Loser newbie Speaker Connection question - Denon/Sony MV-40/HTD

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jonathan Hayes, Dec 28, 2001.

  1. Jonathan Hayes

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    I've been away from audio stuff for an embarassingly long time, and have an embarassing question. I'm upgrading my system, and have acquired the following stuff, largely based on opinions expressed 'round these here parts:

    Denon 2801 A/V receiver

    Sony SA-MV40 subwoofer

    Home Theater Direct Series Three front and center, series Two rear speakers

    A high school student apparently far more knowledgeable about this stuff has been helping me connect stuff, but he tells me that the output to the subwoofer from the 2801 can't be connected to the subwoofer because it uses a different type of connection.

    I've craned my head around the back of the receiver (other problem: I've lost the 2801 manual, and, while you can get .pdf manuals for just about everything under the sun, Denon doesn't have a 2801 manual available as a .pdf file), and it looks to me like the subwoofer out from the receiver is an RCA plug, whereas the Sony seems to take a bare wire input.

    I think that the HTD stuff should be fine - they just clip into the Sony, or screw into the Denon.

    Can someone tell me what the thing to do here would be? Are there RCA to two-stranded wire speaker cables available? I can't believe that this receiver and this subwoofer can't be made to communicate.

    Thanks,

    J.
     
  2. Marc Rochkind

    Marc Rochkind Second Unit

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    Sounds like the problem is that the subwoofer is unpowered, whereas the output from the receiver is low-level, intended for a powered subwoofer. Choices: (1) get a subwoofer amp. I think I saw these on a web site, don't remember which. Maybe www.onecall.com or www.partsexpress.com. Or (2) run the left/right front from the receiver to the subwoofer and then from out of the subwoofer to the speakers, letting the subwoofer do the crossover, etc. Don't know if your subwoofer works this way. Or, (3) get a new powered subwoofer.
     
  3. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Yes, it does sound like this sub is unpowered. Hooking it to the receiver will tax the main amp a bit more, but will properly crossover the mains to the sub (I'd prefer to let the receiver do it in most cases though). I think the suggestion of getting an dedicated amp or a new sub altogether are the best ideas.
     
  4. Bert D

    Bert D Stunt Coordinator

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    Sure you do not mean the Sony WM40 sub ? That one is powered and you should have no problems with getting it to work with your Denon either with the sub out or the speaker level inputs. Do you have the Denon set for "sub" (lfe) ?
     
  5. Jonathan Hayes

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    I'm sorry, that's exactly the subwoofer I mean. My problem isn't about operating it, it's about making the actual physical connections.

    The Subwoofer Out on the Denon appears to be an RCA jack, whereas the subwoofer inputs include a single plug labeled Line, and a series of those inputs which consist of a central socket which opens when an adjacent black or red button is pressed; the wire is then inserted, and you let go of the button and the socket clasps the wire. I don't know the name!

    What I'm asking is what sort of wire do I need here? I have speaker cable, but my assistant told me that I needed to go out and get a special subwoofer cable. However, the subwoofer cable I saw at Circuit City has plugs on both ends, and I don't think that they're right for the socket on the back of the suboofer.

    Is there, like, a cable I can buy that plugs into the receiver, and then I'd strip the other ends and plug those into the speaker Input socket?

    (BTW, if anyone knows actual *names* for these sockets and jacks, I'd be grateful if you could share them! My attempts at description, in addition to being confusing, are kind of humiliating!)

    I think that the problem may be that Sony has been making these subwoofers for some time now, and the input connections on them are a little out of date. However, given their popularity, I'm sure someone must have connected one of these subwoofers to a modern receiver!

    Sorry for the confusion,

    J.
     
  6. Bert D

    Bert D Stunt Coordinator

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    I have the Sony WM40, and if yours is a WM40, it comes with a "subwoofer" cable, looks like a "rca" . You plug this into to your "sub out" on your Denon and into "line in" on your woofer, that's it. The "line in" is like a rca jack.

    Then set all your speakers to small and cross over at 80 or 100 hz through your receiver. Turn your sub level on your sub to 1/3 to start, and the "other knob" (crossover) all the way to the right or 170 hz or so. If you want more bass, run your fronts as "large+lfe" (sub). If you do not have the "sub" cable, you will need to buy one.
     
  7. Jonathan Hayes

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    Bert! You rock!

    I connected the subwoofer via the included subwoofer cable, and it's working! To my amazement!

    I'm currently using an inferior pair of front and center speakers; my Home Theater Direct stuff arrives next week. When it does get here, should I connect the front speakers directly to the receiver, or should they be connected to the subwoofer speaker outs?

    And does anyone know where I can get a Denon 2801 manual .pdf? I have no idea how to achieve the settings Bert recommended, or much else, really.
     
  8. Bert D

    Bert D Stunt Coordinator

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    Connect all speakers to your receiver, not the sub. Set your sub as above, adjust output as needed, you should not need more than 1/2 output level at the sub.

    Unless your front speakers are better at bass than the sub, set them at "small" . You will need a manual to play with the receiver settings,but generally as described above,if you cross over at 80/100 it will sound great. Glad to have helped, as I am a "newbie" at all this also, so it can get confusing. Enjoy your new toy.
     

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