Can I use a mini system to power a passive sub?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Justin Ward, Aug 14, 2002.

  1. Justin Ward

    Justin Ward Supporting Actor

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    Today was a long hot day and I was pretty bored. Just for fun I ran an RCA cable from the subwoofer preout of my Pioneer VSX-D510 to the Left input of my minisystem(I couldn't find a Y-Cable so I only had one speaker). My mini-system is an MX-J206. Sure enough with a little tweaking I got my left bookshelf speaker to act as a subwoofer. Now it didn't sound too bad, but at high volumes the little 6.5 inch woofers could barely keep up with the rest of the system. So I guess what I really want to know is if it is ok to use a passive sub and power it with my minisystem amp: Here are the specs; 60 watts per channel min. driven into 6 ohms with no more than 10% THD(not very good I know). I ask this because I notice that the DIY kits are very cheap with only the amp costing alot. I do not need a crossover because bass management is being handled by my receiver. So is it possible(and worthwhile) to power a sub with a mini-system?
     
  2. Geoff L

    Geoff L Screenwriter

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    Possible-YES Worth while, yes if you buy a good sub kit.
    A passive ported Shiva or PE's 12 DVC or Titanic etc. This way, later just more power is all you need.
    As temp solution for power to drive your (passive sub kit to be?) yes. Don't expect much spl-volume as subwoofers require the bulk of power draw in a system.
    Ebay is a excellent place to pick up an older 2-channel Current & Vintage Amps or Receivers to provide some real juice for your passive sub to be. I would look for a least 100 watts clean power in a Receiver or Amp, also if it's capable of bridging to mono is certainly a plus.
    50.00 bucks can go a long way toward a 2-channel Amp, Integrated Amp, or Receiver at Ebay if your patient. Stay with the solid names in audio when looking. Rotel, Kenwood, NAD, Pioneer, etc. If parts or manuals are ever needed, they will be much easier to get or find.
    Not knowing what your looking to pick up for a passive DIY subwoofer kit or pre built, I can give you know idea what to expect for spl with your little 60 watt 10% monster Sub Amp.[​IMG]
    The more efficent the sub driver along with ported instead of sealed the louder it will play with the same given power.
    One note, being it's rated at 6-ohms, a 4-ohm subwoofer the boom box may not like, and might not drive it. Meaning the Mini system will shut down, blow fuse, or just refuse to drive it at all. So you might look to a sub with a 8-ohm dual voice coil. This will allow you to use both channels, one channel of the boom box on each coil for now. Then wire the driver for a 4 ohm load or stay at dual 8-ohm coils later when you get a stronger amp and thus allowing you more versitility in the future.
    Long ansewr to a short queston-sorry[​IMG]
    Regards
    Geoff
     
  3. Hanwook_K

    Hanwook_K Stunt Coordinator

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    Check the specifications of the minisystem - some of the amps to reduce cost have a lower 3db of 40hz. If it does I would not recommend using it. I would also make sure to run both channels 60watts might be a little low, but 120 should be enough for a small-medium room - most subwoofer amps have a lot of headroom (thumps and bumps require huge bursts of energy).
    But if the AMP goes down to 20-30hz, I agree with Geoff, it is worth while to save some bucks before you upgrade to something bigger.
     
  4. Matt Jesty

    Matt Jesty Second Unit

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    Yes, you can pull a travel trailer with a Yugo....[​IMG]
     
  5. Hanwook_K

    Hanwook_K Stunt Coordinator

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    ... If the trailer is a 2'x3' and weights 100lbs [​IMG]
     
  6. Geoff L

    Geoff L Screenwriter

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    Hanwook makes a good point!! Never gave that a thought but it's very true in the lower end mini systems.

    You did not mention what Mini system you have so making a call is difficult.

    If the 3-db down at 40hz is the case with your Mini, ~{the deep music & movie bass is 30's on down}~, it would still work but your extension to those lower freqs will be, well, it just will not happen no matter how good a sub you buy or build.

