying to find out if I can buy a simple amplifier to put between the new receiver and the old sub. It looks like it is possible, but I can either spend way more than I want, or I run the risk of buying something cheap (like the Lepai 2020A) and still end up with a useless sub.
The way I see it, we have 2 options:
  • Buy a cheap mini amp like the Lepai 2020A and hope it works.
  • Return the new receiver and just search for a decent home theater in a box solution.
I'd like to keep the Sony receiver if it's at all possible to make it work, but I do not want to spend much more money on the system... $20 to $25 is probably the max I'd want to spend before just deciding to return the receiver.
I am not concerned about the quality of the subwoofer. As long as it makes a low rumbling sound during an explosion, I'm happy.
So, my question is, is there a cheap amp that I can buy to make our current situation work, or would I just be better off returning the receiver and finding a decent home theater in a box for about the same price?
Thanks!
 

schan1269

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You have numerous options...
Sony TA-110N (they show up now and again on Ebay)
Jamo MPA 101/201 (amazon or Ebay)
Dayton APA150
Or, because that subwoofer just isn't very good...
http://www.amazon.com/BIC-V1020-Down-Firing-Powered-Subwoofer/dp/B0000Y2WY8/ref=sr_1_sc_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1350268129&sr=1-1-spell&keywords=BIV+v1020
You "could" try and sell that Kenwood on Craigslist for $25.
 

Robert_J

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Does your old Kenwood receiver still work? It's not the optimal solution but if it still has at least one of the main channels working, then you can use it to power your sub.
 

jrichmond

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schan1269 said:
You have numerous options...
I appreciate the suggestions, but those are all much more than I would like to spend.
Robert_J said:
Does your old Kenwood receiver still work? It's not the optimal solution but if it still has at least one of the main channels working, then you can use it to power your sub.
That's a very interesting idea. I totally didn't think of that. The Kenwood does still work... it's only the display that doesn't work. I'll have to find a spot to cram it in the entertainment center, but I think that might be a real solution.
Thanks for the help!
 

schan1269

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You don't have to "cram it in the entertainment stand", unless you want to kill everything in the entertainment stand(heat).
Sit it on top of the subwoofer.
By the way, post of picture of the back of this Kenwood AVR so we can offer suggestions on the "best way" to do this...unless you already got a handle on it. (saves "us" from having to find/download the manual, since a picture will suffice)
 

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