Passive versus Powered Sub Woofer?

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Andrew O'Brien, Dec 6, 2003.

  1. Andrew O'Brien

    Andrew O'Brien Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm in the process of upgrading my 12 year old Sony Surround Sound sytem with a new receiver that supports Dolby Digital and DTS. The new receiver will be Santa's gift to me.

    I thought about upgrading my speaker system but I am sufering from sticker shock after a visit to several stores today. It been about 20 years since I was "up on" the audio world, I knew that receivers had come down a lot in price but was suprised that speakers seem to have retained their high value.

    So, I think I will slowly add better speakers rather than hit my wallet with a huge sum around Christmas. My 12 year old Infinty speakers seem good enough for L and R speakers in my new system, but I wonder about the sub-woofer. I have a 12 inch Radio Shack passive sub-woofer. Would a powered sub-woofer provide a noticible difference? In my old surround sound system it sounded "okay" to me, I just wonder what I am missing?

    Andy
     
  2. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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  3. Andrew O'Brien

    Andrew O'Brien Stunt Coordinator

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    Current room set up is a Sony STR D1090 receiver , Pinnacle PAS 25 Center speaker , Infinity Reference Three for L and R front, Radio Shack 12 inch passive sub-woofer.
    I use the Sony STR D1090 receiver to power all.

    The room is about 18 X 14 , sub woofer is next to the the JVC 32 inch TV about 13 feet away from the main viewing couch!

    Andy
     
  4. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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    Is the sub close to the mains though,like at least along the same wall?In any case the new receiver will have a bass managment which help the sub to blend with your mains, and most powered subs have separate gain controll,variable low pass crossover,and some has phase adjustments as well.All of those are there to help to adjust the sub's output to blend better with the mains/center/surrounds.So having said that you would be better off with a powered unit.
    If you have a budget I could recommend some models.
     
  5. Andrew O'Brien

    Andrew O'Brien Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes, the sub is along the same wall as the mains.

    Thanks for the info, I'll look around for a new powered sub-woofer. I'll get one from somewhere with a good return policy so I can compare it with my passive sub woofer and return if there is not much of a difference.
     
  6. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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  7. Robert_Gaither

    Robert_Gaither Screenwriter

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    Just a cheap amp suggestion, someone on the hardware forum is selling an audiosource 5.1 monoblock. I actually for a while had two of the Radioshack passive subs and ran that poor amp within 5-10 db of ref level and it didn't seem to break a sweat (at 2 ohms, it seemed to prefer this over the 4 ohm setting when I only pushed one, but still quite good). The parts express amp or the rhythmic amp might be good choices as well.
     

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