    But don't let that stop you from buying a flat kit from PE, Kyle at Acoustic Visions, or building a good DIY passive sub yourself...

    Power is cheap at Ebay and movies without accurate deep bass, man thats gota be tuff.

    Good luck
    Geoff
     
  7. Justin Ward

    Justin Ward Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for the replies. I think I will look into a passive sub and see how it plays. If not I could always pick up a used decent quality 2 channel stereo amp as some have recommended. Right now I am using my two minisystem speakers stacked as a "dual 6.5 subwoofer", crude yes, but it was a learning experience. One other question. I see the DIY kits that come with or without an amp. If I buy a DIY kit but no amp will I be able to attach a "high-level" input to the sub? Or will I need some additional parts? Is the subwoofer at www.speakerpage.com a good choice and does it include all nescessary parts? Subwoofer at speakerpage.com
     
  8. Justin Ward

    Justin Ward Supporting Actor

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    Oh if it matters my minisystem is a JVC MX-J206
     
  9. Geoff L

    Geoff L Screenwriter

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    The K10S10 and this is a SELF POWERD 10" sub. Meaning the Amp is on board already. You could call and see if they CURRENTLY would or do sell it in a non powered form. (Their show it as unavailable right now) It's a good sub and well built at 100lbs.

    But it's extension is nothing to brag about and appears to be designed and geared more toward music. With room gain corner loaded extension might drop quite a bit lower depending on the size of your room. The smaller the room the better the (free) low freq gain.

    But for the money charged for the K10S10, I think it could be better spent for better results. Also they may have some eq-ing built into the plate amp that is onboard, so, if you where to be able to by this kit with out the on board amp check to see if the sub was designed with boosting in the amp. This would make it nessessary for you to eq your non powered version of this if it is even currently avaialble.

    As to your speaker level connection on a passive sub,,, YES plug your SUB preout from your receiver into the Amp or Mini system and the wire the amp, receiver or mini sstems speaker wire out connections to the proper subwoofer speaker termials. (ie) +to+ and -to- for in phase and back wards -to+ and +to- for out of phase.

    I would highly suggest you contact Kyle at Acoustic Vision and speak with him about your needs. He coud design and precut a complet flat kit that you then could assemble in a very short amount of time and do it very afforabley. You could finish it yourself or he could also do that for you. (ie) Paint, stain, veneer of different woods etc.

    Add a plate amp later or a big outboard amp to replace your mini system your currently using.

    Ruttledge Audio is another one to look into.

    Do a search in the speker and DIY area for these comany names and read what many have to say about these guys fantastic work, prices, and performance their (design for you subs have)!

    Another cheap temp route you might look at, but it comes complete, finised, and plug and play.

    It's the PE's = Parts Express (Dayton DLS-10" self powered sub) 99.99
    It's not going to compete with subs designed buy Kyle or Ruttledge but will be cheaper and a plug and play sub while you save for a real monster performer.

    Regards
    Geoff
     
  10. Justin Ward

    Justin Ward Supporting Actor

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    They say on the web site that they will sell the kit with no amp for $50. And I will be using it in a smallish room.
     
  11. Geoff L

    Geoff L Screenwriter

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    Justin

    You need to call them!!!!! It states clearly on the page that it is not available. What dose this mean, I do not know!

    The driver, the amp, the box, the sock, the whole damn thing, I DON'T KNOW.

    You must call SCH to find the answers to these question! I find it very hard to belive that the complete sub finished with cabnet, sock covering, driver, binding post, LESS THE AMP can be had for 50.00..... IF IT'S AVAILABLE????

    Make the call and get your answers, I gave you my take on this and what I would recomend.

    If the KIT is AVAILABLE COMPLETEY ASSEMBELED *less the amp* (and ask if the cut out for the amp is already their as you don't want this) at 50.00, I would be very shocked....
    If so jump on it!

    Good Luck
    Geoff
     

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