Subwoofer cable question

Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by Henry Chou, Feb 16, 2005.

  1. Henry Chou

    Henry Chou Auditioning

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    I moved into a new home and it was pre-wired for surround sound. The wires that connect to my sub-woofer is not an RCA type connector. There are 4 speaker wires. The sub that I bought has the crossover where I can run the 4 speaker wires through the sub, then have my center channel running through the sub. So I have my sub connected to my center speaker channel on my receiver, then my center channel is connected to my sub's crossover. Is this the optimal set up or do I get better sound by connecting it to the RCA type connector to my receiver? Also, one of the sales rep at Circuit City said I could buy a Monster subwoofer cable, cut it, and then connect the 2 speaker wires to the Monster cable and use the RCA connector to my sub and receiver. Is this accurate? I'd hate to spend $50.00 on a cable, cut it, only to discover that I wouldn't be able to connect the speaker wires to the Monster cable. I'm assuming that lose sound quality with this method, but would it be better than how I currently have it connected? Thanks for the help.
     
  2. ScottHH

    ScottHH Stunt Coordinator

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    What receiver do you have? What sub do you have? This info would enable someone to give you a detailed best scenario. I'm guessing that by "four speaker wires" you mean that you can hook up a left and right speaker out to your sub and have the sub filter out the bass information for it to use while sending the higher freqency information to a pair of speakers.

    1. DO NOT listen to the CC sales person, that sounds like a stupid idea, even for a CC sales person.
    2. If there is an RCA type "subwoofer out" jack on your receiver, this is the output that carries the LFE track. This information is not carried on the center channel. If your receiver has the option to turn the sub off, I'd be willing to bet that it redirects the bass to the left and right speakers, not the center.
    3. Don't buy Monster cables they are over priced. If you really wanted to do what this sales guy is recommending, you could buy an RCA plug at Radio Shack and connect it to one end of the speaker wire. BUT DO NOT DO THIS. The levels on the line-out (RCA plug wires) and the speaker wire are different.
    4. If all your subwoofer has are speaker inputs, it is a passive sub, and you need to send an amplified signal to your sub's speaker in jacks. If you are determined to use speaker wire that's in wall to drive this sub, you need an amplifier between the RCA subwoofer out jack on your reciver and the speaker wire that goes to the sub.

    Finally, perhaps someone could note whether or not it is safe to attach RCA plugs to both ends of the wire that is already in your wall and plug one end into the subwoofer out of your receiver and the other into the line-in RCA jack on your sub (if it exists).
     
  3. Henry Chou

    Henry Chou Auditioning

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    Thanks for the reply. I thought what the CC sales rep suggested sounded kind of funky. I have a Sony receiver. Nothing fancy. I don't remember the model. I bought a Polk PSW10 sub. Like my receiver, nothing too fancy either. They both get the job done. My receiver does have the output specifically for the sub, so I guess this is the one that carries the LFE track and it sounds like I should be running a dedicated connection from the sub to the receiver as opposed to hooking it up through my center channel.

    It basically boils down to aesthetics vs. functionality. I can connect my sub to my receiver using the sub output, but the cable will be out in the open. I guess I just need to figure out a good place to put the sub if I'm worred about the cable showing. Thanks for the help.
     
  4. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Will it work? Most likely. Is it a good idea? No.

    I'd rather run a new cable. Is the sub located in a spot that is near enough to the receiver to just run a new one outside the wall or even inside? If you were going to cut it, I would not bother with a $50 cable...

    Scott is correct. The way you have it setup is most definitely not the optimum way. With speaker level outputs, it should be hooked to the front L&R speakers, with them set to large and sub = none. Unfortunately, this means you only have 2 options for your mains - run them set to large and connected to the same outputs on the receiver, or connect them to the sub and let them be filtered at whatever high pass x-over it has (likely 100Hz or 120Hz); this would be the lesser of two evils, but neither would be the optimum.
     
  5. Nathan Stohler

    Nathan Stohler Second Unit

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    My advice would be to use this connection from your receiver (sub/LFE out) and set your speakers to "small". If you do decide to go the other route, John is right; you want to connect the sub in parallel with your main speakers, not your center. Keep in mind that in this case, the only bass you will get from your sub is that which is redirected from your main speakers.
     
  6. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    time to ditch the sub and replace it with a passive SVS so you can use the in-house wires... [​IMG][​IMG]
     

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