Subwoofer Wiring question

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jon Shea, Aug 13, 2001.

  1. Jon Shea

    Jon Shea Auditioning

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    I am wondering what is the best way to wire a subwoofer. I was in the store a couple days ago, and the salesman told me to use the speaker level inputs on the subwoofer, not the LFE mono. He said to set my mains to large, subwoofer to none, and wire the subwoofer off my mains, then the mains off my subwoofer.
    I had previously wired using the LFE out on my receiver, thinking this was optimal, as my receiver probably handles the crossover better than my subwoofer.
    What do you think? Trust my receiver to handle the crossover-ing? Or send the whole signal back to my sub?
    -jon
     
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Music or HT?
    Sounds to me like somebody was smoking crack. Unless you are only running stereo, you will lose the surround capability by running your setup this way. Using the LFE channel sends bass from all the channels to the sub. If you set your speakers to small then all of the bass is sent to the sub, but even with the large setting, LFE will be routed to the sub because that is how 5.1 + is recorded.
    The advantage to the way this person suggests is that the crossover is perfect, but depending your speakers, may not be necessary, and actually decrease performance - meaning, if your mains can handle a decent amount of bass, then what this person suggests is not to your advantage. It is a waste of time to send an amplified signal to an amplified sub, IMO.
    Stick with what you have, especially if you are happy with the way it sounds.
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    [Edited last by John Garcia on August 13, 2001 at 02:34 PM]
     
  3. Michael Roderiques

    Michael Roderiques Stunt Coordinator

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    Now you have opened a can "o" worms!
    Truth is both ways are acceptable. A lot depends on your gear and personal preference.
    I prefer to use Line (low) level. I want to take as much a load off my main amps as possible. Low frequency is the hardest range to reproduce, so If I can move that to the sub, great. The benefit will be better system performance
    Using the crossover in your system and routing the low frequency to the LFE or Sub out will do this. High (speaker) level will not.
     
  4. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Hi Jon. Welcome to HTF! [​IMG]
    Your receiver has a very nice feature. It can send the ".1" and the low-frequency sounds from all your speakers to your sub.
    If you wire the L/R speaker wires to the sub, how can the sub handle the constantly-working center speaker low-frequency? (hint: it cannot) [​IMG] Or the low-frequency for the rears?
    Your salesman seems to come from, or been trained by someone from the 2-channel music world.
    In general, set all your speakers to SMALL, and tell your receiver to send the ".1" AND the low-frequency from all the channels to the sub. This tends to give you a better-sounding system for HT, and possiably for music.
    Hope this helps. And enjoy your stay at HTF!
     
  5. Tom Vodhanel

    Tom Vodhanel Cinematographer

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    I think if you set the mains/large, surround and center/small and the subwoofer to NO....the mains will be sent all the bass from the surrounds,center and LFE.
    I'd use the subwoofer output of the receiver/processor regardless though.
    TV
     
  6. Jon Shea

    Jon Shea Auditioning

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    Thanks for the input. My system is for hometheater 90% of the time. Music the other part, but digital music (mp3s). I am going to stick with the LFE out, as that's what my gut says is the right thing to do. My next question is this.
    I just bought the Marantz SR-7200 (loving it, BTW). I set all my speakers to small (Jamo 8 series). The manual says to set speakers to small if they cannot handle frequencies below 100Hz. I am assuming if you set them to small, everything below 100 Hz is sent to the sub via the LFE out.
    Here's my question. Where do i set the crossover on my sub? Logically, I set it at about 100Hz, so i would not lose any data. Is this right? Or can I configured my receiver to tell what the cut-off frequency is?
    -jon
     
  7. Ron Stimpson

    Ron Stimpson Stunt Coordinator

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    Jon,
    If you use the single mono LFE/sub output of your receiver (much advised as you have heard), you would turn your crossover FULL RIGHT, or off if you can. Set it to the highest frequency so it's out of the way, your receiver will do the filtering for you.
    Then it's just a matter of using a SPL meter to set the right level!
    Ron
    [Edited last by Ron Stimpson on August 14, 2001 at 10:31 AM]
     
  8. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I have the 6200, and I have my speakers all set to large. (Nice speakers you have...Jamo). The sub is still only receiving lower frequencies, as when I turn up the x-over on the sub above approx 90-100Hz, it does not seem to make any difference.
    Yes, what Ron said. If you set your speakers to small, set the sub as high as it will go, and let the receiver's x-over handle it. The receiver's x-over is not adjustable, but I have not found this to be an issue so far.
    My recommendation is to try it both ways, and see which you prefer.
    [Edited last by John Garcia on August 14, 2001 at 12:10 PM]
     
  9. LarrySkelly

    LarrySkelly Stunt Coordinator

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    ... unless you want to use the SOurce Direct feature that I'm sure the 7200 has for music (my SR8000 has it).
    I really like the sound produced by Source Direct, but it bypasses bass management and does not route LFE to the sub.
    So I:
    - set mains to Large
    - connect mains as per usual to the mains out speaker terminals
    - set Sub to No
    - Feed the mains pre-amp out into an external crossover that feeds the Samson that drives the subs
    - Set my crossover frequency pretty low so as not to have too much overlap with my mains, which go down to 30 hz.
    The net is that the LFE that goes to the mains is handled by the sub. The mains handle mid-bass and the remainder.
    Of course, I could route the crossover's high pass out to the power amp in for the mains, but I don't want the mains signal to be at all compromised for music. So I use the above approach and it works fantastic for me. Superb sound quality from Source Direct. And the external crossover carves out the low frequencies for the subs.
    For movies different story, you cannot use source direct, it disables the centre channel.
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