Whats a "passive" subwoofer? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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Old 07-13-2006, 03:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Recently bought a Yamaha YHT-170 system. Its a great system for me, but when i went into the store to buy it i looked around at all the other systems & their subwoofers seemed to have more of a loud "thud" or "thump" sound to their subwoofers, almost like the kick-bass of a drum set. My Yamaha, which has a passive sub, however is very noticeably not like that, yet still creates lots of bass but its more like a "rumbling" bass sound like a thunderstorm.

Is that the difference between passive & the other types of woofers? You definately don't get that hard kick of air coming out the hole of the Yamaha subwoofer. PS the YHT-170 subwoofer is HUGE, like twice the size of a normal sub.
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Old 07-13-2006, 06:18 PM
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a passive sub has no amplifier of its own built into it...it must rely on the receiver to supply it power to produce any LFE. a powered sub, on the other hand, has its own amplifier to produce sound from the low voltage signal coming from the receiver. powered subs perform better than passive subs.

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Old 07-14-2006, 08:01 AM
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Whether it is a "thud" or a "rumble", a subwoofer should not have an identifiable sound of its own. A good sub will reproduce exactly what was recorded, like any good speaker.
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Old 03-27-2007, 03:58 PM
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What you're talking about can be settled usually with a crossover, which is a device that filters out frequencies particular to your speaker, whether it is a subwoofer, midrange, or tweeter. A range from 60-80hz, which is what your sub is probably receiving, produces deep, rich, and rumbling bass. Whereas a range of 100-120hz produces a rather midbass quick thump.

Check the back of the subwoofer or on the receiver for subwoofer settings. If it's non existent then you can always purchase a crossover for rather cheap, no more than the cost of a speaker.

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Old 03-27-2007, 04:15 PM
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Everybody is right but the truth is harsh. The puny satellite (5cm) and center (8cm) speakers on that set demand that the "sub" reproduce to high (above 100Hz) and that is why you are hearing a "rumble" from it. You cannot set the speakers to LARGE (because they ain't) and when set to SMALL, the sub will probably always be distinguishable, and not in a good way. Heck, they specify the woofer's frequency response up to 4kHz!

It may be passive but it is being powered by a nominal 100W amp in the receiver. It may be all you can expect from this littel system although, if you have not carefully set channel levels, including the sub, you might get a bit more satisfaction when you do.


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